My name is Amanda and I live in Killeen, Texas. I am 26 and a mother of 4. I have lived a troubled life. Battled physical and mental abuse and mental illness. I was broken. I thought God had abandoned me a long time ago. And then I had my children. 4 beautiful girls, ages 8,7,5, & 2.

My 7 year old daughter was born a with a congenital birth defect. My world fell apart all over again. But as I watched her grow and overcome every obstacle thrown her way, something kept pulling at me. I kept pushing it away and pushing it away. But my heart knew. A little voice in my head always resounded, “this is God. This is God’s love. God’s miracle”. So I opened up a little bit. Still hadn’t fully acknowledge or stepped foot into a church, but I stopped being bitter and started beng greatful for the things that I had.

Then a year ago when I was at my lowest point in life. Medical problems piling up with my daughter, family problems, financial problems, and battling my mental illness. I met a lady via Facebook over a conversation about a homeless man in our city. She and I cofounded an organization to feed the homeless. Everything coming out of our own pocket because we felt this was what we were meant to do. As people heard what we were doing they wanted to get involved. A Pastor of a local church asked us to help with their Thanksgiving meal and when I met him and his wife and attended a service out of respect for asking us to help, I felt at home. Everything clicked. Finally felt what had been missing: God.

6 months ago my partner’s husband answered his calling to become a minister. I followed them to help build and support their church. Our organization and church have combined to 1 ministry. We feed the homeless every Saturday evening and Monday mornings, offer laundry services twice a month, provide clothes and hygiene products, but most importantly we show them His love. Our ministry is in Killeen, Texas, next to a large military instillation. Our church is located in the heart of downtown, where we can reach the most homeless and needy.

I hope to better my education to become a good Christian woman so my daughters have an example to live by, to be able to better serve my community and church, and to be obedient to His calling.

Christian Leaders Institute’s scholarship program is a tremendous blessing because it allows me to answer my calling and better myself without the financial burden. Thank you!