Dr. Sam Martin
“Tears are words the mouth can't say nor can the heart bear.”
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
I turned my lights off, put my coat on as I made ready to head home from the office but as I passed Barb’s desk, I noticed her eyes were heavy, she was fighting back tears. Obviously I stopped to talk and the conversation led to this blog.
Barb like all the AOJ staff, is not only a dedicated professional, but a deeply committed and caring person and when I asked her what was wrong, she shared she had two children she was trying to find sponsors for. She then shared the story of Icker, a young 5 years old, and as she did so, she was fighting back the tears. I looked at the profile we have on this young boy and I share it with you:
‘Icker Fernando is a kind and polite child, who likes to help out at home. He gets along well with his grandparents. This year he studies at the AOJ School in Pre-Kindergarten, in faith that a sponsor will be found. Lately, he has had some problems with depression since his father died 10 months ago. His father would often take Icker to soccer games in nearby fields and to the market, and now he asks his mother to call his daddy to see him for a moment and play with him.
Icker’s mother, Maria Catalina, is 29-year-old and works some days on a fruit packing farm, but this is not a stable job. Erick Fernando was Icker’s father who died 10 months ago. He was a good father and a good husband. As the family misses him so much, we have prayed with this widow to encourage her to know that there is a God who loves her and can help her.
They live in a rented room, where there are three other families living in the same house. They have a table and two beds. Mrs. Maria Catalina continues living with her in-law’s family who support her.
WOULD YOU BE AN ANGEL IN ICKER’S LIFE?’
I fully understood Barb’s emotions, I could feel the pain in this young boy’s heart and I prayed for him and his Mom, and this morning in staff devotions we prayed again. You might wonder why I share this, well this is the ‘face of the Mission’ children in need! And of course hoping someone will become the angel that is needed!
By the way we always have children in need of sponsorship.
Dr. Sam Martin
As one who loves to read, and read widely , I picked up a copy of a book by Robert Herjavec who is known for his appearance on ‘Shark Tank.’ It was as you can imagine about how to build a business and succeed in life. However it was written in a very down to earth way as Robert shared an insight into his life.
Now to be honest, I skipped many pages but then was deeply moved by what I have called ‘a message from a shark.’ That message came as I read chapter 26 with the title ‘The Significance of Socks.’
Robert Herjavec shares how in spite of all his success, went through a very difficult family situation which saw his marriage end and caused him to consider suicide proving that money cannot buy happiness or love. As a result, he went to Seattle where he gave himself to work at Union Gospel Mission, serving the homeless and needy. One evening he went with the Director of the Mission on a search-and–rescue trip.
About two in the morning they found a man sleeping in what looked like a discarded sleeping bag, They roused the man who was covered in dirt and blood and it seemed he had been hit by a bus while trying to cross the road. The bus did not stop and the man staggered into the field where he thought he would die without help. Robert says of the man, “He was homeless, unknown and he believed without love. All he could do was to wrap himself in the sleeping bag and wait to die. God he believed had abandoned him.” As I continued reading, the first message from ‘The Shark’ jumped out at me.Robert writes ‘Richard (the Director of the Mission) and I assured him that God never abandoned people, and that someone was always available to help him, no matter who he was or what he had done.
My friends, ‘God never abandons people!’ He is loving , forgiving and caring! And the someone available to help others could be you and me! How many of us need to become the ‘somebody willing to help?’
That was the first message, the second came from simple words written by Robert about his experience and he talks about ‘an appreciation for fresh clean socks.’ He shares a significant truth I quote his words:
“I spent two weeks in Seattle amongst people whose only possessions were the clothes on their backs, and whose deepest desires were to eat a decent meal, find a safe place to sleep, and someday put a pair of clean socks on their feet.I was the man who the previous year had been overjoyed to learn that the Ferrari motor company was giving me permission to hand over $1.5 million in exchange for an automobile as dramatic in style and advanced in design as the latest jet fighter in the fleet of the U.S Air Force”
He then commented, “two months later I was living among people, who in their own way would appreciate a pair of clean new socks as much as I did my decadent, impractical LeFerrari car.”
Before he left the Mission, Robert went to Walmart and bought every pair of adult socks in the store. Then he arranged with a Sock manufacturer to ship thousands of pairs of new socks to the Mission every three months.
The message for me, “I am blessed … to be a blessing!’ and I thought of our ‘Foot washing ministry where we give children new socks and shoes.’ We can do so much with so little if we change our decadent and impractical life-styles!
Thanks for letting me share two simple life-changing messages from a Shark! Remember God will never abandon you and you can make a difference.
Dr. Sam Martin
Let me begin by wishing you and yours a ‘Blessed New year’ and assure you, I pray the Lord will bless you in every way in the months ahead!
Over the years I often became discouraged when I heard Church leaders say, “We cannot get anyone to serve! We need workers for Sunday school, youth ….. And … but no one responds to our cries for help.” The list goes on. Of course as a Pastor, I had been in their shoes. So often we hear people say/sing “I surrender all” but then find they are too busy to make themselves available to serve God.
Well at the end of the year, a young lady who had grown up through the Mission and who had just graduated from our High School asked to speak with me. She began by sharing how blessed she had been as a Sponsored child, and how she loved every moment studying at the Mission School. She hugged me with a big smile of thanks and appreciation.
Then she startled me by saying, “Pastor Sam, I would like to work at the School for at least a year, even before I seek to enter a career.” Before I could respond, she said “and I will work for nothing, you don’t need to pay me!”
As I looked at this bright young girl, my eyes filled and I felt a lump in my throat. She came from a poor family, she could move out and start working and earn a salary, but she wanted to stay at the Campus, do whatever needed done, and she would not expect payment. To say I was deeply moved would be to understate the emotions I felt. I quietly thanked God for such a spirit.
Of course as she serves with us, she will be financially looked after and we know the Lord Himself will bless her.
My friend, are you willing to serve the Lord Jesus even if you are not paid? Have you given your all to Him? He gave His all for you!” Why not take a few moments in this New Year and give yourself, all that you are and have to Christ?
Dr. Sam Martin
Let me simply take a few moments to wish you and yours, A Very Merry and Blessed Christmas! Thank you also for being so faithful in reading ‘Mission Moments’ and for supporting the Mission.
Let me just share with you a few thoughts as we approach Christmas, and ask you to read and think about the words of a beautiful poem, “What Christmas is all about."
Christmas will always be for us
A time to reflect on Christ,
The gift God gave to all the world
Was the gift of His life
We know Christmas is not about tinsel,
Nor fancy Christmas wreaths,
Nor is it about all the decorations
That adorns our Christmas trees
And it's not about Holly or Mistletoe
Hanging from our doors,
Nor is it about the gifts that are left
By the jolly Santa Claus
Christmas is more than all of this
And the only reason why
We celebrate Christ's birth together
And the wonder of His life
So remember as you celebrate,
Just what it's all about
And invite the Lord to join with you,
Instead of leaving Him out
For He will always be the reason
We celebrate this day,
No substitute the world may offer
Can take that meaning away.
© By M.S.Lowndes
Dr. Sam Martin
Forgive me, I am not being negative or factious, I am thinking about some of the homes I have visited, some homes that we have found families living in.
Let me share please:
* Where a Guatemalan Pastor, his wife and 4 children were living! Honestly as I stood looking at what was their home, tears filled my eyes and pain my heart! Here was a servant of God, a brother. It was a thrill for the Mission to build a new home for him complete with kitchen and toilet. He shared how he had prayed for a long time that someone would come and help him and his family, and The Arms of Jesus Children’s Mission became the answer to his prayers.
My friends, we are incredibly blessed!
* The Home of a family in Cap Rouge, Haiti. Living in this shack for years as they battle the cold and damp nights. For them, bed was the ground and the thought of dreaming of a white Christmas would never cross their minds, but I am sure they dreamt often of having a home with a proper roof and walls, a bed to sleep on. For the family it was a dream they never thought would come true, but then the Mission came through for them!
My friends, it is 2017 and yet so many people in our world are living in homes like those I have shared. Often forgotten by Governments, without hope and the world rushes past to line up for the latest gadgets and toys.
urely the Lord wants to do something to help? We read in James 2,
“And one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”
In Matthew 25, Jesus says:
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?’
Yes, there is no place like home, if you have a home! Why not get family and friends together, workmates, Church group and help provide a ‘Home for a needy family’ this Christmas. Cost $1,800.00Bless you!