“My real heart’s desire for this place is that we have a first rate science program in [the] context of this faith community … “
Dr. Bill (76) and Marsha McCoy (76) light up the room when they enter. Their smiles are contagious as they discuss how this very room in the Rohr Science Building may have been the one they met in years ago. Their joy and laughter continues to permeate the building as they begin to discuss God’s work in and through their lives.
Bill and Marsha have served as medical missionaries for three decades. They have grown through many challenging and exciting experiences together, which have made for a rich history.
Both began at Pasadena College in 1972 and first met in an invertebrate zoology class. After graduating, they were married in 1976 and that same year, Bill began medical school at UCSD.
Bill went on to Oral Roberts University for residency training and he sensed a call to medical missions one year later. Marsha had always been open to missionary work, so when Bill felt this calling, they left hand-in-hand to serve overseas at Raleigh Fitkin Memorial (RFM) Hospital in Swaziland.
Medicine outside of the U.S. was very different though and Bill quickly recognized his limitations. In the first few months, he became overwhelmed and experienced feelings of regret. He and Marsha had only been in Africa for three months and already he wanted to leave. When Bill realized he had contracted hepatitis, he had no choice but to turn to God, and through grace was given a shift in his perspective.
“The Lord spoke to my heart,” Bill said. “This never was about my adequacy. All the time I was in America doing my thing, whether [it was] college or medical school or training beyond that, God had been shouldering the burden of Africa. God said, ‘Yeah, it is too much for you. But it’s not too much for me.’”
Bill had seen a very strong image of Christ, standing at the hospital bedside, and that was where he wanted to be. God was simply inviting Bill to take part in His work.
From 1985-1993, Bill and Marsha ministered in Swaziland. Afterward, they came back to the U.S. and stayed for three years. In 1996, the Church of the Nazarene had a need for them in Papua New Guinea, where they decided to stay for 18 years, and recently returned to stay for another two years.
God continues to invite PLNU alums and students to take part in His work, through healing and redeeming His children all over the world, and the new science facility will help to equip and prepare those who are called to science-related fields.
“My real heart’s desire for this place is that we have a first rate science program in [the] context of this faith community because we are more than science, and we all know that,” Bill said. “I’m excited that we have a strong science program in a community of faith and I think that is what will impact our world.”
“That’s what I think is so valuable about PLNU,” he said. “It’s the academic environment, and it’s the spiritual environment, and it’s everything else we value in this community that is going to make the science department transformational in the days ahead.”
To give to the science campaign, please go to http://sciencecampaign.pointloma.edu/.
All photos and video by Drew Renaud.