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  • Writer's pictureDustin L. McCarty

December 2023 - Christmas McCarty Ministry Minute


Merry Christmas!

Tracy will bring you up to date on the family happenings with the annual McCarty Christmas Letter, but I wanted to say THANK YOU for standing with us in prayer, encouragement, and financial support throughout our nearly 20 years of working with Strategic Impact.  

There will be a brief Ministry Update following the family Christmas update. As always, I extend an invitation to you all: If you would like to grab a cup of coffee, share what’s been going on in your life, and hear more details and amazing stories of what God has been doing through Strategic Impact - CONTACT ME! (cell: 940-595-1562, email: whereisdustin@gmail.com)

And now - here's Tracy...


 

It's CHRISTMAS Time!

 

Dearest Family and Friends,

Each year December comes along as the bookend to the prior year, providing an occasion to reflect on the chapters of life as well as a moment to peer into the hope that the New Year brings. Once again we find ourselves looking to our Savior, who is not only the author of our stories but also the anchor of our souls, for He is the one who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 

In JANUARY 2023, I once again had the joy of instructing my therapeutic riding students as they competed at the Chisholm Challenge Horse Show sponsored by the Fort Worth Stock Show. Every year at this event I am reminded of why I do what I do as I observe my students exhibiting their skills, and not only earning well deserved awards themselves, but also cheering on every other competitor as they earn their own placings. Few competitions provide such a positive and rewarding experience. Remington was in the middle of playing basketball for the last season of her senior year and we found ourselves traveling to places such as Abilene, Amarillo, and Lubbock to watch her play. 



In FEBRUARY, Dustin and I relished in our annual get away with our dear friends Ross and Christy. Our time together in Freeport, TX, left us feeling refreshed and encouraged. Mornings on the balcony reading Scripture and drinking coffee, daily walks on the beach, and time spent playing games while sharing life, all contributed to feeling renewed and ready to face life challenges again. Sadly, when we returned home we attended the funeral of the man who was like a second father to Dustin, Sonny Firestone. Sonny was always larger than life, a man who you knew would love you no matter what, but would also tell you when you had screwed up, which often involved the use of a few choice words. He was Dustin’s dad’s best friend. He gave Dustin his first pipe, taught him how to cuss, work hard, shared his love for cars, and passed on how to love his people well. Here is a brief tribute Dustin wrote about Sonny: TRIBUTE We also celebrated Remi’s 18th birthday, and Sierra and I attended the There(4) Gathering for high school girls alongside the girls in her class at DCA



In MARCH, Remi officially signed to play volleyball at Dallas College Brookhaven! After Spring Break, Dustin, Remi, and I had the joy of traveling to Washington, D.C. with her class for their senior trip. Visiting the National Monuments, Museums, Memorials, and Government Buildings provided great reminders of the foresight of our country’s founding fathers, the history of our nation, and the importance of staying informed of developments within our government and country. The following week Sierra performed with the DCA drama club in Annie, Jr. She and her fellow thespians drew the audience in with this heartwarming story.



APRIL was packed full! Sierra and Remi started out the month by attending Prom. Dances serve as stark reminders that our beautiful daughters are growing up! We celebrated three birthdays - Trinity’s 22nd, Vival’s 75th, and Sierra’s 15th! As Remi participated in track, Dustin organized the SI Through the Nations Crawfish Boil, I helped Born 2 Be host the Area Special Olympics Horse Show, a baby shower was held for Dakota, Remi was honored at the DCA Spring Sports senior banquet, Trinity was honored at the TWU Honor’s College Banquet, Remi registered for college classes, Trin signed up for grad classes through Abilene Christian University Master’s program in Dietetics, I helped oversee the 2nd Trail Challenge fundraiser in a 3 part series at B2B, and Dustin and I hosted a weekly parenting & family Bible study in our home. (WHEW!)



Our 2nd darling grandson made his grand entry MAY 8th! Reuben is our tiny but mighty cheerful boy. Truly, nothing compares to the joy of being a grandparent! Celebrations abounded this month as we enjoyed the numerous graduation parties of classmates, and then watched Trinity graduate from TWU with Honors, and Remi from DCA earning the prestigious Lion Heart Award.



JUNE began with a whirlwind with Dustin hosting the SI Shoot Through the Nations fundraiser, me helping B2B host their first Pride & Glory wrestling event, and celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary, at a B2B’s Wine Tasting fundraiser - all in the first weekend. Life finally slowed down a bit at home, but Dustin embarked on a 30+ day journey to Africa for SI. He has shared about that work in a previous McCarty Ministry Minute.



In JULY, just two days after Dustin landed, our entire family headed East on vacation where we enjoyed a couple days in New Orleans before heading toward our ultimate destination of Daphne, AL, near Gulf Shores. Our days were spent eating amazing seafood, looking for seashells on the lovely sandy beaches, swimming in the blue waters, visiting the National WWII Museum in LA and Ft. Morgan in AL, watching minor league baseball games at both the Blue Wahoos (in Pensacola) and Montgomery Biscuits stadiums (in Montgomery), playing board games, cruising to see dolphins, and visiting our dear friends Lisa and Mike in Auburn as well as Remi’s boyfriend Trent’s parents Scott and Penny. Trent was able to spend several days with our crazy crew during our time in Daphne, and amazingly we haven’t scared him off yet (though we keep trying)!



AUGUST involved getting Trin, Remi, and Sierra set to begin their fall semesters at school. Remi began playing volleyball for Brookhaven, Tracy attended the regional Therapeutic Horsemanship conference in OK, several of us endured the horrendous summer heat to attend parts of the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo, and we enjoyed starting up our weekly parenting study again. 

In SEPTEMBER, Sierra tried out for the fall drama production of Alice in Wonderland, Dustin reached his 51st birthday, we travelled to numerous volleyball games near and far, B2B hosted a murder mystery fundraiser, Sierra played for DCA’s drumline at football games, B2B’s fall classes started up, and Tracy and Sierra began another year of participating in 4-H. Vival experienced shortness of breath and congestive heart failure and ended up needing some treatment in the hospital for several days, but fully recovered. The end of September was spent helping Sierra put together costumes for various dress-up days during Homecoming Week, with the finale being seeing our beautiful fourth daughter all dressed up for the Homecoming Dance.



Assisting my aunt Janie at the World Morgan Horse Show as she competed in Western Dressage was the highlight of OCTOBER for me. I grew up attending this show and have wanted to return for years! Born 2 Be hosted a Clay Shoot fundraiser, I helped run the 4-H Fall Fun Show, I “celebrated” turning 49, and the Liberty Horse Association hosted a fundraiser benefitting B2B as well. Remi’s volleyball team ended up 3rd in their conference playoffs and earned a spot in the NJCAA National Tournament. Trinity continued to participate in playing music and attended various events with the InterVarsity campus ministry, as well as faithfully being a part of our Denton Community Church worship team.



NOVEMBER is the month that in many ways I wish had been different. While traveling to Cedar Rapids, IA, to watch Remi play at the NJCAA National Tournament was an amazing experience, the result of a virus going through our family that week was not. The girls played very well. They were seeded 10th, coming in as a wild card team and ended up placing 7th in the nation! Afterward, instead of driving to our house on November 12 as we entered Denton, we directly pulled into the ER. Dustin’s heart had been in Atrial Fibrillation RVR already for 5-6 days and it took another 4 days of medications and medical procedures to get it back into a normal rhythm. Looking back I realize we were “that” patient - the one whose alarms were going off non-stop, likely the most critical patient in the cardiovascular ICU, and the one needing the most prayers. Thankfully, the Lord has been gracious with us once again. While Dustin has been experiencing fatigue since coming home, he is indeed home. Even if the outcome had been different, we can say with faith that God is good. Dustin was released from the hospital just in time to see Sierra perform in her last performance in Alice. She was brilliant as the Mama Pigeon! She also performed with the Praise Band at the Fall Concert. Thanksgiving week was full of rest, prayers of gratefulness, time spent with family baking and enjoying traditional family recipes, celebrating Gideon’s 3rd Birthday, watching movies, playing games, and more. However, we were frustrated to once again come down with a virus at the end of the week. 



We now come into DECEMBER, feeling well again finally. Trin and Remi have finished up their college semesters, and Sierra is winding up her finals. Sierra has tried out for the spring musical, Seussical, performed at the Christmas Showcase Choir/Praise Band Concert, and will soon be learning how to drive. Trent is visiting with us this week and we all enjoy having him here, of course none of us more than Remi. Next week, Dustin and I will travel to Oklahoma City for his heart ablation procedure. We continue to covet your prayers, hoping this procedure will prevent his heart from going back into AFib again. Please also pray for my mom, Nancy, who has had a hospital stay due to infections, and who is battling long term back pain. We are hopeful she can receive treatment, soon. We are looking forward to a quiet Christmas, one spent with our precious family, in remembrance of our Savior and His faithfulness to us throughout this past year. 



As one chapter closes and another opens, Lamentations 3:19-24 brings an apt summary of 2023, especially of the past month: “Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end: they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’”


May God Bless all of you as you enter into the New Year!

With much love,

Dustin, Tracy, Trinity, Remi, Sierra and Maw (Vival) McCarty




 

MINISTRY SUPPLEMENTAL

 

It is impossible to track exactly how the Lord has used our team to further His purposes, but we continue to try to gather data along the way. We know there is much more happening, but the numbers we can verify are as follows from inception through 2022.


Leaders Trained in an Event: 88,749

New Professions of Faith through Personal Evangelism194,473

New Churches Planted by Nationals12,976 


Most of this spiritual fruit came forth with only a paid staff of 3!  It is easy to see God’s hand has been with us! We are up to 18 paid staff worldwide, most of whom are bi-vocational. While we yearn for the Gospel to continue to go forth and for the Great Commission to be fulfilled, as my friend and mentor Floyd VanDeburgh says, “God wants to fulfill His Great Commission so much more than any of us do!”  

Thank YOU for being an invaluable member of the team! None of this could have happened without your willing sacrifices to partner with us. God has used you to change eternities around the globe - and continues to use you to expand His kingdom of light into some very dark places! In fact, thanks to your generosity, last month we were able to print 21,875 Training Manuals and 60,000 Evangelism and Discipleship Tools to be used to multiply disciples, leaders, and churches across 16 different nations in West and Sub-Saharan Africa!  THANK YOU!

Please continue to join with us in prayer that God will use all of us to fulfill His promise in Matthew 24:14, “…this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all  nations, and then the end will come.” Come soon Lord Jesus! 


End of Year Giving - If you have the ability to give a little extra as the year comes to a close, we are aiming to fund 2 Business-As-Mission [BAM] projects in Ghana and Burkina Faso which will allow our National Directors to operate with greater autonomy. One of the best aspects about investing in Business As Mission projects is, after the initial investment, they free up more funds to invest in field ministry work! Each of these “trucks” cost approximately $3,000 each. We estimate they will pay for themselves in just under 3 years of use. ALL Africa End-of-Year gifts will go directly to these BAM projects. If you would like to help out with this need, please do so through the following LINK (or you may mail a gift in to: Strategic Impact, PO Box 1901, Denton, TX 76202 - please put "SI AFRICA" in the memo.) We would be grateful for your partnership!







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!!!

- The McCartys



Click the logo to support Strategic Impact Africa

STRATEGIC IMPACT is a 501(c)(3) in good standing,

so your financial gifts are tax-deductible, greatly appreciated, and wisely stewarded.



Never Miss an Update (we only send a few each year)





Click the photo to support the McCartys

The McCartys




Click the logo to support Strategic Impact Africa


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