A 'God wink' may have linked two GA families together with a powerful message on healing and addiction

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Friday, August 02, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

The land of Bobby McKinney will now be used for an addiction recovery center and marriage counseling area. (Source: WRDW)

MCCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. -- (WRDW/WAGT) -- A local businessman bought land in McCormick County to build a recovery center and marriage retreat to help people in our area struggling with addiction.

The family who sold him the land had no idea. Saying goodbye to the land was actually saying hello to healing.

“We lived here 52 years,” Betty McKinney said. “Both of our children married and left here. All of our grandchildren came here.”

A lot of life happened under the towering pines that dotted the landscape of the McKinney’s 150 acres of land.

“This was daddy’s life blood,” Mark McKinney said. “He poured himself into the land.”

The problem was the pouring didn't end when the sun set each day. Mark's dad lost a battle with alcohol addiction.

“They told him, if you drink, you will die,” Betty McKinney said. “And he said, ‘I don't like that doctor.’ And, I said, ‘I bet you don't.’”

Bobby McKinney died at 62. The years passed, but letting go of the land felt like letting go of him.

“It just got to be more than I could do,” Betty said.

They took the property on and off the market and said no to a lot of tempting offers that didn't feel right.

“Yeah, I was stubborn about it, but I knew what I wanted,” she said.

But a new buyer slipped in at the 9th hour, offering them everything they wanted.

“In that whole process, we began to wonder, what is he going to do with the property? We didn't really have a right to ask that. If he's buying it, he can do whatever he wants to,” McKinney said.

After the closing, Mark asked what would become of their family's land.

“First thing he led with, I'm a recovering addict,” McKinney said. “And I got a little tear in my eye. He said, ‘I've battled addiction for years, and I want to do something to help others with addiction.’”

A couple of years back, Will Dalzell says he woke up with a vision clear as can be. He began sketching a concept drawing just as he says God laid on his heart.

“A place that would help, a long-term recovery center for men, and a marriage retreat center for struggling marriages,” Dalzell said.

He saw the McKinney's for sale sign on the same day another land deal nearby fell through.

“Sign said three ponds, which was exactly the vision God had given me it had three ponds,” Dalzell said.

Some would call it coincidence. Mark called it a God wink.

“The property my daddy put so much into, that he lost his life as a result of years of addiction with alcohol, to know this dirt and these trees are going to help sort of resurrect people's lives,” McKinney said. “I cried. I thought God has a plan for all of us. This is what this is here for. This is the ultimate.”

Where there's a 'Will' there's a way, and Will Dalzell is hoping to prove that to a lot of lost souls.

For more information on the McKinney family’s story and journey to healing: https://redemption-press.com/shop/faith-sticky-note/

For more information on how to be a part of Gamechangers:
https://gamechangersfoundationsc.org/

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