Getting to Know Amy O’Brien

Apr 26, 2021


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Editor’s Note: It’s exciting, for me, to be back in-person at Roosevelt after a year of streaming (no joke). One thing that’s really precious to see is how babies became toddlers, and toddlers became pre-schoolers, etc. Oh man! It’s been a long year! Enter Amy, Roosevelt’s Kids’ Ministry Coordinator. Let’s hear from her, (PS I love Brooklyn 99 and Educated.). . . — Jennifer

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Where did you grow up and how did you end up here?

It’s a bit of a long story. I was born in the Philippines, and I spent most of my life on the island nation of Singapore (on the equator, located on the tip of Malaysia). I went to college in Arkansas, where I met my husband. We were married right after I graduated and over the next 15 years we moved to Wheaton, IL for grad school, back to Arkansas, then onto New York City, and then finally Phoenix. Along the way, we added two children to our family, and lots of friends.

As for how we got to Phoenix? My husband, Brandon, works with Dennae at Redeemer City to City and she convinced us this was a good place to live and work.

What’s your job?

My primary job right now is mom to our kids, Jamie (age 9) and Eliza (age 6). But I also get to serve as the Kids’ Ministry Coordinator here at Roosevelt. In addition to that, I write curriculum and consult with churches and other groups about children’s spiritual formation.

Why are you at Roosevelt?

I am serving on staff now, but we first got to know Roosevelt while we were still living in NYC. We have long admired the way Pastor Vermon and Dennae do ministry, and it was a no brainer to join them in whatever way we could when we arrived in Phoenix.

How long have you been here?

We arrived in Phoenix on October 11. So just over 6 months.

How long have you been a Christian?

I don’t remember a time I didn’t love Jesus. But at the age of 8, I came home from school with some important questions that ended with me praying to invite Jesus into my heart with my dad in his office. My dad was a pastor, and he was planting a church which meant his office was in our home.

What are your hobbies?

I love to read (fiction and non-fiction alike), cook and eat all the delicious food, dance with my children, and TRAVEL. Growing up overseas, I feel most at home in airports and I’m always on the hunt to find the tastes of my childhood.

Name two things on your bucket list.

Even before we were grounded due to the pandemic, travel has always been the top of my wish list. Two places are on my mind right now: I want to spend an extended amount of time introducing my family to the places I grew up in Southeast Asia, and I’d love to travel throughout Australia.

What is your favorite book?

I don’t know that I could pick just one. I usually have 3-5 books beside my bed that I’m cycling through. Right now ,I’m really enjoying Tish Harrison Warren’s Prayer in the Night and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat, One by Deidra Riggs, and I just picked up The Lost Man by Jane Harper.  I’m also a big fan of memoirs: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung and Educated by Tara Westhover were some of my recent favorites from the past few years.


What is your favorite movie?

I’m more of a TV girl and my favorite shows ebb and flow. Our Pandemic favorites at home have been WandaVision, The Good Place, and Brooklyn 99. Oh, and as a family we have done the deep dive into all things Star Wars.


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