Garcia Family Says "Goodbye"
Thank you North Church, thank you so much! Michelle and I have been here with this church for the last 7 + years. We came to the Lobo Theater in Nob Hill with three young kids and one in utero. In fact we often mark our time by the age of our youngest daughter Olivia who is now seven years old. The church at that time was called City on a Hill, which later became Mars Hill, and is now North Church.
We have had the great honor of serving so many of you over the years. We’ve had the pleasure of having so many of you sit on our couch and discuss the glory of Jesus in your lives. We’ve had the great pleasure of walking many of you through the premarital process and see many of you make life long commitments to each other in marriage. I thank you for the pleasure and privilege it has been to pastor you for the last two years. We have had many ups and downs with you. You are our family. We have baptized each one of our 4 children in front of you over the years. Walking with you all through the death of Mars Hill was incredibly difficult, but I could not have asked for a better people to walk with and of course walking with you through the birth of North Church has been nothing short of amazing and miraculous. We love you. We love you and we will miss you!
In November of 2015 I stood up here and told you I was taking a leave of absence as one of your pastors to do what I needed to do to find a better job to provide for my family. While I had hoped that the job I would find would be in Albuquerque, it was not. In January of this year, I accepted a job in Los Alamos, Up North, on “The Hill”! While this job is better paying and provides better opportunities in the future it unfortunately takes us away from Albuquerque and consequently North Church. Right now we are still living here and I am commuting 4 hours a day, so you will still see us around until we actually move away. So I would ask for your prayers for me and my family. Pray that we would sell our house soon, pray that we would then find the right home in Los Alamos. Pray that we would trust in Jesus and not grow weary. Pray for the safety of the many people commuting from Albuquerque to LA. Pray for my family as I often come home very tired and I am often grumpy. Pray for me as both my prayer and reading time has suffered as I commute so much.
God has been showing us so much over this time. He has showed us just how important the church is to our lives, how important community is to us. He has shown me what a great sinner I am and how much I need the grace of Jesus in my life. He showed me that I was jealous and envious of others who were able to serve the church the way I wanted to. He reminded me that He is sovereign and He, as Acts 17:26 says, “God determines the times and places that we should live”. I have seen that I am fickle and I often do not trust in Him and His provision for me and my family. What I do know is that the Gospel is true! I am more sinful and flawed in myself than I ever dared believe, yet at the very same time I am more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than I ever dared hope. God truly is good and we can trust Him and He has provided for the Garcia Family.
Fellow Pastors, thank you. Thank you for loving us so well! You have helped us grow more and more in the grace of Christ over the years and we will be forever grateful for your service to our family, the church, and Jesus.
If I can give you any final instructions it would be to love one another, love each other in community, love one another in service, love your leaders as they strive to lead you as mere men and women, love God the Father, love Jesus who He sent to die in our place for our sins, love the Holy Spirit who dwells within you, and when you fail, know that God loves you more than you could ever know!
Thank you again North Church, The Garcia Family loves you!