A seven month around-the-world tour is not a bad start for a first job after graduation. The tour is a daily adventure, according to Doug Arms, who was an InterVarsity student leader at James Madison University (JMU).
Doug and his colleague Marc Berruezo are visiting 14 countries on five continents, chronicling the work of Ambassadors for Christ International (AFCI), an organization that supports indigenous ministry.
Deep in the Jungle
During February, Doug and Marc traveled deep into a Malaysian jungle for a visit with Christians in the Penan tribe. “Life slowed down, particularly after the sun went down, as there was no electricity,” he reported, in an email interview. “The tribe’s day-to-day life is totally different than mine. I go to the grocery store, they go to the jungle. I play with video games, they play in the river. I drive a car to go places, no one in the village owns a car. But I experienced that life is basically all about the same things: family, friends, laughter, and love. It was really cool for me to see that.”
Doug committed his life to Jesus Christ in high school and connected with InterVarsity his first day on campus at JMU. “InterVarsity’s campus staff worker, C.J. Goeller, became one of my best friends and my spiritual role model and mentor over the next four years,” he wrote.
Deeply Invested in the Lives of Others
He served as a small group leader on campus for two years, and then on the Exec Team as the Large Group Coordinator his senior year. “The person to person ministry that I experienced through leading a small group was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done,” he wrote. “It allowed me to deeply invest myself in the lives of others. It was amazing to see those in whom I was investing make decisions to follow Christ.”
Doug’s involvement in InterVarsity, including his attendance at the Urbana 06 Student Missions Conference, helped prepare him for his current job. But he also wrote that InterVarsity, “by helping me to grow in love for God, his Word, his people, and his purposes in the world, also prepared me to face the rest of life with a firm foundation in Christ.”
Between graduation and the start of his current job, Doug and four friends rode bicycles across the U.S. He likes to travel and admits that it would be hard to face an office job when it’s time to leave his current position. “I want to feel alive doing what I do, and for me I don’t think that will ever put me behind a desk Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.”
Looking to a Future Back on Campus
So what’s next? Doug has decided to take his adventuresome spirit back on campus. He has accepted an invitation to become a staff intern with InterVarsity at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina, this fall.
“It seems funny to me that after traveling and seeing so much, that I would come back to work with the same organization that I’ve been involved with for the past four years. But what makes me most excited at this time in my life is the idea of seeing young men and women on college campuses come to know Christ personally,” he concluded.
photo: Doug (left) and Marc depart for the next country on their itinerary.