Texas Teen Carries Cross to White House

Junior Garcia, 19, set out on a mission from north Texas to Washington, DC, to raise awareness about God by carrying a huge cross. He walked 12 hours each day for 5 weeks to draw the attention of Americans back to the cross of Jesus Christ, while raising money for missionary programs.  He planned to end his trip by carrying the cross through the streets of the nation’s capitol, raising it up in front of the White House and holding a prayer service there.

"It's not for political gain. It's for no other gain. He recognizes the moral decay in this country and what he wants to do is bring the attention back to the cross which is a message of love," said Pastor Sertorius Johnson from the Oasis Church International Church in Saginaw, Texas.

Many obstacles to Garcia’s noble mission arose while he was on his way. His permit to hold a prayer service was rejected by both the Washington, DC, mayor and police.  Then the mayor stated that Garcia couldn’t raise a cross, or anything, in front of the White House that rose higher than the fence. He was also told that he could not carry a cross through the streets of the capitol. But Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) helped Junior Garcia and his friends get the necessary permits to hold a prayer service, display the cross and walk in Lafayette Park across from the White House.

Garcia’s determination to call attention to Christ grew stronger as he carried his cross across the country despite hindrances to each phase of his plan. The local media from various cities followed Garcia along his way, reporting each political barrier and its resolution. Interest grew through social media with many supporting him. Garcia fulfilled his mission with a little different scenario but with great joy. Even though Garcia was not completely successful in all the details of what he planned to do, he was elated to walk with the cross and lead a prayer service near the White House.

The first comment posted to the news story showed Garcia’s message was heard: “I used to be an atheist but seeing Junior roll a cross from Texas to Washington, DC has opened my eyes! It is a miracle!”

Can you relate to this young man carrying his cross? Sometimes we want to act boldly to call attention to the love of Christ. Very often our plans are rejected and we need the help of others to rescue our mission.  We discover a different result than we envisioned. Garcia wouldn’t have made the news, nor drawn the attention and comments except for the political opposition to his mission.  So the glory of God is evident in exactly the way he planned, in his timing and in front of those who needed it.

We all have personal crosses to carry. They are calls from God whether we initiate them or they are thrust upon us. Our purpose is to reach the goal despite the hazards thrown in our path. We need others to support us along our way, to cheer us on and stand in the gap for us against opposing forces. Often the outcome is not exactly what we imagined, but that doesn’t mean it’s not God’s plan. For that we can rejoice.

What is your personal story of victory in carrying your cross, enduring difficulties and accepting a surprise ending?  Did you need others to support you? How do you rate your success?

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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