An Interview with Malaquías García as he returns to Mexicali, his hometown
Malaquias Garcia is Mexican, 34 years old, and originally from Mexicali in the northwest of Mexico. When we caught up with him, he was just in transition. For five years he had lived in our house in Monterrey, but was about to move back to his hometown, together with two other brothers, in order to lead a temporary Servants of the Word household in the local Sword of the Spirit community there. Malaquias (or Palax, as they call him) is a pretty typical younger brother in our life, who helps with our core mission of university outreach.
“I lead the university outreach in one of our community sectors” he explains. This involves supervision of small group leaders, caring for a single men’s household and heading up the staff team.” This roughly 40-hour-a-week job is in many ways the bread and butter of our work with young people: evangelizing, discipling and helping students consider life in intentional community. “I think this service fits me: while I am not really keen to be up front. One-to-one pastoring is something I think I am good at.”
There are also regional responsibilities: “Every three years we bring together all the student outreaches from Mexico. I am on a team, which includes Servants of the Word brothers and others, to organize those conferences.” Not too long ago Malaquias spent two months in Ecuador: “We led a household for young men to help them grow into maturity and discern their calling in life. And then we as a household travelled to three locations to promote our Gap program and to share what Servants of the Word are all about.”
At that point we assume Malaquias’ plate is full. Turns out he’s also the Monterrey Servants of the Word household steward, which involves looking after all the practical needs of the house. There are two buildings to maintain, cars to service, a garden to look after. “I don’t do all of that myself,” he says, “but if it doesn’t get done, that’s on me.” And how does he feel about moving to Mexicali? “Well, my family is of course delighted that I am coming back – though only temporarily. Life will be different: a smaller group of brothers, less structure to simply plug into, and a new set of responsibilities. But I guess the only constant in brotherhood life is change!”