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Living Her Dream (#Grow Deep)
by Julie Cramer
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Orphan Outreach is celebrating a decade of care for orphans and vulnerable children, and we're inviting our US-based staff to share their thoughts about the ministry and its mission - and we're giving a sneak peek into their lives and loves. This is the official anniversary month of the founding of the ministry, so what better person to share than one of the ministry's founders, Amy Seale, our Director of Web and Technology.

Eight years before Orphan Outreach began, Amy Seale already was working with Tiffany Taylor Wines and Amy Norton as a web designer at Buckner International. One lunch hour shared with Tiffany, however, changed everything.

“She mentioned that she was joining some other folks to start a new ministry. I told her I would be interested in helping. I was just going to work part-time with them but Mike Douris (Orphan Outreach President) pretty quickly decided that I needed to be part of the full-time staff. So I joined all the meetings and planning before we even started Orphan Outreach,” Amy says.

When Orphan Outreach launched in April 2007, Amy showed up at the office with Mike Douris and the late Paula Hayes—the “first official employees. We had an office and absolutely no furniture, no phones, no internet. The three of us brought lawn chairs and TV trays, and that is what we worked on the first week. Paula and I spent the week setting up internet and phone lines, buying furniture and getting the office set up. It was a huge learning experience. You just never realize the detail and time that goes into setting up an office,” she says. “The next week, Amy Norton and Tiffany Taylor Wines started, and then at the end of the month, Eraina Larson joined us.”

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As Mike and the team traveled to countries to evaluate programs and prospective partners, Amy hunkered down to design and launch the digital face of Orphan Outreach. Though the ministry has grown and changed during the past 10 years, Amy’s passion for the work has not wavered. “I love what I do,” she says. “I know that while I may just be designing a print piece or working on our website, it can affect the lives of the kids we serve because it reaches our donors and informs people about the lives of the kids. It is rewarding to be part of what Orphan Outreach is doing. The part of my work that has changed me the most is my ability to share Christ through what I do. As a team, we are able to get so much more accomplished.”

Back when Orphan Outreach had “more office space than people,” the team initially thought their focus would be on orphans with HIV/AIDS; however, it quickly grew to include all “fatherless” children. The expanded definition “includes children living in poverty in single family homes,” Amy says. “It also involves community programs, family preservation, and education for orphans and children living in poverty stricken areas. Each country has a unique need and unique focus. It is amazing to see how God has grown and changed Orphan Outreach,” Amy says. “Now we have more people than we have space. And our programs have changed throughout the years, but the Lord is always faithful to provide discernment.”

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Amy removes her tech-guru hat about once a year to lead team trips. But when the airplane’s wheels touch down again on that flat Texas tarmac, Amy is content to be home once again. A member of a small group and a women’s Bible study at Denton Bible Church, Amy’s life is full. When her beloved nieces and nephews are not underfoot, visiting, she often is curled up on her couch with her King Charles Spaniel, Dillon, snuggled nearby. Country or Christian music plays in the background, and light pours in from her sunroom. Right now, the book she’s dog-earring is Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels.

For Amy, home and office both brim with family.

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“We have all worked together for so long and have experienced so much together that our culture is more like a family. For many of us, we have known each other for 17-plus years. We have lost dear friends and coworkers together, and have walked with each other through difficult times. That just brings you together and makes you closer,” she says. “This is my dream job.”

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