Associate Spotlight: Daniel Garcia
I am currently a bi-vocational church planter in San Bernardino, CA, at Emmaus San Bernardino Church. San Bernardino is a shadow of the city that once was. At one point it was a main stop along famed Route 66 and was named an All-American city. It is now a city that is in bankruptcy. It is one of the top five most impoverished cities in America where nearly 50% of the population is on government assistance. It is known as the most dangerous city in California. And it is my city. It is a city that my wife and our plant team call home and love. We love the people of San Bernardino. We see the brokenness all around us and know that the only thing that will truly change our city is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Working with World Impact as an Associate has freed me up to dedicate time and energy to focus on the church plant. I have also been receiving training and resources on church planting. Beyond the support I receive as an Associate, partnering with World Impact has provided me with relationships with other urban church planters. It is providing me with a network of fellow laborers who know the challenges and strategies for planting in an urban context. It has also opened up my eyes to ways of maximizing our space down the road and finding alternate ways to fund the ministry we know San Bernardino desperately needs. In the months to come, I look forward to leaning into other programs such as The Urban Ministry Institute and the Urban Church Association.
The city we call home is a city that is deeply and visibly broken by sin. It is a city that cannot hide from its brokenness. We truly believe that the only way to transform our city is to see its people transformed. And the only way for the people of San Bernardino to be transformed is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So we are moving forward to engage people with the glorious good news that by the grace of God through the cross of Christ the good life of the Spirit is available to them.
We are on the verge of starting a bi-weekly worship gathering to help us engage the people we are meeting through our Gospel Communities, Bible studies, and in our neighborhoods. We are looking to rent a church space but as the group grows we are praying that God will lead us to space that will not only be our home but will provide us with the space needed to engage and serve our community in tangible ways.
The reality of San Bernardino is that in spite of, or maybe because of, the unavoidable brokenness there is a rich harvest. We are encountering people throughout the city that are hungry for God’s Word and willing to listen to the good news we have to share. We look out at our city and see a bountiful harvest. It simply needs the laborers. We are praying that by God’s grace we can join God and the other churches in our city in that work. We have hope for our city because the Gospel saves and the Gospel transforms. And as the Gospel transforms individuals it will transform families. And as it transforms families it will transform neighborhoods. And as it transforms neighborhoods it will transform San Bernardino.
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