“When I first met Amanda, she was very shy and quiet,” says Mike Barnhart, CCO staff member at the University of Findlay. “She would barely talk with her friends in a public setting, let alone engage someone she did not know.”
Amanda first got involved with the CCO’s college ministry at nearby Gateway Church by attending a Bible study led by Mike’s wife. Amanda was faithfully involved because her friends invited her to join. But since she first got involved, she has regularly attended Bible studies and worship services. For over a year, she has been leading a college life group for Gateway and the CCO’s ministry in Findlay.
“It’s amazing to see how Amanda is stepping out of her comfort zone,” Mike says. “She initiates conversations with strangers and invites others to join her life group. The 15 students in her life group look to Amanda as a spiritual leader. And this past summer, Amanda took a huge leap of faith by raising funds and leaving home to attend the CCO’s Ocean City Beach Project.”
Mike has observed how Amanda regularly looks for opportunities to share the love of Christ with those around her. As part of a challenge she gave her life group, she will intentionally sit with people she does not know for meals and invite classmates to outreach events. She is always looking for opportunities to encourage and serve those around her.
“If God’s Word asks her to do something, Amanda has shown that she is always willing to humbly submit to God’s leading as well as those in leadership over of her,” Mike says. “She is never content to live in the brokenness of this sinful world. She constantly searches for ways to join in Christ’s restoration of His creation, and she has a biblical understanding of what that looks like.”