Into the Unknown: Couple Recalls Trailblazing Moments in Missions
By Sarah Hunnicutt
Amos and Semper Moore knew God had called them to leave their lives in northeast India and share the gospel with the unreached. What they would learn along the way on their journey from the call, to the country of Nepal, was that sacrifice can be a beautiful necessity and that trust and faith in that call are grown when the road feels most difficult.
For Amos, the inner whisper of the call to overseas missions began when he was young. He remembers going to a Church of God camp meeting with his father, who was one of the pioneers of the Church of God in northeast India, and feeling a tug towards service. His father documented Amos’s experience. Amos would remember this time and let it guide him as he navigated God’s calling on his life.
“There had been a time when I wanted to resign from pastoral ministry. …So, I made a decision that I should go on fasting and talk with God until I heard his voice. …I don’t want to take my ministry as a profession, to me it should be a passion,” said Amos.
After four days of fasting from food and water, Amos remembers sitting outside in the early hours of the morning, struggling with God. “At that time God spoke to me in such a way that I understood clearly that it was his voice [calling me to overseas missions]. …I felt a deep sense of peace and joy in my heart. It was the voice of God.”
This was only the beginning of the journey for Amos and Semper, who had received her own call to missions when she was sixteen. She read missionary stories and had met missionaries from Nepal. “I remember that [even at sixteen] I really wanted to go [to serve overseas].”
Initially, Amos and Semper tried to go to Bangladesh to serve. After two long years of waiting, they received a six-month work permit. “What could we do in six months?” reflected Amos. “That is a very short amount of time. …One of the elders from the church said, ‘Maybe God has not called you. It was your own feeling.’ I said to him, ‘I’m sure of my salvation as I’m sure of my call to him.’”
In 1983, Amos, Semper, and their two small children finally made their way to Nepal. Adjusting to their new way of life wasn’t easy. The language was different. The food was different. Their funds were low. Their missionary work was illegal. “If you are caught baptizing [people in the name of Christ], they will put you in seventy years of jail. …If you are bailed out, you are not allowed again to enter the country,” said Amos.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the Moore family was schooling for their children. They couldn’t afford the schools provided by the embassies and the Nepalese schools required their children to bow down before the king and different gods each day. “When God called us, [we knew] he must provide what we need,” said Semper.
“[We told God] ‘We will give our very best to the work that you have called us to do. All that we know, all that we can, we will give our very best. You take care of our children’ …We had the deep assurance in our heart that God would [take care of them],” said Amos.
God responded. “There were so many miracles that happened,” recalled Semper. They received funds to school their children. Their personal needs were met. The church began to thrive and grow.
Amos, Semper, and their family served in Nepal for twenty-eight years. When they first arrived, there were no Church of God congregations in the country. When they retired in 2010, there were fifteen! Today, there are thirty-seven! This continued growth is the result of the intentional training of lay leaders and pastors in the church so the call to spread the gospel in Nepal could continue, regardless of Amos and Semper’s presence. “The work of the church is the work of the church people. …This is God’s work. We are just coworkers with him.”
Story produced from Episode 3 of Season 7 of A World of Good podcast. Tune in for the whole story: https://chogglobal.org/podcast/s7e3/.
Sarah Hunnicutt recently served the Church of God as a missionary for Global Strategy to Roatan, Honduras. She also serves as a freelance writer for Church of God Ministries.