“Did you ever see that empty party girl on campus and think, ‘Hmm ... I wonder how she got there?’”
Amanda grew up in a dysfunctional and agnostic family, which lead to emptiness and bitterness in her heart. She was on a path of destruction that continued in college. Her heart had a hole in it and she just kept filling it with the things of this world, especially drugs and alcohol. She would respond to believers with statements like, “The Bible belongs in the fiction section of the library” and “I think all Bibles should just be burned, because it is just a set of rules.”
“But when I was real with myself and really thought about my existence, I knew there had to be more to life.” One day in her emptiness, Amanda cried to an unknown God: “God, if you are out there, would you show me the way ... anything but that Jesus stuff.”
A month later, Amanda made the mistake of leaving her camera in a classmate’s car. The classmate called Amanda and invited her to church and reluctantly Amanda went. During worship, Amanda was judging every person there, thinking, “God isn't real and these people are insane” but she heard something in her heart that she had never heard before. A patient and kind voice saying to her, “My daughter, I have been pursing you for a long time. I have been knocking on the door of your heart.”
Overcome and weeping, Amanda realized for the first time that “Jesus IS REAL and He LOVES me!” The veil was lifted, she saw her sin before her, and she saw the love of a Father. She finally understood that Jesus paid the price for all her sin and shame. “I was finally found! I went home so thirsty for the Word. I was a new creation in Christ!”
Amanda, now loved Jesus and was walking with Him, but she didn't know how to grow in her faith. One day, Amanda was approached by a Cru staff girl on her campus. She was the first person to really walk alongside Amanda as a new believer, and to mentor and disciple her. But Amanda was still without a mission. “What do I do now, Lord? You have given me a heart to reach the nations and make disciples, but what do I do with this desire?”
God used that same Cru staff girl three years later to ask Amanda if she would consider going to the Middle East for a year. “I literally had no idea what I was saying ‘Yes’ to, but I knew that God was asking me to step out in faith and trust Him.” So, Amanda went overseas on her very first mission trip to the Arabian Peninsula.
Last fall Amanda was commissioned as a full-time missionary with Cru. “If that wasn't enough to bring glory to God, I have seen the Lord over the past three years save my family one-by-one. My dad accepted Christ two years ago and this past summer, I had the privilege of seeing him lead my grandpa to Christ. This is the God we serve. He can do anything! Jesus is worthy of our lives and we get to be a part of what He is doing in the world. We have the best job ever. We get to point people to our Savior and offer them true hope and peace.”
This summer Cru has 135 new missionaries, like Amanda, who will be commissioned and sent all over the world. Thank you for the role you play in helping spread the gospel to a lost and dying world.
Yours in Christ,
Steve & Robin