“For everything there is a season…” -Ecclesiastes 3

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Fall has always been my favorite time of year- even growing up in Southern California where Fall looks the same as Summer, Spring, and most of Winter. Now that I live in a place where seasons actually change and the temperature drops more than just a few degrees, I enjoy Fall even more. Although I am not too fond of the crisp cold air, I am very fond of the millions of colors that the leaves change and the fall activities which include: hayrides, pumpkin carving, pumpkin bread making, and hot chocolate drinking. Though I have been extremely busy and overwhelmed with the tons of ministry opportunities that The Lord has been giving me, I have been blessed to enjoy some of these Fall activities with my lovely Kentucky family, with the girls that I disciple, and with my new ministry partner Kristina White.

As I mentioned in my last blog, Kristina White has come to serve here in Powell County, KY and will remain until January. I’ve been extremely blessed by her fellowship and help. September was definitely a transition month for me. First, transitioning into having a ministry partner which really does change everything. And second, transitioning into having a much bigger role in the Promise Child Ministry here in Kentucky (More on that in a little bit). Having Kristina here during that transition has been very helpful. At many times I felt overwhelmed and having an extra person here to help with the designated tasks was great, but even more so, having her here to pray with me and remind me that God is in control. It’s been so fun to watch her interact with the community and with my discipleship girls. She is making a lot of new relationships but also visiting with old friends that she has met during short term mission trips to Kentucky. During the rest of her time here in Kentucky she will serve alongside Sonya with the junior high girls at Stanton Baptist Church as I continue to work with the high school aged girls. Our vision is to see the junior high grow and eventually for there to be unity among the junior high and high school girls. That way the two can come together for weekly bible studies and events. Please pray for Kristina as she continues to learn and grow as a missionary and pray also for unity amongst the two of us as we serve together and seek to see God be praised among the youth here in Powell County.

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When I moved to Kentucky in September of 2012, I had tons of ideas of what I thought were the reasons of why God called me to serve as a missionary in Kentucky. It’s been pretty funny to see how God has transformed my heart and has given me such a passion to serve in ways that I never would have imagined. None of my ideas were His ideas- and I am thankful. One of the ministries that He has given me such a passion for is the Promise Child Ministry here in Kentucky. I had always heard about Promise Child as I attended church at Westgrove, and I had always wished that I could be involved in something like it, however if you know anything about my story, you’d know that I grew up in a situation that is very similar to many of the stories you will hear about the Promise Children here in Powell County, KY. I grew up with a drug addict mother, alcoholic father, and I had many issues with abandonment and neglect. Even as a high school student I went without a lot of the basic necessities that a girl needs to survive. (As many of you know, those basic necessities are what Promise Child provides to 27 children in this community). So even though I had always wished that I could afford to sponsor a child, I never got the opportunity due to my own lack of basic necessities. (However, God always provided those basic necessities for me and definitely strengthened my faith in Him and dependency on Him). Now, I am given the chance to work closely with children that are growing up in the same situation that I did, and I am able to teach them about the One that got me through it and gave me hope for a better life: JESUS. I am now the new In Country Ministry Worker for Promise Child Kentucky, and I couldn’t be more blessed to be able to have such an opportunity. My responsibilities include: assessing needs, disbursing funds, communicating with the mentors in our mentorship program, quarterly home visits to each child, communicating with the Promise Child administration with pictures and newsletters, and most importantly- sharing the gospel with the children and their families. Please pray for me as I am still learning how to do this job in a way that is most efficient and effective.

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Promise Child Side Story:

* We had some Promise Child sponsors drive through Kentucky that got to meet and visit with their Promise Child. It was so sweet to witness the sponsors love on the child and his teenage mother- encouraging the mother to keep seeking Christ.

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And of course, what is a blog without mentioning the precious young girls that I disciple? This group of girls amazes me with their love for Jesus and their love for each other. They are continuing to seek God as they get through another year of high school and they also desire to share the gospel with their peers at school. Many of them were also baptized at the very end of September! Each one is growing stronger and stronger and going through trials that prove it. As Christians, we know that when we start getting serious about our relationship with Jesus that Saan wants nothing more than to destroy that. & boy has he tried. These girls have been going through so many difficult trials that have tested their faith and their belief in God. But they are fighting through and drawing nearer to Jesus. At one of the home bible studies that we have at my house each week, the girls all realized that they were all going through the same type of trials and that they need to encourage each other and help each other fight these battles. Many of them were asking the question “Is it worth it?”. It was such a special time to minister to them. Please pray for them! Satan has really been discouraging them lately and planting seeds of doubt in their minds. Pray for me also as I continue to point them to the ENcourager- Jesus ūüôā

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*BAPTISM PHOTOS:

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RECAP! {Stories from the “Coming Up Soon!” section of my last blog} :

*Hope Hill Chapel Service: Felicia is one of the girls that I disciple and she is also the mother of our youngest Promise Child here in Kentucky. Her story of how she came to know Jesus is so inspiring and she shared it with the 35+ girls at Hope Hill during the Summer. The Hope Hill girls were encouraged by her story to keep seeking Jesus. She shared that even though she is facing many obstacles as a teenage mother, her hope is in Jesus and she knows that He is not finished with her yet. What a great message for the girls in Hope Hill- that God will not give up on them. Along with Felicia, I brought the other girls from Acteens and each one served in some capacity (worship, prayer, etc.). Here are some pictures from that day…

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*Church Camp: Camp was such a fun experience for all of us and we are already counting down until we go again next Summer! A group of junior high and high school students from Stanton Baptist joined many other Baptist churches at Laurel Lake Baptist Camp for 6 days of fun, fellowship, and worship services. All of the youth were encouraged to take their relationship with Jesus seriously and to recognize that our Christian walk should be a continuous process of growing more and more like Christ every day. Something really cool that I feel the Lord did while at camp was create unity among the whole group of youth at Stanton Baptist and plant the desire in them to bring a fire back to their congregation. There were 3 from our group that made decisions for Christ and many others that rededicated their lives to Jesus. One that made a decision was a dear friend to me, a young man that I have known through the years of serving on short term mission trips in Powell County. It was such a blessing to see God use so many years of the California team ministering to this young man as part of his testimony and to now finally see him enter in to a personal relationship with Jesus is rewarding to say the least. Pray for him also that he will fight temptation at school and seek Jesus with his whole heart. It is so hard for young men in Powell County to learn how to seek Christ as there are few to no godly young men in this community to teach them how to be spiritual leaders. Pray for that issue as well.

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*California Furlough Trip: I was blessed to visit home for 3 weeks in August to get refreshed and extend my missionary support. Along with visiting with many of my supporters, I also got to serve on the high school summer retreat and serve at the women’s conference at Westgrove. I really enjoyed serving my home church. Thank you to everyone that poured into me during my visit and of course to those who continue to pray for me as I serve on the mission field. I wouldn’t be able to do it without all of your support!

COMING UP SOON!

  • November 22 & 23 myself, Sonya, and Kristy will be taking the girls to Tennessee to attend a conference called “Hearts On Fire”. The girls have self funded the trip and will enjoy two days of Christian music and bible teaching. They are all so excited! Please pray for traveling mercies and for all the girls to be refreshed and encouraged.
  • In December the girls and I will be visiting Hope Hill again to hold a special Christmas chapel service for them. We are also collecting bottles of body wash and body lotions to take to the Hope Hill girls for Christmas. Please keep this in prayer for us!
  • The “California Team” of high school students from Westgrove will be coming to Powell County at the end of December and will be staying for about 10 days. Please pray for the mission team as they raise funds to be able to come share Jesus with the people here in Kentucky! (: Speaking of the California Team… I just wanted to point out what an impact they make in this community. No matter where I go, I always hear others talk about the love they have been shown by Eric and the team throughout the years. I was even encouraged by something one of my girls said about them the other day. She said “The California Team is really what keeps us going. All of those other teenagers come out here and show us teenagers that it IS possible to know Jesus at a young age. They really just give us hope and remind us to keep going”.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Being a missionary is rough to say the least, but oh boy is it worth it! That is a big lesson that God has been teaching me throughout these last few months. As my girls were asking me the question “Is it worth it to be a Christian?” I had been struggling with the question “Is it worth it to be a missionary?”. & it seemed like each time I would ask that question that God would encourage me by showing me the fruit of my labor. Whether it be through an update report from one of our Promise Child mentors or through witnessing growth in someone with my own eyes. But then I came to this realization- that those stories are NOT what makes it worth it to be a missionary. There is only one thing that makes it worth it and that is JESUS. The fact that JESUS is WORTHY of being worshipped makes everything WORTH IT. & that is exactly why I am here. Because people are not worshipping the God that made them. & until they do or until God calls me out- I will continue to fight the GOOD fight. Thanks for your prayers, y’all!

All For Him,

Amanda West

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