Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Nancy Fortuna and Steve McAvoy
After graduation 1960, Steve had back surgery which took a year to recover. Therefore we had to wait to get married until April 8th, 1961 at Lake Grove Presbyterian Church in Lake Grove. After we married we lived in Lake Oswego and then we moved into government housing in Oregon City. We lived there until 1972 when we were able to buy some property on the Tualatin River. Our first child Marc Steve was born 1962, then came Callie Lyn 1963 and Last Daniel Wick 1967.
Steve worked as a Longshoreman on the Portland waterfront. Nancy did odd jobs like ironing and baby sitting. In building a home on the river we lived in the basement and worked on the upstairs. We lived there until……
During this period of our married lives we had the usual and unusual stresses and strains. In the midst of all this Nancy heard the gospel from a teaching leader in Bible Study Fellowship, in 1968. She came to faith and accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior going forward at a Billy Graham Crusade held in Portland at that time.
(Article from Decision Magazine)
Where are they now?
The Story of Nancy L. McAvoy
About twenty years ago in West Linn, Oregon, I married directly of high school to get away from a bad home situation. Then within the next tow years two children came along. I felt trapped, hopelessly depressed and discouraged. There I was—21 years old, married, with two babies, and nothing to live for. I had thought it would be adventure and excitement; instead I saw our marriage being torn apart by selfishness and immaturity. Then my mother died in a car accident, and the question of life and death really hit me. I had always believed in God, but he seemed so very far away. With the death of my mother I began searching and the love of God began drawing.
I started my search in a nearby church. A dear woman saw my spiritual hunger and took me to a Bible study. By this time I had three children under the age of five years. Then this woman whose name was Joy, told me about the coming Billy Graham Crusade at Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon, and that one of the Crusade staff was arriving in town before the actual Crusade was held.
One morning Joy picked me up and took me to hear one of the most powerful women speakers I have ever heard, Millie Dienert. I was impressed and deeply touched.
When the Crusade began in May, 1968, I was eager to attend. I left my children at home with my husband’s mother, and on one of the wettest, most miserable days in Oregon history, I picked up my great-grandmother and we went off to hear Billy Graham.
I was overwhelmed and awestruck by the crowd of people. Before I knew it, the choir had started singing “Just As I Am.” I struggled to get my shoes back on (I had slipped them off for comfort) and walked down the steps toward the platform. I saw many others joining me. I was warm, I felt I belonged, and I believed what Billy Graham said. I saw myself for what I really was, a sinner. It wasn’t my husband’s fault because of his drinking, it wasn’t my parent’s fault, and it wasn’t the community’s fault that I was a sinner. I knew I must publicly accept Jesus and what he had done for me on the cross.
My conversion was just one of the many in a long line. A year later my son, Marc, age eight, and my daughter, Callie, age seven, came to know Christ as their personal Savior while I was have nightly devotions with them. Then a miracle happened, which will always hold its glow—my husband, an alcoholic, accepted Christ in a home Bible Study.
Shortly after that my husband’s family gave their lives to Christ, and later my own brother and his wife and children joined them. Then my husband’s brother, who was in prison, also came to faith, and our youngest son, Danny, age 5, came to know the Lord as I shared the “Wordless Book” with him. What a chain reaction it was!
My husband, Steve, attended Multnomah School of the Bible for three years and then was accepted at Dallas Theological Seminary. We are in our last year of working toward a doctorate, as Steve feels called to teach. Our desire especially leans toward teaching in a Bible college or seminary. We have also been pasturing a small church in Arlington, Texas.
Our two oldest children have started their first year at Multnomah School of the Bible, and our youngest son continues to grow spiritually. As for me, God placed me in a Christian bookshop in Dallas, Texas, so that I could help my husband get through seminary. In this position I have been able to encourage many other wives to continue in their faith.
I stand amazed at God’s goodness, his patience and his unconditional love. One pebble dropped into a pool became a widening circle of love taking in more and more people.
(1981 Nancy L. McAvoy)
Steve went on to finish his doctorate from Dallas Theology Seminary.
We moved back to Oregon and located a place to rent in NE Portland while the children finished up at Multnomah Bible College and Warner Pacific.
Our oldest son Marc was sent to France to play pro ball with a small church mission. He was there 3 years. He came home and married Susie Milliken and has 3 children. Marc is now the head of the French Department in Kaiser, Oregon. He also coaches ball.
Dan married Patti Oster and became a fire man in Coos Bay, Oregon and the have 3 children.
Callie married and had two girls.
While children finished college and got married Steve continued to work on the Portland waterfront as a longshoreman…..driving crane.
We moved to from NE Portland and began building a home in SW Portland and have lived there for the last 20 years.
After we became involved in a local church we began, The Institute for Biblical Studies, using this church as a home base to teach people in the evening. This Institute continued for 7 years and sent out a pair of missionaries. Also during this time Steve began his writing career.
Steve continues to write and Nancy is involved in Bible Study Fellowship.