December 2018 - Christmas McCarty Ministry Minute
It’s time to hear from Tracy in the annual McCarty Christmas Letter - so I will leave the Family Update to her this time around. PLUS, there has been so much going on in Africa, there is a LOT to share! In the Ministry Update I will be interjecting a few “Prayer Alerts” throughout this update. Please join us in prayer for these important things! There is only so much one can share in a newsletter - so, I extend an invitation to you all: If you would like to grab a cup of coffee and hear more details and stories of what God has been doing - CONTACT ME! (my cell: 940-595-1562) I’d love to hear what’s been going on in your life and share more about the work in Africa. It has truly been astounding! And now - here's Tracy...
It's CHRISTMAS Time!
Merry Christmas Dear Friends and Family! As I sit down to write about another year in the life of the McCarty clan, my first thoughts are ones of humble gratefulness for all of you. Your love, encouragement, faithful prayer, and financial support are what keep us going each and every day in the work God has called us to. Our good Lord has indeed blessed us abundantly above and beyond what we could ever ask or imagine through all of you. We often feel undeserving of the continued undergirding you provide for our family through the blessings you bestow upon us. Without each of you we truly could not continue to carry out the calling the Lord has placed upon our family, or have made it through some very hard times this year. Like other years this one has held tremendously exciting moments! Sierra is now 10 years old. How can our “baby” now be in 5th grade and in the last year of elementary school?! Sierra is blossoming into a rather serious pre-teen, who continues to enjoy volleyball, reading, riding horses, participating in 4H, and so much more. Remington has hit the big “13” and is in her last year of middle school. Her sport of choice is volleyball, but she is trying her hand in tennis this year, also. She is now the tallest “McCarty girl” and daily experiences the growing pains that accompany her growth spurts. Recently, she won 1st place at an IEA Horse Show, where the riders are put on a horse they’ve never ridden, led into the arena, and let go at the gate, to show the unfamiliar horse. To be put on an equine you’ve never ridden and ride it well is a true test of horsemanship skills. Trinity is a Senior - a fact I still haven’t fully accepted. She has taken on English I and II as dual credit courses at Texas Woman’s University and has worked hard on her tennis skills, which allowed her to achieve 2nd place in a local tournament against some of the big public school districts. She is currently submitting college applications and exploring the possibility of studying Nutrition/Dietetics - but she’s pretty certain she wants to attend TWU. All three of our youngest have maintained their involvement in music, with Sierra playing guitar, Remi taking choir, and Trin enjoying piano and voice. Dakota earned her doctorate in Physical Therapy, passed her board exams, and is now working as a “real” outpatient Physical Therapist at Medical City Lewisville. We are so proud of her and that all of her diligence and hard work has paid off! Cody and Dakota are enjoying life together with no school for the first time in their marriage, and we are excited about what the future holds for them. Dustin and I celebrated 25 years of marriage in June. We stand amazed at God’s faithfulness to us through the years and that He had a plan for our lives that was better than we could have ever imagined. Dustin and his work with SI has literally multiplied exponentially, and this year has held much excitement as he has received report after report of the faithfulness and fruit being seen among his teams across Africa. He has also been diligent in serving most Saturdays with the homeless outreach in our community by helping provide breakfast, biblical teaching, conversation, and basic needs for those in need. My calendar stays full juggling the girls schedules, working at Born 2 Be, co-managing a 4H club, and being a 5th grade room mom at DCA. Dustin’s mom, Vival, turned 70 in April, and I will address more of what this year has held for her in a moment. With so many things to celebrate this year, the Lord blessed the whole family with an opportunity to vacation together this summer in Orroyo Seco, a small community just outside of Taos, NM. Our time in the peaceful high desert, enjoying the warm days, cool evenings and mornings, mountains, canyons, the Great Sand Dunes of CO, antelope, prairie dogs, big horn sheep, art, diversity of culture, and welcoming locals built many memories that will last a lifetime. A day spent at the Ojo Caliente Hot Springs brought much needed rest and relaxation, while a day at MeowWolf in Santa Fe allowed us to experience art and mystery all in one setting. These days were indeed the calm before the storm. Starting in September, and continuing even until now, some of the most challenging days of our lives have taken place. Vival entered into the hospital on September 7th to have a portion of her colon removed. What we expected to be a 5 to 8 day hospital stay turned into a 4 ½ week stay, a ½ week in a rehab, another 5 days in the hospital, and another two weeks in rehab - 2 Full Months - before she was able to return home! She continues to be under the care of home health nurses, PT’s and OT’s, a general practitioner, her surgeon, and a heart doctor. This past week held two more visits to the ER due to concerns with labored breathing. She has endured 3 surgeries and will most likely be scheduled for two more in the next couple of months. Our hope is that clear answers regarding some concerns with her heart function and low blood pressure will be found soon, and that she can return to full health in the near future. During that same time, we were grieved to hear my Grandad contracted West Nile virus. At 89 years of age, this vibrant man, who was full of life and orneriness, was struck with an illness that devastated his nervous system. Our prayers that he would be completely healed were answered in a short couple of weeks, but not in the way we had hoped. Our good Lord saw fit to call Lloyd Leslie home. Even though we are so grateful that he is no longer enduring any pain, we deeply miss the man who showed through example that he would love us no matter what. His keen eye for nature, which he has left for us all to enjoy through the thousands of bird, deer, and other nature pictures he had taken, serves as a joyful connection to the man who was the foundation of our Leslie clan. When people would ask how we were doing during these hard times, I was amazed I had the ability to say, “we are ok”, and to know that it really was the truth. But how could that be? When our entire life felt like it was falling apart, how could I give that answer? When Remi suffered her second concussion this year in the midst of this same time period, how could we possibly be okay? When the report came that Vival was septic, how could we by okay? And yet, God stepped further revealed Himself in our lives, and walked beside us every moment of every day. He ministered to us by giving us peace that was beyond understanding. He brought friends and loved ones to our aid who brought us food, helped us with the girls, and took turns sitting with Vival at times when family could not be there. He even provided opportunities for us to minister to others through this season of challenge! The Lord kept all of his promises to us in those hard days in ways that we could have never imagined. The Lord never left us or forsook us. He faithfully walked through the trials with us. When our strength was gone, He gave us the ability to persevere. When our hope was brought low, He would send the encouraging word or deed we needed at that moment. When we were in need of comfort, He graciously provided. When grief overcame us, He drew near and held us close in His love. Indeed, the joy of the Lord was our strength. Wouldn’t we all like to say at the end of each year that it has been a wonderful year with no hardships? The truth is, however, that sometimes that isn’t the case. Some months and years are extremely difficult. And yet, with the Lord walking beside us, we can make it through. May His truth reign in your hearts throughout the coming year and bring you joy and comfort in both the days of ease and the days of hardship. Dwell upon his promises. Draw close unto the Lord, and He will indeed bring you rest. Titus 3:4-7 “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” In His Grip,
Dustin, Tracy, Trinity, Remi, and Sierra McCarty
Stories from the Field
2 Testimonies from Lesotho
In October, I was back in Lesotho working with the local SI Team as they work to further equip pastors and leaders in their nation to make and mature multiplying disciples who will be raised to plant multiplying cell churches which will birth nationally-led church planting movements. (WOW! That was a mouthful!) This team is doing great! By the end of the year, they will have multiplied the work to 5 locations - One location is in South Africa! During our time together, many were won to faith and many leaders were started on their path to ongoing training with SI. 2 Testimonies stood out: The first came during the Leadership Thrust intensive training… A man in his mid-20s stood and shared: “Last year, I was on the streets when someone came to me from this training and shared the gospel with me. I trusted Jesus as my Savior that day. Now, I am faithful in my church and am here to grow more and be better trained to reach others so they can know Jesus, too!” As we have learned through the years - “The laborers FOR the harvest will come FROM the harvest!” [Below: Pastors and Leaders trained in the October Leadership Thrust]
See some of the Locking Arms closing ceremony (the way we close all of our trainings) - along with some beautiful African acapella singing!
The second testimony came through WhatsApp (a tool we use for international communication.) It read, “I have led 4 people to the Lord in the last 2 weeks. I have been working prayerfully bringing my children to full submission and clarity of salvation of Jesus Christ. By God's grace they understand what salvation is, why we need it, how it is accepted and they have taken it. I made my family my Jerusalem. Beginning tomorrow I am engaging them into bringing others into salvation. SI material has made it very easy for me. Thank you SI for every thing. God increase you and bless you. SI Lesotho - Viva and bravo!” One of our mottos in SI is that “Family is your first ministry.” It was great to hear from Nthako Mofeli that he not only made the gospel clear to his children, but has begun to train them in how to share the hope of Christ with others as well!
PRAYER ALERT: Please pray for more laborers for the harvest to come from the harvest and for families to continue to be transformed by the power of the gospel!
Tanzania - Uganda - Kenya
The work in Africa continues to expand in depth and breadth! This is especially true in the 5 nations overseen by Israel Wandamba, my Assistant Regional Director. Israel resides in the enormous city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and has been working with us for over a decade. Under his direction, the work has flourished with multiplying disciples, leaders, and cell churches - resulting in church planting movements birthed in many communities across Tanzania. But Israel’s calling reaches beyond Tanzania! He has been key in expansion into Burundi and Rwanda! Each of these now have their own well-trained National Director in place. With these works established and multiplying on their own, Israel made contacts in Uganda and Kenya - and in October, launched Strategic Impact into both of these nations! He is the first of my team to expand the work into all 5 nations he oversees! In Uganda, the SI School of Multiplying Church Planters now meets every Thursday afternoon for training and evangelism.
PRAYER ALERT: The training was well received and the timing was perfect in Uganda. One denomination with 376 churches is revising their leadership & pastoral training. A Bishop who influences this decision was amazed at our practical training and has requested SI to participate in their annual denominational meeting in August 2019. This is an opportunity to expand the reach of the Gospel! Pray for wisdom and discernment as we move toward this open door.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
The work has definitely been growing in the communities of Goma and Uvira, DRC. I continually receive photos of new believers being baptized in Lake Kivu - but a few weeks ago, I received this message: “5 more people were baptized in our 15th cell group!” Did you catch that??? FIFTEENTH Cell Group! In the past few years, under the direction of Dr. John Kupendwa, this ONE church (of the many working with SI) has multiplied 15 new cell groups through evangelism! I receive many similar reports from many locations across Africa!
PRAYER ALERT: Please pray the multiplication and discipleship continues until ALL have heard the Gospel!
Join the Team!
These few stories are just a small sample of what God is doing in Africa through Strategic Impact! But a hard truth is this: The more we expand, the more resources are needed to sustain the work. If you can help us start off 2019 in a stronger financial position, we would greatly appreciate it! In addition to prayer (the greatest need), there are 2 financial ways to support us in the work:
Make an end-of-year gift.
Join our monthly support team!
You may give:
Through text from your smart phone to 817-799-6161 and it will lead you through the process,
Online at www.StrategicImpactInternational.com/give (click on our photo),
By mail (check made out to Strategic Impact with "McCarty" in the memo line) to: Strategic Impact, PO Box 1901, Denton, TX 76202.
STRATEGIC IMPACT is a 501(c)(3) in good standing,
so your financial gifts are tax-deductible, greatly appreciated, and wisely stewarded.
The ministry is Biblical.
The vision is clear.
The need is great.
The fruit is substantial.
None of this would be possible without YOUR partnership in prayer and giving.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
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