Hello everyone! My name is April McTague. I am a new contributor for the BMW. This is my first year as a blogger and I am enjoying it very much! I am very excited to be a part of the BMW blogger team. What a blessing to be surrounded by so many wonderful ladies.
I wanted to start this first week giving a little introduction to who I am. I was raised in a Christian home. I was born in Illinois and raised there for 11 years of my life. I will always have fond feelings for the land of corn and red barns. I never have the same homey feeling as I do when dusk comes early and we are all at home making dinner as it did many a day in Washington Illinois. And who could forget the normal occurance of being stuck behind a tractor as your rush to school.
As a 7th grader my family and I moved to Jacksonville, AR. My Midwestern mind couldn't decode the southern dialect for a time. "Neked, taters and maters" were all new words in my vocabulary. But it didn't take too long till I could draw out those syllables with the best of them.
However if you ask my husband my Illinois accent lingers. You may think Illinois has an accent? I thought the same till I crossed the border on deputation and immediately I was talking about "pyasters so-and-so". My husband blinked a few times and said, "What are you doing?" I didn't hear it or even realize it had happened but I guess the ole Illinois blood will not be denied.
I was raised in a Christian home but I wasn't a true Christian myself until I was 16 years old. I made a profession as a child that I didn't recall and another as a 10 year old who was scared and confused but as my teen years progressed I was more confused then ever. There was many a night you would find me scared in my bed repeating the salvation prayer for a "just in case" prayer. I knew I believed the plan of salvation, I knew I had said all the right words but still heavy doubts lingered. Why? I wished I knew. But just as Christ will always faithful do, He made himself clear to someone who was sincerely searching. As I was listening to a sermon tape at home one night the pastor began to talk about how we need to have remorse for our sin to be saved. It clicked! I knew all the doctrinal truth but I had never seen myself truly as a hell-deserving sinner. After a few agonizing days of fear and pride I accepted Christ. Peace that Christ promises filled my soul that has never left. Something that fuels me as we seek to share the gospel with those who have no peace.
After graduation I enrolled in Bethel Baptist College, a ministry of our home church. I was 17. Young and in no hurry to rush through life! But as He normally does God had different BETTER plans. A certain 21 yr old junior also had different plans:). I put up a noble fight but y'all he gave me chocolate. That was pretty much the end of that. We dated for a year before we became engaged.
About three months later he came home from a preachers conference with a tentative smile and lots of pictures. As he flashed through a bunch of pics he kept stalling on one photo that seemed to have no importance. Boy did I not know how that photo would change my life. After much hesitation, he told me the meaning of the photo. It was him kneeling at the altar with a group of others surrendering their lives to missions. SHOCK, could not describe my reaction but I smiled sweetly and said some pleasantry I can't recall. This however began a few weeks of turmoil in my heart.
As a teenager I had surrendered my life to Christ and I had meant it but I didn't foresee it going down like this. My heart and mind were a muddled mess of confusion. "Why hadn't God impressed this on my heart?" , "Was Cory making a mistake?", "I can't possibly be happy as a missionary!!". One truth that kept me searching for an answer was I knew with my whole being Cory was the one God made for me. But how did this happen? Wasn't I supposed to have some fore-warning, calling, heart-burn, something?! All I had was anxiety. Until on a short family vacation I sat in my grandmas church in Springfield, MO. The preacher spoke about Jonah and how he fought Gods will. How he eventually did what GOD had asked but only after sludging out of the belly of a whale covered in vomit. I realized then, I was scared, uncertain and anxious but I knew it was what God had for my life and I could do it willingly or covered in "vomit". Turned out in that light it was an easy choice:)
As I look back I can see it was the first time God had ever asked something of me I didn't really want to do and didn't fore-see any chance of happiness. This taught me one of the greatest lessons of my life.
Happiness is not something you receive from seeking it but a gift you receive for obedience to Christ.
Christ does not desire our life to be a drudgery filled with anguish and heartache. He has plans for us that far exceed any plans we could make for ourselves. However these can only be realized by taking his hand in faith when he whispers, "Come". When all you see is unanswered questions, say yes. When all you see is discomfort and sadness, say yes. When all you see is a blank slate that scares your organized mind to death, say yes. When your flesh fights like a lion, SAY YES! For only through saying yes will you see the multitudes of blessing the Master has in store.
We were married that July and haven't looked back. We enjoyed a brief internship and a whirlwind deputation with just the two of us. We left for the mission field may of 2009. It has been an unforgettable adventure every step of the way.
Our children have had their first passport before they could sleep through the night and flown through more countries by 6 months then most in their whole lifetimes.
They have fallen in love with the land they call home and been spoiled by all around them.
This year we will celebrate our churches fifth anniversary. Himal Baptist Church is a blessing and in a city that is 99% Hindu or Buddhist, a miracle authored by God alone.
Lives have been changed, souls saved and a little corner of heavenly bliss created in a land of unbelievers.
We have made three different prayer cards as our family has grown.
We have found happiness isn't the address of your Home but of your heart. The Lord has filled our home and church with happiness and blessings. He has blessed us with two wonderful children and a happy marriage.
Things that money, toys or success can not give.
Every step hasn't been easy and some only made possible by the sovereign hand of God by our side and a faith he has continued to build that he always has our best interest at heart. Anyone who has seen a rainbow know it always fills your souls with a sense of peace and trust in the sovereignty of God. This is a double rainbow we were blessed to see one day outside our house. It serves to remind us Gods peace and sovereignty is felt all around the globe and everywhere a Christians feet may trod.
This is my story and I look forward to sharing many more along the way.
Wherever you may be never fear to trust Christ and follow wherever he may lead. Happiness is always on the other side of obedience.
Cory, April, Savannah & Marcus