Student Spotlight: Amanda Miller


Murray Corbett, Writer

It’s no secret that Presbyterian College’s senior Softball shortstop, Amanda Miller, is an athlete to watch on the field. Just last season, she started 44 games and tallied seven home runs. Amanda constantly leads the team with a record batting average of .229 combined with a .510 slugging percentage. But what few people know about Amanda is her sincere commitment to her religious beliefs and involvement with Campus Outreach. Her dedication to the Christian based organization at PC inspired her to travel from her home in Orlando, Florida, 7856 miles to South Africa for a mission trip.
Every summer Campus Outreach leads a group of college students to a different nation where they live among the locals and spread their knowledge of the Bible as they embark on their own spiritual journey. This past summer, Amanda and her group of 13 ventured to a small township in Delmas, South Africa. They began their trip by spending a week laying the foundation of a house for a woman named Johannes through a local church: Mercy Ministry. The group did not finish building the house while they were there, but Amanda explained that even though the labor was hard, the week they spent there was incredibly rewarding for her since she was able to spend time with the mothers and children of the township.
She was impressed that the group was able to overcome the enormous language barrier in Delmas and communicate with the people of the town without speaking the native language, Afrikaans. None of the students who traveled to Africa spoke any of this foreign language, yet they were able to accomplish the foundation of a new house.
Amanda said, “in these moments God blessed her group to overcome the language gap and see how spiritual other nations in the World could be, so far away from home”.
After the week of manual labor was over, Amanda and the group traveled to the University of Pretoria, where they lived in the dorms and were given a chance to spend their time getting to know the students and learn about South African culture.
Amanda said that “this was a special experience because she was able to build relationships and share her understanding of the gospel with the people. Another special moment where we really felt that the work we were doing was benefitting the people of Pretoria, was when we watched cultural barriers dissipate over the three weeks we spent there”. Since Apartheid is in Africa’s recent past, there was still noticeable segregation among the African girls and the English girls at the University of Pretoria. Amanda said that when they first arrived at the school, the division was much more noticeable than it was when they left for America. She believes that part of the reason the girls started to spend more time together was because of their mission work to spread their knowledge of God and the Bible among the students. Amanda said that she saw the girls “start to love each other like God loves us”.
“My favorite and strongest memory of South Africa was when we were in the township in Delmas and were given the opportunity to watch as a new church was built”, said Amanda.
They attended the first service in the new church. Amanda said, “this was a once in a lifetime experience because we watched all of these people from the townships come in to attend the service. The church was filled with various languages and people brought their ethnic foods to help celebrate its opening”. The reason Amanda will never forget this moment is that she “saw everything so broken, but also saw a new church coming to life and could dream and pray about what would happen next for the township in Delmas”.
So how did spending a little over a month in South Africa help Amanda become an even better softball player? Well, she explained that after working with the twelve other members of the mission trip this summer, she gained a new understanding of what it truly means to serve others.
She told me that this upcoming softball season, she plans to lead by serving her teammates the way she led by serving her group in Africa. “I was blessed by God to have the ability to play softball, and therefore I play the sport to glorify his name within my team”.  As the details of her trip came to a conclusion, she humbly stated that “even though I went to South Africa to help build and strengthen the locals’ faith, how much God showed me was far more than any physical work I could have given the people of South Africa”.