Q. Who is Cindy McInnis?
First and foremost, I am a follower of Christ who is thrilled with the opportunities that He has provided for me. I met my husband, Jay, while we were students at North Carolina State University, and we have two daughters and two dogs. For the past 17 years, I have taught biology and chemistry at North Raleigh Christian Academy in Raleigh, NC. Most of my time is spent at school or on the sidelines of soccer games, swim meets, softball games, or dance/drama performances.
Q. Is there a verse you find particularly significant to this stage of your life? When did this verse become important?
During my college years, God used Psalm 37: 4-5 to be an encouragement to me. That encouragement continues to this day.
“Delight thyself also in the Lord: and He shall give you the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” For me, these verses encourage me to delight myself in God, which means spending time in prayer and in His word. When I can accomplish that, He will place desires in my heart that He will fulfill in His perfect timing. In other words, His desires for me become mine, rather than mine becoming His.
Q. Why World Hope?
A colleague of mine approached me about the need at Hope Senior School for a science lab. He asked if I would be willing to help. My initial reaction was that I could assist, as I had done previously with schools in Ethiopia, by providing equipment through a third party. Honestly, I was not really too excited about visiting the slums of Kenya. In addition, I did not want to travel alone. God quickly provided a dear colleague, Suzanne, who was eager to go with me. She started the library for the senior school.
Q. What is your experience in missions both with and without World Hope?
Teaching in a Christian school is my daily mission work. Not all my students are saved and others struggle with their daily walk. I love the personal interactions with students that come about during teaching. What a joy it is to talk about the attributes of our Creator as I unravel many of the details of His creation for my students!
In the past, I have taught Sunday school, volunteered during VBS, and been involved with mission opportunities through Intervarsity Fellowship in college. However, my trip with World Hope was my first time out of the country on a week dedicated to missions.
Q. What unique quality did you bring to your trip? Or what did you hope to bring?
The focus of my first trip with World Hope was to establish a science lab for the senior school. Much to my amazement, within about 4 months of committing to the trip, God provided the funds for my trip as well as about $8,000.00 for supplies. After the funds arrived, I began to worry about how to get the supplies that were needed. God had that worked out as well! Through a combination of taking some things in our luggage and getting other items in country, God provided all that was needed (even down to the pelican cases needed to take the supplies). Nothing was lost during travel, and God provided for every need.
God allowed me to go back this year. During the trip this year, physics supplies were donated, such as a sink and a water storage tank that was put in place for the lab. Supplies were also donated to the teachers, and I got the opportunity to teach and do lab activities with all the senior school students. In addition, I provided some tools for the teachers for practical Biblical integration in the classroom from training I received at my school.
Q. What has been your most meaningful moment on a missions trip, or with World Hope in general?
There is not one moment that sticks out above all others. What I realized during my trip was that God has His hand on every aspect of Hope Academy and Church. I stood amazed at how every little detail was taken care of by God. The science lab was provided in spite of me, not because of me. God allowed me to be the conduit through which the supplies and blessings were given. I will forever be grateful to Him for that!
Q. How did your idea(s) of what a mission trip would be like differ from the reality of going on one?
In the past, I always thought that a mission trip was solely for witnessing about Christ. My trip was more about being used by God to provide for the specific needs of His children so that they can learn more about His creation and use their knowledge to further His work in their lives. It was also about trying to be an encouragement to the precious teachers who minister to the needs of the students of Hope Academy and Senior School on a daily basis. I cannot really express how thrilling it is for God to use the talents He has given you to bless others in His kingdom! I never thought that my love of teaching science would be beneficial on the mission field.
Q. Describe a memorable relationship formed on a trip or with World Hope?
This year my relationships with the students and staff at the senior school grew stronger. The exciting thing is that the communication continues through email and Facebook. I am so excited to see pictures from the first graduation next year and hear stories from the students as they take the next step in their lives.
In addition, my love of the staff at World Hope, as well as other travelers, continues to grow. I am so impressed with their dedication to this ministry and how the ministry is run.
Q. What are your next steps? How has your life changed since traveling with World Hope?
My prayer is that I can take some of my students with me on my next trip to Kenya. I would love for our school to have a sister school relationship with Hope Academy and Senior School. In addition, my prayer is that the Lord would open up the opportunity for me to help other schools in much the same manner.
Since traveling with World Hope, my perspective has changed. Many of my problems seem trivial compared to those living in a third world country. In addition, God used this trip in my life to remind me that He is in control and will handle any issue that arises as long as I seek guidance from Him.