Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Amanda's Story

Let me introduce you to Amanda Glenn, a wonderful young lady who is a braveheart.  Amanda recently shared in our school chapels about her eleven month missionary journey with The World Race.  Her story was so powerful, I asked her if we could do an "interview."  Amanda answers my questions below.

As you read, you might notice what Amanda's parents did to help her have courage including such things as their example and support.  And, as Amanda tells her story, notice how her passion and courage allow Amanda to love and to be loved.  Be sure to click on Amanda's blog at the end (I especially love the pictures!).  Thanks, Amanda.

1. What is the Race?

"The World Race is a missionary journey with Adventures in Missions. The World Race is unique because missionaries travel to eleven different countries in eleven months to minister to a variety of cultures. With essentially our backpacks and tents, we were sent to live among the poorest of poor, feed the hungry, bring hope to prostitutes, care for orphans, and simply love people for who they are-where they are."

2. How did you become involved in the Race?

"I have known since I was a sophomore in high school that I wanted to serve the Lord in full-time ministry. I attended Ouachita Baptist University where I received a degree in Biblical Studies. During university I was very engaged in a wide array of ministries from youth camp counseling, to women's prison ministry, to elderly service. I love to love people! After studying poverty around the world as well as the Lord's heart for social justice in Scripture my desire to love people expanded to include the nations. It became my heart’s desire to make a difference globally and to serve those who are hurting and in need. My dad saw an advertisement for the World Race and encouraged me to look into it. My heart was for the world, not particularly a specific region or country, so I was overjoyed to find a program that would allow the Lord to use me on four different continents!"

3. How did God use you? What did you do?

"The Lord used me to reveal his heart to individuals. Each country provided a different need to meet. The following is a list of the countries that I visited and some of the kinds of people that the Lord sent me to love:

New Zealand- struggling adolescents
Australia- a Hippie Community who rejects Jesus and a Swiss man needing English teaching
Philippines- street families in poverty
Cambodia- a Buddhist village
Thailand/Laos- oppressed believers
Kenya- families in Kibera slums
Tanzania- those sold to witchcraft
Uganda- Lepers/Outcasts
Romania- a rejected community of Gypsies
Czech Republic- atheist tourists, locals, and homeless
Ukraine- University students and handicapped orphans

I did everything from painting homes, working in restaurants, feeding families, preaching sermons, door-to-door evangelism, to just sitting and holding people's hands. The Lord sent me to reveal His love to His creation. Each individual needed to see the Lord's love in a completely unique way."

4. What impacted you the most?

"When I was in Kumi, Uganda, I had the incredible privilege of spending time with a leper named Mary. The disease had a profound impact on her body. She had no toes, only a few twisted fingers, and not much of a nose left. Her family had disowned her. We did not speak each other’s language, but I just sat and held her hand. In that moment I realized that Mary could do nothing to make me love her more. As a “do-er” who found my significance from my actions it transformed my understanding of the Father’s love for us! A love that has no stipulations, no requirements to receive."

5. What was the hardest part of the Race?

"I recognized very quickly that while the Lord was using me, I was being very broken and transformed as well. The World Race is not just about loving people around the world, it is about breaking you down in a real, raw, exposed form- pliable for the Lord to mold into His image. Loving people purely hurts deeply because it requires true humility. Humility is painful because it cuts out the pride and selfishness and the idea that we deserve something. It was painful for me to be in a position where I was vulnerable and to let others in to love me. I like being the one DOING, the one in control of loving. On the Race you have to live with six other teammates 24/7. The hardest part of the Race for me was to allow the Lord to cut out the pride in me and allow myself to be loved by my teammates."

6. How did you have the courage to do the Race?

"Well, to be honest, I do not have many fears! The encouragement from my parents played a significant role in giving me the courage to step out in faith. The adventure of the Race combined with the Lord’s call to go and love was very exciting for me!"

7. What is the best thing your parents did while you were growing up to help you prepare?

"When I was seven years old my parents left very prominent careers in Texas to enter into ministry in Arkansas. I saw them live out their faith in huge ways such as the move, to every day pursuit of Christ in their personal quiet time. They taught me how to love with compassion by example, as well as service by instilling in us a great work ethic. It was also very helpful that I had been raising financial support alongside them all my life, so the funds that I had to raise did not seem as daunting as it was to most. They encouraged me every step of the way. I also had complete confidence that I was in their prayers."

Click here to see Amanda's blog for the World Race

1 comment:

  1. What an incredible year Amanda experienced. As I read this interview I found myself wondering if I would have had the faith at Amanda's age (or even now!) to go into the places where God called her to go.

    I hope when Amanda spoke at chapel that the Holy Spirit was able to work in many hearts, showing students how they too can be full of faith... maybe some time, some where in another country... but, more importantly, in THEIR world and in their school today.