July 2017 … One Step at a Time

Mark and Heather McKinstry, International Church Planters in Spain

Assembly of God World Missionaries, Account #2535623

July 2017

One Step at a Time

As a child, I remember the tall task of climbing the lighthouse in Harbor Town on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Almost every steamy summer visit to our grandparents included the sweaty struggle up those 114 steps; and we made it every time! Since then I’ve conquered the 178 steps up the shrine at Holy Hill (the backdrop of the last US Open Golf Tournament), the 898 steps up the Washington Monument (almost died), and the 1170 steps up the Eiffel Tower in Paris (I was 19 then; don’t ask me to do it now).

In the last four weeks we have traveled thousands of miles to meet and share with pastors, small groups, and churches. Each conversation and every prayer is another step closer to our goal of being fully funded and on the ground planting churches in Spain. We so desperately want to get to the country of our calling by the end of October. In order to make that possible, we need to apply for our Spanish visas by the end of July (it typically takes three months to process). In order to apply for our visas, we need to have 80% of our monthly financial budget raised. We are inching towards the end of our chapter of fundraising and we are learning a lot about running this race. Maybe your dream is to raise your children to serve God, have a life long marriage, or build a thriving business. We all know that dreams come easy the hard part is to seize it. So how do you climb to the top? How do you make your dreams reality?

1) Set Achievable Goals – these are bite-sized steps towards your desired destination. Someone who desires to run a marathon for the first time does not begin by running the full 26.2 race. Instead, they spend time methodically building their endurance through mental preparation, eating right, and physical training. They set incremental goals. Goal setting is the process of making your dream a reality.

2) Establish Daily Habits – these are regular disciplines that become the road you travel towards your desired destination. Our daily habits in fundraising include simple things like making phone calls, sending emails, face to face meetings, reflection and evaluation, and above all, time with God. Our daily schedule determines whether we win or lose.

3) Beware of Distractions – so many things compete for our attention. Distractions are like dust in our eyes; they blur our vision and rob us of our clarity. Be vigilant; keep the finish line before you. Tell your family or friends about the dream and ask them to keep you accountable. Give a few trusted individuals permission to challenge you and help you if they see something that looks “off.”

The Apostle Paul was a man who was constantly on the move. He had dreams. I love what he wrote…

I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! (Philippians 3:14-16, MSG)

Be encouraged; keep chasing your God-given dreams. Above all, remember, you are not alone; God is with you and He is for you!
Heather has been a part of the the team at Sherman Park Lutheran School in Milwaukee, WI for the last three years. She has loved pouring into the lives of her elementary students, encouraging them to find life in Jesus. On June 9th, she said good-bye. Before her departure, she was recognized with a special award, the “Messenger of God.” For those of you that know Heather, this is no surprise, as God uses her to speak into the lives of people all around her.
This is a picture of Girona, the city where we will be investing the majority of our time in our first three year term. It lies up the coast from Barcelona and is home to many internationals and university students. Please pray with us for this strategic church plant; for direction and favor regarding its location, for the core team that is dedicated to seeing this church thrive, for start up resources, and for the many in the area that we will be sharing the hope of Christ with.

Where We Are At: