Junior Garcia, a 19-year-old college student from Texas, is walking from his home state to Washington D.C., bearing a cross on his shoulders all the way.
The Huffington Post reports Garcia took the decision in July while he attended a Christian youth group meeting at the Oasis Church in Saginaw, Texas. Garcia told CBS Dallas: "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." He recalls the day the inspiration came to him: "July 24, 2011. 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.”
Young Garcia alludes to his spiritual struggles: "Oh, man, I was going through so much in my life and really searching to see what God had for me, His call on my life. I just felt that separation from Him and felt like it was just time to get rid of worldly desires and focus on Him."
The Huffington Post reports that Garcia, a graduate of Lake Worth High School, now studying to become a physician's assistant, is carrying the cross on a 37 day, 1,369-mile journey to Washington D.C.
He is accompanied by his parents and members of his church. According to Garcia, he plans to carry the cross to the White House where he will say prayers. CBS Dallas reports he hopes to arrive in front of the White House for prayer on July 13. He said: “This is my way of showing them Jesus Christ wants a personal relationship with [everyone]."
CBS Dallas reports that Garcia was carrying the 12-foot-cross along Interstate-30 in Fort Worth and Arlington on Thursday.
The video shows him carrying a wooden cross that has wheels at the bottom. According to CBS Dallas, by the time Garcia arrived in Arlington, he had already walked 20 miles and had two blisters on his heels. CBS Dallas reports he wondered: “Can I make it? But that’s where my faith comes into play. Just trusting in Him, knowing He’ll be by me every step and that He’ll strengthen every step."
The Huffington Post recalls a similar walk by Arthur Blessitt, who began carrying a cross around the world in 1969 and is still on his journey. According to The Huffington Post, Blessitt, now 72, estimates that by the end of summer, he will have walked more than 40,000 miles. CBS Dallas reports that Blessitt is expected to cross the 40,000 mile mark this summer in northern Canada.
A cross made from the one Blessitt carried around the world is now orbiting the Earth on the Celestis 11/Falcon 9 satellite launched on May 22 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, CBS Dallas reports. The satellite is expected to remain in orbit for a year. Blessitt said: “The Cross has now been carried around the world and now is in orbit above the Earth. I am thrilled, and pray the blessings of Jesus upon all the Earth for the Glory of God.”
But surprisingly, Garcia said he had never heard of Blessitt, who is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. CBS Dallas reports that after he heard of him, he is enjoying music written to inspire Blessitt on his pilgrimages.
The Inquisitr reports the teen is also walking for the "Speed the Light" campaign, a national Assemblies of God program that raises money to buy cars for missionaries.
According to CBS Dallas, Blessitt called Garcia a "wonderful young man."