May 2018 - McCarty Ministry Minute
I've had many varied experiences in Africa over the past 14 years, but this was the first time I helped change a boat propeller on Lake Kivu! How did this come about? More in the Ministry Update.
Greetings from the McCartys! What a busy year 2018 has been! It seems it is just flying by - already we are 1/3 of the way to 2019! The McCarty tribe has been doing well, and we hope your family has been, too!
Tracy has continued to serve faithfully at Born2Be Therapeutic Equestrian Center where she teaches riding lessons and horsemanship to individuals with disabilities. Area Special Olympics has already taken place, and they are gearing up to travel to the State competition! Of course, she rides herd on our own brood as well - and keeps me in line as best she can. (Bless her heart)
The Chidesters are about to experience some significant life changes! (no, not that!) Dakota is slated to graduate from TWU’s Physical Therapy School in May. So - in just a few weeks we have to start calling her “Dr. Chidester.” For the first time in 19 years, she will no longer be a student. Cody continues to lead their family well and grow into his role as an on-site representative of Moore Supply. We are proud of them both!
Trinity is near the end of her Junior year of High School… That’s right - she is about to be a Senior! It does not seem possible. She was just elected Secretary of NHS, sang with two different DCA Choirs at State, where they received the highest ratings of “Excellent”, and is about to perform in Mary Poppins!
Remington will also join Trinity on stage in Mary Poppins. It has given her something to do in the time between Spring volleyball, 4H meetings and shows, and volunteering with Tracy out at Born2Be!
Sierra continues to serve as County Council Representative for the local 4H Silver Saddle Club. She has learned a lot as she functions as liaison between the County and the local chapter.
We have added one more furry beast to the McCarty tribe as well - Griswold Grizzersmith was rescued from a ditch, along with his 2 brothers, Gumbeaux and Gandalf. He is basically a rug that breathes… but he sure is cute.
2018 is a big one for the McCartys with many things to celebrate! We are going to do our best to delight in every moment!
Maw turns 70!
Dustin & Tracy’s 25th Anniversary
Dakota Graduates from PT School
Trinity becomes a Senior
Remington becomes a teen
Sierra moves to double digits
Kicking off the Next Phase
Once a year, each SI Region hosts a meeting called the “Fan-the-Flame Summit” [FtFS]. In my opinion, this is the most important event in our work. If I can only be in Africa once each year - this would be how I would invest my time. We shift the meeting to a new nation each year, in order to honor each team, to “cross-pollinate” between works, and to encourage the emergent leaders who are being developed in each country. Nine Leaders from seven nations converged in Kigali, Rwanda for this year’s FtFS. We had a beautiful time of training, planning, problem solving, prayer, fellowship, and vision casting! Everyone returned home encouraged to continue multiplying at every level: Leaders, Disciples, Churches, and Movements! These National Directors will now conduct the same type of meeting in their own nations to uplift and equip their teams for the work ahead.
Denied Entry, but the Work Continues
After our FtFS in Kigali, five of us traveled over five hours through the mountains by bus to the border of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] to cross over to the city of Goma and continue the training of a local group of Pastors. While I had never been to DRC, Strategic Impact has been there for over 2 years under the oversight of Reuben Mwambola (National Director of Rwanda) and Dr. John Kupendwa (Local SI Coordinator for Goma). Our team walked into the border check station, as we have done together so many times at so many crossings before… and were abruptly informed that the Zambians and the American could not cross into DRC. The visa rules had changed (We did hear that for a bribe of $400 each, we could get the visa). I have previously been “escorted” IN to a border check point by a patrol in Ghana, but I have never been escorted OUT of one until now! [You can see “dejected Dustin” dragging his bag back to Rwanda in the accompanying Photot.] If you’d like to hear the rest of the story… give me a call or let’s get together for coffee and I’ll gladly tell the tale!
The hard fact is, a time will come when the “outside missionary” cannot enter a country… what happens to the work then? THIS IS THE ENTIRE POINT OF WHAT WE DO! In this case, national leaders equipped by Strategic Impact in nearby countries crossed over into Goma resulting in: 95 Pastors and Church Leaders equipped, 145 New Believers won to faith, and 7 new Cell Churches Planted! Many of the New Believers were baptized in Lake Kivu! [see Photos. More baptisms have been reported as the evangelism continues!] All while I was stuck in Rwanda! (which is how Sainet, Dennis, & I ended up on the boat ride where we had to change the propeller) The work continues to multiply in Goma and will soon expand to the next community over! This experience made clear once again, just how imperative the work of SI is. We MUST continue to press on!
Pray for Rwanda!
A few weeks before leaving Texas, we received word that the Rwandan Government imposed severe new laws affecting the church. Here are a few examples: The church must own it’s own property (no rentals, no house churches), the church building must be soundproofed, and the church must have a paved parking (ironic with most people not owning a car... MORE ironic since many of the roads are not paved and in horrible condition!) These laws resulted in the government closure of over 700 churches in the first 2 weeks of enforcement. The last estimate I received from Rwanda was over 6000 churches had been shut down by police. The last church in which I taught has now been closed. This is a major crisis for Christianity in Rwanda, and has nearly shut our work down in that beautiful nation. A few pastors have been arrested, the people are fearful of the government, and God alone knows how this will end. Please pray for Rwanda, and especially Reuben and Salome Mwambola, SI National Director of Rwanda and his wife, [Photo on Left] as they continue to seek the Lord for the way forward!
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THANK YOU so much!