“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28 (NIV)

 

We were stopped at the intersection of Spring Creek and Coit Blvd in Plano, TX on our way home.  How do you answer a question from your son about why his sister died a year ago in 2008? There are no words nor explanations that make sense to a 9-year-old, much less to his 46-year-old Dad or her Mom regarding the untimely death and homegoing of his sister.

But thankfully, God gave me a response. It wasn’t me speaking, it was God speaking through me. I shared with Gabriel about Marissa’s House:

“You know how Marissa said she wanted to become a missionary in Africa? Well, if she had lived, it probably would have been about 10 years from now before she was able to go because she would have had to finish High School and College, and maybe any additional time she needed to prepare prior to going…

…Well, perhaps God wanted the work that Marissa would have done with the kids to happen a lot sooner than that; perhaps He intended to have the children receive the help now, rather than 10 years down the road, through Marissa’s House.”  

My response surprised even me because it was one of the few reasons that made sense to me regarding the homegoing of Marissa. Her death facilitated the birth of a ministry of love, care and compassion to children in Jimma, Ethiopia, Kireka, Uganda and in the hearts of many people who have never met her but loved her because of what she wanted to become.

Today, May 27, 2018, marks the 10th anniversary of Marissa’s return to Heaven and the 10th anniversary of the birth of Marissa’s House Projects. The ministry that Marissa sparked in our hearts would not have been possible without the love of God, the tireless and fruitful efforts of her mom Leslie, the continued support of her brother Gabriel and the countless prayers and contributions of hundreds of friends over the past decade.

What follows are a few pictures of what Marissa envisioned and the ministry that God had in mind when He thought of her homecoming.

My thanks go out to Pastor John and Pauline, Pastor Sisay, Samson, Brad, Andy, Ty, Sharon, Arch, Thomas, Sheila, Cathy B, Amy and Elyssa, Bruce, Jon, Amy, Mia, the Pastors of River of Life, Prestonwood Baptist, Legacy Church, and many, many more of you for your support, encouragement, love and prayers in helping Marissa’s vision become a reality.

Thank you sweetie for helping us to help the children you love; we love and miss you and can’t wait to see you again!

Marissa’s House, Ethiopia (2011)

 

 

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Hope for New Life Church Dedication – Lower level of Marissa’s House, Uganda (2012)

 

 

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Marissa’s House Orphanage, Uganda (2012)

 

 

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Marissa’s House, Uganda (2013)

 

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Marissa’s House, Water Well (2013)

 

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Marissa’s House, Uganda (2018) 

 

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Marissa McGill (1994 – 2008)

 

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About Dr Ken McGill

Dr. Ken McGill is an ordained minister and has been involved in counseling for more than 25 years. Dr. McGill holds a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Pacific Christian College (now Hope International University), a Certificate of Completion in the Alcohol and Drug Studies/Counseling Program from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Dr. McGill received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Family Psychology from Azusa Pacific University in May, 2003. Dr. McGill's dissertation focused on the development of an integrated treatment program for the sexually addicted homeless population, and Ken was "personally mentored" by dissertation committee member Dr. Patrick Carnes, a pioneer in the field of sex addiction work. Dr. McGill authored a chapter in the text The Clinical Management of Sex Addiction, with his chapter addressing the homeless and sex addiction. Dr. McGill is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the States of Texas and California and Mississippi, and is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, through the International Institute for Trauma and Addictive Professionals (IITAP). Dr. McGill had a private practice in Glendora, CA (Aspen Counseling Center), Inglewood, CA (Faithful Central Bible Church), and Hattiesburg, MS (River of Life Church), specializing in the following areas with individuals, couples, families, groups and psychoeducational training: addictions and recovery, pre-marital, marital and family counseling, issues related to traumatization and abuse, as well as depression, grief, loss, anger management and men's and women's issues. Dr. McGill also provided psychotherapeutic treatment with Student-Athletes on the University of Southern Mississippi Football and Men's Basketball teams. Dr. McGill served as the Director of the Gentle Path Program, which is a seven-week residential program, for people who are challenged with sexual addiction, sexual anorexia, and relationship issues. Dr. McGill also supervised Doctoral students in the Southern Mississippi Psychology Internship Consortium with the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. McGill was inducted into the Azusa Pacific University Academic Hall of Honor, School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, in October, 2010. Dr. McGill currently works as a Private practice clinician with an office in Plano, Texas, providing treatment with people who are challenged in the areas mentioned above.

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