Retired missionary shows thanks by giving time to others

Flo McKinney, age 8, (in pigtails at right on front row) with her mother's church group in Zhengzhou, Henan province, 1940. Her parents, Maudie and Wilson Fielder, were missionaries to China from 1912 to 1950. She and her husband, L. G. McKinney, were missionaries in Hong Kong and Macau for 27 years. (Photo courtesy of Britt Towery)

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SAN ANGELO—Flo McKinney not only gives thanks daily. She shows thanks by giving time to other residents at Baptist Retirement Community.

McKinney, age 81, regularly escorts neighbors and friends to church, volunteers with the Baptist Retirement Community Auxiliary to help make the community a better place and performs other acts of kindness to continue a lifelong commitment to missionary service.

flo mcKinney200Flo McKinney, 81, shows thanks by giving time to help others at Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo.“I was born and raised in China, as my parents were missionaries there,” McKinney said.

“I left China at 17 to come back to the United States and go to college at Baylor University. My husband and I traveled back to China to serve as missionaries for 27 years.”

Helping other people and leading them to God became a way of life, she noted.

“We all have gifts and talents and use them in different ways. I enjoy using mine to bring a smile to someone’s face,” she said.

“I really enjoy visiting with people and volunteering with the Baptist Retirement Community Auxiliary. Currently, I am the chair of the semiannual bake sale. We are planning to use the proceeds to purchase a new bus to transport residents around town.”

McKinney enjoys sharing the joys of her life and her faith in God with others.

“I had a wonderful time in China,” McKinney said. “Hong Kong is such a vibrant place to live, and we enjoyed the international community of people who also called it home. My husband and I worked in Chinese churches and took the youth on sailing trips, where we educated them about God and his work.

“We came back to the United States when we were ready to retire and do something different with our lives. We lived in Houston for a little bit, but eventually came to San Angelo to be close to my brother and his family.

flo mckinney family300Flo McKinney, her parents and her brother enjoyed doing missionary work in Hong Kong.“Since we left a buzzing community in Hong Kong, it is fulfilling to live in a community where I can be equally as involved and enthusiastic about doing things for others. Having served God my entire life, I find it rewarding to escort my friends and neighbors to church every Sunday. I have so many reasons to be thankful.”

Since much of her family lives far away and they do not get to see each other on every holiday, they set aside time to Skype and chat over the phone. And part of that time is spent counting blessings.

“I am most thankful for my good health and the daily blessings I receive from God,” McKinney said. “More people should be thankful for the simpler things in life and get up ready to enjoy the day they have been given.

“We should be thankful for the good days and the bad days. The bad days make us even more thankful for the good ones. People who live life with a pessimistic outlook need to look beyond themselves and see how they can help others, look for the needs of others and work to help fulfill those needs. There is goodness not only in things, but also in people.”

Quinda Feil-Duncan, executive director at Baptist Retirement Community, considers McKinney an inspiration and a joy to other residents in the community.

“Her attitude and outlook on life is contagious. We are thankful for her and appreciate that she cares about and serves her neighbors in a special way,” she said.

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