December 2020 - Christmas McCarty Ministry Minute
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
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. I’ll briefly share 3 brief story snippets and a major milestone YOU have helped us reach through your prayers, encouragement, and financial support. As always, 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 amazing!
And now - here's Tracy...
It's CHRISTMAS Time!
Merry Christmas Dear Friends and Family!
2020… this is a year none of us could have anticipated. Yet, while many traditions have been cancelled, or carried out in a new way, I cannot help but be grateful for the gifts we have received this year. In a world when we too often run ourselves ragged, it has been nice to slow down, spend more time with our families, have more game nights, eat at home more often, and rest. While none of us would ever have asked for our lives to be so greatly affected by a world-wide virus, I find comfort in knowing that the Lord has all things under His control, and that He can use the seemingly bad things in this world for our good. However, I also realize for some that this year has brought loss of jobs, loss of income, the worry of how to buy food or pay rent, and the stress of trying to care for children who are home from school while trying to work, etc. So for some, this year has not brought solace, but added stress and worry. Thus, while we praise the Lord for restoring time together as families, we also pray mightily for those who are hurting, trying to make ends meet, and who are alone. May “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24)
With quarantine and travel bans and safety in mind, Dustin has remained in the U.S. since he returned from Africa in March. I (Tracy) remember messaging him to be watchful while he was there, and to make sure he could get home. Thankfully, none of his flights were cancelled and he returned home safely from rural Tanzania just after the travel bans were put in place. Maybe more than ever before we are thankful for modern technology. Dustin has been able to stay deeply connected to his men who are key leaders for SI all across the continent of Africa. Each of these men have demonstrated faithfulness this year in their calling to reach their nations for the kingdom of God, by continuing in outreach to their communities and sharing the gospel powerfully in this time of unsettledness. Strategic Impact has partnered with these men of God in putting together packets of food and basic hygiene products for the most vulnerable. With each delivery the recipients have heard the gospel and been prayed over. Many have heard about the love of Christ for the first time and received the hope that He brings to those who place faith in Jesus. God is indeed good. At DCA, Dustin is not only teaching Missions Geography but also Government and Economics. He has learned so much this election year and delighted in discussing these important topics with his high school seniors. He also played an instrumental role in helping Denton Community Church move into our new location this year. The church has been able to rent an entire space to ourselves, which is an exciting endeavor!
Despite being closed down for 3 months in the spring, my work at Born 2 Be has flourished in our new location near Valley View, TX. While so many other types of therapies were unavailable to our clientele, we were able to safely offer riding sessions to our students providing them with the ability to be outdoors and exercise their minds and their bodies. All of our local competitions have been cancelled, so B2B will be hosting a virtual horse show in January so equestrians with disabilities have an opportunity to show what they’ve been working on this year and earn awards for their efforts. I have also continued to serve as co-manager of the Silver Saddle 4-H club and as treasurer for the Denton County 4-H Parent Leadership Association. Being a part of raising up the next generation of leaders in our community has been a delightful experience after growing up through the 4-H program myself.
Without a doubt, the biggest family news this year is the addition of Gideon Gerald Chidester! Cody and Dakota are already proving to be exceptional parents. Dakota struggled with many health complications throughout her pregnancy and patiently endured over 16 weeks of bed rest. However, seeing our little man’s face for the first time put it all in perspective and was definitely worth it. Gideon was born November 19th and indeed gave us even more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. His aunts are over the moon in love with him and have already dubbed his sports nickname, “GForce.” Dustin, aka “Chief,” has greatly amused me with his obvious pride and delight in his first grandson. And I, aka “Whinny,” am so incredibly smitten. Little Gideon is a pure joy and I cannot wait to see his personality develop! Dakota will be able to stay home from work for about 12 weeks and most likely will return to Physical Therapy work part time, which means that Gideon will get to stay with grandparents and aunts for a day or two each week. Cody sacrificially loved and served Dakota through the difficult pregnancy while continuing to faithfully work for Moore Supply where he does a fabulous job overseeing their onsite warehouse for their client company DEK Plumbing.
Trinity is finishing up the first semester of her sophomore year at Texas Woman’s University. She has a full load of core and nutrition classes, which have proven a bit stressful since many became online or hybrid classes. She has put in many late nights and pushed herself, but the hard work is paying off. Trin has already completed all of her honors hours required for graduation except for her Capstone project. She had 4 honors classes this semester, which means she will no longer have to worry about contracting with professors for honors hours. Trinity is living at home this year, and in light of Covid we all agree that has been the best choice. In recent weeks she has begun singing and playing keyboard with the Denton Community Church worship team. Seeing her years of hard work practicing keyboard and singing being used now as an adult to worship our Lord is a pure delight to Dustin and I.
Our Remi girl is a sophomore at Denton Calvary Academy and has continued to enjoy playing volleyball and basketball. Her musical talents have grown tremendously this year as well, and she has joined Trinity and Sierra in singing at church. Hearing our sweet girl’s voices mesh together in harmony is truly precious. During the summer she enjoyed volunteering at B2B. I think of all the girls she most appreciated the slower pace of life this year and the opportunity to do school from home every day during times of quarantine. Additionally, her heart for people struggling with mental health conditions has grown and at this time she is considering pursuing a degree in psychology and counseling.
Sierra has physically grown by leaps and bounds this year! Even though she loves being almost as tall as her sister, Trinity, her sister isn’t quite as impressed. This fall Sierra has taken part in the drama club at DCA and seems to have truly found her niche. The play “Dark Road” is written to portray the heartache and horror of the Holocaust. She has been greatly moved by what she has learned about this horrible event in history and looks forward to performing next week. Sierra has continued to take guitar lessons and to grow in her singing abilities as well. She sang “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” at DCA’s Christmas Showcase and had a solo in their fall choir performance of “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” which is truly an appropriate song for this year!
Through much planning and prayer, we have all decided, along with Maw (Vival), to launch an online resale company, named Mockingbird Corner! More information will come this year as we get the company organized and locate items to post in the shop. Speaking of Maw, we all continue to be grateful for her restored health. The Lord has been so good in allowing her to do all the things she enjoys from working in the yard to attending her granddaughters’ school and sporting events. She can now also claim the title of being a great-grandma! We just might have to get Gideon to call her “G-Maw,” for Great Maw.
Dear ones, we pray for each of you that your Christmas is full of joy and laughter, family and friends, and traditions, both old and new. May our Lord and Savior watch over you, keep you, give you rest, and provide you with hope for today and tomorrow. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Rom. 5:1-5)
May God Bless You and Keep you,
Dustin, Tracy, Trinity, Remi, Sierra and Maw (Vival) McCarty
Stories from the Field
Burkina Faso - West Africa
Victor Ouedraogo (National Director, Burkina Faso - 2nd from Left in photo below) launched SI in a new village a few months ago. During the outreach, they won a Muslim household to faith. The head of the house said, “I would like a church to meet in my home.” As there was no church nearby, one of the newly trained leaders has now planted a new church in this man’s home - and they are reaching out to the neighbors with the gospel.
Ghana - West Africa
With the COVID restrictions on indoor meetings, Clement - a leader trained through Strategic Impact - has planted 2 churches in two separate villages which under trees. They meet weekly unless it is raining. So far, they have grown to 23 and 37 new believers gathering for church respectively! (no church during rainy days).
Uganda - Sub-Sahara Africa
I received this update a few days ago from our recent expansion in Uganda: “Praise the Lord beloved servant of the most High God. The Lord has done great things this month during our preaching. We have a place in Nazigo, which is commonly known for BAD GUYS - marijuana and drunkenness - but God has touched them. Sunday, we had 10 of them in the church - and they vowed to go back and fetch their friends. They have already confirmed that they have gathered a group of more than 20 who are coming in the church this coming Sunday. The entire community is amazed of what God is doing. No one could dare preach to them before, but God has given us the grace. The family and the church are all fine. Right now am on my way to launch a new center in a place called Pallisa (photo of those trained in Nazigo below). It is around 70 km from Nazigo. To God be all the glory!"
A Major Milestone Reached!
I have also included our Fruit of the Ministry report for 2020 - updated through December 07. This year, we have surpassed 100,000 new professions of faith through God’s work through Strategic Impact! Praise the Lord! Thank YOU for your partnership through the years which has allowed this to happen! May the Lord continue to bless you and others through you! Merry Christmas!
- Dustin & the SI Africa Family
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 the Lord leads you to help us start off 2021 in a stronger financial position, we would be very grateful! 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 send gifts by mail to Strategic Impact, PO Box 1901, Denton, TX 76202, send a text from your smart phone to 817-799-6161 and follow the prompts, or go to: https://strategicimpact.givingfuel.com/dustin-l-mccarty
The ministry is Biblical. The vision is clear. The need is great. The fruit is substantial.
STRATEGIC IMPACT is a 501(c)(3) in good standing,
so your financial gifts are tax-deductible, greatly appreciated, and wisely stewarded.
None of this would be possible without YOUR partnership in prayer and giving.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
- The McCartys
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