Ministry Today commends a different group of kingdom-minded people or organizations each year in our MT21 issue. In 2014, when we launched MT21, we honored churches and ministries that were influencing the 21st-century church.
In 2015, we highlighted 21 congregations that were "culturally diverse on purpose." This year, however, we're taking a different approach and naming 21 businesses whose leaders are a witness for Christ in some way through their professional platforms. From cupcake makers to insurance agency owners to roofers, we have covered a wide range of businesses in this year's MT21 feature.
Today, we are highlighting Divine Image Cosmetics (divineimagecosmetics.com).
Amanda May, a former model at Planet Hollywood and salon manager at Caesar's Palace, is well-acquainted with the world of fashion and celebrity, having worked with Dancing With the Stars and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
But May's penchant for makeup came out of her own pain. May's dad, an alcoholic, died when she was 16. To hide her pain, she began abusing drugs and alcohol, but she also turned to cosmetics. When she got pregnant, however, she changed her habits to get physically and spiritually healthy.
For a fresh start, she and her 2-year-old son, Isaac, moved from Ohio to Las Vegas, where she was discipled by Pastors Benny and Wendy Perez at the Church of South Las Vegas. May's life was transformed, but she continued working in the beauty industry as God opened doors.
After developing her own product line, Divine Image Cosmetics, in Las Vegas, she married Arthur Keith, and they moved to Central Florida. It was there that she opened up two makeup lounges, one in Tampa and one in Heathrow—with, she expects, many more to come.
May has been able to use makeup as an opening for sharing about Christ.
"When we're doing the makeup," May explains, "we will ask specific questions, certainly led by the Spirit, like: 'What do you want to see changed most in your life?' Or sometimes it's very easy like, 'Where do you go to church? Do you believe in Christ?' God just has a way, I think, because they feel connected to who we are as people, not just externally but because we take that time to connect with them up front. It just opens up this space for them to be able to really share where they're at and what they're dealing with, and so many women come in here and just say, 'I don't feel beautiful' and 'I don't feel good about myself.' That's our chance to fill them up with Scripture and godly principles so that they can walk away with feeling totally refreshed-—and it has nothing to do with makeup."
Slowing down and connecting with a client in her care at the makeup lounge, she finds "a transparency and an openness that the Spirit of God has created in here," she says. "It's amazing to see because she shares, and then we get a chance to lift her up."
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