Locals Become Missionaries To Ireland
Riley and Tara March were both “born and raised” in Ripley County but now find themselves raising their own family in Northern Ireland.
Riley felt the call to missions while attending Indiana Bible College. Before getting married, he told Tara (Slusher) about the call he felt on his life to make sure she would be willing to one-day raise a family in a foreign land while working for the Lord.
After a stint at college they moved back to Doniphan to raise a family. Flash forward 14 years and the March Gang now includes Peyton (11), Kirsten (7) and Simeon (4), but the conversations of “where and when” frequently came up as the couple continued to wait, year after year, for the “timing of God” to come.
Riley received the “where” during a Sectional Youth Rally held at West Point Pentecostal Church (Doniphan, Mo). While a guest missionary from Ireland, Rev. Terry McFarland, began sharing his personal testimony, Riley’s mission location was solidified as he later explained:
When he [Rev. McFarland] began speaking an uncommon anointing came over him and we could all feel it. In that moment God spoke to my heart. It was as if someone was standing behind me speaking directly into my ear. The voice said, this is where I’m sending you. I immediately felt a connection with Bro. McFarland even though I had never met him before, and I knew I was supposed to team up with him to reach the country of Ireland.
They took on this mission with an excitement and anticipation of all that God would accomplish. From the night of the rally, preparations began for the March family to move to Ireland and on September 22, this family of five left the United States.
It was spoken that Riley would be healed when he stepped on the plane to Ireland. Riley has been battling MS since December 2002 and during these past six years has had the many symptoms of the attacking disease including constant fatigue. Since reaching Ireland, he no longer has the fatigue that plagued him and he feels better than he has in months; this without any medications.
Riley has stated that Ireland is a lot like home, but much greener. They live in the country with cattle, farms, and tractors. When Simeon saw their tractors, he let everyone around him know that Pawpaw said green was bad, red was good. Not exactly what the Bible meant when it states “train up a child in the way he should go he will not depart from it” but it is good fodder for a family joke.
Being missionaries on the Associates in Missions (AIM) program, the March Gang’s monthly funding comes from individuals who either give a one time or monthly contribution. Those interested in giving a tax-deductible donation to The March Gang, you can send it to the following address: West Point UPC, Attn: Missions-Riley & Tara March, Rt. 1 Box 1105, Doniphan MO 63935. You can keep up with the Gang at the following web address: www.themarchgang.com.