SAYING THANKS!

12/04/2019

Dr. Sam Martin

Article From Our Latest Magazine:

During our recent ministry trip to Guatemala, a group of folks from the village of San Jacinto asked if they could meet with my wife and I and the Senior staff at the Mission. This is not uncommon and usually they are seeking help. However, this was very different and to say the least, unexpected.

The special people came to ‘say thanks.’ Thanks for the homes we had built for so many of them as a result of faithful donors and Teams. Not only that, they brought with them two baskets of vegetables and bottles of coke and a chicken to bless us. They were beautiful people and in spite of their poverty, they blessed us. They prayed for us and we prayed for them.

As I reflected on such a moving experience, two things came to mind. The first was the story found in Luke 17, where the Lord Jesus healed ten men of leprosy, and the mention that only one came back to say thanks! We can speculate as to why only one came back, but the truth is, we so often take what the Lord does and what others do for us for granted, and we forget to say thank-you!

Then I thought of you, the people who will read the magazine. People who faithfully and sacrificially support the Mission and its many projects. People who pray daily for us and whose generosity is changing so many lives. People who in all honesty enable us to meet the needs of children and families in need. Therefore, I want to begin the magazine by taking time to ‘thank you’ for doing what you do and for being who you are. Indeed, our relationship with our supporters is based on respect, gratitude, honesty and thankfulness.

In the pages of the magazine, behind every word, every article, every picture there is a deep and sincere thank-you for letting the Lord use You!


Sometime after the article appeared in the Magazine, I received a beautiful letter that I want to share with you, it is from a most gracious and godly couple,

“Hello Sam... remember us...I've attached a photo to help you?

You may recall that Lynn and I spent two months at the mission about 10 years ago, and we still frequently reflect on our memories of that experience with great pride and admiration for the dedication of yourself and your staff to improve the lives of the children of Antigua region of Guatemala.

After reading the latest issue of the AOJ newsletter I'm once again motivated to drop you this note to tell you how impressed we are with its content, and how we appreciate being regularly updated on the progress of the mission. We also look forward to the regular updates on the two young ladies that we've sponsored all these years, and how rewarded we are at how they are truly growing up to better persons because of the care and education that they've received at the mission.

By the way, your article in the newsletter about "saying thanks" was most meaningful and appreciated, but it is we who need to be saying "thanks" to you for the years that you have devoted to the success of the mission. Which is all the more reason for us to continue to support you and your staff...in addition to saying thanks.

May our Maker continue to support and guide you and those around you to fulfill your self-chosen mandate to improve the lives of those deserving people of Guatemala who you now serve.

Best wishes for your good health, and God bless...Larry & Lynn”


Now as we approach the year end, I just want to say a very sincere and heartfelt thank- you, and to all who have helped us in 2019 meet the needs of so many children and their families. Without you and the faithfulness of God, we would not have been able to accomplished what we did.

God bless you and have a Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.


WHY WE SHARE IN A FOOT-WASHING MINISTRY

07/11/2019

Dr. Sam Martin

“…He now showed them the full extent of his love… he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.” John 13:1, 4

Some years ago whilst visiting a Mission in Haiti, at the end of a teaching session, a man got up and came over to where I was sitting, he had a basin of water and he washed my feet and prayed for me. In some ways I was taken aback. I felt very unworthy. This had never happened before but it was a deeply moving experience, one I have never forgotten.

Some years later as we prepared to distribute shoes to needy children in Guatemala. I was challenged by the words found in John 13: “He now showed them the full extent of his love … he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist … and began washing the disciple’s feet.” In particular, ‘He showed the full extent of His love.”

Giving out shoes and socks was a practical expression of our love, but the children needed to know that we were doing this as an expression of the love of Jesus for them! So we began by doing what Jesus did, we knelt down with a basin of water and washed their feet, then we place on their feet new socks and shoes. As we did this, we told the story from the Gospel.

However we did not stop there. Each team member then laid his or her hand the head off the child and prayed for them.

Mission Teams continue to share in this ministry, and it is a true expression of the Gospel, Think about it, picture it please. We bend down, we remove the old socks and shoes. We then wash their feet and put on new socks and shoes.

Is this not a picture of our salvation, of what Jesus does for us? He comes down to where we are, and by the shedding of His blood on the Cross, He washes away our sin, the old ways and then He gives us new life, and we walk in that newness. This is the story we want the children to hear and see and it helps adults discover what it means to be a servant!


A SPECIAL PIZZA LUNCH IN HAITI

06/24/2019

Dr. Sam Martin

At a time when life is becoming more and more difficult and families struggling to provide for their families, we thank God for the prayers and support of faithful donors. Inflation is now at 17.7% and the following are from today’s news reports (June 24th).

‘Demonstrators burned tires and threw stones during the march in Port-au-Prince, where the scent of burning rubber filled the air. Many stores and gas stations were closed and travel between some cities was impeded as protesters blocked roads with cars, stones and other large objects. Similar protests were held in the Haitian cities of Jacmel, Cap-Haitien, Saint-Marc and Gonaives.’ Jacmel is the City closet to our Campus. ‘

In the last few weeks we have been able to send extra funds for food distribution, and one family made it possible for us to serve a special ‘Pizza Lunch’ to the Mission children.This was not only an unbelievable blessing and surprise but a real answer to prayer. The Children had a great time

Please keep praying and God bless those who send funds to help us!


You can tell a lot about a person by what they share on their Facebook.

06/04/2019

Dr. Sam Martin

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” Isa. 55 v 8

Facebook? To be honest I am not 100% comfortable with social media. I am aware of the tremendous potential of FB and aware of the dangers. Let me begin by sharing some basic information about FB:

  1. Facebook is a social networking site that makes it easy for you to connect and share with family and friends online. Originally designed for college students, Facebook was created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg while he was enrolled at Harvard University. By 2006, anyone over the age of 13 with a valid email address could join Facebook. Today, Facebook is the world's largest social network.
  2. Nearly 57 percent of the population of the United States uses Facebook, and it is estimated that 1 in every 13 people in the world have a Facebook account. The average Facebook user has about 130 “friends” on Facebook. About 62 percent of people rely on Facebook for their daily news. In a typical hour, about 3 million links are shared, 6 million “friend” requests are accepted, and about 9 million messages are sent! More than 350 million people actively access Facebook via their mobile phones and more than 80 percent of Facebook users live outside of the United States. The average user is connected to about 80 community pages, groups and events, and about half a million new profiles are made every day.
  3. Did you know that according to Statista, 53% of U.S residents use Facebook several times a day? On average, users access Facebook eight times per day. I'm not surprised. Are you?

Now let me share a story told by Jeff Strite, Pastor of the Church of Christ in Logansport, Indiana

‘On the way home from church a little girl who said, “Mom, I’ve been thinking.” The mother said, “Oh! About what?” The girl replied, “Well, my teacher this morning said God is bigger than we are. Is that true?”

“Yes, that’s true,” the mother replied. “He also said that God lives within us. Is that true too?”

Again, the mother replied, “Yes.” “Well,” said the girl. “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?”

Here is a basic principle of life. Whatever is most important to you - whatever is “biggest” in your life – will shine through.

And on Facebook this especially becomes true. Who a person is will shine through. Because whatever is BIGGEST in their lives – shows.

You can tell what is important in a person’s life on Facebook by what…

  1. they talk about the most
  2. and what they say they “like “
  3. and what kind of photos they “share”

One of the most common aspects of Facebooking is this “Sharing” feature.

People on Facebook share photos like these:

1. Humorous (put up humorous postings on the overhead)

2. Political (political photos)

3. Affection or Love (affection related postings on Facebook)

4. Patriotic (patriotic photo)

You can tell a lot about what a person is like by what they share on Facebook’

Last week, on the Mission FB page, a story was shared about a child who needed to be sponsored and it basically stated:

URGENT NEED

Due to unforeseen circumstances the sponsor of Mercy de los Angeles has not been able to continue with sponsorship payments. Mercy wishes to continue her education at AOJ Guatemala. We are in need of someone to continue the sponsorship of her so she can remain attending school at AOJ, etc.

Mercy will turn 9 years old on July 29 and is a very kind, happy and respectful girl. She is in 2nd grade at the AOJ School Guatemala and every morning she is anxious to get to school to continue learning what her teacher teaches every day. She is very responsible in her studies and also very sociable with her classmates.

I was amazed to learn from Edith who very carefully and professionally manages our FB page, that within a short period of time there had been 3,600 hits, visits to the page, and 29 people had then shared it on their FB. Amazing! And so many offers to help and questions about other children possibly in the same situation. And as I write I am happy that Mercy is back in the sponsorship family.

The Mission posting clearly indicated that we care about children, children needed help, and the tremendous response a witness to the good, kind-hearted people who also want to make a difference in the world. As I thought about the response, I remembered the words in Isaiah 55:My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”

By the way, we do have many children awaiting sponsorship, that is to enter this life changing ministry program, and we have children who need help because their sponsors for various reasons has had to cancel or drop their sponsorship. Visit our WEB site page, our FB page or call the office at 905.492.5007 for full information.

Thanks for letting me share!


There are days when I wonder if my ministry is making any difference…

05/29/2019

Dr. Sam Martin

‘My Word shall not return to Me void.’ Isaiah 55 v 11

It is a privilege for us as a Mission to host and facilitate Mission Teams for service and ministry in Guatemala and I always look forward to hearing from team members on their return. However, sometimes it is a real joy to read daily blogs from the Teams in Guatemala.

Recently, I was deeply moved by a daily report and knew I had to share it with you and I pray it will be a real blessing to you. It was written by The Ven. Dr. Darrell Critch, Rector, Church of the Good Samaritan in St. John’s Newfoundland.

Now that is quite a title, but Darrell is one of the godliest young pastors I have met. A man with a great passion for the truth of scripture, a great love for the Saviour and for people. It is an honor to know him as a friend and always a privilege to speak in his Church. He is a real man of God.One morning in March 2019 he shared the following:

Greetings from Guatemala! It’s just after 7am here, Team one left us at 4am, and Team 2 is in Toronto on their way here. I’m enjoying the quiet sitting in the shade, thinking about what we have accomplished this past week, and praying about the work which is before us this week.

Yesterday was especially significant for me. In the morning I had the great privilege of seeing Darlin, a very special young woman who I met when I was here two years ago. At that time she had tried to take her own life, and I was asked if I would speak with her. With the help of a translator, she told me of her alcoholic parents, and of how she felt that her life was a mistake. Through tears, I prayed with her, that she would know how very special and important she was, and that God had a plan for her life.

By the grace of God, she received the message, and has become a leading student at the AOJ school, and is often called on to help other young girls who are struggling as she had been.

At the school yesterday she spoke to the Team and thanked us for how we had been used by the Lord to help change her life.

There are days when I wonder if my ministry is making any difference, Darlin reminded me that the Word never comes back empty!’

Darrell+











(Darrell with Darlin (middle) and other children)

Often in Christian service we wonder if it is worth it, if we are making a difference, then the Lord in His own ways encourages us! Thanks Darrell!

Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear,

We're tempted to complain, to murmur and despair;

But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away,

All tears forever over in God's eternal day.

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,

Life's trials will seem so small when we see Christ;

One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,

So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

Sometimes the sky looks dark with not a ray of light,

We're tossed and driven on, no human help in sight;

But there is one in heav'n who knows our deepest care,

Let Jesus solve your problem - just go to Him in pray'r.