Student Shares COTN with California Teens


In 2005, fourteen-year-old Katie Booth visited Malawi, Africa as part of a Children of the Nations Venture Team. Katie recalls, “When I stepped off the plane in Malawi, I felt like I was coming home.” While in Malawi she visited COTN’s feeding programs, orphanages, and medical clinics. After touring the African Bible College (ABC) in nearby Lilongwe, Katie had her whole life planned out—attending ABC and pursuing a future of global mission work via education, living in Africa, and partnering with COTN to change the world of these precious children. This trip profoundly changed her life.

Today, Katie is sixteen years old and a junior at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School (SMES) in Orange County, California (one of the toughest prep schools in the country). She is described as a “joyful, sparkling” personality with a “gift of empathy.” She feels other people’s pain and wants to help—she is drawn to children of all ages, but especially little ones. She will hold them, rock them to sleep, sing to them, and even stand on her head if it will make them laugh. Katie is also described as an “old soul,” longing to do God’s will. She is searching to find her way, as all teens do. She calls upon the Lord to light her path—a path she prays will lead her to a village in Africa where she can be among the orphaned children—with the brothers and sisters she’s always

Last month, Katie put her dreams into action and shared her love for COTN’s children with five hundred of her classmates at St. Margaret’s. She introduced Chris and Debbie Clark (COTN founders) along with Massah, Eddie and Quami, our special guests from Sierra Leone that were visiting the US for our annual benefit season. Katie asked Chris Clark if Quami would “share vivid details—unedited” about his life in Sierra Leone during the recent rebel war (as accurately depicted in the film Blood Diamond) and he did. Chris Clark used his gift of passionate storytelling and had the crowd of five hundred hanging on his every word! At one point during Chris’s presentation, Katie turned to her mom and said, “I am so proud right now that my school is hearing this.”

Immediately after the presentation, many friends came up to Katie and said they wanted to get involved, they wanted to help—they wanted to go to Africa! Katie is currently heading up a movement at St. Margaret’s to connect students who have so much to give with the children of Africa who have so little. She is proposing to the administration that SMES students/faculty host a meal-packing event, promote info about a Venture Trip to Malawi this summer, and ultimately have SMES become a part of the COTN family. What a great example of empowering our children to make a difference in their world. Teens mentoring, encouraging and praying for other teens, seemingly a continent away, but in the spiritual realm…only a heartbeat away.