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By Vince McCarty
Executive Director of Open Bible Global Missions

Sometimes we can’t even imagine how making a seemingly inconsequential decision or taking one particular trip overseas will affect our lives in the long run. Our journey started back in the summer of 1982 when three missions majors attending Open Bible College, Vince and Lois McCarty and Tammy Swailes, drove from Iowa to Miami, Florida, to begin a missions internship with Open Bible Churches in Jamaica.

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Tammy Swailes with a friend in front of the Kingston Church (1982).

Pastors José and María Vera, who then were pastors of Open Bible Temple in Miami, Florida, permitted us to park our vehicle in their church parking lot for the three months we were gone ministering in Jamaica. Former Missionaries Ivan and Kaye Morton, who had served as missionaries in Jamaica for ten years from 1949 to 1959, took us to the airport in Miami for our flight to Kingston, Jamaica.

Arthur Dunk, the Jamaica Open Bible field director, placed Tammy Swailes mostly in the Kingston area of the island, and Lois and I were sent to visit several of our Open Bible churches around the island. During our internship in Jamaica we preached to children, youth, and adults. We helped with street evangelism and ministered at the boys’ home founded by Pastors Cedric and Ida Lue. Our time in Jamaica was incredible as we fell in love with the people, the culture, the food, and the Open Bible family there. It was during that time that God showed Lois and me that God was indeed calling us to serve Him on the mission field. We returned home to finish our last year of Bible college.

Vince and Lois meet with Arthur Dunk, the Jamaican Open Bible field director, in 1982.

Vince and Lois meet with Arthur Dunk, the Jamaican Open Bible field director, in 1982.

Of course, God did confirm His word to us. Between ministries in Spain and Argentina, Lois and I spent twelve years on the mission field. Since that time the passion we carry for missions hasn’t vacillated but has become stronger with every passing year. Tammy Swailes went on to serve as a missionary in Japan for six years. After serving at Turning Point Open Bible Church in Spokane for a few years, she returned to the mission field in 1999 when she was appointed to serve in Eastern Europe. She presently lives in Ukraine serving as the European Director of Inste Global Bible College.

Some 36 years later, this past March, the Lord permitted Lois and me to return to Jamaica. We were thrilled to return to the birthplace of the spark that started our missionary journeys. We brought with us the entire Global Missions Board and some of their spouses.

While there the Global Missions Board met with the National Board of Open Bible Churches of Jamaica to see how we could partner together in future missions endeavors. The Lord’s presence was powerful during this meeting.

We were treated to amazing stories of God’s faithfulness and learned that He is raising up brave and fearless men and women in Jamaica to carry the gospel everywhere

– even to places where the policemen don’t want to go. Jamaica now boasts 53 Open Bible churches, and soon you will hear more about our combined ministry endeavors.

It was encouraging to see that the fervor and passion for the gospel hasn’t decreased but instead has increased throughout all these years. Lois and I thanked the National Board of Open Bible Churches of Jamaica for allowing us to come so many years ago because Jamaica was a “divinely appointed” trip that forever changed our lives.

I encourage you to send your young people on missions trips and see how their lives can be transformed.

The Open Bible Church in Kingston, Jamaica. The "mother" Open Bible church in Jamaica, it has about 2,000 members.

The Open Bible Church in Kingston, Jamaica. The “mother” Open Bible church in Jamaica, it has about 2,000 members.

About The Author

Vince McCarty

Vince enjoys serving the Lord in the area of his gifts and talents as he gives oversight to Open Bible’s work in 44 countries of the world. He and Lois, his wife, have been ministering in missions for over 30 years and enjoy seeing the great things God is doing through Open Bible’s missionaries, field directors, pastors, and leaders. Remember: “The Great Commission is too big for anyone to accomplish alone and too important not to try to do together.”