Emma Morgan’s ninth birthday was not like any before it.
After hearing about a big need for children living in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya, Emma wanted to do something to help.
With her birthday approaching, the girl decided to ask friends and family from Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., and beyond to donate money to Mission of Hope instead of giving her birthday presents.
“I learned … God can use me,” Emma said.
Emma first heard about the financial need of Kenyan children when someone from Snyder Memorial visited her Sunday School class and shared how the church was helping meet that need.
The church has been working in the Mathare slum for the past four years. A team from the congregation has gone each year to aid the Mission of Hope School in Bondeni.
Emma Morgan asked friends and family to give $9 for her ninth birthday to buy a stove to help Kenyan children at Mission of Hope. One cooking facility was preparing meals for two campuses. The school had to transport 500 meals to the other campus. Now both campuses will have stoves.
Mission of Hope has two campuses in the Mathare slum with only one cooking facility between them to provide meals. The school has been transporting 500 meals each day from one campus to another.
With a growing population of children to support, the school was in dire need of two new stoves.
Through Snyder Memorial’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) this past summer, children raised $1,000. This covered the expense of one stove but wasn’t enough for both.
After searching for ways to raise money – such as having a yard or bake sale – nothing seemed practical for Emma to manage. Then, she remembered how her grandmother gives her the amount of dollars to match her new age each year for her birthday. She thought, at least she had $9 to give. But she wanted to do more.
With the help of her parents, she created a Facebook “event” asking for $9 to go to stoves for Mission of Hope.
As people responded with donations, Emma updated the event with videos of her progress. Through her efforts, she raised $660.
“Emma set the example of what giving is all about,” shared Susie Reeder, minister of education and missions, in the church newsletter.
Emma and other children from VBS helped pave the way for Mission of Hope’s two new stoves. Snyder also was able to provide the ministry with Internet routers and financial resources to cover Internet for a year.
Emma said her birthday this year, “was very very good.”