Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Niki

New Delhi, India

I had originally planned to travel to India during the latter part of this month. I knew that I had to get as much done on this trip as possible, including meeting with our new partners at Disha Foundation in New Delhi. However, when I received an invitation from Vinita Shaw, Director of Disha, to speak at the International Women’s Day conference at St. Thomas’ Church on March 9 and 10, I was not sure I would be able to move the dates of my trip.

I was prepared to decline the invitation to speak because March 10 is my daughter Niki’s birthday. However, when Niki learned that I had been invited to speak concerning the abuse of young girls and women in India she told me that I had to go. “That is the best birthday present you could possibly give me this year,” she said. “Go and speak to the women at the conference,” she continued, “about these injustices.” So, with Niki’s permission to go, I accepted the invitation.

When I addressed the conference on March 9, I told them that Niki had encouraged me to travel to India even though the dates conflicted with her birthday. Afterwards several women made it a point to tell me to thank Niki. One lady absolutely insisted that I not forget to do so. “Please thank your daughter for me,” she said. “She has done something unselfish in releasing you to come to speak to us.” I promised her and the other ladies that I would pass along their messages to Niki. And, I did.

When I arrived to speak at St. Thomas’ Church this morning, a man immediately approached me and said that his wife had attended the meeting I spoke at yesterday. “She told me about your daughter. My wife was so encouraged by your words. So, please thank your daughter for allowing you to be with us on her birthday.” And then the lady that had been so insistent yesterday came around the corner and immediately approached me. “Did you give my message to your daughter?” she asked. I was happy to tell her that I had passed along her message.

When I was introduced before speaking this morning, Pastor Timothy also made reference to the fact that today is Niki’s birthday and that she had given me permission to spend her special day with their congregation in New Delhi. And, once again after the service, the good people in attendance made it a point to thank me for my message and added that I pass along their regards and thanks to Niki.

Niki sent me a text message this evening as I was leaving St. Michael’s Hostel for Girls where I spoke to 89 of the sweetest little girls. She wrote, “It’s hard as you get older and learn more to find injustices still exist in the world. I’m glad I have parents dedicated to making the world a better place.” And then she added that she and Cheryl were en route to Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi to take a picture. Niki was born at Spohn Hospital thirty years ago, the same hospital where Cheryl was born and given up for adoption.

Niki and Cheryl

Niki and Cheryl

I am grateful to Niki for her heart for the nations and especially for her concern for those who suffer abuse. I am glad that she understands and supports and encourages my work among the peoples of the world. It’s always easier to go when you know that those who stay behind love you and are cheering you on to do good for the kingdom of God. It would be difficult for me to go beyond without the support of my family. So, thank you Niki. I love you and wish you a Happy Birthday. See you soon.

PS | I still carry a little card that Niki gave me years ago to take with me on my travels. It has a little laminated photo of her taken during a church children’s musical. I keep it in my travel folder along with my passport. It’s been around the world with me umpteen times. It’s just another reminder to me that I am blessed.



  1. Happy Birthday, Niki! What a special family the Garcias are!

    • Thanks, Carla. Grateful to God for Niki’s thirty years today.

  2. What a sweet thing for her to do and a
    sweet father to daughter blog. Happy Birthday Niki, you are loved!

    • Thanks, Amy. Appreciate the good words.

  3. Thanks Dad! And Thank You everyone in India and at Disha for all the birthday wishes!

    • You’re welcome, Niki. Glad you are having a good day. Love you and see you soon.

  4. My prayers go with you, Omar. Happy Birthday to Niki!

  5. Happy Birthday Niki (my Captain!). Indeed, a great birthday present for you as your Dad is able to speak into the lives of these women. I am looking forward to the TWS (I think). Doyle

    • Thanks, Doyle. We are fortunate to have Niki as our Team Captain on the Texas Water Safari. She knows her stuff and will take good care of us.

  6. Good fathering = good daughtering.

  7. mother is my twin!

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