There's a distinct message in Joaquin's story, one that applies to us all:
God still speaks today.
Are you listening?
Michigan & Rookie: Guardians of the Night
When people share their testimony, oftentimes they mention hearing “God’s voice”. People aren’t sure if the Voice is audible or in their mind, yet it’s distinct enough to change their life. In fact, most Christians have either experienced this or at the very least believe it to be true. Hebrews 3:7 says, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you will hear His voice.’”
What if we as a church body took that verse literally, expecting to hear God’s voice today….and each day?
When Officer Joaquin Guerrero from Saginaw, Michigan first asked me to write his memoir, I thought it was going to be a simple story about a man and his dog.
I was wrong…
As a young man starting out in law enforcement, Joaquin heard God’s voice calling him to work the dangerous night streets of Saginaw, Michigan—a city ranked #1 as having the most violent crime per capita in the US. Saddened by seeing so many kids caught up in gang life, God’s voice prompted Joaquin to action. He created Precinct 131, an educational program to help vulnerable children say “No!” to gangs, guns, drugs, and violence. Using his K9 partner Rookie as his mascot, what began as a short K9 demo turned into a multifaceted ministry that reached hundreds of thousands.
When terrorists attacked America on a beautiful Tuesday morning in September, Joaquin responded to New York City with Rookie to help in the search efforts. Joaquin’s first glimpse of the massive destruction took him to his knees. The smoldering pile was too much to process. He gripped Rookie’s leash and cried out to God, “What should I do, Lord? This is too much…”
Trust your dog and I’ll do the rest, came God’s reassuring voice.
The more I discovered about Joaquin’s life, the more I was struck with all that he accomplished, both as a K9 officer and a community volunteer, all because he continually listened for God’s voice. One K9 expert said of Joaquin in reference to K9 handlers, “Joaquin set the bar high.” I would say the same is true for a man with a servant’s heart.
Joaquin continues Rookie’s legacy today with Rookie II, another K9-trained German shepherd. They will be appearing at Trinity on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at both services. Invite a friend to come and hear Joaquin’s testimony and this remarkable story of goodheartedness and faith.