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More Than Capable

Published on May 07, 2024

Scott Barkley

When Jorge Hernandez spoke to a crowd of athletes at The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, California, in October 2022, he gave a message of hope even in the wake of loss.

“God has still gifted you,” he told campers as he pushed his wheelchair to face the crowd. “You are capable.”

Speaking at the first FCA All Ability Camp in the Bay Area, Hernandez testified of looking for meaning and finding purpose in Jesus Christ.

“I had put my identity in sports and people,” said Hernandez of his life before becoming FCA South Quad Representative in Las Vegas. “My parents divorced when I was 12, and that really broke me. I didn’t want to give my mom any grief, so I found an outlet in sports.”

Hernandez behaved until halfway through his junior year of high school.E2_cC3uw Youthful mistakes and too much emphasis on female relationships led to the kid who was voted “Best All Around” at the start of 12th grade becoming unrecognizable by the end of it.

He enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada in Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas, and meanwhile, learned how to make fast money. He sold his first mortgage loan in 2005. It was an easy way to make money quickly, so Hernandez left school and continued selling loans. He made his first $50,000 at 20 years old.

“For three to four years, I was killing it,” he said. “I was still working my night job, but also averaged a loan a month.”

The 2008 housing market crash ended the ride. He lost his job and house. On June 28, 2009, he and a friend he worked with planned to go out on Hernandez’s last vacation day. They went to the pool on the hottest day of the year in Las Vegas at 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Hernandez, on little sleep and no food, became inebriated and fell asleep in his co-worker’s car on the drive home. When they parked in front of his co-worker’s home, both men stayed in the car, Hernandez still sleeping. Hernadez’s co-worker fell asleep in the driver’s seat with his foot remaining on the gas pedal for 45 minutes before the car exploded. His friend escaped unharmed, but Hernandez was badly burned.

At the hospital, Hernandez’s mother was told her son had the slimmest of chances for survival. But she was a prayer warrior, and she faithfully prayed for the 90 days Hernandez was in a coma. God heard and responded to those prayers, giving Hernandez a second chance at life. He eventually woke up.

The months and years following his coma included loss, rehabilitation and questions as Hernandez grappled with losing both of his legs and a hand as a result of the explosion. He was also dealing with burns on 80 percent of his body and a life that now required a wheelchair.

ZdsW4qEQ“I’ve had some ‘why me’s’ and ‘what if’s,’ but I never cursed the Lord,” said Hernandez. “I’ve never stopped believing in His sovereignty. I knew He was in control and things don’t happen by chance.”

Committed to recovery, Hernandez worked with his medical team to adapt to a new body. He also turned his attention to his heart and tapped into his faith, something that helped him get through.

What resulted was a hunger for Scripture, and for community. He became active at church. One day his pastor invited him to speak at the FCA Huddle for Del Sol High School in Las Vegas. The housing market had improved, and he was back working in real estate, but speaking at the Huddle woke up something inside of him. Recognizing it as a calling to full-time ministry, he left the relative security of his job to join FCA staff in March 2017.

For the past several years, God has grown Hernandez’s platform at FCA and today, it’s continuing to grow through wheelchair rugby. A mixture of football, basketball and soccer, it’s a sport he’s played for over ten years. As FCA’s focus on All Ability ministry accelerated the past several years, Hernandez dove all in. He’s especially gotten involved in the All Ability camps, meeting other disabled athletes and encouraging them with his story.

Jacob Auringer, FCA Representative for the Mid-Peninsula and South Bay Area around San Jose, said of FCA’s All Ability Camp: “We had well over 100 campers, 160 volunteers, and lots of smiles, laughs and hugs. We had FCA staff from Sacramento, Reno and Wales come and serve at it. This was truly a fulfillment of FCA’s theme to reach ‘EVERY’ coach and athlete no matter the skill level. We are excited to keep hosting this camp for many years to come.”

As Hernandez told campers in San Jose, God doesn’t see limitations.

“God has invited everyone to the table,” he said. “It’s beautiful.”

To learn more about All Ability ministry, contact Steve Jones, EVP All Ability Sports: sjones@fca.org


Photos courtesy of Jorge Hernandez