Before Albert Garcia came to faith in Jesus, his life was out of control. His parents separated when he was very young, and he dealt with the affects of being raped as a child. As a teenager, Albert struggled with same sex-issues, and got heavily involved with drugs. He spent each day trying to figure out how to make life a bigger party than the day before. “It was easier to numb the pain of my childhood than it was to face reality,” Albert said. “I was only concerned about myself and getting what I wanted.”
Albert was exposed to the gospel as a young adult while attending youth group. “I would hear the messages and see young people living for God, but it didn't make sense to me,” Albert recalls. Still, God was beginning to plant a seed in his life.
During those years, Albert started to question what life was all about and what his purpose was. He looked everywhere for answers, but never considered for a moment that the answer was God. He wanted to find his own answer apart from Him.
At 21 years old, Albert’s stepfather, the man he considered his dad, was gravely ill and on and off of life support for months. Albert avoided visiting him in the hospital for a long time for fear of anxiety. “When I finally went to visit him, all I could think was, ‘What am I doing?’ That question began to play in my head over and over.”
“When I got home, I went to my room and sat on my bed. I suddenly fell to the ground, crying my eyes out. All the pain and hurt I had buried for years suddenly came to the surface, and I didn't know what to do. It was there in that moment alone in my room, I found the answer I had been looking for. I cried out to God for help. I begged Him to save me. God found me in that moment of brokenness.”
As Albert grew in his faith, God placed an undeniable call on his life to go into ministry and he started attending Liberty University. During his college years, he got married, and soon after his wife had a baby boy.
When Albert’s son was just two years old, his wife suddenly left them and he began to doubt his calling. “I was completely devastated. It was my biggest fear to have my child grow up in a broken home, and now I was living it,” Albert said. With his marriage ending, Albert entered the darkest time in his life. He felt like God wouldn't want to use him after what happened.
Yet, God brought healing to his life. Albert became close friends with one of his new coworkers who happened to attend his church. God used him to keep Albert focused on Jesus and find forgiveness in Him.
Through that process, Albert has forgiven his ex-wife, who now has a great relationship with their son. He believes that God is leading him to become a pastor and is currently attending seminary with the hopes of stepping into full time ministry. “God called me for a reason, and I fully intend to use my life as a offering to His glory. I know that one day, God will use my past pain and struggles for His purpose.”
God has given Albert a love and passion for people he never thought he would have. “Before I came to faith, I loved being alone and only cared about myself. Now, all I can think about is the millions of people who need to hear God's message of hope and love. The message of Jesus. Nothing makes me happier than sharing my faith with other people.”
Photos by Betty Faery