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August 2019 - McCarty Ministry Minute

Updated: Aug 20, 2019



Pastor Edward (Ghana National Director)

teaching Pastors in Chiana, Ghana.

​​FAMILY UPDATE

Hello again from the McCartys! A few months have passed, so it is time for another quick update on Family and Ministry! Thank you for standing with us in prayer and giving as we continue to work toward saturating Africa, and beyond, with the gospel! I have included a bonus “Prayer Addendum” this time with a few items and explanations to help guide your prayers for our work.



Tracy and the Born2Be Therapeutic Equestrian Center, staff recently passed their national re-certification with PATH, the governing organization over therapeutic horsemanship. It was a great amount of work, and we are really proud for them. Now, with school starting, the crazy schedules hit with all the additional school/mom duties, as well! She does a great job balancing life.


The Chidesters are in the process of buying their first house - and it happens to be near where we live! They both also continue to work with the youth of Denton Community Church, and love their jobs at Moore Supply and Medical City Lewisville!


Trinity moves into the dorms at TWU very soon! She is pursuing a degree in Dietetics. As I write this, she is shadowing staff members at a nearby hospital to get a feel for the different aspects her future career will entail.


Remington is starting her first year of High School at DCA, and is slightly nervous to have her dad as one of her teachers. Volleyball season has kicked off, and she is playing Outside Hitter, and doing very well! She is also Freshman Class President and serves on Student Council.


Sierra is now a 6th grader and in Junior High… where does the time go and how does it get there so fast? She continues to enjoy all aspects of 4H Club, and is serving as Club Treasurer this year!


Maw is FINALLY out of the hospital - we hope, this time for good! Since last September, she has had a revised intestinal track, a pacemaker, and several complications with each procedure. Just when she was all healed up from those, hernias made their appearance. Last week, we had those remedied. She is back home and recovering nicely - Praise the Lord! Thank you for your prayers!

MINISTRY UPDATE

Multiplying the Movement


I returned to West Africa for the first time in several years… it was my first time to be physically on the ground since I was “promoted” to Africa Director. What a blessing to spend time in the presence of West Africa Director, Stephen Aputara and his family! It was as if I had never left! One of the many things I love about our ministry approach at Strategic Impact is that relationships are expected to extend beyond work. We desire to truly be friends and brothers! Above, you will see Stephen (West Africa Director), Victor (Burkina Faso National Director), and Edward (Ghana National Director). These men are true men of character and commitment! They have been developing leaders and seeing many new disciples made over the past few years through their work with SI - now we are ready to shift to the next gear and multiply Church-Planting Movements so ALL may hear the gospel across ALL of West Africa, and beyond!

Transformed Muslim in Ghana


While in Ghana, Stephen and I (with some others SI Team Members) taught and encouraged groups in 7 different towns & villages in 7 days. The first Sunday, I was asked to preach in a small church in the village of Arigu, Ghana. No U.S. staff from Strategic Impact had been to Arigu, but Stephen and his team had launched SI there a few years ago. During praise and worship, I noticed an older man [photo on Right] in a traditional Ghanaian smock (shirt). He was a little more reserved than the rest of the congregation and appeared to hold the respect of everyone there, including the Pastor. I was curious, and asked Stephen who he was. After the service, the Pastor and Stephen introduced me to the man and I discovered he was one of the Deacons in the church. But what was truly amazing was what HE shared about himself. He is a local Chief in the village, and was a lifelong Muslim. Through one of the SI trainings, the gospel was shared with him and he trusted Christ for salvation. After sharing how he came to Christ, he looked me in the eye and said something which shook my soul. He said, “If SI had come 10 years ago, there would be no more Muslims in this village. They would all be Christians now.” OH! That we could go everywhere that asks for training!

Witch Doctor in Lesotho


I journeyed from Ghana in West Africa down to Lesotho, which is inside South Africa (about 3400 miles, as the crow flies… but NO crows fly that way). We have been working for several years in Lesotho, and have endured to see God bring about great spiritual fruit! The team there is nearing its time of release so they can multiply another leadership team. Already they have launched Strategic Impact in 5 different locations - 3 in Lesotho and 2 in South Africa! We had a brand new network of Pastors and Leaders to train this time during our Leadership Thrust! [photo Above] After teaching and discussion in the morning, we divided up into groups and went out into neighborhoods to share the gospel in order to plant new cell churches. One of the teams was welcomed into a home to share about the word of God. Upon entering, they immediately realized it was the home of a Sangoma (witch doctor) because of the decorations and paraphernalia around the house. (It is a commonly held belief in Lesotho that a Sangoma cannot be saved - they have gone too far to be won to Christ. Naturally, we teach that NO ONE is beyond the reach of the Holy Spirit!) They did not know what to expect, but the man said, “I am so glad you are here! Can you help me? I have been getting more and more worried that God will not accept me when I die. I have tried everything in my powers to satisfy this fear but cannot.” He went into the back of the home, came back with a Bible, and said, “I have even tried reading this, but I cannot seem to understand it. Please help me! I am so afraid!” They led him to salvation in Christ right then, and went back the next day to begin to disciple him in his new faith in Jesus. Soon, he will join the new cell church which will be launched in that neighborhood. God continues to do amazing things by the power of the Holy Spirit and through His word, which is able to equip every man for every good work!

BONUS: Experiences & Photos!

The Traffic Stop Shakedown...

We had no breakdowns or getting stranded experiences this time, but I did get pulled over (I wasn't speeding... this time) while driving in to the airport in Tamale, Ghana to begin my journey on to Lesotho. The Policeman at the checkpoint noticed I didn't blend in and waved me over. When I got out of the car, he asked for my license, so I provided it - a Texas Commercial Driver's License (I keep my CDL so I can drive the buses for Denton Calvary on occasion). He took a quick look and said, "This is not an International License. I have to keep it and you have to pay a fine to get it back." Stephen and I both knew this was an attempt to get a bribe. We stood around the truck and talked more with the Policeman. Found out we almost had the same birthday! Finally, he agreed to return my license to me if Stephen would take the wheel for the rest of the drive. Done! My only regret is that I didn't take a selfie with him!

The Temperature Down in Africa...

So I arrived in Ghana with Summer in full-swing. Ghana is just North of the Equator. Fortunately, the temperatures had dropped from the previous few weeks, down to a nice, cool, humid upper 90's range during the day. All went well - then I few to Lesotho. Lesotho is far South, and is actually surrounded by the country of South Africa. Being in the Southern Hemisphere, our Summer is their Winter! Add to the fact that Lesotho nestles into the Drakensberg Mountains, and you get a minor temperature adjustment! The coldest night there was 25°F! Frost on the ground every morning! I wore my coat and a stocking cap every day! Yes. It does get cold in Africa. You can bless the rains down in Africa... you can ALSO Bless the Snow (on occasion)!

Things I saw today... MONDAY, June 10 edition - Ghana

In Walewale, Ghana today! Taught 4 1/2 hours (almost straight) for 42 Pastors and Leaders from the area. Very encouraging time with the body of Christ in Ghana. We continue on tomorrow to another location. Here are some interesting sights from the drive and time today.

Things I saw today... TUESDAY, June 11 edition - Ghana

In Kpasenkpe today - basically out in the bush. 2 hour drive on dirt roads, sort of like growing up in Oklahoma! Encouraged 42 Pastors & Leaders today in this area and helped set up a future longer training for the Ghana team. Things are going very well! There is much work in evangelism and discipleship to be done here, as the area is only around 2% Christian!

Things I saw today... WEDNESDAY, June 12 edition - Ghana

Today we were in Gambaga (the former capital of Northern Ghana) speaking to some youth and setting up future work in the area for Strategic Impact.

Things I saw today... THURSDAY, June 13 edition - Ghana

Yesterday we were in Navrongo, Ghana encouraging and training 29 Pastors and Leaders who have been involved in with Strategic Impact. We also visited Stephen Aputara's home village of Mirigu where I was blessed to meet his mom, Abisiboba. Great day of work and time together! OH! Stephen also had a friend near his house call and tell him that their child had seen him bringing a white muslim into his home. (me) HA!

Things I saw today... FRIDAY, June 14 edition - Ghana

Today we were in the village of Chiana training 97 Pastors & Leaders from 17 different churches and setting up future work in the area for Strategic Impact. Great day together with the team!

Things I saw today... SATURDAY, June 15 edition - Ghana

Today 5 of us traveled to the village of Sandema, Ghana where we introduced Strategic Impact to 21 Pastors & Leaders from around the area to set up a future launch to help churches. A little less in the way of photos, since I was the driver all day - and taking photos while driving... well, Tracy McCarty would be displeased. :-) Ended the day with a good strategy session with Stephen Aputara (our West Africa Director), Victor (our Burkina Faso National Director), and Edward (our future Ghana National Director). The tracks are now set for some great work to take place throughout the rest of the year. Please pray for Burkina Faso! There are still jihadist acts taking place in the north there. Many churches have been attacked, and some bombed or set fire to. This is the reason we did not venture into Burkina as a team on this trip (I don't blend in, so it would be quite unwise to do so without extreme need). It is bad enough that 98 Pastors have left the north to seek refuge further south in their nation.Tomorrow, it's an early start to the airport for back to back flights with an extended layover in Dubai... then back to back flights to arrive in Lesotho to partner with our team there as they expand the reach of the kingdom, train more pastors & leaders, and bring the gospel to the lost!

Things I saw today... WEDNESDAY, June 19 edition - Lesotho

Early rise this morning for an early departure to the airport - a 2 hour drive away. I drove the first hour before being pulled over at a police checkpoint. They said my license was not international so I was in violation. (I’ve driven in 11 foreign countries.) Policeman looking for a bribe. It didn’t work.Short flight from TML to ACC domestic followed by getting lied to by a set of taxi drivers that there was no shuttle between domestic and international terminals. Caught the free shuttle and off loaded at the international terminal. Lied to again by another taxi driver that the only way to departures was by cab. Found and took the obscurely placed elevator up to departures. Then got the shake down about by yellow fever card. Got out of that ok, as well. About to board for DXB then on to JNB and finally MSU.Not a lot seen this morning since it was mostly road time. I should have taken a selfie with the cop! Missed opportunity!

Things I saw today... SUN-TUE, June 16-18 edition - In Transit

Tamale, Ghana to Accra, Ghana. Accra to Dubai. LONG layover. Dubai to Johannesburg, South Africa. Johannesburg to Maseru, Lesotho. Left on Father's Day. Arrived 3 days later... and away we go! In the midst of this, I received this update from Sainet Phiri (Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Director) about the ongoing work in Zimbabwe: “AMAZING TESTIMONY: Below is a testimony of a church plant that was launched after the Leadership Thrust in Harare."

"How are you Rev. We started a preaching point in Hatcliffe by doing one-on-one (personal evangelism as taught by SI) in the surrounding area. Then we found a place to meet for worship at the nearest school. They gave let us use their agriculture shed which open. Now people are coming to Church through hearing us singing and teaching the word of God as they pass by the fence. From starting with a family gathering of just 6 people we now have 30 more new believers! God is Good!"

"Below are pictures from the new church which meets in an Agriculture Shed. They have decorated the front with some nice curtains.”


he second message came from Israel Wandamba (Sub-Saharan Africa Assistant Regional Director), who is presently in Uganda expanding the work of Strategic Impact. He writes:“From Nazigo Uganda - This is our Sunday class who launched into the School of Multiplying Church Planters after the Leadership Thrust training. It was powerful and the attendance was amazing.”


Things I saw today... WEDNESDAY, June 19 edition - Lesotho

Today, the Strategic Impact Lesotho kicked off a 3-day intensive training we call a "Leadership Thrust." The goal is to train Pastors & Leaders how to make disciples, then raise them toward maturity in Christ. This is combined with some training focused on Personal Development (Character, Devotional Life, etc), Leadership Skills (how to lead well from a Biblical perspective), and Multiplication (Leaders, Disciples, Churches, Church Planting Movements). While we have been working in Maseru for several years, the majority of the people attending are new to Strategic Impact - which is great! They have come from various communities around Maseru as well as a few towns in South Africa. We end each day by going out into the community to pre-determined sites by the participating churches to share the Gospel (day 1), disciple the new believers (day 2), and launch a cell church (day 3) which the local church will guide as a point of outreach into each neighborhood. Good day! SPECIAL TREAT - I captured a small portion of accappela worship. I had to reduce the quality of video due to internet capabilities.


Things I saw today... THURSDAY, June 20 edition - Lesotho

Second day of the 3-day intensive training we call a "Leadership Thrust." Today - after the morning of training - we went back out into the community again. This time to find those who were led to salvation in Christ yesterday and begin to disciple them. It was a wonderful day! Here are some of the things I saw throughout, including another sample of acapella worship in the Sesotho language.


Things I saw today... FRIDAY, June 21 edition - Lesotho

Last day of the Leadership Thrust training. 79 Pastors & Leaders trained in areas of Character & Personal Development, Leadership, and Church Planting. We started the day with testimonies from yesterday's outreach. 69 new disciples won to faith in Christ. 61 Pastors & Leaders launched into the ongoing training we call the School of Multiplying Church Planters. Great day with the SI Lesotho team! Some have been curious about what Sesotho sounds like, so I included a clip with translation. I also included an extended clip of acapella worship during our "Locking Arms" closing ceremony.Here are a few other photos of the area I took as we moved around - including a few other roadsigns and billboards. Lastly, a brief confession. In my travels, I find a few subjects fascinating (which some might think as odd). They are doors and surface textures. On most of my trips, I take photos of various door styles and surface textures. Weird, I know. Still... Hope you enjoy!


Things I saw today... SATURDAY, June 22 edition - Lesotho

Not much today, as our local SI Lesotho team and I were meeting for a good part of the day. However, a few things.

Things I saw today... SUNDAY, June 23 edition - Lesotho

Great morning of worship with the folks of Tree of Life Community Church! I was privileged to bring the wording join in the fellowship. May your day of worship and rest be blessed!


Things I saw today... SATURDAY, June 22 edition - Lesotho

Not much today, as our local SI Lesotho team and I were meeting for a good part of the day. However, a few things.

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