Town & Country
Family: Amanda lives in Ash Grove, Mo., with her husband, Austin, and son, Eli.
Town in the Day: “I’ve been teaching English at Ash Grove High School for four years, also coaching cross-country. I taught 8th grade at Mt. Vernon for a couple of years.
“Being a teacher is something I am passionate about. I enjoy working with kids and helping them learn, helping them grow; not only in the educational environment but teaching them how to be smart and compassionate citizens.
“My goal is to get their brains working but also to get their hearts working.”
Town in Evenings and Weekends: “We work in Soulfire, a newer ministry in Ash Grove. It started as a youth ministry, to kids without a church home, that wanted a different way of church. Church should be interactive and fun, to hear about Jesus and (have) it be a real and important part of their life.
“My husband, Austin, plays guitar in the church band. I’ve led several Bible studies. We help out serving food. We do a backpack program for kids here in Ash Grove and Everton. It’s a weekend program and we pack more than 200 bags. It is one thing to pray for them (the kids), but another thing to fill their tummies.”
In the Country: “I always had a passion for horses even when I was little. Some girls draw the perfect wedding. Not me, I drew the perfect barn.” Amanda has a degree in Equestrian Science from William Woods University in Fulton.
Amanda and her husband Austin (with help from 1-year-old Eli) run Hope Acres, a riding and training facility. “Hope Acres came from a Scripture, ‘There being acres of hope God gives us.’ We can rest on these acres of hope. It is 3-acres next to Ash Grove High School.
“Right now I have some kids between 4 and 8 years old. They are beginner beginners. I teach them how to interact with horses and how to ride. I’d really love to have adults, some teenagers or even retired people.
“I do hunters and jumpers. That’s the English-style riding I was trained in. It’s fun to get to jump over things.
“I want people to come here and connect with horses and my family and me and find peace and encouragement and success.