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Young Texan pulls cross through area on journey of faith

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Junior Garcia , 19, of Lake Worth, TX, rolls a cross along U.S. 11 south of Toms Brook on Wednesday. Garcia plans to reach Washington, D.C., on Friday. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

Junior Garcia made a stop in Strasburg on Wednesday as part of his 1,380 mile on-foot journey to "bring our nation back to the cross."

Garcia, 19, of Lake Worth, Texas, has made the trek with a 15-pound hollowed-out cross. The structure is on wheels as it lags behind him, and it even has a built-in cushion for it to rest on his shoulder.

He started what is being called "The Journey" on June 7 from Saginaw, Texas, the home of his place of worship, The Oasis Church. Garcia walks about 35 miles per day, and plans to reach his destination of Washington D.C. this Friday. There, he will hold a prayer service across the street from the White House.

Garcia has not been completely alone for the trip, as a bus full of fellow church members stays about a mile ahead of him to check out the area he approaches. Groups of friends and family members take turns walking a few miles a day with him as well.

"A few of my guy friends have lost a little weight," Garcia laughed, and added that he hadn't. He said he has gone through two pairs of shoes so far and is currently switching back and forth between his third and fourth.

The young man said that first and foremost he wants to draw awareness back to the cross, and remind the nation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Secondly, he said he hopes to raise $35,000 to purchase a vehicle for missionaries in Mexico to transport children to church. Some people are donating different amounts per mile walked, but others have surprised him along the way.

"Some people just pull over and give us money, or buy us hotel rooms or feed us," he said. The group started the 37-day 36-night trip with only four planned stops along the way at churches. Everything else has been day-to-day.

Garcia admitted that there have been a few negative experiences over the past month.

"Yeah, people give us the finger every now and then, but I always say they don't know which finger to point up with yet," he said, smiling. "But those are the people we're walking for, to show them the love of Jesus Christ."

"I pray every day before we walk to see those people through His eyes, not mine," he added.

The positive times greatly outweigh the negative, he said. Garcia told one story of going through a small town in Tennessee where the entire community and all of its churches came together to welcome the group.

"It was like they threw denomination out the window," he said. "That's what I'm about. I'm not about denomination, I'm about Jesus Christ."

Garcia was warmly welcomed in Strasburg when he walked in a gas station Wednesday afternoon. An employee opened the door for Garcia and asked for a hug.

Along the trek, Garcia has enjoyed meeting new people and taking in the rich scenery that isn't as easy to come by in Texas.

"The mountains are beautiful...not so fun to walk up, but beautiful," he said. The group has been lucky with weather and has only been rained on once, in Staunton. Since getting into Tennessee the group has been forced to take back roads since they weren't allowed on the interstate. However, they plan to take Interstate 66 to D.C.

"I can't believe we're almost there," Garcia said. "A lot of decisions are made for our country there, and I just hope to open their eyes a little...let them know the nation still wants a relationship with God."

Garcia has kept a journal every day of his journey, and he expects a few days of interviews following his arrival in the nation's capital. As for the future, he says this may not be his last cross walk, but either way he'll be doing something in the ministry field.

To find out more about "The Journey," or to donate or purchase "The Journey" T-shirts and wrist bands, go to theoasis-church.org. Photos and updates are available by looking up The Oasis Church International page on Facebook.


I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. The materialism of affluent Christian countries appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ that says it's not possible to worship both Mammon and God at the same time. ~Ghandi

It's not often that you see someone so passionate about something, and to see someone so young be so passionate about God, is amazing!

Some people may be insulted at even the suggestion of a comparison here, but are not the holy books of official monotheism absolutely dripping with material yearning and with admiring -- almost mouthwatering -- descriptions of Solomon's wealth, the thriving flocks and fertile herds of the faithful, the rewards for a good Muslim in paradise, to say nothing of many, many lurid tales of plunder and spoils? Jesus, it is true, shows no personal interest in gain, but he does speak of treasure in heaven and even of "mansions" as an inducement to follow him. Is it not further true that all religions down the ages have shown a keen interest in the amassment of material goods in the real world?

Has religion succumbed to ignoring heavenly virtues? Traipsing across the county on a noble earthly vision to get children attending church, this young man claims religious inspiration caused by a vision of Jesus' cross of crucifixion. Has religion preempted itself to endorse solicitation of funds simply because a new vehicle is desired in some remote corner of the world? Should not a benevolent deity reward devout faith with a magical and miraculous appearance of said needed vehicle, upstaging mere self-portraits appearing on pieces of toast? Alas, apparently toast is all that can be accomplished.

The best argument I know for the highly questionable existence of Jesus is this. His illiterate living disciples left us no record, and in any event could not have been "Christians," since they were never to read those later books in which Christians must affirm belief, and in any case had no idea that anyone would ever found a church on their master's announcements. There is scarcely a word in any of the later assembled Gospels to suggest that Jesus wanted to be the founder of a church, either.

All of this matters naught when religion drops the charade and asks for the contents of your wallet much like Junior Garcia or Jim and Tammy Faye Baker or any of the other modern TV based charlatans.

Why does the practice of religion require money?

Religion poisons everything.

I dont see a cross, I see a big stick. Was something wrong with the camera? Just wondering.

It's a shame this guy has to use his excess energy for something that does no one, except possibly himself, any good. Wouldn't Jesus want him to help poor people, visit some lonely old people or do some good in some form instead of wandering around in this self-indulgent way?

What this young man is doing is doing alot for other people who choose to open their hearts and minds to the possibilities of Jesus. I feel that Jesus uses us in different ways and just like the deciples, he is using Mr. Garcia to spread the word of Jesus.
I have such admiration for you Jr. Garcia. Yo love for God is an inspiration to all who love him.

Sorry Grams I could'nt help it! Religion is for the dumb!

This guy is going to be in for a surprise if he is serious about walking down I-66 to Washington.

Did Ghandi really say that Jane? The whole wording of that statement doesn't even make sense. You made that up didn't you. If not that guy had to be a real nutcase.

Keep looking down on me Grams, except when I am, you know.

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