25 Years: Running the Race of Faith

, , , , , , , , ,
Jerry and Susy McNally
Jerry and Susy McNally
Founders and Directors
Living Hope International

25 Years: Running the Race of Faith

When Jerry McNally was 37 years old he had a soul-searching decision to make. What we see today as a robust, multi-faceted ministry, was just a fresh idea. With a handful of boys living in their home, he felt the weight of a decision that could absorb the rest of his life. It was a decision to pursue what he felt God had laid on his heart as The City of Hope, where much of what you see today was only a dream. Could such a vision of an orphanage, school, ministry institute, church, clinic, and more come together under his watch on a single campus in Mexico?

There were two underlying truths as he contemplated what was next:

1. We are not capable of doing this.

2. God is.

Jerry recalls his prayer, “God, I think I am willing to pursue this vision, giving up the rest of my life to run this race–even if I don’t finish or my life ends as a nobody–but I don’t want to do this if it isn’t Your will…What is Your will?”

The answer impressed on his heart: “Do your best, today and tomorrow.”

Where some may find this response ambiguous and a far cry from Gideon’s drenched fleece, Jerry found it liberating. “If Jesus is the author and perfecter of my faith, the results are not my concern.” This was a green light to expend the effort. It was a call to urgency. It was the confidence to fix his eyes on Christ and let God handle the results.

Fast forward 16 years to 2009, through many years of frugal operation and humble fundraising, and purchasing the land became a reality. Land may have been the first step, but if his ministry days were half complete at age 53–and the first dorm building was estimated to cost more than the land–would he ever see the second step? Did it matter?

“Since the day we got the land we’ve seen a lot of success over the following 10 years—up to today. God has really blessed us. I’ve seen five… six times what we ever thought we would—especially after how long it took to buy the land,” admits Jerry. This is not a time to coast, however. It is time to treat each day with the same urgency as day one, knowing that the fragile lives of children, still unreached, hang in the balance.

“The moment we take our eyes off of Christ and say ‘we have this figured out, we’re experienced, well-established, and we can do this’,” Jerry explains, “that is when I believe the blessing would end. Then it would be about us and our vision.” And this takes us back to the basic truths above: We are not capable. God is.

There is a temptation for visionaries to pursue the vision.

There is a temptation for visionaries to pursue the vision. Christians pursue Christ. “We always need to be crying out to God or we will flounder,” explains Jerry. “Hanging from a faith string from heaven is where we need to be. It is there that we can be liberated from the pressure of accomplishment and be free to serve God the best we can, today and tomorrow. It can never be about the vision. It has got to be about Christ.”