God’s Good Hand – Garcia Family Update May 2024

Most of you may know that I’ve been the Young Adults Pastor at my church for about 8 years now. The Lord has done amazing things in this group over the past year. We are currently going through the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, and one of the recurring themes in those books is God’s good hand being upon the work that these great men of God did (Ezra 7:6, 9, 28; 8:18, 22, 31; Nehemiah 2:8, 18). As I think about our ministry, and in particular about what’s to come this Summer, I see God’s good hands all over it!

REST

This coming week, our family is taking an overdue vacation, a road trip to Colorado, where we will stay for a week and get some much needed rest before a busy Summer. Our family has been doing great! Our two youngest (Jude & Clara) just celebrated their 7th & 5th birthdays, respectively, over the past month. Maggie, our oldest, was baptized last year in a moment that made us so proud as parents, and now Harrison, our second oldest, got baptized this month!

Our family at our recent Young Adults Camping Retreat in San Clemente

CONVERGENCE

One reason Summer is so busy for me as the Director of Missionary Care at SGWM is that so many missionaries come home on furlough. This is such a blessing for us! I got to meet with one national worker who is visiting this week from South Asia. Next week, we will have a couple we recently sent out to Japan here. With more missionaries coming in, that means that next week we will have one couple in from Japan, two couples in from the Middle East, one family in from North Africa, and one South Asian national here all at the same time (hence my sub-heading convergence above)! Another gal will be in from the Middle East for some of the Summer as well. This kind of stuff blesses my heart so much!

Me and some of our leadership team with a South Asian national ministry (face hidden for security purposes)
Our first couple in from the Middle East came to our young adults group last week! (Faces hidden for security purposes)

CHANGE

One thing that was both a blessing and a disappointment is that the trip to Uganda we had scheduled for June has been canceled. This is disappointing because I’ve been trying to make it to Uganda to visit our three missionary families there for a few years now. But, it is also a blessing because the reason we had to cancel the trip is that both families will be in the states during June receiving US citizenship, one for their children, and one for the father/husband who is an African national! I am so excited for this step for them!

WORK

Summer, as usual, is busy for other reasons as well. Much of our staff, including our senior pastor, spend 6 weeks in Mexico for our annual Calvary School of Missions, where we give people with a heart for missions a crash-course in all things missions, from theology to practice. To help support that, I will spend much of the summer leading the staff and home base here in Southern California, including teaching a summer Wednesday night series through the book of Proverbs for our church. On top of that, the cancelation of our Uganda trip will allow me to spend a little more time traveling to Mexico occasionally this Summer to visit and at teach at our school there, and also to teach a workshop on building a worship team at the Church-Planting Conference at our own church plant, Calvary Chapel Rosarito.

I’m looking forward to an amazing Summer full of great things and covered by God’s good hand. We ask you to keep us in your prayers and in your hearts, and please let us know how we can be praying for you as well!

We would love to keep you updated on our ministry via our newsletter email updates if you are interested. You can sign up for those by clicking the link below:

Email Updates

You can also become a one-time or ongoing financial partner with us by clicking the button below, or by mailing a check made out to SGWM with “Joel Garcia” in the memo line to 17451 Bastanchury Rd, Ste 203, Yorba Linda, CA, 92886. 

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Love in Christ,
Joel, Amy, Maggie, Harrison, Jude, and Clara Garcia

Praise God for Answered Prayers! – Garcia Family Update February 2024

Hello Friends and Family!

I pray you are all doing well! The last couple of months have been so exciting for SGWM, and especially for me as the Director of Missionary Care. We have sent out FIVE new missionaries straight to the field for me to care for: one couple to Japan, and one couple and a single gal to the Middle East. It is so exciting to be a part of loving and shepherding these teams as they develop. I get to lead the team who does a lot behind the scenes to support these missionaries well by processing their finances, sending their updates out to their supporters, and providing pastoral care. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing than SENDING these amazing men and women of God!

Family picture with Acacia, who moved to the Middle East (face blurred for security purposes)
Family pic with Jorden and Aleah, who moved to the Middle East (faces blurred for security purposes)
Jeff & Alicia Root, who moved to Japan

The Lord has also opened the door for me (Joel) to go to Uganda in June to visit our missionaries there. It will be my first time in that part of Africa, so I am very excited, and we have three missionary families there who we hope to spend time with. Pray that the Lord perfectly arranges all of the details of that trip.

On a personal note, we want to sincerely thank all of you who prayed for our housing situation from our previous update. The Lord has provided for us to stay at our current house for at least another year! Praise God for His grace in that!

We would love to keep you updated on our ministry via our newsletter email updates if you are interested. You can sign up for those by clicking the link below:

Email Updates

You can also become a one-time or ongoing financial partner with us by clicking the button below, or by mailing a check made out to SGWM with “Joel Garcia” in the memo line to 17451 Bastanchury Rd, Ste 203, Yorba Linda, CA, 92886. 

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Love in Christ,
Joel, Amy, Maggie, Harrison, Jude, and Clara Garcia

A Prayer Request – Garcia Family Update January 2024

Hello Friends and Family!

As we near the end of the first month of 2024, we look back on last year with gratitude for all that the Lord has done, and for your faithful partnership in prayer and support; and we also look forward to what the Lord has for our family and ministry through the rest of 2024 ahead of us. Please see below for an important prayer request as we begin this year!

Amy and I are now the proud parents of a kid in “double digits,” as our precious Maggie turned 10 this month! Time is truly flying by, and we are soaking in all that we can with the kids. They are all doing well and flourishing.

As far as ministry goes, the church and running Missionary Care at SGWM keeps me busy. Our young adults group is growing both in numbers and spiritual depth, and we can’t believe what God is doing there! On the missionary care side, there were a lot of missionaries in town over the holidays, so I did a lot of planning for that and spending time with them. And this month, we have the privilege of sending our five new missionaries to unreached countries straight from our church. All glory to God!

As far as travel for this year, my hope and prayer is to make it to Uganda, my first time in Africa, in June; then deeper Mexico and Japan in the Fall, all for missionary care for established works and works just in their infancy. Of course, all of this is subject to change and in the Lord’s hands.

We do have a personal prayer request for you all: We are in the middle of figuring out what to do next as far as housing. The housing market is not friendly right now for a single-income family of six on a ministry salary! We are not sure whether the Lord wants to provide for us to stay where we are right now, or whether He wants to provide to move to a new house, as our current lease is up at the end of February. We are waiting on Him and trusting Him, as Amy and I received a very specific prophetic word for us during this month’s week of prayer and fasting with our church: Provision. We know He will provide, but we want His wisdom and to know His heart for us. Will you please pray with us to know and walk in however He wants to provide for us?

We would love to keep you updated on our ministry via our newsletter email updates if you are interested. You can sign up for those by clicking the link below:

Email Updates

You can also become a one-time or ongoing financial partner with us by clicking the button below, or by mailing a check made out to SGWM with “Joel Garcia” in the memo line to 17451 Bastanchury Rd, Ste 203, Yorba Linda, CA, 92886. 

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Love in Christ,
Joel, Amy, Maggie, Harrison, Jude, and Clara Garcia

We’re Back! Garcia Family Update November 2023

It is great to be back from an extremely fruitful trip to the Middle East and North Africa! I wanted to extend my thanks to you all for praying for Isaac and I. Our families were loved and taken care of while we were away, and our time in the two countries we went to was much needed.

I’ll be honest, I really don’t like traveling. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love getting to see our missionaries on the field, but this trip included 8 airplanes, with flight lengths ranging from 1 hour to 11 hours; we barely made our final connecting flight home (unlike our luggage, which had to be shipped to us the next day!); and, as is typical, I got a stomach sickness in the middle of our trip that hindered some of the ministry we planned on. But when I think of what our missionaries go through and what they have given up to get the gospel to the unreached, those things all become minor inconveniences.

Because it is illegal to be missionaries in the countries we went to, we can’t say where we were or show pics of our workers’ faces (so below, you’ll get a few food pics, one of my favorite parts of traveling!). But the time spent with them was so valuable, sharing their struggles and spiritual burdens with them, helping them develop vision and plans for their ministry moving forward, and just giving them a little taste of home that was refreshing to their souls. Thank you so much for your prayers and sending me!

We would love to keep you updated on our ministry via our newsletter email updates if you are interested. You can sign up for those by clicking the link below:

Email Updates

You can also become a one-time or ongoing financial partner with us by clicking the button below, or by mailing a check made out to SGWM with “Joel Garcia” in the memo line to 17451 Bastanchury Rd, Ste 203, Yorba Linda, CA, 92886. 

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Love in Christ,
Joel, Amy, Maggie, Harrison, Jude, and Clara Garcia

Thank You For Sending Me! – Garcia Family Update October 2023

Hello Friends!

I pray you are all doing well! I wanted to use this update as a time to both ask for prayer, and to extend my gratitude! Next week, I am traveling with my friend Isaac (who is a pastoral intern at our church) to two countries that will remain unnamed, as they are “sensitive countries” (countries that are not open to the gospel). Our goal there is to visit with our SGWM workers in those countries, get a good firsthand look at the works there, and minister to them in love. This is what we call a “missionary care” visit, and something I love to do as the Director of Missionary Care with SGWM!

I am so thankful because it is the partnership and prayer of people like YOU that allows me to be able to go on these trips and minister to our workers! It means so much to them, and is so important over all, for them to be visited by their pastor, especially as I was heavily involved in raising some of these workers up in discipleship. Without your prayers and support, that wouldn’t be possible!

Family picture on a recent trip to Yosemite

Finally, would you pray with us for a few things?

  1. For safety, health, and most of all, fruitfulness for Isaac and I on this trip. We want to be huge blessings to our workers in these countries during this trip
  2. For our families back at home. Isaac and I both have young children, so please keep our wives in prayer as they manage the household without us for a couple of weeks, and that our families are loved and cared for while we are gone
  3. For the Lord’s financial provision for us. A large portion of my salary consists of support from generous financial partners (some people call them “donors”), just like our international missionaries around the world. The continually rising costs of things like rent and food make it tough for large families like ours! The Lord is always EXTREMELY faithful to provide! So pray for His continued provision for our family. If you would like to be a part of our work as senders with SGWM by becoming a financial partner with us, you can do so following the instructions below

We would love to keep you updated on our ministry via our newsletter email updates if you are interested. You can sign up for those by clicking the link below:

Email Updates

You can also become a one-time or ongoing financial partner with us by clicking the button below, or by mailing a check made out to SGWM with “Joel Garcia” in the memo line to 17451 Bastanchury Rd, Ste 203, Yorba Linda, CA, 92886. 

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Love in Christ,
Joel, Amy, Maggie, Harrison, Jude, and Clara Garcia

Called to Preach – Garcia Family August 2023 Update

Hello Friends!

It has been a busy summer for us! On top of holding the fort running the SGWM and CCSG home office and staff in the absence of many of our leaders during the summer School of Missions, the focus for Joel has been teaching and preaching. Since returning from Israel, which was the focus of our last newsletter, Joel’s teaching schedule has consisted of:

  • Co-teaching a class in June with Pastor Trent through 1 Timothy
  • Young Adults group every Thursday night through the book of Romans
  • Teaching the church through 1 Peter every Wednesday night during this July and August
  • A monthly Bible study for our church’s husbands and fathers through the book of Proverbs
  • Teaching a couple of our internship classes
  • Filling in on a Sunday morning for our pastor who became sick on Saturday night
  • Teaching a session at our church’s youth camp in July
  • Teaching for the young adults group and then three Sunday morning services the following weekend at Calvary Chapel The Rock in Santa Rosa, CA at the end of July
Teaching Sunday morning at Calvary Chapel The Rock in Santa Rosa, CA
Night Session for the CCSG and CC Westgrove Youth Retreat

In the midst of this, Joel and Amy got to help with our church’s VBS in July, which was a major success!

Our Children’s Pastor Nick at our church’s VBS

This summer has also been filled with lots of missionary care, meeting with missionaries who are in town on furlough, and doing zoom calls with missionaries in need of pastoral care and wisdom.

In all of this, the center is God’s word. Every teaching, every interaction, every missionary care meeting, every counseling session, all of the homeschooling that Amy faithfully plugs away at with the kids, is founded not on our own wisdom, but on God’s word. What a privilege to serve Him in this way!

We also would love to keep you updated on our ministry via our newsletter email updates if you are interested. You can sign up for those by clicking the link below:

Email Updates

You can also become a one-time or ongoing financial partner with us by clicking the button below, or by mailing a check made out to SGWM with “Joel Garcia” in the memo line to 17451 Bastanchury Rd, Ste 203, Yorba Linda, CA, 92886. 

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Love in Christ,
Joel, Amy, Maggie, Harrison, Jude, and Clara Garcia

What A Trip! – Garcia Family Update May 2023

Hello Friends and Family!

We pray you are all doing well. Thank you so much for taking the time to read our updates, pray for, and support us! It means the world to us.

I (Joel) returned from a fruitful trip to Israel a couple of weeks ago. It was great to learn from our trusted guide and my pastor, Trent, getting a better grounding on the locations where the Bible took place. There is new significance to every story we covered as we receive greater context for the stories of Scripture. I also had the privilege of leading a LOT of worship at various locations, as well as doing some teachings.

Leading worship at Caesarea Philippi
At the Western Wall (I’m on the far right)
Leading worship on the Sea of Galilee

The best part of this trip, however, was doing missionary care. I got to room with a worker we sent to the Middle East about a year ago and we shared great fellowship and prayer together talking through how the past year has been for him. In addition, we were also joined by two couples who we had just sent to serve alongside of him about a week prior to the trip. I got to talk through a lot of things with them as well and offer them pastoral care.

On the family side, things are going well. We are all mourning the loss of Amy’s sweet, godly grandmother Jean, who is with the Lord now, free of pain, and having left a legacy of righteousness with all of us here. In the midst of that, we had reason for joy as well as we celebrated Jude and Clara’s birthdays, which are about a week apart. Maggie is in the initial stages of getting braces, so please pray for provision for that and for the Lord to be her strength, as that process can be intimidating for a kid. The kids have been enjoying art classes and swimming lessons, and the boys will be doing baseball through the city again soon.

We also continue to lead our Young Adults Ministry. Amy also helps lead and teach a monthly group for moms at our church called Inspired Motherhood. And Joel has taken up a volunteer position on the board for the kids’ charter school. Please pray for the Lord’s strength in all of these endeavors, that we would do all things well, for His glory, and only in the power of His Spirit! Thank you all for your prayers.

We also would love to keep you updated on our ministry via our newsletter email updates if you are interested. You can sign up for those by clicking the link below:

Email Updates

You can also become a one-time or ongoing financial partner with us by clicking the button below, or by mailing a check made out to SGWM with “Joel Garcia” in the memo line to 17451 Bastanchury Rd, Ste 203, Yorba Linda, CA, 92886. 

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Love in Christ,
Joel, Amy, Maggie, Harrison, Jude, and Clara Garcia

Preach The Word! – Garcia Family Update February 2023

Hello Friends & Family!

These last few months have been a sweet time of ministry. The Lord has really been confirming what I believe to be His main calling on my (Joel’s) life: to teach the Word of God! This specific calling plays into every role He has me in, from leading worship to being Director of Missionary Care here at SGWM.

The opportunities for me to teach have been plentiful. Right now, I am teaching our young adults group weekly through Romans. I was privileged to preach for three Sunday mornings at our church through the book of Jude recently. I am co-teaching a class at my church with our Senior Pastor through the prison epistles right now. In a couple of weeks, Amy and I will join a young adults group in northern California as I teach all of the sessions at their retreat; this group is led by Bond and Heather Gaona, who is a fellow SGWM board member with me! I will get to teach a session at my church’s youth camp in a few weeks, and I will also get to teach a Sunday morning at the church of a friend I met on my recent Nepal trip in just about a month. Notice that some of these teaching opportunities have come through missions connections! This has all taken a lot of hard work studying, but it is so awesome to walk in what God has called me to.

I’m so thankful to God for all of these opportunities, but for me, teaching goes so far beyond local church ministry. My role as Director of Missionary Care means that I get to meet often with our missionaries, and in that role God has called me to continually give them encouragement from His Word to help guide them and to help them persevere on the field. I also get to spend a lot of time teaching some of our missions interns who are heading to the field soon, to help prepare them for decades of ministry ahead of them!

A recent teaching opportunity I had in Nepal

An exciting new development for me has been that I get to go to Israel at the end of April with our church! The purpose of this trip is threefold:

1. I will help lead the team as my pastor is traveling separately, and I will help share the load of teaching at different sites there with him, as well as leading worship

2. This trip will serve to further educate me as a Bible teacher. I went to Israel on a short trip a couple of years ago (we actually got back to the U.S. from that trip just days before the COVID shutdown). That trip was kind of a “mini” trip tacked onto a Middle East vision tour, so this next trip I go on will be a deeper dive in the area of the world I spend so much time teaching about!

3. Finally, a number of our missions interns will be on this trip who are heading directly from there to establish their roots in the 10/40 window! That means this trip will serve as a sort of “send off” for them. I’ve grown really close to some of these young men and women, and actually was on the Israel trip with them back in 2020! So this feels really “full-circle” for our friendship. I am so excited that I get to send them off no longer as a leader in their internship, but now as their pastor and Director of Missionary Care for them! I wish I could post pictures from our last trip of them and tell you their names, but for security purposes and the sensitive nature of where they will be serving, I will have to refrain. Here’s a picture of me from Caesarea from 2020 instead 🙂

Our family is doing great. Our three oldest just finished their first “season” of basketball, which was awesome and made me so proud! Amy is also doing amazing home-schooling the kids and doing ministry, including co-leading a group for moms at our church called “Inspired Motherhood.” I’ve also taken on a role as a board member for the charter school my kids are enrolled in, so please be in prayer for all of those things!

Kids at their last basketball game

Thank you all so much for your prayers! It means the world to us.

We also would love to keep you updated on our ministry via our newsletter email updates if you are interested. You can sign up for those by clicking the link below:

Email Updates

You can also become a one-time or ongoing financial partner with us by clicking the button below, or by mailing a check made out to SGWM with “Joel Garcia” in the memo line to 17451 Bastanchury Rd, Ste 203, Yorba Linda, CA, 92886. 

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Love in Christ,
Joel, Amy, Maggie, Harrison, Jude, and Clara Garcia

Fruit in Nepal – Garcia Family Update November 2022

Hello Friends & Family!

It is hard to explain how amazing the experience I had in Nepal last month was. I met the men I know and pray for constantly who are my modern-day heroes of the faith. They serve the Lord is South Asia and the Middle East, I read their stories, I pray with them on Zoom, I talk about them all the time, and I finally got to meet with them in person, many of them for the very first time. It was an incredible feat for my friends Bond and Heather to get all of these men to Nepal for a conference, but it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever gotten to be a part of.

Our 7-day trip was filled! I got to teach six times, saw beautiful views of the Himalayas, rode on a motorbike (a whole different experience in Nepal!), ate amazing food, and most importantly, got to fellowship with and encourage my South Asian and Middle Eastern brothers in Christ. This was missionary care at its finest. Here are some pictures for you all! I wish I could show you more, but for security purposes I have tried to keep our national workers out of the pictures as much as possible.

View overlooking Kathmandu from the “Monkey Temple”
Beautiful view above the clouds in Bandipur, where we stayed near the village of one of our national workers
My traveling buddies for this trip, Isaac Douglass and my new friend Pastor Rick Greene from CC Escondido!
The team from CC Saving Grace, CC Escondido, CC The Rock, and CC Westgrove
Teaching at the Pastor’s Conference. Our theme was “We Would See Jesus,” and we taught from stories out of the Gospels
Giving the word of encouragement for the Calvary Bible Institute Graduations
Getting ready for a motorbike ride!

Thank you all so much for your prayers! It means the world to us.

We also would love to keep you updated on our ministry via our newsletter email updates if you are interested. You can sign up for those by clicking the link below:

Email Updates

You can also become a one-time or ongoing financial partner with us by clicking the button below, or by mailing a check made out to SGWM with “Joel Garcia” in the memo line to 17451 Bastanchury Rd, Ste 203, Yorba Linda, CA, 92886. 

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Love in Christ,
Joel, Amy, Maggie, Harrison, Jude, and Clara Garcia

Garcia Family Update – September 2022

Hey Friends!

Thank you for taking the time to read this update! It has been awhile since I have sent out an update, and the Lord has been doing a lot in our lives and ministry, so below is a short video as well as some bullet points for you all to pray over. Thank you so much for your Gospel partnership!

  • Praise God that He has given me new roles and increased responsibilities and opportunities to serve Him! I have taken on the role of Ministry Pastor here at our church, Calvary Chapel Saving Grace. Please pray for wisdom and vision as I oversee the ministries of our church!
  • Praise God that He is giving me opportunities to teach! On top of teaching our Young Adults group weekly, I have the opportunity to teach at our upcoming Men’s Retreat, multiple times during an upcoming trip to Nepal, and a couple of Sunday mornings at the church after that filling the pulpit for our Senior Pastor while he is away on a trip to Peru. Pray for the anointing of the Spirit for those times and for the time and diligence to study.
  • Praise God that He is opening doors to travel again! Along with one of our SGWM board members, Heather Gaona and her husband Bond, SGWM missionaries Aaron and Jena Garcia, and my friend and church’s Youth Director Isaac Douglass, I am traveling to Nepal in mid-October to represent SGWM, meet ALL of our national workers from South Asia and the Middle East, and put on a conference for all of them to encourage them in their ministries! Pray for strength, guidance, and the Spirit’s filling to represent Him and His Word well on that trip, and for Amy and the kids as they will be home without me for 10 days.

We also would love to keep you updated on our ministry via our newsletter email updates if you are interested. You can sign up for those by clicking the link below:

Email Updates

You can also become a one-time or ongoing financial partner with us by clicking the button below, or by mailing a check made out to SGWM with “Joel Garcia” in the memo line to 17451 Bastanchury Rd, Ste 203, Yorba Linda, CA, 92886. 

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Love in Christ,
Joel, Amy, Maggie, Harrison, Jude, and Clara Garcia