Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 30, 2013

New Trails in 2014

Determined to make the most of my remaining vacation days, today’s 40-degree temps, cold winds, and cloudy skies were powerless to keep me indoors. I woke up early this morning determined to reach my goal of hiking all of the trails at Stephen F. Austin State Historical Park. Named after the “Father of Texas,” the park is situated along a scenic bend of the Brazos River near the old townsite of San Felipe de Austin, the colonial capital of Texas. This area is one of the most beautiful in the Lone Star State, even in winter.

Winter Hike
I figured it would be easy to meet my goal since there are only 6 miles of trails at the park. Of course, I ended up hiking 8.6 miles because I had to retrace my steps a few times in order to access all of the trails. One good thing about the cold weather today is that I had the trails all to myself. All of the other park visitors were snuggled in their campers or enjoying breakfast around their campfires.

Shoes and Leaves
The trails at the park are fantastic. Every trail I walked was carpeted in rust-colored leaves cast off by skeletal trees patiently waiting for their new Spring wardrobes. The trails wind their way through an amazing art gallery of twisted vines and branches and giants brought crashing to the ground by storms and termites. There was never a dull moment and plenty of photo-ops every step of the way.

Tangled Vine 2
As I hiked today, I reflected on the people I have met as I have trekked near and far this past year. I thought about and prayed for the Syrian refugees I met in Jordan who have suffered unimaginable personal horrors as a result of the civil strife in their homeland. And the Zabbaleen people of Egypt who somehow manage to subsist on the few dollars they make each day by collecting and sorting through Cairo’s garbage. The trail is always hard for them.

Termite Tree
I also smiled as I thought about all of the people in Central America that received the gift of clean water because we followed the trail to their remote villages in order to drill a well for them. Other trails took us to places in Africa and throughout South Asia and Southeast Asia where we had wonderful opportunities to share the best news in the world. All in all, we journeyed down lots of trails together both near and far this year in order to share and to show God’s love to others.

Vines on Tree
In a matter of hours we will take our first steps down a brand new trail. Each of us will have opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those we meet along the way in the coming year. May we wake up each morning eagerly anticipating what lies around the next bend. May we have the courage to go beyond — to venture into uncharted territories. And may we embrace the adventures that God has in store for us as we venture down new trails in 2014.


  1. Omar, I have enjoyed so much traveling with you via your blogs. I am impressed that you are physically able to do all the things you have done this year—keep it up! Also, I have been so excited with the outreach that your church is doing in Katy. Wish our church would do more of what you are doing. … Just know that you have inspired me and I pray for you and your adventures and your work for the Lord.

    Pat Walker
    Plymouth Park Baptist

    • Thanks, Pat. I appreciate your encouraging words. Hope you have a great New Year. Please give my regards to the good folks at PPBC.

  2. Omar Brother, My dear beloved Brother, When I am seeing this site I feel very amazing You and your team doing very great job.Our GOD is giving HIS supporting hands to you thats why you are doing this are so lucky fellow because our LORD only selected you.You are HIS loving son.I must remembering one our Bible version Mark16:15 And HE said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation…… are doing GOD;s word.please remembering me in your State.Please come to my State.Andhra Pradesh, and see my work.I am also doing GOD;s work not like your big…I am doing small.thank you….Yours Sister…..Swarna

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