The Saenz family is all in for the Great Commission and Royal Ambassadors – Benjamin (l-r), Junior, Noemi, Samuel and Benny Saenz.
'... we started off with three kids (in RAs at church) ... and by the end of the year I had about 20 ...'
Benny Saenz leads the Royal Ambassadors chapter of Mid-Cities Community Church in Midland, but he doesn’t do it alone. The Saenz family is kind of an “all-in” team when it comes to RAs.
When TBM Today caught up with Benny at the RA Camp in Menard, Texas, he was surrounded not only by his chapter members and leaders, but by his family – wife Noemi, who served as a camp nurse; and sons Benjamin, 19, an RA Frontiersman; Samuel, 14, an RA State Staffer; and Junior, 10, an RA Crusader.
And, for the Saenz family, Benny said their commitment to missions “is always about the Great Commission. Honestly, I think we all have the same goal, it's just, every time you hear my boys talking, every time we talk, it's always the Great Commission.
“We try to live the Great Commission, we try to be the example, and any chance we have, we try to teach it to the kids.”
That commitment often translates into action for Team Saenz. “We're busy at home and (at work), but the vacations that we do have, we want to serve,” Benny said. “So we're either here at RA Summer Camp, Family Camp or Men's Retreat – we just love serving together as a family.”
Benny said he became a RA leader out of conviction for teaching his boys – and others – biblical truths in a way they could understand and apply them. That conviction was made clear when he saw his eldest son learn spiritual lessons at an RA camp years ago.
“There was a teepee in the back, and there was a very loud guy, his name was (RA leader and TBM Board member) Juan Sanchez, and he was out there teaching them and everything he taught them had a spiritual application.
“When I saw that spiritual application, I was just blown away,” he recalled. “It almost seemed like the kids weren't paying attention, you know – they're throwing rocks, playing with twigs – but they were like sponges, my son Benjamin was a sponge. He was able to retain everything that he learned, and I was just blown away.”
With his conviction came a conversation with Sanchez and a challenge. “Brother Juan asked me, ‘Hey, who's your RA leader at church?’”
“I was like, well, it's kind of our pastor.”
“Your pastor can't be the RA leader,” Sanchez replied. “He has too much to do.”
“Long story short, I had every excuse in the book that you always hear, ‘I don't have the tools, I don't know what I'm doing.’ But Juan told me, ‘Just be an RA leader at your church, and we'll help you.’
“And from there it started, I mean, we started off with three kids, just Benjamin and Samuel, and my nephew, and by the end of the year I had about 20-something kids. I started coming here to Camp Menard, started bringing my boys here, and the rest is history.”
Samuel Saenz leads RAs at Camp Menard.