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Denman award winner shows love and care to children in her hometown

After moving back to her hometown of Kensal, North Dakota and home church of Kensal United Methodist Church in the spring of 2016, Amanda Lee quickly jumped in to help with a community Vacation Bible School being held at the Lutheran church in town. 

Following VBS, she began searching for a Sunday school for her oldest daughter.  None of the three churches in town had a Sunday school.  Amanda’s insurance agent challenged her, “Why don’t you start a community Sunday school?”  She was off and running.  


Photo courtesy of Amanda Lee. The preschool Sunday school students take time to pause for a photo during their craft and lesson time recently at Kensal UMC.

This ministry is making a big impact in the community. Now, children come to learn about Jesus on bikes, four-wheelers, in wagons, and strollers, with their parents or older siblings.  Even the neighborhood dog knows the kids are inside the church and wants to join the fun in Sunday school some days! 

Amanda’s approachability and her love and care for the children is so obvious. The kids, parents and grandparents are drawn to her. They sense that they are loved and valued for the person they are at that very moment in their lives. The kids, parents, and grandparents see her joy for Jesus lived out in her dedication and the joyful approach to all that she does. She makes her faith a priority in her life.  Amanda’s life is a terrific model preaching her love for Jesus without words.    

Amanda not only brings the good news to the preschoolers and elementary children but to the middle school and high school students that are helping with the community Sunday school program.  The student helpers have a real sense of ownership and know they are making a difference in the lives of the children in the community because of the encouragement and mentoring they are receiving from Amanda.  Amanda is planting seeds in these young people’s lives that will continue to grow and bear much fruit throughout their lives. 

Parents and people around town have commented to Amanda about the impact of the program. One person said, “My kids cannot wait to come each week!”  

One grandparent shared, “My grandchild is always singing the songs they learn in Sunday school.”

Another person said, “My child keeps asking what day of the week it is, is it Sunday school day?”    

Amanda Lee was the recipient of the 2018 Harry Denman Award for Evangelism for laity. 


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