Texas Teen Junior Garcia Finishes Carrying 12-Foot Cross to the White House after 3,700 Mile Journey [PHOTOS]
By Ruth Miyake - Crossmap On July 16, 2012
Like Us on Facebook
Junior Garcia, a 19-year-old college student from Texas, has carried a 12-foot cross across the country and finally arrived at the White House in Washington, D.C.
"The Journey" of Garcia began 37 days ago, from his home in Sagnaw, Texas.
“This is my way of showing them Jesus Christ wants a personal relationship with [everyone],” Garcia said before his cross-country journey, according to The Huffington Post.
Upon his arrival Friday morning, a group of around 200 people prayed in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House.
"I pray for every leader of this nation, so Father, as they make decisions for our country, it's for your glory, Lord," Garcia said, according to theStar-Telegram.
His pastor, Randy Lemme from The Oasis Church, called the event a "warning for America."
Garcia was accompanied by his father, Pastor Lemme, and several others as he walked across the nation.
Much of his walking was done on highways with heavy traffic.
When legs of his journey became too risky due to traffic, Garcia and his group rode a van to get to a safer location before he continued to walk.
He initially had some difficulty in getting permission to hold the prayer meeting in front of the White House gates due to security reasons, according to The Christian Post.
However, Garcia's home representative, Congresswoman Kay Granger, supported him by getting a permit to set up his cross and hold the rally in Lafayette Park.
Granger told CP that she was proud of Garcia and found his passion and faith inspiring.
Initially, Garcia got the idea of this 1,300-mile journey at a Christian youth group meeting at his church.
"That day, I decided to take up my cross. And I felt so strong in my heart. And I felt Him tell me where to go and how to go," Garcia told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.
"I just felt that separation from Him and felt like it was just time to get rid of worldly desires and focus on Him," Garcia said.
"I remember looking up to heaven saying, 'I'm yours.' That day, I decided to take up my cross. And I felt so strong in my heart. And I felt Him tell me where to go and how to go. And that's where we're going — Washington, D.C."
"I'm not trying to be Christ. I'm not trying to act like I'm Jesus. I'm not even trying to live up to that," Garcia told KDFW-TV.
"All I'm doing is carrying the cross to show his love, that's all I'm doing."
"Jesus has already carried the cross — that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm just trying to show his love and remind people of who he is and the salvation you can have through Jesus Christ," he explained.
The cross is made of wood and has wheels at its base.
The teen has drawn comparisons to fellow Christian Arthur Blessit, who has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for carrying a cross since 1969, for nearly 40,000 miles across the world. Blessit, who is 72 years old, called Garcia a "wonderful young man."