We are finally taking the first steps on our road to Bolivia! For sometime, we have suspected that God had this plan in mind for our lives. We are so thankful for His faithfulness in getting us to this point. Throughout the past several years, He has shown Himself faithful as we have worked to complete Bible college. That itself seemed like an unmovable mountain at times! Between full time jobs, raising our two children, and serving in our home church, it seemed like schooling might never come to an end. Despite all these challenges, God faithfully supplied the time, finances, and resources to complete what we know He called us to do.
We also watched as God opened doors and supplied finances for multiple visits to Bolivia, which helped knit our hearts with this country and its people. Seven years ago, God allowed us to spend three months on the field with our grandparents, who had served in Bolivia as missionaries for almost thirty years. It was such a precious time of fellowship as we witnessed their love for the Bolivian people, and the way that God had used them to share the Gospel. There were many opportunities to serve in different capacities such as teaching, singing, ministering with the children, and even painting and decorating. During that time, God worked in our hearts and established His calling for us to work in missions. Knowing that we still had some learning and growing to do, we returned home with a focus to finish Bible college.
During those years of Bible college, we attended Tidewater Baptist Church where we served in several different ministries. One ministry that God unexpectedly led us to, was working as the youth leaders. We have shared so many wonderful times with those young people and are truly grateful that God allowed us to be involved in that ministry! During that time, God orchestrated something quite amazing through the Mission Teen Program at our church. Together, with Pastor and his wife, we sent out emails to all of our church's missionaries to see who would be interested in having our Mission Teen Group come serve with them for a week during the summer. The only open door was a missionary that our church supports in......can you guess where?....Bolivia! We had in no way intended that we would return to Bolivia that year, but God had a wonderful plan in mind. That trip was life changing in so many ways, and God used it to speak to several young people about a future in missions. He used this unexpected return to Bolivia to work in our hearts as well. Coming back from that trip, it was pretty clear that God wanted us to serve in Bolivia, but we were still uncertain of the timing.
After returning from Bolivia with our youth group, we began to prayerfully consider an offer that we had received from a missionary we had met while on our trip. They invited us to return for a survey trip, and even offered to escort us around the country. After a few months, God opened the door for us to accept their generous offer. It was during this survey trip that God concreted in our hearts where he would have us to begin working. He gave us clear guidance and a peace that we could now begin the process of deputation.
God has led us to this point and has carried us every step of the way! We are so excited to continue this journey to the country that He has given us such a love for! We are just weeks away from having all the necessary items we need to start presenting our burden to local churches. Our hearts are anxious to begin this exciting new chapter, and we hope that you will all keep us in your prayers as we face so many changes over the coming months.
Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"
----- The McKinney's -----