Meet Amanda Part 1
Pastor Darren Kishimoto

Meet Amanda Part 1

As we focus on being a family church, I want to introduce you to Amanda Shouse, our newest staff member and Worship Director. Though Amanda has been with us for four months now, I realize beyond seeing her on stage or via livestream some of you may not know much about her. In today’s WCCC Weekly newsletter, I wanted to give Amanda the opportunity to share about herself, her family, and testimony; and then next week have her share about her calling, ministry, and worship. We are blessed to have Amanda in our church family. I hope you all will get to know her better in the coming days.

Pastor Darren

Please share a little bit about your background.
I was born in Liberty, MO, where I lived for a short time. My family moved to the once-small town of Kearney, MO (about 30 minutes from the heart of Kansas City) after my sister was born, so from age 2 on, Kearney was home. I lived a fairly normal, happy life with a loving Christian family (see photo below) until my parents decided to divorce at the age of 7. From then, my sister and I split time with my mom and dad, who both remarried. After graduating high school, I attended Northwest Missouri State University, where I earned a degree in Music Education with dual (instrumental and vocal) certification. My student teaching was done in the choir world, and my first teaching job was an Asst. Band Director (my husband’s, actually!) I met my husband, Burke in college, and we married after we both graduated from NWMSU in May 2009. In addition to teaching band, I also coached and choreographed for the color guard, but my favorite part of the job was encouraging and mentoring the students. We lived and taught in Missouri for 6 years before moving to California in July 2015. We moved out here so Burke could join his good friend as his Co-Director at Workman High (not far from WCCC!)

Tell us about your family.
Burke and I have been married for 13 years. We have 3 children: Haley is 10, soon to turn 11, and is in the 5th grade. She is very artistic and creative, and she plays piano, flute, sings, and has been dancing since she was 4. She is very mature, smart, and seems to have what’s called “chromesthesia,” which means sound involuntarily evokes an experience of color for her. It’s fascinating, and neither of her parents have that gift! Keely is 8, and she is in 2nd grade this year. She is spunky, silly, and can be so very sweet when she wants to be. Keely also plays piano and has now been in gymnastics for a couple of years (she’s crazy flexible!) Both girls are also in American Heritage Girls together. Dedan is 4, soon to turn 5, and is in preschool. He is a ball of energy and loves playing with his sisters, friends, and anyone really!

How did you come to know the Lord and do you have a favorite bible verse?
I was raised in Christian homes – something I am so very grateful for! As a 7-year-old little girl, I remember feeling the “tug on my heart,” which I now know was the Holy Spirit’s call to come to Jesus, and I went forward that morning at church to pray and receive Jesus as the Lord of my life. After completing my sessions with the pastor, I was baptized probably a couple months later. I grew up attending and serving in my mom’s and dad’s churches, helping with Sunday School classes, VBS, playing handbells with the handbell choir, playing clarinet in the church orchestra, singing in the youth choir, singing in the adult choir, and singing on the Worship Team. As a teenager, I got into a horrible relationship and ended up making some choices I’m not proud of, and this created some distance between me and my Heavenly Father. After about 4 years, I safely made it out of that relationship, and I was met once again with His most gracious, merciful, loving arms. I have many favorite verses, but two that have carried and encouraged me many times are Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalms 46:10. Many times I’ve been comforted greatly by the fact that God has plans for my life, and He promises they are for my good! And my stubborn, perfectionist tendencies have been calmed and surrendered to Him with the gentle reminder that He is God, and I need only be still and trust Him. He is so faithful and so good, every time!

Beyond worship and ministry, what are your interests, hobbies, passions?
Outside of worship and music, I love the outdoors. I love to take walks and hikes outside, alone and with my family. Nature is where I feel His presence most, with the exception of being with you all in worship on Sundays. There is something about being amongst His creation and taking it all in that really moves me to listen, pray, worship, and glorify Him. The physical exercise is a bonus! 😉 I also enjoy crafty things like scrapbooking, and I used to make jewelry, but I haven’t had the time to do these things in years… though I’ve had the joy of helping the kids with some art/craft projects! Otherwise, I enjoy learning and growing (personally and professionally), spending time in God’s word and with Him, and spending time with friends and family when they come to visit (or when we’re able to get away and go visit them!) Finally, I enjoy serving in American Heritage Girls as an adult leader/teacher, seeing all the girls learn many skills, but most importantly, grow in their faith and knowledge of their identity in Christ.