By His Grace

Hello, my name is Amanda and I am 26 years old. This is my “Anything” Story.

I graduated from Texas A&M University with a marketing degree in 2010, and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. After searching for about 5 months, I went to work at a small advertising firm because “that’s what you do.”

After about a month of crying everyday in my office, I left. Tail tucked between my legs, I moved back in with my parents in East Texas, completely lost. I so desperately wanted to make a mark on this earth, but felt like I couldn’t hack adulthood! After talking with my family about my passions, they encouraged me to open my own boutique. I finally ran out of excuses of why I couldn’t (I was too young, I was terrified, I had no business ownership experience) and after many nights of prayer, I took the leap. I did it.

Grace Boutique opened in August of 2011, and while I was excited I was still restless. Four months into it, I had this daily thought of “What the heck am I doing with my life?! Is this all that there is for me?” I began earnestly seeking God and praying “anything. God whatever it is that You have for me, I want in.”

A few months later I went to go pick my dad up from a christian men’s retreat he was speaking at, and he introduced to the man that is now my husband, Chris. Chris was home visiting, but he lived in Bogota, Colombia doing orphan ministry. He had sold everything, and moved. As it turned out, I had known his family my entire life, and had just never met him. There were so many threads that wove us together, it was easy to say yes when he proposed four months later (after we had spent about 3 days together and he went back to Colombia. He flew home to ask my father if he could marry me, and then he did).

We started praying what God was going to have for us as a couple. He had just started working with Relationships for Christ Ministries, Inc., a missions organization based out of The Woodlands, Tx. The agency who had sent him to Colombia had disbanded, and Timothy (RFCM President) scooped Chris up and brought him on staff. Not long after we started praying “anything” Timothy began talking to us about Project Samuel. Project Samuel is a self sustaining youth revitalization program for at risk children and orphans, but at the time the only was in Zambia, Africa. Timothy told us his vision for Project Samuel, was to have them all over the world, especially Latin America. What seemed like the next day, the orphanage Chris had been working in was shut down. All the children were split up and moved to new institutions. Chris and I knew that was God telling us to move.

We got married in January of 2013, and two months later moved to Zambia to train at Project Samuel. God has such a sense of humor. I had literally said in my life, ” I am not cut out for a mud hut in Africa.” How so very wrong I was. God took my obedience and transformed my heart. We lived in Zambia for a year and loved every second. Our project there is a family style orphanage (8 children to a home with a Zambia house mom who cook, does homework, lives there full time, does devotionals, all of it).

Now, we are currently building our second Project Samuel in Guanacastillo, Nicaragua, a rural impoverished community with hundreds of at risk children! We just started construction a month ago. We are in negations for land for our second project in Zambia (there are 650,000 orphans in Zambia alone).

This is not the live I had written for myself. It is harder, less comfortable, and absolutely more amazing than I ever could have imagined. God is so creative. Had I not prayed this prayer, I don’t want to know where I would be.

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