I am Amanda Carroll. I'm a single mom of three children, radio host, writer, and speaker. I work and live with my three children in sunny California. My mission is to empower single moms to lead their family well.
How do you transform a village out of extreme poverty in 3 years? Is this really possible? Yes!
Is this for real? I had the same questions when I first heard about World Concern’s “One Village Transformed” program. They say they are “working themselves out of a job.” They are ending extreme poverty one village at a time.
It’s like no other outreach you’ve heard of because their goal is that the village won’t need them anymore. That’s why I decided to not just tell their story, but become a part of it.
Watch this video to find out how this approach is SO effective!
Amanda's Village: How do you end extreme poverty? - YouTube
It’s been said don’t ask God to bless what you are doing, but look for where He is working and join in the effort. I see God working through World Concern to serve the poorest of the poor and show them the love of Jesus.
Everything you see on TV makes our world seem so bleak, but I saw something different. I went to see Amanda’s Village in Bangladesh in person. I sat in the homes of mothers that don’t have food for their children. I was offered cold water by a family I knew I couldn’t drink because it was poisoned with Arsenic. I saw great need and suffering.
I also saw hope. I met with women in other villages that were able to start their own business thanks to World Concern. They were not just able to feed their family, they employed others, they improved their homes to be safer to live. They were standing on their own two feet and very proud of it. That’s the point I want to get the families in our village, Parulia Para, Bangladesh.
You…this tribe of readers that look for inspiration to be brave despite all circumstances it’s time for us to give that same courage away to others that are suffering in unimaginable ways. We have a village. Let’s take care of them!
Amanda’s Village is in the “keep them alive” stage going on right now in Parulia Para, Bangladesh. Your donation right now immediately goes to provide food, clean water, and will begin the process of educating families and helping them learn about health, sanitation, and eventually how to be economically independent.
Jesus said, “when you serve the least of these you serve me.” When you feed a child in Bangladesh who hasn’t eaten in three days, you feed Jesus. When you help dig a well deeper so the water isn’t poisoned with arsenic anymore you are serving Jesus a clean glass of water. When you save a girl from child marriage at 12 because her family sees her as one last mouth to feed, you save Jesus.
Could you be 1 of 5 readers right now to say yes and transform 136 families lives out of extreme poverty for just $39/month? You will get emails with pictures, stories and encouragement about how they are doing, and you will also get the satisfaction of knowing YOU saved lives. YOU fed their children. YOU protected girls from child marriage, YOU introduced families to Jesus. Just go to www.amandasvillage.com.
The one thing you can do to have the best summer ever is shockingly simple. It’s not a project, it’s not on Pinterest, it’s not a chore chart, or even a summer reading plan.
It’s a decision you can make every single day. Instead of obsessing about signing up your kids for the right summer camps and trying to figure out how to pay for it, what if you made this decision every day that could completely change our culture? You could wake up every morning thinking about it, excited to do it, and excited about the difference you can make.
The one thing you can do this summer to make it the best summer ever is….
Decide every single day to go do something nice for someone!!
Last night I sat down with my calendar and added up expenses for summer camps for all 3 kids. There has to be a better way! I realized I was spending at least $600/week just to get my kids out of the house. What if we did something different? What if we scratched the summer camp tradition and decided as a family to SERVE together! We could volunteer, we could do projects around our neighborhood, we could be more generous.
I immediately thought about Sharin. A young mother I had the pleasure of meeting when I visited her home in Parulia Para Bangladesh last month. She is married with three children. She doesn’t worry about what summer camps she is sending her kids too. She worries about how to feed them. She doesn’t worry about paying for summer camps, she can’t even pay for school. She worries about her oldest, Liza, who has special needs and NO medical care. She can’t walk, so she crawls around on the soiled ground in their village. Her husband drives a rickshaw and makes about $3/day. To try to put food on the table Sharin has to beg on the crowded unsafe streets of Bangladesh.
Here’s on idea on who you could serve this summer, Sharin. I’ve partnered with World Concern to help her. Together we’re coming alongside this one village in a partnership that will transform
this village over 3 years. The first thing we have to tackle is hunger. Children in this village are
hungry and we start the transformation by making sure they have enough to eat. You start it! It’s simple…but it’s the start. After we address hunger we can move on to efforts that will educate kids and then work on the economics.
It’s so exciting to know that in 3 years Sharin and all her other mom friends in Paurlia Para will be able to support themselves instead of begging on the streets thanks to you! She then, might get to worry about what do with her kids when they are home for the summer. What a gift.
“The principle characteristic of people who believe in Jesus is to serve other people.” -Johnnie Moore (National Association of Evangelicals)
Let’s do this. If you would like to serve the poor this summer, I would love for you to join me in transforming Parulia Para, Bangladesh with World Concern. It’s $39/month at www.amandasvillage.com
Father, thank you for the gift of motherhood; the ultimate opportunity to create life, build a legacy, and learn what complete and utter sacrifice is all about.
For the mother who is in the middle of the motherhood battle and is exhausted today, give her rest and a renewed purpose. May her children come home and magically clean up their rooms and allow her to nap.
For the mother whose children are grown and misses those messy handprints on her windows, I pray for you to renew her purpose too, help her feel that her legacy is important and may You nudge her children to blow up her phone this weekend with appreciate for her sacrifices.
For the woman who wants to become a mother I pray you comfort her during the waiting, bring her a renewed purpose during this time, and may You hurry and send the child that she’s dreamed of it and have it be the easiest pregnancy ever.
For the single mom, that fears no one will recognize her on Mother’s Day, may you erase envy of her married mom friends and may one of them adopt her and her kids for the day so she can sit by the pool feeling like Wonder Woman.
For the single dad who has to be both mother and father, may you be overcome with gratitude that God sees you as so incredibly talented at parenting that You get both roles, and may you learn to braid hair like the best of us.
For the step mom who walks a delicate balance to love a child whose not even hers, and be careful to not overstep her boundaries may she feel appreciated for every effort, and maybe even get a little appreciation from the biological mother.
Father, if I left anyone out forgive me, just help every single person who is charged with loving and caring for one of your children feel valued for Mother’s Day, and may You give us a nap.
Most of all, help us to all get along, respect each others choices for working or not working, vaccinating or not vaccinating, full custody or shared custody. Please remove judgment and help us become each other’s cheerleaders! -In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Her biggest desires are a bed for her children, and a toilet.
She is 30…she’s a widow. I met Jasmine in Bangladesh last week and my heart shattered into a million pieces. Her husband died 6 years ago, she has 5 children. Her only option as a woman in poor Bangladesh is to send her oldest son, 8, out to work. He is a mason, a brick layer, at 8 years old to feed his mother and children. That’s too much responsibility for a child.
I stepped out of her shack of a home with just one bed for her and her children trying to hide my tears.
I too have raised children on my own. I too have a son around that age. While I am able to take him to soccer practice and sit and watch his baseball games, she’s sending hers out to work.
A spark of anger started igniting inside of me, I wanted to scream THIS IS NOT FAIR! Someone needs to help her, then I realized, it’s me. It’s you.
It’s an accident of attitude and longitude that she was born in Bangladesh and you and I were born in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
While she is wishing for a toilet in her home and a sewing machine so her daughters can use it to earn money to support the family too, we are complaining about cleaning the 3 toilets we have… well at least that’s my normal complaint.
I listened to the stories of a women’s group in a poor village in Bangladesh, they have been assembled by World Concern to empower each other and it’s working. They gather together to share what they struggle with and try to find a solution. Eventually the goal is for them to accumulate savings as a group, and then give each other micro loans to start earning income together. More women should work together like that in America.
They are a very strong group of brave women. The inspire me to be more brave too. Like to go on the radio and ask for other strong women that were born in the land of the free and the home of the brave, to leverage the free gift they received and extend it to these women. They need support.
Then there’s Shajada. She didn’t come out of her home for the women’s group meeting. She is too sad. You see, she lost her 5 year old son. Not like lost in a crowd, but one day he just disappeared. 2 years ago. She suspects he was taken and sold. World Concern officials here suspect she is right. I asked stupidly what for? I thought it was just girls. Oh no… just as many boys now are sold for unspeakable things too.
Now that World Concern is working in her village the mother’s and children like Shajada and her missing son will be educated on how to prevent this kind of thing. They call it the Child Protection Program. They will be taught what to look for and also informed of the dangers of leaving young children on their own. They just don’t know.
In other news, as I fell asleep in my room in Bangladesh every night there was a lizard on the wall. I tried my best to pretend he wasn’t there. After seeing mothers sharing one bed with 5 kids, and toilets out doors with no privacy for multiple families to share I can’t possibly complain about one little lizard.
I finished that day at a Christian Church service… in a Muslim country. Now THAT was a once in a lifetime experience. The church was built in 1910 and is still going strong. They treated the American guests like royalty! They gave us flowers, let us stand up and introduce ourselves. I felt like a sham. They are the ones that Jesus says are royalty. They are the ones that should be honored for what they’ve been through and for never giving up. At the end of the service we came up front to pray for people that needed. I prayed for two women that had the same concerns of any other American woman. One wanted her kids to pass their school exams and to heal her back pain. Another one woman praying to pass her exams so she can graduate.
There is no difference between your needs and the women’s needs. We are all the same. They just need a little bit more help…and I’m pretty shocked God has picked you and I to bring it to them…
If you find yourself grateful to be a FREE woman, free to work, free to walk around without your head covered, free to choose who you marry, free to choose at what age you’re ready to marry, I invite you to help those other women that are not as free.
For about as much as it costs you to go out to dinner this week, you could help these women become free. When you sponsor Amanda’s Village with World Concern in Bangladesh for $39/month you help them have clean water to drink, provide a toilet and solve a health crisis. It helps send their children to school, and eventually provide micro loans so they can earn enough on their own to support their families. Every woman deserves that opportunity. You give it to her.
What are you doing today to be great? I have an idea for you.
If you want to be known, if you want to make an impact with your life, you need to know this secret to accomplishing greatness.
It’s not about the competitive sports your kids play or their private education. It’s not about your perfectly Joanna-Gaines-Farmhouse-style designed home with shiplap everywhere.
It’s not about building your social media platform.
The secret to being great isn’t an idea I got from a life coach. It’s an idea I got from the greatest man of all time, Jesus.
I love this story in the Bible. A mother comes to Jesus asking if her sons can sit to his left and to his right in his kingdom. She was married to Zebedee who apparently was a bit of a sugar daddy. He was quite the fisherman of the time and had amassed an empire.
So that mom (as we can all relate) wanted the absolute best for her sons! So if she has access to Jesus, then why not ask if her son’s can rule with him?! Maybe this is like the modern version of requesting teachers for your kids for the next grade? Or more like talking to Zuckerburg over at Facebook asking him to hire your kid and have them start as an executive. It went down like this in Matthew 20
A Mother’s Request
20Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
22“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”
“We can,” they answered.
I LOVE the response Jesus gave. He always has a way of putting you in your place with love. If this were to happen now I think the disciples would have sent a eye roll emoji out to their group text. The story says they were “indignant.” I admit, I had to look that up. It means feeling or showing anger or annoyance at what is perceived as unfair treatment. Yep. Eyeroll emoji.
So, Jesus sensing this annoyance called everyone over and gave the secret to accomplishing greatness.
26Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Did you catch it?
The secret to accomplishing greatness is to SERVE!
What are you doing today to serve? I’m immersed in this topic today because I I swallowed a malaria pill this morning, will back a suitcase this afternoon, and tomorrow I’m flying to Bangladesh! I’m not going there on some fancy vacation, I’m going there to talk to the mothers, the children, the fathers in Amanda’s village and ask them how I can SERVE them.
I am so nervous. I wish I could tell you that I am super brave and feeling like a super hero today but I’m not. I am nervous about the 18 hours of flying. I’m worried if I packed conservative enough clothes for this Muslim culture. I’m worried about my sunshines while I’m gone. I’m a little lovesick puppy not wanting to leave my guy.
But, that’s what bravery is all about. Being nervous, worried, and anxious, and moving forward anyway!
So, move forward with me and work towards achieving the Jesus style of greatness by sponsoring Amanda’s Village I’m hoping I can tell them about you. If you are reading this could you right now click on www.amandasvillage.com and sign up to help completely transform Parulia Para, Bangladesh out of extreme poverty?
This is how we achieve greatness! This is how we get our brave on! We put aside our own agenda and decide to help someone in great need. Their water is poisoned with Arsenic. They barely eat one meal a day. The children have parasites. They are stick, but you have the key to healing.
I’ve partnered with World Concern to go to the ends of the earth to completely transform villages in extreme poverty and help them become completely self sustaining. We do this in steps. The first is typically to bring clean water, we cure the kids, get them to school, educate about hygiene, and eventually teach them how to grow food, and become self sustaining.
One village in Laos went from extreme poverty, to growing coffee beans which they now sell to STARBUCKS! They are now employing people from other nearby villages.
What can we do with Amanda’s Village? What will their story of transformation be? Want to write the story with me?
If you truly want to accomplish greatness with your life, I can’t think of a better way to serve then the poorest of the poor. For $39/month you and I can bring clean water, healing, hope, and the love of Jesus.
I’d love to land in Bangladesh with your name written down on a piece of paper as a sponsor of Amanda’s Village. I can’t wait to tell a mother in Bangladesh who is heartbroken about her sick children to tell her about you and how you will help cure them, and bring her hope.
Now that’s some greatness right there…
p.s. It would be amazing if tonight before your head hits the pillow if you could pray from my trip. Ask God to keep me safe, healthy, and protect my family while I’m gone.
Do you want to be envied? Yes. We all do. It’s okay to want that. You’re human. I think it’s okay to be envied. If it’s for the right things, it can encourage others to do the same.
What if you were envied for how generous you are? Instead of how nice your car is or how big your home is you were envied for how big you give?!
God’s word says, “blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied is the one who considers the weak and the poor; the Lord will deliver him in the time of evil and trouble” (Psalm 40:1 AMP)
I don’t know about you, I want to be that kind of blessed! The one that lasts for eternity! The other one is so fleeting.
This week, I’d LOVE to see 100 kids be cured of parasites in Bangladesh. You can help achieve this goal and not spend a dime! Have all your friends do like you did and text “Amanda” to 34-444 and a child will get the medicine they need to rid them of worms causing them to have constant pain, diarrhea, and become malnurished.
A bigger blessing is waiting for you to partner with me to transform the lives of the families in my village, Parulia Para. The kids have parasites because their water is poisoned with Arsenic, there is no way for them to get clean water unless you and I partner with World Concern to bring it to them. That way we can permanently cure them from parasites. Their mothers and fathers have a high risk of cancer because they’ve been drinking this water for years. This can be reversed!
Would you be 1 of 5 people today to commit with me to completely transform Amanda’s Village and bring them out of extreme poverty? In just 3 years, of giving $39/month, you and I can bring them clean water, cure their children, teach them how to be completely self sustaining! Oh and we get to save their girls from child marriage too! Now that is worth a post on your Instagram!
3 Reasons Why you Can Feel Confident in Your Future
Breathe. The most powerful 5 words that anyone ever said to a woman I feel is this: “It’s going to be okay.” It really is, I paromise you Simple, but doesn’t it make you powerfully exhale all your fears and worries?!
Here’s why that feeling is real and you can have it every day. I found it in Psalm 36. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how David wrote his name as the author of this Psalm. He could have written “King and God’s Chosen One” I mean hello Jesus is his great great great great great Grandson. But, no he signed it “David, the servant of the Lord.” We’ll get back to that in a bit…
“There is no fear or dread of God, before his eyes.” -Psalm 36:1
As this may have been a surprise to you, this has not surprised Him. He knows the events of your life. He has been prepared to comfort you and lead you through any unexpected turn in your life. He sees you, your efforts, how hard you work, one day promises to lean down and wipe every tear away from your eyes. He is ready and willing to jump in and be your champion, comforter, and leader. He’s whispering in your ear every day, “it’s okay my daughter I am here.” You can be confident in your future when you FOLLOW his lead.
“Your mercy and loving kindness, O Lord extend to the skies, and Your faithfulness to the clouds.” -Psalm 36:5 AMP
News flash! If you think you’ve messed up too much this time for God to love you, my friend you NEED to know this fact, you are not that powerful. God’s mercy for whatever hot mess has afflicted you or you have inflicted upon yourself is more than enough to cover. His mercy never runs out. You should feel so secure in His opinion of You. You are his daughter, and he comes to your aid no matter what. Depend on it.
“How precious is Your steadfast love O God. Men and women take refuge and put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.” -Psalm 36:7
You should feel secure in His love for you. Before you run out and seek love, affection, and approval from another human being please hear me out and restore Jesus as your first love. His love for you is unfailing, unchanging, never-ending, always and forever. Once you accept that love, and feel fulfilled and confident in it, then you can go seek the love of another. That way you won’t choose to be with the one you need to be with, you will choose to be with the one you get to be with. Oh yes this is a powerful truth. When you don’t need someone you make an impeccably better choice then choosing the next best thing that’s convenient for you, available, and just around the corner. Trust me. Use me as your cautionary tale! You delay finding the right one, when you choose to spend time with the “okay one for now.”
BONUS: THAT SERVANT THING
I find it fascinating that David titled himself a “servant of the Lord” instead of “king” in this Psalm. I think it’s because he knows the secret sauce to success. Serving. Jesus was very clear about this. He said, “If you truly want to be great, serve.” (Matthew 23:11). Don’t roll your eyes. Look at the legacy of Billy Graham. He rose to the top to counsel Presidents and Queens because he was a humble, loving, servant that reserved judgement. My friend, there is a delicate balance between confidence and pride. The secret to know you’re doing it right is to ask yourself this question: Is your confidence built on your own abilities or is it built on God’s abilities within you? I get it that pride is a struggle. Just remember you can accomplish so much more when you die to yourself and trust God’s ability within you.
Want more help in feeling safe, secure, and loved this week? Then print this, write it out, come back here, and say this prayer every day this week to solidify your precious relationship with our loving Father.
Daily Prayer: “Father let not the foot of pride overtake me, and let not the hand of the wicked drive me away. (Psalm 36) I believe and declare my family will feel safe, we will not fear or dread. I believe and declare my family will be secure in your mercy and loving kindness and assured of your steadfast love. I will submit myself to you, restore Jesus as my first love, take refuge under your protective care and not worry about our future.” -In Jesus’ name, Amen
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Is there something that is burning within you that you cannot dismiss, a thought, a dream, a goal, a wrong that you want to make right? Speak up. Act now.
Do not be dumb with silence. Do not be lazy with your future.
Think of the first woman that spoke up against Harvey Weinstein. Think of the brave US gymnasts that faced their abuser in court. Their courage in the face of great risk has inspired us all to act. It is time.
I came across this prayer of David in Psalm 39 this morning and was challenged personally to not waste any more moments of my life.
“I was dumb with silence…Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You.” -Psalm 39: 2,7
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to spend 40 more years wandering around the desert like the Israelites looking for their home land. At 42 years old, I am done with the desert. I am done allowing my so-called limitations of responsibility and busyness as a mother limit my future dreams. I’m tired of being small. I want to live big.
I want to speak up when I feel God nudging me. I want to make the most out of every moment I have left. Instead of being dumb with silence and lazy about the future it’s time for a shift. If I want my children to live their life that way then they better see me living mine this way.
Be smart with your words. Be focused on your future.
Try this Prayer today inspired by Psalm 39 and let me know in your comments or emails what God is birthing inside of you.
“Lord, make me to appreciate the measure of my days – what it is; let me know and realize how frail I am (how transient is my stay here)… truly every woman is merely a breathe. Lord what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in you…I was dumb with silence, no more. Help me to be inspired by you with my words and focused on serving You without limitation. -In Jesus’ name, Amen
If you are ready to make more of a difference with your life could you consider transforming Amanda’s Village in Bangladesh with me? This morning mothers woke in Parulia Para worrying not about what their kids will wear to church or if the basketball uniform was clean, but how am I going to get clean water and something for my children to eat. She’s worried about how to keep her daughter away from child marriage. This is a wrong that I’m not waiting to right anymore. Help me transform their life, and transform yours in the process by going here: www.amandasvillage.com
Say what?! I know, right?! They want to me to talk about Billy Graham, Single Moms, and Faith.
This is going to be fun. I’ve been working hard to build a place of encouragement for single moms online, and I feel the momentum building. The blog is growing, and folks are starting to pay attention. Would love for you to watch, share, and PLEASE PRAY that God will use me in a mighty way and I will honor Him with my words. Love you so much!
Snowball time! Let’s keep rolling forward!
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