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Introducing Amos: A Self-sustaining Intentional Ambassador of Christ

By Jewel Showalter

“I’m a guinea pig of RMM’s new professional placement program,” said Amos,* as he prepared to begin three years of English teaching in North Africa in January 2016.

Hailing from Pennsylvania, Amos recently earned a BA in English along with a CELTA certificate to teach English as a second language. He is amazed at how the details of his study and upcoming service have all come together.

During his REACH experience in North Africa (2012-13), Amos learned that he loved linguistics and hoped he’d be able to study more Arabic someday. But North Africa faded into the background as he jumped into college studies in New York City and joined a church plant that was reaching out to new immigrants.

“In New York I began to understand the gospel and its power in new ways,” Amos said. “I loved North Africa and my experiences there but couldn’t see how God might be calling me back until I talked with Jay Martin,* RMM’s director for the Mediterranean Region.”

As Amos heard Jay share his vision for North Africa and encouraged him to join the team he said, “Together we were creating this assignment. I began to get excited.”

But what’s this about guinea pigs? RMM, through the Rosedale Business Group, has developed a program to place qualified, “I’ve been on my own journey of brokenness, healing, and redemption. Now I believe God is calling me to live in the Muslim world, serving as an English teacher, and watch him work to bring peace and freedom in Christ to many." self-supporting professionals around the world—especially in locations where they can join other RMM teams. Amos is a pioneer in this vision.

After hearing Jay’s vision for English teachers in North Africa and Amos’ sense of call, RBG enlisted Phil Swartzentruber, a long-time teacher and pastor from Turners Creek, Kentucky, to mentor Amos in his teaching work in North Africa.

Although Swartzentruber doesn’t know much about the North African context, he knows a lot about serving as a professional in the Kentucky public school system. So as part of his orientation Amos spent time consulting with Swartzentruber and his wife Rosie at the Rosedale International Center.

Along with the professional coaching Swartzentruber offers, Amos is also meeting with other workers in the region and RMM staff who give administrative and well-being support to his assignment.

Compared to the typical budget for an RMM worker, Amos raised only moderate start-up funds that will allow time for six months of language study and bonding with the local culture and host family. Since he loves singing, and comes from a musical family, Amos hopes to learn how to sing and eventually read and write in Arabic. That probably won’t happen in only six months, but by September Amos hopes to find a full-time English teaching job and become self-sustaining while continuing language studies more informally.

After meeting with RMM staff during his orientation Amos said, “I’m so glad to be part of the body of Christ. This is how it’s supposed to work. As a body we’re connecting, communicating with each other. I feel an awesome sense of belonging to all of you as I go.”

As he shared his vision for North Africa, a majority-Muslim region of the world, Amos told his own story of how he’d been set free from bondages and lies which had bound him especially since the identity struggles of his young adult years.

“I’ve been on my own journey of brokenness, healing, and redemption,” Amos said. “Now I believe God is calling me to live in the Muslim world, serving as an English teacher, and watch him work to bring peace and freedom in Christ to many. It’s all about love and building bridges that connect people to the truth of the Gospel.”

Amos asks that we pray:

  • for strength for him to resist the lies and traps of Satan
  • that he will be wholly surrendered and dependent on Christ and have boldness and wisdom to share Jesus
  • that God's love and power will break through the lies and stronghold of Islam and that God would continue to build his church in the region
  • that God provides the right English teaching job for him in North Africa

If you or someone that you know is considering professional employment in an overseas context or a potential kingdom building business endeavor, contact rbg@rmmoffice.org to discuss a variety of ways in which RMM and RBG can help you plan, develop, and implement your vision.

*Names changed or omitted for security reasons.