Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Greetings from the McCartys!
We made it through 2020 and are a good way down the road of 2021! Praise the Lord! Many of us have lost family or friends, or know those who have, through this past 13 months since the various shutdowns and restrictions due to COVID first began. When the first travel ban was put in place, I was in the northern part of rural Tanzania and was just starting the long journey home. What a strange time in the history of the world! It is our prayer that the truth of eternal life and the sovereignty of God has brought you deep comfort, security, and encouragement over these past months. May the Lord guard your heart and mind.
COVID swept through our entire family in late January. For all of us but Maw, it was mostly like lingering bronchitis and a strong head cold, but for her, it turned in to a stay in the hospital and a multi-week recovery from COVID-pneumonia. Praise the Lord, we are all better now. Most of us were healthy just in time for the “Great Snowpocalypse” of 2021. We weathered that pretty easily (see what I did there?) with a few added house guests whose electricity was off for an extended period of time, and had enough extra firewood to help some other families stay warm.
[The McCarty tribe, Easter, 2021]
Tracy continues to work with special needs riders and their families at Born2Be Therapeutic Equestrian Center. Their new location has continued to be a huge blessing to their clients, families, staff, and volunteers. They hosted the first ever “Lights, Camera, Action! Virtual Horse Show,” which was a big success! Tracy is REALLY enjoying "grandma-ing" on the days Gideon's mom (Dakota) has to work.
Gideon’s Dad & Mom (how I now refer to Cody & Dakota) are doing great as new parents. Gideon is a really good baby and is a ton of fun! We should have had grandkids before we had children! [A major supply of Gideon photos will be at the end of the family section.]
Trinity is still making progress at TWU with a mixture of online and on-campus classes! She is hoping to complete some summer courses and graduate early.
After a series of concussions, Remington has decided to take her Junior year off from formal athletics. It was a hard decision, but she has already felt much relief with the extra time she has gained back. She is considering pursuing weightlifting to stay in shape. She is also now 16 and learning to drive (your prayers are appreciated!).
Sierra has continued to find delight and community in DCA’s drama program. Right now they are working hard preparing a production of Beauty and the Beast! She just turned 13 - the last of the McCarty girls to reach the teenage years!
Maw has now fully recovered from COVID and COVID-pneumonia. She has recently started an online business selling quality used clothing on ebay - Mockingbird Corner - and has really enjoyed getting that going.
And now, for a collection of adorable Gideon photos!
Many of you gave sacrificially so that our National Director of Tanzania, Azikiwe Lutufyo, could have an amputation and prosthetic for his fused left leg. I want to assure you that the money raised is still in the bank, waiting on the green light to transfer in preparation for the surgery. There were some initial delays, because... well... Africa... then COVID struck and shut everything down. I received this update recently about the situation: “I have talked to Azikiwe. He has been advised to start treatment at KMCC referral hospital in Moshi (northern part of TZ) after a thorough investigation, the Doctors will refer him to any reliable hospital. This may be in India for amputation etc. They are doubting that he could still have cancer in the knee, but want to be sure. That is why they have advised to begin the process of fixing his leg here in TZ. Since he doesn't have any relationships in Moshi, He will need to stay in a guest house until he is admitted. His wife will help him during the process.” So that is where we are at the moment. In the mean time, he continues to pastor Gospel Powerhouse Church (I still love that name!) and work with Strategic Impact throughout Tanzania.
The Situation and The Growth
There continues to be a varied response to COVID nation by nation, but overall, things have begun to calm down. By God’s grace, we have only had one staff member who has tested positive, and he recovered well. Presently, travel is still out of the question for me due to the risk of changing requirements which would render my presence ineffective and waste valuable resources. One friend of mine was prepared to journey to Kenya and was delayed from departure by one day - during that 24 hours, Kenya closed its borders in light of COVID. So, in addition to my local ministry work, I continue with the overhaul of our materials (much needed), coaching our African teams from afar through weekly conference calls, and raising and sending resources to further the work. This has been the longest I have not seen any of my friends in Africa in the past 17 years. Needless to say, I miss my friends and I miss being “in the field” with them. BUT, these past 13 months have been a proving ground for the work to which God has led us! Praise God for the fruit! Here are some examples:
Our teams in GHANA just returned to their homes from the region of Builsa, where over 50 pastors from the surrounding villages gathered to be equipped in the Biblical process of multiplication. It was so hot inside that they tied up a tarp and moved under some trees to complete the training! Souls were won, small churches were planted with the new believers, and nearly all the pastors and leaders started the ongoing training process to continue their training and multiply further. 5 key pastors spent extra time learning our process so they may launch Strategic Impact among the churches of their village with coaching from our Ghana national team!
Bishop Musana, our National Director in UGANDA, just expanded into 2 new locations in northern Uganda. Word of his selfless work and the good news of Jesus spread and somehow reached one of the Chiefs in the Karimojong tribe - a tribe related to the Maasai of Kenya. The Chief extended a formal invitation for Musana to come and share this good news and this training throughout the Karimojong!
While that was happening, Israel Wandamba, Reuben Mwambola, and Pastor Deo were furthering the work in the north of Tanzania. To reach one of the locations, they had to borrow bicycles and got a kick out of being “Evangelists on Bicycles” for a few days!
So far, in 2021, our teams have:
trained 2,201 pastors,
who won 2,820 people to Christ, and
planted 171 new churches.
Praises and Prayer
PRAISE: Praise the Lord for how He has worked throughout this year!
PRAY: For wisdom about if and when to attempt travel, as my desire is to launch SI in 2 new nations this year.
We could do NONE of this without YOU!
THANK YOU for YOUR partnership!
- The McCartys
Never Miss an Update (we only send a few each year)
Click the photo to support the McCartys
Click the photo to support Strategic Impact Africa