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.
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!