Donald's Story: A journey of faith and discovery
This story was first published in the Spring 2012 issue of Sunshine magazine.
Donald comes from a large family. However, his parents were not around, leaving his grandmother to raise him and his siblings. It became too difficult for her and she sought help for her grandchildren.
“I came to Methodist Children’s Home because I had no other place to go,” said Donald, a resident on the Waxahachie campus.
Struggling with the change and trying to find a place where he belonged, Donald began attending youth activities at First United Methodist Church of Waxahachie as a way to occupy his time. That’s where he met Amanda Sargent, director of children’s and youth ministries at the church.
MCH has a partnership with First UMC to provide religious services and activities for youth on its Waxahachie campus. The church recognizes MCH youth as members of their congregation.
“In a time of need, Amanda was there,” Donald said. “She recognized that I was looking for healing and she took me under her wing. She’s been a great role model for me.”
During the last two years, Donald has grown closer to God and built a strong friendship with Amanda.
“Donald is an extraordinary guy,” Sargent said. “He has the ability to hear God and act on what he hears.”
Through his growing relationship with God, Donald has discovered that he is where God wants him to be.
“I feel like God led me to this place to draw others to Him,” Donald said. “Since I began attending church and youth group, I’ve been working to become the person God wants me to be.”
Donald has taken advantage of many opportunities offered by the church to grow as a Christian. He is involved in youth group, mission trips and a homeless ministry. He recently attended a national discipleship conference for youth.
“During the retreat I felt called to the front to praise God,” Donald said. “It hit home that I should be doing that every day of my life.”
Donald enjoys his involvement in the church, and he said it’s not about just occupying his time anymore.
“I wanted to be baptized so the Holy Spirit could make me a new person,” Donald said. “Now I pray every night that God heals me and molds me.”
As a sophomore at the Southwest Charter School on the Waxahachie campus, Donald is beginning to think about his future.
“I would like to attend college and major in computer engineering with a minor in Christian studies,” he said. “After that, I’ll see where God takes me.”
Sargent is confident Donald will be successful.
“It doesn’t matter what Donald does in the future, he will be who he is in Christ,” she said. “I believe he’ll make a difference whether he’s a minister or he works outside of the church.”