Friday, January 30, 2009

Marissa's House

I have long thought that we under-challenge and under-appreciate our teenagers. E.g., I have read that most of the hugely significant culture-changing movements of God began with young people. How arrogant my generation is to view teenagers as totally clueless, inept at life, and always focused on insignificant trivia...*sigh*

Here's what prompts this post. Tomorrow, PCS--the school my children attend(ed)--plays 4 basketball games. JV girls & boys, Varsity girls & boys. So what, you ask?? Here's the answer: the games & festivities accompanying are a fundraiser. So what again?? Don't all schools have fundraisers? Absolutely! But this particular fundraiser is a bit different. It's a fund-raiser to build something. Well, don't all schools raise funds to build? Yep. But this one is raising funds to build an orphanage. In Ethopia.

It's called "Marissa's House." The afternoon's games & festivities are called "Raising the Roof on Marissa's House."

I knew Marissa McGill. An absolutely delightful young lady, age 13. Always smiling. Loved by all. One of those who brightened up a room just by entering it. A close follower of Christ, who took her faith very seriously. Marissa was very interested in and concerned about the many orphans in the world, and in her case, especially the ones in Africa. She had apparently already decided to be a missionary to Africa when she grew up.

Tragically, Marissa was killed in a car accident last summer just after the school year ended. But as in my favorite movie scene (at the end of "The Last Samurai"), I will not focus here on how she died. I will tell you how she LIVED! And believe me, she lived very, very well in her 13 short years.

So, as a tribute to Marissa's life & faith, her parents are raising funds to build an orphanage in Ethopia. Marissa's House.

The fundraiser? Yeah...that's a few different student groups banding together to raise funds & give of their time & money toward seeing Marissa's House become reality. Teenagers, honoring their absent friend and her dream. And in the process, changing present reality for (ultimately) a hundred or so orphan girls in Ethopia.

I'm picking up my t-shirt shortly. I love me some PCS basketball. But tomorrow's games will be almost secondary to me. I'll be picturing this gorgeous, friendly, athletic, competitive, godly young lady who played for the jv girls last year, and who is now living her ultimate dream in glory. I'll also be picturing a bunch of Ethopian children & widows whose lives & living spaces will be vastly improved one day in the near future, all because of the passions of a teenaged girl. And the impact she had on her friends...and teachers...all of whom will be honoring her life by helping build an orphanage in a distant country.

Still think teenagers are clueless, hormone-addled morons? Then come join me @ the PCS games tomorrow afternoon and just watch...

I usually don't cry at high school basketball games. Tomorrow, I 'spect I'll have to make an exception to that, especially when the jv girls come out of the locker room.

Perhaps one day we'll stop under-estimating & under-challenging our teenagers. Personally, I'd love to see my generation have this same type of passion for the Lord and therefore for His children here on earth.

Thanks, Marissa. Can't wait to see your smile again. This world is better because you were in it.


p.s. - please pray for Ken & Leslie, Marissa's parents. Mercifully, I cannot even imagine their pain these past months. Ultimately, they're fine; but this year of "firsts" is rough. Also, please pray for Gabriel, Marissa's younger brother. This is truly an outstanding family.

>>>Marissa's House Information - CLICK HERE<<<
(note: at the bottom of the home page there's a picture of several folks. Gabriel is on the left, Mom Leslie is next to him, and Dad Ken is on the far right.)

p.s. - Want to be a financial part of building Marissa's House?
Please mail contributions to:
My House Ministries, Inc., Donations
604 Kings Lake Drive
McKinney, TX 75070
** Note on the donation that is for "Marissa's House" **


Ken said...

Written by one of the coolest people I know -- thank you Mr. Madaris for your truthful and Godly wisdom and your love for Marissa. You are in our prayers always. - Leslie McGill

Amanda said...

I did not know Marissa. However, I have come to know her father. He has been a huge blessing in my life. My husband and I have had some serious turbular moments to which our marriage has suffered severly.

Because of Dr. Ken, we are on a road to recovery.

I see now that not only is he a cherished asset to this world, but his daughter was as well. What an amazing young lady!!

I pray for success with Marissa's House. And, I too will do all that I can to help. I will forward her website link to everyone I know.

Thanks so much for sharing this story.