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.


A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES

03/28/2019

Dr. Sam Martin

But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. Acts 12:16

Isn’t that an interesting scripture? When they opened the door, they were amazed! Well I want to open the door of AOJ, I want you to have a look behind the scenes, because I want to share a very special ministry we have and which you might want to share in.

The Mission Office is blessed with incredible staff and volunteers. Folks who give themselves daily to further the work God has entrusted to us and it is an incredibly busy place. On a daily basis we attend to the needs of children and their families in the areas where we work. We seek to keep sponsors informed and answer all their questions and to be honest, some days the phone rings of the hook. We also attend to letters from Sponsors to their children and vice-versa, and of course arrange translations and so much more.

Then we have the financial work. Receiving, documenting, depositing gifts from donors and making sure every penny is accounted for and used for the purpose given. Then there are the bank reconciliation, transfer of funds overseas, seeking the best exchange rates. Each and every child has his or her own account and this is monitored faithfully. Add trips to the bank, meeting with Auditors etc., and you perhaps can grasp a little of the magnitude of the work.

The Mission as you know facilitates and organizes Mission Service opportunities for groups and individuals. This is an intensive area of work not only planning dates and arranging flights, but addressing legal and Insurance requirements, making sure Police checks and the like are done and working with teams and Guatemala on projects etc.

Now what I have written does not give a full picture of what goes on behind the scenes, it is just a glimpse, but what I really want you to be aware of is ‘our prayer ministry!

It is no secret we could not do what we do without prayer! We need God’s help, we need His wisdom and strength. We pray for all the children in our care, we pray for our staff, we pray for those waiting for help. We pray for funds to meet the needs.

However, our prayer ministry goes beyond that, we pray for individual donors and their families and feel blessed that they trust us to pray for them, and that they feel they can contact us for prayer. Yes, all of our donors are part of the family and when one hurts, we all hurt, when one rejoices, we all rejoice. Barb handles amongst all her other duties the ‘Reception desk’ and often as she talks with those who call, she is asked if we would pray for them and she lists the request, shares it with the staff and prayer is offered. This is one of the most important things we do, and can do for others and perhaps that will amaze you!

Often people ask what they can do for us, they may not be able to work for us, or send funds to help, but we tell them they can pray! Prayer is powerful. It can heal, prayer can give, and it can change lives; Prayer can take us to other countries. As you look behind the scenes at AOJ you will see a staff and people who pray!

Now at the beginning I said “I want to share a very special ministry we have and which you might want to share in,” and it is our prayer ministry as it would be good to take this beyond the office. So think and pray please about:

*A prayer Coordinator. Someone with a computer, who shares our belief in prayer who would collect from us prayer requests and send them out to others. This in a completely confidential way on at least a monthly basis. Could that be you?

* A Prayer Tea. We need people with whom we can share the requests, people who will pray!

Now I am praying I will hear from you!


Pray for Haiti

02/14/2019

Dr. Sam Martin

Thousands of Haitians took to the streets of Port-au-Prince on Friday in the latest display of public fury at the government over rampant corruption, economic malaise and other grievances.

Violent demonstrations, known as "Operation lock down Haiti," have been taking place on a daily basis since February 7, with demonstrators erecting roadblocks, burning tires, and throwing rocks at security forces nationwide.

Individuals in Haiti are advised to keep abreast of the situation, strictly avoid all protests and associated roadblocks due to the likelihood of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments (e.g. travel restrictions). Be prepared to shelter in place in the event of prolonged civil unrest (e.g. stockpile supplies of preserved foods and fresh water).

As I write, I can still sense the tremendous concern and unease in our Haiti Director’s voice as he said ‘Pastor we are in lock down, please pray for us!’ Over the past few weeks Wilson has reported that things were getting worse in the Country and now they have reached a dangerous point. People are being shot, fires are burning everywhere and even children are being pepper sprayed. Here is what he wrote a few days ago:

“Good Morning Dr. Martin,

I would like to request your prayers for Haiti. The situation is complicated in Jacmel. Schools, stores and others offices are closed down. Our children are getting gassed. I certainly believe that your prayers will be helpful for the nation. Please pray and pray.

Wilson”

My friends, would you be kind enough to pray today for the people of Haiti? Join us in praying for all who are serving the Lord in this broken country. Pray for the Mission Staff, the children and their families. God bless you and thanks!

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."

Please pray!



It Is All In The Name!

01/03/2019

Dr. Sam Martin

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22 v 1

As the year was closing, I realized it was time to register again for Insurance, so as I was having a coffee break, I called the company from the office and a pleasant young man answered. He shared they were having computer problems and asked if I could call back later and I said no problem, I will be happy to do so

Sometime later, I called again and we discussed needs, costs etc. and when everything was complete, he said “before I end this conversation, can I share something with you by way of thanks?” I said, “sure” and assumed he wanted to thank me for the business, which he did but there was more, much more!

As I listened the young man said, “you are The Arms of Jesus, right?” I responded, “Yes we are.” He then continued and I share what he said. “This morning I received word that a very special aunt had died and I was struggling with that and when your call came in I saw the name on my phone, ‘The Arms of Jesus’. You have no idea what that meant to me, as I read the name, I realized that my special aunt was in ‘the arms of Jesus’ because she was a woman of faith. Thank you for blessing me and I have such peace now knowing my aunt is in His arms.”

That was a first for us and it certainly gave me a warm feeling and helped me realize there is more in a name than perhaps we realize! As I write this, the words of a very old hymn are filling my mind:

Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on His gentle breast;
There by His love o’ershaded, Sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark! ’tis the voice of angels Borne in a song to me,
Over the fields of glory, Over the jasper sea.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on His gentle breast;
There by His love o’ershaded, Sweetly my soul shall rest.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe from corroding care,
Safe from the world’s temptations; Sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow, Free from my doubts and fears; Only a few more trials, Only a few more tears!


By the way, a blessed New Year to you and yours!