Javier and Gema Garcia
Area Team Leader, Western Europe
Javier and Gema were born and grew up in Zaragoza, Spain. Javier first got involved in Campus Crusade, called Agape in Europe, when he was 17-years-old. He was sitting in a park on a June day with a group of friends when staff member Felix Ortiz approached them with a spiritual-interest survey and invited the group to study the uniqueness of Jesus.
Javier was not particularly interested but summer vacation was about to begin and the teenagers had little to do, so they agreed. As a result, the following August Javier committed his life to Christ and Felix began mentoring him by going through the "Ten Basic Steps to Christian Maturity." Just a few years later in college, Javier studied engineering and was involved in Agape's campus ministry. There he met Gema Pérez, a student helping lead the ministry and Javier's future wife.
In 1980, Javier became a part-time Campus Crusade staff member while also attending college. A year later, Javier and Gema became full-time Campus Crusade staff members and married a few months later in November. Their first assignment was student ministry, launching Agape Spain's first organized ministry to high school students. In 1985, Gema started Tiempo para la Mujer, or Ladies Time, ministry to women using breakfasts. Also that year, Javier began Athletes in Action, which Agape used to share the gospel with high school and university students. Javier concluded that the best way to reach Spanish young people was through sports
In 1984 Javier became the national director of student ministry. Then, in 1987 he transitioned to become the national director of Spain. In 2006 he was appointed director of affairs for Western Europe. Javier is a popular speaker and Bible teacher at conferences held by a variety of denominations.
"The greatest challenge we have in ministry today is to interpret the times in which we live and give answers with the gospel," Javier said. "We must present an attractive gospel and reach people's hearts."
Javier and Gema live in Barcelona, Spain. They have two children: Lidia and Josue.