Staff Stories: Oscar Camacho 2

By Isaac Harris
In IBC Stories
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Wednesday. 12:30 p.m. The Hatch

Every Wednesday, around noon, you could stroll past the Hatch (a lounge area backstage at the Irving Bible Church) and smell sweet, Cuban coffee brewing. Inside, you would find staff members gathering for lunch and community while Oscar distributed coffee amongst the group. It was a time to simply “turn off” from work for an hour. One hour to simply be in community, talk about anything, and build relationships. Better known as the Cafecito Club.

“I saw a need for us to build stronger relationships,” Oscar said. “I wanted to make connections with people. It was really just to create a time to get to know each other.”

Oscar Camacho Jr. has been at Irving Bible Church for the past nine years serving in a plethora of roles on the tech team. On Sundays, you can find him in the tech booth making worship services run as seamless as possible and throughout the week he is helping ministries prepare for their next event. But outside of the tech booth, Oscar is the dictionary example of our staff cultural commitment of We Have Fun.

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If there is a funny meme circulating around the church, there is a good chance it came from the “king of memes” himself. If you need advice on where to find the best tacos around, Oscar is your call. Relationship building doesn’t come easy for everyone, but for Oscar, it’s a way of life. So why do relationships mean so much to him?

It started as a young kid in Barranquilla, Colombia. A son of pastors, he learned first-hand the ins and outs of what it meant to be a preacher’s kid. “As a pastor’s kid, I have seen how important it is for people to have your back,” Oscar said. “I would have people who would want to be my friend because of who my dad was, but I quickly learned who were true friends. I learned a lot about loyalty. I want to be with people who really want to be with me. And who really care about me whether I have a lot or not.”

Oscar Camacho Sr. (Oscar’s father) wanted to raise his family in the United States. It was not just a dream of his, but more importantly, where God was leading him. And in 1990 he started the immigration process as he would be taking a pastor job in Dallas, Texas. In March of 1991, with each family member getting two suitcases each, the Camacho family was moving to America.

“I was excited and not really processing what it really means,” Oscar said. “I was so excited to move here I didn’t think about not seeing my grandparents or my cousins or my friends.” As a 5th grader at the time, growing up in Colombia, his view of America was based off what he saw on T.V.

“My vision of America was the Cosby Show,” Oscar said. “Football and baseball. Mainly baseball because of the Yankees. I was so excited to see a baseball stadium that had grass and not like patches of grass. Because our fields were pretty terrible. I pictured new cars and a front lawn. That was my biggest image was that we are going to have lawn that you would have to mow. A front yard. I always imagined myself playing soccer in the front yard. I thought this was going to be great.”

In a matter of time, it was the relationships back home that Oscar would come to miss. Little did he know, they wouldn’t see family in Colombia again for another five years. Letters were exchanged back and forth, but that relational connection was something that Oscar missed. And that translated into school too.

“I remember my first day of school, I was really excited,” Oscar said of his first day in elementary school after the move. “There were all these kids from all these different countries. I remember going to recess and all the groups broke up. You had white kids, black kids, Salvadorian kids, Guatemalan kids, Mexican kids. I was the only Colombian, so I was like who the heck do I play with? It was really weird.”

Eventually he learned how to connect with each group of kids. He ended up building close relationships and learning at such a young age how to connect with different groups of people has been a skill that he has carried with him over the years. What was once a playground in 5th grade, has now become everyday life as an adult.

Even though soccer was his first love, he quickly found a passion with music. He started off at a young age playing piano and eventually transitioned into playing the jazz flute, a staple in Cuban and Colombian salsa. Add in the sax, bassoon and any other instrument his band director would throw at him, and he was basically the natural musician guys like myself are always jealous of.

“I loved music and began to see that this is where I am supposed to be,” Oscar said.

That love translated over to the church when he first started helping with sound at church during his freshman year of high school. Throughout school and into his adult years he would dabble in live production and studio stuff before finding himself working for The Container Store over 10 years ago.

It was at The Container Store that Oscar became good friends with Doug, a close friend of the previous tech director at Irving Bible Church, Jeff Taylor. When Jeff left his previous church for a position at Irving Bible Church, Oscar would step in as his replacement. As the years went on, there was a need for the Camacho family to have a place of worship outside of the place in which he worked. So, they decided to try out the previously offered 5 p.m. service at Irving Bible Church.

“We loved it here because everybody embraced us,” Oscar said. “Everybody would come and hug us and talk to us. It was weird because we were one of the few Hispanic people in church. To feel that we see you and we think you are cool.”

In 2011, when the opportunity came for Oscar to potentially come on board at Irving Bible Church in a part-time role, it already felt like home. He started off doing tech for big events and camps throughout different ministries before eventually transitioning into a full-time role. Nine years later, he has become one of the staples of the church, not just for the Sunday experience, but for the culture of Irving Bible Church.

“I love the relational part, the one-on-one, praying with volunteers,” Oscar said. “I have obviously felt a calling to be here and have seen how God has used me in different areas.”

In a world that seems to be as disconnected as ever at times, Oscar brings a connection that is desperately needed. He is a chameleon and can blend in with any group of people not just because of who God made him to be, but because he sees the importance of investing in relationships.

“So, what has been your favorite thing of the past nine years here?” I asked.

“Relationships,” Oscar said with his classic Oscar smile.

If you would like to contact Oscar, you can email him at [email protected] or stop by the tech booth after service on Sunday morning.

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