Amanda Mutio shared her testimony at New Staff Orientation in September 2018. It’s amazing to hear how God has worked to bring each of the new staff to the place of surrender and following Jesus into full time ministry.
Did you ever see that empty party girl on campus and think, “Hmm … I wonder how she got there?”
Well, I can tell you how I got there. I grew up in a dysfunctional and agnostic family. My mom disliked Christians and instead of playing soccer with my dad on Sundays, we smoked weed on Fridays. I grew up with emptiness and bitterness in my heart. I was on a path of destruction that only continued in college.
My heart had a hole in it and I just kept filling it with the things of this world. I turned to everything, especially drugs and alcohol. I was in so much darkness that I would respond to believers with statements like, “The Bible belongs in the fiction section of the library” and “I think all Bibles should just be burned, because it is just a set of rules.”
But here’s the thing: Angry people are often empty people. So when I was real with myself and really thought about my existence, I knew there had to be more to life. So one day in my emptiness, I cried to an unknown God: “God, if you are out there, would you show me the way … anything but that Jesus stuff.”
Months went by and I was about to give up on my search for truth. But one day I made the mistake of leaving my camera in my classmate’s car. She called me and invited me to church and reluctantly I went.
During worship, I was judging every person there, thinking, “God isn’t real and these people are insane”… but I heard something in my heart that I had never heard before. It was the voice of God. It was the Holy Spirit. I heard a patient and kind voice saying to me, “My daughter, I have been pursing you for a long time. I have been knocking on the door of your heart.” (Keep in mind I had never read the Bible and I definitely had never read Revelations 3:20.)
Overcome and weeping, my hand shot up and I realized for the first time that Jesus IS REAL and He LOVES me! The veil was lifted and I saw my sin before me. But I also saw the love of a father. I finally understood that Jesus paid the price for all my sin and shame. I was probably the last person they expected to run up to the altar, but that day I surrendered my life to Jesus. I was finally found! I went home so thirsty for the Word. I was a new creation in Christ!
So I loved Jesus and I was walking with Him, but I didn’t know how to grow in my faith. When one day, I was approached by a girl with a stack of Soularium cards. It turns out that she was a Cru staff girl on my campus and God led her to me! God brought her into my life to mentor and disciple me. She was the first person to really walk alongside me as a new believer.
But I was still without a mission. “What do I do now, Lord? You have given me a heart to reach the nations and make disciples, but what do I do with this desire?”
So God used that same Cru staff girl three years later. That day, she asked me if I would consider going to the Middle East with her for a year. I literally had no idea what I was saying “Yes” to, but I knew that He was asking me to step out in faith and trust Him. So I went overseas on my very first mission trip to the Arabian Peninsula.
Can you see the goodness of God? I was so lost, and then I was found by Him. I was so alone and without community, and He brought a mentor. I was without a purpose, and He launched me to the nations!
Now here I am, one of you, being commissioned tonight as a full-time missionary! And if that wasn’t enough to bring glory to God, I have seen the Lord, over the past three years, one-by-one, save my family. This generational atheism ends with me! My dad accepted Christ two years ago and this past summer, I had the privilege of seeing him lead my grandpa to Christ. This is the God we serve and He can do anything!!
So I want to end with this: JESUS is worthy of our lives and we get to be a part of what He is doing in the world. We have the best job ever: We get to point people to our Savior and offer them true hope and peace.
Thanks for letting me share my story with you and thank you for saying “Yes” to the calling God has placed on your hearts. I truly believe that so many lives will be impacted by your faith in Him.