Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 22, 2017

Service and Adventure

Meeting with my Band of Fathers is a highlight of my week. Gil Harris, our men’s ministry director, encouraged me to start this core group in late 2015 with the intention of connecting with dads who wanted to build stronger relationships with their sons through shared study, shared mission, and shared adventure. We believe that all three of these elements are essential in building strong bonds.
Over the past couple of years we have engaged in some really great studies and are currently deep into a study of Endurance, the story of Sir Ernest Shackelton’s failed Trans-Antarctic Expedition — regarded as the most successful failure in the history of exploration. This study is yielding powerful and practical lessons on life, leadership, and perseverance.


This past weekend, several of us packed our gear and headed to El Paso on a shared mission / shared adventure. I enjoy these road trips because they strengthen fellowship and give us opportunities to serve and enjoy outdoor adventure together. El Paso is a far distance from Katy so we spent our first night at South Llano River State Park. No sense paying for a hotel room when you can camp!


Morris Horner, pastor of The Journey Church on the East Side, graciously hosted us at his home when we arrived in El Paso. Morris planted The Journey Church on the east side of El Paso where the desert is blossoming into thousands of new homes. The Journey Church is only one of a couple of churches in the midst of thousands of people.

I had the privilege of speaking at The Journey Church on Sunday. Present in the service that morning was the family of a fourteen year-old boy who had committed suicide two weeks ago. When their son committed suicide, the family had no one to turn to but Morris, the pastor who had once visited them and brought by some homemade cookies.

Morris officiated at the service for this young boy and continues to care for the family aching with grief and trying to understand what happened. They have since learned that their son had been relentlessly bullied at school and through social media. As a result, the boy chose to end his life alone in the desert. His body was found after a massive manhunt.


I am glad that our missions ministry has supported Morris and The Journey Church on the East Side from the beginning. And I am glad that when this family suffered their unimaginable nightmare, they moved in the direction of a pastor who had taken the time to meet his neighbors. Next summer, our eighth-grade students will have the opportunity to serve with Morris.

After our time with Morris we headed to Franklin Mountains State Park to camp and hike. There are few things that can promote good conversation among men and boys as a warm campfire on a cold night. We enjoyed two cold nights of camping, some delicious food, and some of the best hiking in the Lone Star State.


We spent one morning hiking to the Aztec Caves that were once inhabited by Native Americans. The smoke-stained ceiling of the caves is mute testimony to people who once inhabited this vast region. And the view from the caves has to be one of the best in Texas. Absolutely magnificent.


We also hiked some other trails that took us deep into the Franklin Mountains and blessed us with some amazing vistas. Sharing this adventure was another highlight of our trip. Our conversations, our laughter, and our time together deepened our bonds of brotherhood. We can hardly wait for our next shared mission and shared adventure.


Responses

  1. Wow. What a great adventure, mission, ministry experience. Thanks Omar for your leadership to Go Beyond.

    • Thanks for your leadership of our men’s ministry and for challenging us to become godly men.

  2. Love to see the work of your ministry!

    • Thanks, Tre. Grateful for our friendship and partnership in the gospel.


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