God has given us an opportunity through Mackintyre for a very special blessing on our farm. For three years, Mackintyre asked for a church up on the hill behind our house on his grandpas farm. For 3 years, nearly every day, we said, "Ok, when you get a little bigger and can help build it, we will." My dad says every day now, "I should have built it for him then". We tell him that we did what every parent and grandparent would have. Most people just don't go out and begin construction on a church if their 6 year old asks for it. Mack remained determined through those 3 years to build his church. He converted his cabin in the back yard to a church. Mackintyres Church. He planned services and activities at his church. At only 4x8, the cabin would not hold many people. He would stand on the porch and sing, he would build crosses, plant flowers and he made an office. Complete with phone, satallite TV and electricity, he would sit in his chair and plan. The sky was the limit for Mack. He had big plans, brilliant dreams and relentless motivation to attain his goals. His strong will and passion for everything he did kept us all very busy around here. As we sat at Liberty Hospital that morning trying to reason with what had just happened, it became clear that we needed to finish Mackintyres plans. God was speaking in a clearer, louder voice. There was an overwhelming presence of something unusual with us that morning. Something you can not put into words for anyone else unless you have experienced it. I think there were several more people who felt it that morning besides my husband and myself. There were complete strangers that said there was something unusual they felt. Our initial plan was a small gazebo structure, open, with a bench or two. Over the next few hours, Mackintyres Church grew. My dads words were "the boy wanted a church, a real church and he will have it." The day Mackie died it rained inches and inches. The creek crossing washed out below the site where the church was to be built. It seemed like the rain would never end. Once it did end, a rainbow appeared. I have to say it was the biggest, brightest rainbow I have ever seen. It streteched from one end of our farm to the other. It was exactly over the top of my parents house. We had several visitors at our house at that time. We all stood in the driveway in awe. Little did I know, my friend Barb and her family were in Wichita, KS at the same time taking pictures of the same rainbow. I never knew you could see a rainbow in another state. People in Lathrop were taking pictures of "Mackies Rainbow". It seemed like a bigger than life statement that said "Hey, I'm OK, see? Here I am." We found comfort in that rainbow. It came a the perfect time. You could see it forever and it was beautiful.
As soon as the mud started drying up, our friend Larry came with a bobcat to put the creek crossing back in so we could get started on Mackintyres Church. Mackintyre had saved $1036.00 in his savings account to build his church. If a child of 9 can save that kind of money to build a church, that is what it should be spent on. We got through the visitation and service, made the plans to bring him home for his final resting place and started working. With our friends and family by our side, the construction began immediately. Here we are today with a church nearly finished. The church is in the exact place Mackie wanted it up on the hill, it resembles the church he built and finished the Monday before he died. What was supposed to be a birdhouse turned out to be the model that fashioned the real thing. Like the birdhouse, it was designed by Mackintyre. It will hold about 40 people, have a bright red roof, be a place of peace, solice, joy and music. Most of all, it will be a place for people to be close to God; A place of inspiration. What else do you do with a church in your pasture??? We ask God every day to keep us strong in faith, give us direction and use this church for his intended purpose. We hope to have a special service once a month on a Saturday or Sunday evening. We will have seasonal holiday services and music. A this point, until the construction is finished, those are the intended plans. It will grow as needed and we will just follow the need as it arises. We hope to do more things each year to serve others. The potential is unlimited and everything will fall into place one way or another. I won't deceive anyone by not admitting- I would give it all up to have my little Mackie back. He was our little shiny star. I know that's not possible and that he is in a better place with Jesus. We have two choices, take the high road or the low road. As easy as it would be to take the low road, that's not the right choice. Mackie wouldn't want that and most of all, that's obviously not what God wants. It is a struggle just to survive this every day, but as long as we are here on this earth, we shall keep making the best of it until this bad vacation is over and we go home. Home to our real home; our home with Jesus and Mackie.
Thank you to all who have made this dream for Mackie possible. I know there are who have helped in the background who's names I have not even been told. Most of all, Thank you to my parents, CK and Nancy McDill. They bought this farm 39 years ago. As a child, my brother and I ran the hills and creeks of this beautiful farm endlessly. Without my parents and their strong feelings about this farm and what it means to their family, Mackintyre would not have had the opportunity to run and play here as I did. Because of that, Mackintyre grew up right next door to his grandparents and took a million steps over this farm with them. He could tell you more about this land and layout than anyone other than his grandpa. It was my parents he first told of his dream to build his church on the hill. Many times while out riding, they would stop and envision and dream with him about his church. I'm not sure what my dad thought would become of his farm over the years as he started to slowly retire from the cattle, row cropping and logging. Little did he know....
* Construction of the frame began Saturday, October 4, 2008.
* November 1, 2008- The roof is started!!!!
* The roof is on, February 2, 2008!
* Main construction completed September 19, 2009.
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