Light the Fire

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

Do you remember when you were younger, people asking you, “What do you want to be when you grow up”?  What did you tell them?  My main answer was, “A wife and a mom!”  Little did I know that the passion inside my heart would grow into a bonfire of love and care for children and youth.   


A strong foundation was laid at a young age. My parents love the Lord, love each other, and love my brother and me (and our families) with every fiber of their beings! On top of that, ever since I can remember, I have seen them represent the hands and feet of God.

Jorge and Amanda

As I  grew older, I  met an amazing man at church one Sunday. I was instantly drawn to his heart for the Lord and for others. God has gifted Jorge, my husband, in a special way that can make anyone feel welcome, important, and loved by God in the first few minutes of conversation. 

Loving God first and loving others has been modeled for me from a young age, all the way into married life. It has helped shape who I am and who God called me to be.  


Speaking of calls, that’s exactly what happened to Jorge and me. God called us into the foster care world on the same day through the testimony of R.B. Mitchel (author of Castaway Kid). We remained as foster parents for the next 7 years. The year 2018 brought a new chapter in our lives. The Lord once again called us to care for kids, only on a new level.  Enter . . . Cookson Hills.

Since June of 2018, Jorge and I have been houseparents at Cookson Hills. As a follower of Christ in general, it is imperative to stay close to the Lord. As a housemom, it’s even more so. I would crumble under the weight of the hurt and burdens these kids carry if I did not have the Lord to hold all of our family in the palms of His hands. 

He has promised to bottle up every tear and deliver us from death so that we may walk in the light of life (Psalm 56). The kids that become a part of the Zamarrón Family (aka The ZAMFAM), oftentimes come to us with past hurts. They have built barriers around their hearts because of their trauma, anger, fear, confusion, low self-worth, and low self-esteem. But I know the God who heals. Although, when you pray for spiritual transformation and emotional healing you also need to be prepared for spiritual warfare.  


Battling the ugliness of bondage and hurt of any kind can be dark. Yet John 1:5 reminds us, “Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot extinguish it.” One thing that takes my breath away is when I see God working in the hearts and minds of “our” kids. The barriers of their hearts have pieces chipped away with consistency, truth, love, constant warm meals, and listening ears. And something wonderful happens. 

The darkness inside their souls is suddenly exposed to the light streaming through the chips in their walls! And like building a bonfire, that small spark of God’s love gently spreads and grows into other parts of their lives as the Lord “heals” them from the inside out. As we blow on the spark to help fan the flame, so too the Holy Spirit breathes new life into these sweet kiddos. Only God can give them a new perspective on their past hurts and trauma. It helps them not just thrive, but be able to share parts of their story to inspire others going through similar experiences.

I get to be a part of that!  It’s an honor to “be light” and lead by example through everyday opportunities. Just like my parents, brother, and husband have modeled Christ’s character to me. 

May our everyday choices fan the flame of trust and a positive relationship with God. So that it can be carried into the future by this generation and generations to come!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR — Amanda Zamarrón and her husband of 13 years, Jorge became houseparents in 2018. Outside of the home, kids know Amanda as “Mama Z,” but inside she’s simply Mom or Mommy. Amanda loves the blessing of getting to love on, direct, listen to, color with, read to, laugh with, and help the kids in their family grow spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Northwest Arkansas Community College. On top of the kids they’ve been able to call “theirs” temporarily, God has blessed them with four beautiful children of their own; Joseph, Stephen, Joshua and Eliana. If you see Amanda out and about, she’s usually hanging with the fam (she’s a big family person), soaking up the sun during a run or hike, reading her Bible or a book, doing something artsy, or going on another adventure with Jorge!