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    Posted March 10, 2014 by
    abbydest
    Location
    OKC, Oklahoma

    Making a Difference in Inner City OKC

     
    Amanda Peters is in charge of the early childhood ministry at Capitol Hill Church of Christ. Capitol Hill is located in inner-city Oklahoma City to worship God and serve the community. She works with ages 6 and under, including the nursery and the pre-k class. Her job includes writing curriculum, organizing it, getting it ready for the volunteers that she recruits and occasionally tutoring. She spends the majority of her time working on more in-depth summer curriculum, which focuses on literacy and the Bible and keeps kids off the streets in a time where gang recruiting is high.

    In college, Peters volunteered to teach classes several times at the church and was recruited to work full time at Capitol Hill. She did not plan on taking the job and moved to Tulsa after graduating OC. She moved back to Edmond and was offered the job again; this time, they were hiring two people to run the children’s ministry. Amanda knew that would provide a support system and allow her to focus on early childhood. She took the job and began in January of 2010. She knew she was where God had called her.

    The biggest blessing to Peters is seeing the fruit of the ministry. She talks about how sometimes it only takes one person to help bring someone out of a dark time in his or her life. She hopes to be able to make a difference and allow God to use her to help others out of their situations of turmoil even if she never sees the impact she has had.

    “The rewards really outweigh the trials because when you do see something or see kids grasp a concept, their readiness or willingness to be loved, receive love is so strong that you just fall in love with them. They cling to you, they love you because they are getting that healthy love from the Lord.”

    The home dynamics of many of the families are pretty destructive. Peters has had to report abuse and has gone to court several times. Those are the most severe cases. In milder situations, single parent families are struggling to make it.

    Capitol Hill is a light through education and health in the midst of an area of the city that is heavily influenced by gangs. Amanda talks about Capitol Hill being a safe place in the midst of darkness and violence.

    Capitol Hill is down the street from a major trafficking and prostitution hub at 44th and Robinson in downtown OKC. People can get their physical needs met at the Lighthouse medical clinic located inside the church and their spiritual needs met by the church family.

    Jeff McMillon, the campus minister at Memorial Road Church of Christ, has known Amanda since she was in high school:

    “[Amanda is] really incredibly warm and happy and joyful and spirit-filled. She is just deeply spiritual and has an infectious joy,” says McMillon. “The enemy is so alive and well in that neighborhood that she’s in these big spiritual battles every day. If for any reason that ministry was ever to quit or go away, I think it would leave a gaping hole in the city; it’s really important what they are doing.”

    Amanda says that the people who go to Capitol Hill are the ones changing the area through becoming true disciples and teaching their families.

    Blake Crabtree, a student at Oklahoma Christian University, goes to Capitol Hill weekly to volunteer with the children’s ministry.

    “Amanda Peters has the biggest heart out of anyone I know,” says Crabtree. “She is super friendly, super sweet and super welcoming to anyone that comes in. She takes the kids in her arms and everyone down there and shows them so much love and so much compassion. Capitol Hill gives them a place to come in and be safe and to be themselves and it’s bringing people to Christ.”

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