HAMPTON, Va., Aug. 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- A Chesapeake, Va., teen's decision one-and-a-half years ago to forsake a traditional "sweet 16" birthday party enabled her to fully fund the construction of a $30,000 church-orphanage in Kenya, providing much needed food, shelter, clothing and education for approximately 50 orphans in that country. Instead of presents, Megan MacDonald, age 18, requested party guests donate to the construction project which was overseen by Hampton, Va.,-based International Cooperating Ministries (ICM). MacDonald and her parents visited the facility in January for the dedication.
MacDonald said she was deeply moved when she visited the African church-orphanage. "When we drove up to the church, I was blown away by the size, and all the time and effort put into it. It was evident that people really put their heart and soul into this project. And when I saw the orphans, my heart just broke. It was difficult not to cry and not want to take all of them back."
She initially raised money to construct an orphanage in India, costing $7,000. However, when she turned in $4,000 for that project, ICM founder Dois Rosser presented a greater need. He showed her a picture of an African child. "I suddenly began to weep," MacDonald said, "and I realized that God was calling me to Africa -- and not only that, but Kenya, Africa." At that point she and her family made the commitment to raise the additional $26,000 for the African church-orphanage.
Along the way, MacDonald received help, encouragement, vision and motivation from her friends and family. }One verse that has really gotten me though this process is Colossians 1:27. It says, 'Christ in you is the hope of glory.' Just that thought -- you are the hope of glory for somebody, for somebody else -- all it takes is faith and persistence, and God can do anything through you. It's amazing what God can do through anybody, as long as you have the faith and are willing to do what He asks."
Some of MacDonald's friends were inspired by her actions. "... They started volunteering. They started helping out with other things. And it's really cool to see how one little thing can change a group of people. I think God has called us to great things, every one of us. And whether it be doing something in your community or doing something overseas, I definitely think that God can work through you in any way."
To learn more about MacDonald's experience, see pictures of her trip, watch a video interview, ask her a question, or learn more about ICM's work in Africa visit her page on ICM's Web site.
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