ASHLAND, Ky. – Six years ago this month, a website became live and so did the Amy For Africa ministry.
What has transpired since boggles the mind.
Amy Compston was 28, a registered nurse, wife and mother to four children and a determined marathon runner in May 2013. She was also a former 14-year drug and alcohol addict who in the summer of 2012 surrendered her life completely to Jesus Christ. Her addiction immediately went from drugs and alcohol to becoming a disciple of Christ.
It was her first of four world marathon appearances and she finished the 2013 Boston Marathon 30 minutes before bombs detonated near the finish line of the ill-fated race. Twenty-two family members, who were between the bombs nearly all day to watch Amy finish in this race of a lifetime, left only a few minutes before the bombs exploded or they would have been on the wrong side of history.
Amy, who saw in her own life how God had kept her from harm despite her own disobedience to Him, reasoned she needed to fully turn over her life to Christ and asked Him to use whatever gifts she was given for His good.
She immediately thought of running, one of her passions in life, so she entered a 50-mile ultra-marathon with the intent of raising $10,000 for missions in Moyo Uganda because the pastor who had mentored her had a ministry there. God provided $43,000 by the time fundraising ended six months later. Amy finished in second place in the 50-mile race and those involved directly with the AFA ministry – Amy and her husband Chris and mission partners Mark and Beth Maynard – understood this wasn’t an ending but a starting place.
Now she is 34, a former registered nurse, fulltime missionary and highly sought speaker for Amy For Africa. Oh, and she’s even more on fire than ever before to share what God has done in her life and has become a devoted student of God’s Word. Amy has shared in
dozens of churches in more than 10 states, county jails, federal prisons where she taught 50 male inmates in a discipleship classes, civic clubs, schools and even witnessing to the person on the street, be it here or Uganda, because she knows every soul matters.
Her passport book has many Uganda stamps since making her first journey there in August 2014. She now goes about four different times every year and by the end of the summer all of her children and husband, her mother and father, will have experienced Uganda, too.
Amy For Africa also provided healing for her family in a benefit that is not taken for granted. Her devoted husband runs with her, travels with her both here and abroad and provides a rock-solid Christian home while working as a nurse in Ashland, Ky.
Her mission, which began as a one-time fundraiser, has blossomed into a ministry that helped build six Christian schools from 2013 to 2016, is fully operating another Christian school in Njeru since August 2016 with the student population busting at the seams so much that AFA has purchased land with plans for a $1.1 million school. That school will hold 1,000 students and board 200.
AFA also partners with Silent Whispers, a ministry that feeds children in the ghettos of Uganda.
She was named the 2015 Samaritan’s Feet Co-Woman of the Year after distributing 26,000 pairs of shoes in spring of 2015 and Amy was a finalist in the Eagle Rare “Lead A Rare Life” national competition this past spring, winning the devotion category.
Amy, who is a member of First Baptist Church in Russell, Ky., was a speaker at the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting in November 2018.
She has also been a guest on the Mike Huckabee Show.
Amy’s life story was put in book form in 2014 with Grace Runner that has had more than 2,500 distributed. Last year, her youngest son, Jarek, had a children’s book, Jarek’s Jourey, written about him that is about how he raised money for the mission by running in a half-marathon as a 6-year-old.
Amy’s 10-year-old niece, Kinslee Wesolowski, ran a half-marathon this spring for AFA because of how she was inspired through the ministry.
Through Amy’s inspirational speaking and life change, hundreds have become involved in Amy For Africa and reignited spiritually over the last six years either through giving, praying or going on mission trips to Uganda.
The organization has enjoyed incredible growth both in the U.S. and Uganda, where a separate AFA board was formed. More than a dozen Ugandans are on salary through the organization, a 501 c3 non-profit that is completely faith-based.
God has been good as the organization has never failed to meet a substantial monthly payroll. AFA is expected to begin construction of the school once land titles have been secured sometime in 2019.
Amy Compston’s life is truly different than it was 6 ½ years ago when she gave her heart fully to Jesus. Her devotion to God and the ministry to which He has entrusted her has shown the kind of growth that can only be described in one word: WOW!