Missionary profile: Barry and Charlie Carney

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Barry Carney and Charlie Carney serve in Paraguay and Bolivia, in the South America Region, doing church leadership and development, JESUS Film ministry and finances. They went on contract on June 1, 2011. Previously they have worked in Argentina (2001-2006) and the Border Initiative project on the border of Mexico (2006-2007).

They have three children: Andrew (18), Alex (16), and Alyssa (13).

Engage: How did you first recognize God’s call to be involved in missions?

Carney: We have both always had a passion for missions and grew up with parents or grandparents that were missionaries.  We had no idea it was God's plan for us until a time in our lives when we really felt him shaking and moving things in our lives.  As we sought His direction and prayed through that time, it became very clear to us that He wanted us to commit our lives to full time missions.

Engage: What is your favorite aspect of what you do in your present assignment? 

Carney: We are just getting to the field so that we don't have current stories to illustrate, but the thing we enjoy more than anything is building relationships with the local people and discipleship.

Engage:  What are some of the challenges that you face in carrying out your work? 

Carney: Honestly, we do not know what challenges will be difficult since we have just arrived, but breaking down cultural barriers (integrating into their culture) and building trust are things that are very important to us.

Engage: Please share a story of a significant event or moment that has happened in your current assignment.

Carney: We have only been here for a week and feel a tremendous amount of peace that we are in the center of God's will. We have felt His presence as we have begun the process of building relationships with the people and can sense all the ways in which He has prepared the way for us to be here. I cannot say one particular event or moment, but there is no denying the power of His presence and moving of His Spirit. I cannot wait to see what He has in store.

Engage: How do you maintain a close relationship with God and your family, in the midst of the demands of missionary service?

Carney: Personal devotions, family devotions and times together, and respecting the Sabbath.

Engage: What are the rewards of what you do?

Carney: God's favor and the honor of seeing all that He is able to do when we surrender to His will in obedience.

Engage: What are some aspects of the culture where you live that you have come to love or embrace?

Carney: The people are very event and family oriented. I think it is so important that we take time to let the people we are with know how important our relationship with them is. We often fill our schedules so full that we forget to take time to really care about each other and we just rush from one thing to the next. Also, love the food!

Engage: What do you like to do for fun?

Carney: Spend time together as a family, get together with friends, and explore.

Engage: What advice would you have for others exploring a possible call to missions, or embarking on their first missionary assignment?

Carney: Allow God to work in His timing; it's always perfect. Don't shy away from a call because of fear or a feeling of inadequacy; remember, He will always guide you and give you the strengths you need for Him to accomplish His will through you. Also, remember that God is already at work where He sends you. Never stop seeking daily for His guidance and how He wants to use you; be flexible, and embrace the culture where He sends you.