As most of you who follow Visiting Orphans know, Amanda Lawrence who was VO's Executive Director for the past 2+ years, recently resigned to be a full-time mom to her sweet baby boy Jordan Robert. Most of you are following VO because of Amanda. Most of you have either met her or feel like you know her from her blogs or facebook posts and no doubt for her huge heart for the orphan. I have the joy and privilege to say that I know her very well because I have been able to work alongside her at Visiting Orphans for the past 2 years. To say we were just coworkers is an understatement. We became close friends over these past several years. We shared joy and tears and passion to care for orphans and to awaken the church to their plight. It's not just a job when you work for a ministry that cares for orphans - it's a calling. We share that calling. We know each others hearts. And the Lord no doubt put us together in this ministry for a purpose. I learned so much from Amanda. I respect her. I love her and her heart. I would not be the same if not for these past 2 years serving alongside her and calling her my friend. What an honor. What a joy.
From the time Amanda took over as ED of VO in 2009, she grew VO from an average of 9 trips a year to almost 20 within the first year, we did over 35 the second year and this year, we now have over 60 trips on the calendar. It went from 3 countries to 13. It went from 1 staff member and then 2, 3, 4, and a year later - we had 10 staff and were sending over 1000 team members a year to visit orphans. It went from 8 or 9 leaders to 85+ leaders attending our leadership conference last fall. Amanda forged relationships and developed partnerships with ministries, adoption agencies, orphanages, churches, leaders and team members. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord used Amanda in an amazing way to propel Visiting Orphans to where it is today. I wouldn't be here without her. Our staff wouldn't be here without her. And quite possibly, you wouldn't be here reading this without her either. Thousands of orphans have been impacted by the message of the Father's love for them. Thousands of team members have been impacted by going and loving. Some came home and adopted, some sponsored kids, some started new ministries, and others continue to go. It's a ripple effect and it's very clear to see that God used Amanda to throw a very big stone into that water to get a very big ripple going! To which I can only imagine him saying "well done, good and faithful servant!"
So... as Amanda transitions into this new season of motherhood, I just wanted to publicly thank her for leaving a legacy that will no doubt impact generations through Visiting Orphans. I know that Amanda is not done caring for orphans. It still remains her life calling. So while she's no longer acting as ED of Visiting Orphans, that in no way shape or form means she's not still advocating on behalf of orphans. It's who she is and I know the Lord will continue to use her. The Lord is faithful and although this was a hard decision and transition for Amanda, it was also a sweet one because the Lord has fulfilled a desire in her heart to be a mom. And she's a great one at that! Jordan Robert is a blessed little boy!
As her friend who had the opportunity to serve with her these past 2 years, I want to say "thank you Amanda for who you are and all that you have done and no doubt will continue to do to care for orphans and turn the hearts of others to do the same! I love you!"
- written by Autumn Kerr