Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Next Generation

Meet Antonio (Mikey) Garcia.  Antonio is 18 years of age, born in Gary and raised in Indianapolis.  Mikey (as I call him) is the youngest member of our financial support team and one of the young men that I have had the privilege of pouring my life into.  I am so grateful to God to have had an opportunity to pour my life into so many young men.  God created a space and time where Mikey and I could interact and I got the opportunity to walk with him through a great many things.  While I often looked at myself as a mentor, if truth be told, this young man often taught me so many things just by the way he loves and serves our Savior.  Our family has been so incredibly blessed by him and his intentional devotion to Christ.  It was pretty special the day he went out, got a job and then almost immediately became a supporter of our ministry in Uganda.  So without further delay, I want you to hear the heart of this young man as we navigated this God-honoring interview.

Me-Mikey, what was the first thing to run through your mind when you heard that our family was sensing a call into full time missions?  Mikey-The first thing that went through my mind was, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  I just love you and your family and it is a great loss to have you guys some 8000 miles away.  Me-So you like us?  Mikey-don't get a big head, ok?  No, you and I have just been able to walk through so many things together and I have really liked being able to bring things to you, tough things at times and knowing that you love me and being able to offer Biblical insight into whatever I'm dealing with.  Me-I'm going to cry now.  Mikey-I'll hang up.  Me-never mind, I'll fight through it.

Me-So why have you at the young age of 18 chosen to support the Great Commission?  Mikey-Well, we all have a part in the Great Commission, we all do.  You guys are a family that is going and not everyone is necessarily called to go overseas.  All are called to pray and many are called to give to support those that go. I take that very seriously.  In addition to that, I love you and Debby, you guys are missionaries here and now and are faithful with that call, so I am excited to see what God will do through you in Uganda.  I sense the call in your life and I am participating and watching as God meets all of your needs.  Its neat to watch!

Me-So what is it that makes you excited about mission?  Mikey-There is a dependence upon God no matter what type of trip it is.  I think in our country and in my youth culture, there is a sense of independence that often times leads us away from dependence upon God.  In mission, you have to be 100% dependent upon God and the mission opportunity, by default, puts you into that setting.  I like that because I think that was the way we were meant to function, dependent upon God all the time.  When we do that, we get to see Him provide and take care of even the smallest things.  That is an absolute treasure to be in that position.

Me-So what might be some challenges to doing mission?  Mikey-It costs a lot of money to move somewhere for an extended period of time.  You are leaving everything that you know behind.  You have to get used to a completely new culture and you have to get things figured out logistically.  That alone can take a long time to figure out.  There are language barriers, there is illness of you and or your family.  The stress of being in that uncertain environment and then trying to be enough for your family.  I can't imagine.  Me-you have a family?  Mikey-no, I'm saying your family.  Me-oh, my mistake.  LOL.

Me-What inspiration could you offer to people who are still trying to figure out where they belong in the Great Commission?  Mikey-I really like II Timothy 4:8 as a support to this question.  There is reward in heaven for those who are faithful.  There is also a reward here as we get to participate in something so much bigger than us.  Jesus, who rose from the dead by the way, loves us and is in the business of drawing people unto Himself.  Since that is the case and since he has proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that He love us, our response should be to obey Him when He says, go make disciples.  That happens in many different ways, whether you Go, like you guys, or whether you Give to those who Go.  God doesn't forget things like that or investments made in His Kingdom.

Me-Anything that you would like to say to everyone reading this?  Mikey-Yes, please do something.  What I mean is, I want you go get involved in the Great Commission.  Whether it is supporting the William's family financially, prayerfully or going on a mission trip.  Go downtown and work with Wheeler Mission, call Bill Boone and go help out at Servant's Heart.  No one that I know of has ever regretted giving or serving.  God loves a willing spirit like that.  Its totally worth it and I consider myself to be a living example of that.  I enjoy being partners with the Williams family because I think that they are going to impact the Kingdom in Uganda. Do something, we were made to bring Him glory in word and in deed.

Me-Do you know how much we love you and how proud we are of you?  Mikey-Yes, I am confident in that fact.

Wow, what an amazing young man that we as believers have the opportunity to hand the Christian flag off to and watch them run with the faith.  I love that this young man is open and genuine enough to show fear at times for doing new things, but that he does not let that fear stop him because he loves to please Jesus. Whether we are working together in a small group Bible study, or I am simply beating him in Wii Golf, it is with the greatest joy that I can say, I will be fine dying and knowing that young men like this are hearing the call and taking the Gospel out to proclaim the captives, FREE!

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