Jan 10, 2022
In Remembering Cris Garcia
Like most of us who grew up in one of Cris’ supporting churches, I have many memories throughout the years of her visits to share updates of the mission. As an adult, I have memories of Cris visiting in my home on several occasions sharing stories of our lives. My son, Zac, and I loved hearing her stories of how our great God intervened in circumstances beyond human control, and Cris had many of those stories throughout the years. One Christmas when she was having health problems, she stayed at my mom’s house and we enjoyed sharing memories of years past, as well as hearing about her family in Mexico. I wish I had taken more pictures during visits, but I was always caught up in Cris’ stories and sharing, and I forgot. Probably the most thoughtful and tender memory I have of Cris on a personal level occurred twenty years ago in a hospital room at NEGA in Gainesville. Previous to that my dad, Bob Whatley, had gone several times with a group from Galilee led by Tom Plank to help build the nursing home. His heart was to serve and when he heard Cris needed skilled help with the nursing home, he went. Daddy loved Cris and Bethshean, and he thoroughly enjoyed fellowship with the brothers and sisters in Estancia. In 2002, Daddy was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. He wasn’t able to eat and spent most of the six weeks in the hospital. Tom must have told Cris because one quiet afternoon in April, Cris walked into Daddy’s hospital room. His eyes lit up and a grin filled his face, and Cris sat down for an encouraging, comforting visit. I was witness to the joy my dad experienced visiting with an old friend who shared stories of Bethshean and the people he had met in previous years. The fact that Cris would take time out of her very busy stateside schedule to visit someone who would very soon be with Christ endeared her to me forever. Cris’s heart for the Lord’s people has been evident throughout the years I’ve known her. She has often made special trips to sit with friends in their distress, to offer encouragement and love. She has called on many occasions from Mexico to make connections between people knowing we could help and support one another. Her example of humble dedication and persistence in serving the Lord’s people in so many facets has made such an impact on my life, and I’m thankful to have called her my sister.
Jan 03, 2022
In Remembering Cris Garcia
I asked Cris once if she thought she would ever want to marry. She laughed and said, "Sandy, Jesus is enough for me". Later she turned someone down with his proposal of marriage, saying something like, "He would never compare to Jesus' place in my heart". The escapades of three women on early morning ventures and late evening trips: We were on Mexican time. Cris, Alcy, the Swedish lady who later delivered the Angel Bags several times, and I were searching for enough ceramic floor tiles that matched to finish the Nursing Home clinic room. We first had to find and pick up Cris' trailer which she had loaned to a friend. We drove out in a field, after dark, to hook it up. However, the smelly trailer was full of manure. We got on the road after having it unloaded. With making three stops at tile stores as far as Aguascalientes to complete the required number, we returned to Estancia and Bethshean. This was about 2 a.m. We three handed down the heavy boxes, by flashlight, to unload. The tile guys from the US could start their work in the morning. We were tired! Another into-the-night adventure started out during our daytime drive to the border. Cris wanted to show Alcy and me the pretty mountain route while going to McAllen. Along the way, a family was broken down because of a bad tire. Cris insisted on taking the man and his tire to the next town to get it fixed. We stayed along the side of the road with the family and hoped Cris would return for us soon. Several hours later, we left the happy family and it became dark. We were traveling in rain and on a road with muddy potholes. The windshield and lights became plastered with mud from passing vehicles. We couldn't see. I had some drinking water with me so sloshed some on the windshield while hanging out the front window and the wipers did the rest. We had to stop to clean off the headlights. We thankfully make it to a motel in McAllen later that evening.