Thursday, April 30, 2015

Doubt

By: Rachel Martin

Doubt is something we never talk about and I just don’t know why.  Like it’s not OK to doubt.  There are many famous doubters in the Bible.  One story in particular that has always spoken to me is Peter walking on the water.

Read Mathew 14: 22-36.  Peter in one moment is filled with Faith.  He says I know Jesus if you just say so I can do anything!  Then the next moment it says he gets scared and then Jesus asks “you of little faith, why do you doubt”?  Talk about a gut wrench for Peter.  However there are a few things I want you to notice here.  One is that Peter started out walking on water!  I mean talk about the supernatural.  Sometimes we say to ourselves well if I could really see God work I would feel better and have less doubt.  Peter walked on water with Jesus right in front of him and still he doubted.  Doubt happens.  If Peter was walking on water, got scared and doubted why are we so hard on ourselves when we do it.  

Doubt can be a good thing.  You don’t see Peter doubting much after that do you?  You see his fear come back.  For example when he denies Christ at the end but he never doubts Christ as the Son of God.  Doubt can drive us to find the answers we are looking for.  Whenever I doubted I look to scripture, I pray, I ask God to help me.  Doubt has driven me to really search for the answers to what I believe.  To step out in Faith and do things I didn’t think I can because I wanted to have that walking on water Peter moment.  Doubt can also be a great evangelism tool.  We do a lot of street evangelism and the common theme is doubt.  We encourage people to look to the scriptures, research, figure it out.  Don’t just sit in your doubt and hope it goes away, work through it and make a choice for yourself.

The other thing that I want you to notice in this story of Peter is Jesus’ rebuke.  “You of little faith, why do you doubt”?  He didn’t say “Peter you disappoint me so, I am never going to help you again, I can’t believe what an idiot jerk you are after all I did for you”.  He simply says your faith is so small why are you doubting?  It is powerful and was hard for Peter to hear I am sure but is Jesus shocked?  Nope, partly because He is God but also because it just happens.  Doubt happens and you move on though it and watch and wait for the renewing of your faith.  Does Jesus call on the Angels to bring down the skies on Peter.  No.  He makes a simple statement so that Peter can know he doubts, that there is no reason for it, and moves on.  

Doubt is not anti faith.  You can still have faith and doubt.  Jesus says to Peter “you of little faith”.  He doesn’t say “you have no faith”.  It is a far different thing.  In Mathew 21:21 Jesus says after making a fig tree wither and die,  “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” What is being said there is if you have faith and don’t doubt you can do anything the possibilities are endless.  He is not saying if you have faith and doubt you’re an idiot and deserve to die.  He is talking about the balance between faith and doubt.  

I may be reading too much into scripture about Peter.  That being said, in the end when he hears the news that Christ’s tomb is empty.  He goes running to see for himself.  He doesn’t doubt like it says some did.  He doesn’t mosey over to the tomb.  He runs!  He is excited to see for himself that all has come true.  He also dies a martyrs death.  He was crucified for his belief in Christ as the resurrected savior and Son of the one true God.  Does that sound like a man of doubt?

Don’t think we are any different than Peter.  There are many famous Christian authors, pastors, evangelists with stories of doubt and how they worked through it to become the men and women that God has used greatly.  We all have doubted from time to time.  What matters is what we do with it.  God made us He knows we are weak fallible humans with little brains.  He knows our struggles.  Do you think that this is beyond the maker of the universe? I am sure it grieves Him.  I mean I get sad when my son thinks I won’t take care of him in little situations like the swimming pool.  That is just a small human example.  

If you doubt try to realize what is going on.  Don’t beat yourself up but instead look for answers.  Figure out where it is coming from.  Turn to scripture for the answer.  Pray and ask God to help you, guide you and show you.  I will talk a lot about how important Christian community is in my blogs.  You need people that can walk with you through the nitty gritty and help you as you will help them.  Talk to them.  Say “hey man I am going through a rough time and really doubting can you pray for me or give me advice”.  If we are honest with each other I think you will find this is not a secret sin.  Everyone deals with this sooner or later.  Just don’t rest in your doubt be proactive and use it as a lesson and training tool to make you stronger and better for Christ.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

You Have to Start Somewhere.

By: Daniel Martin

I was really nervous. We had been to two evangelism prep classes and we were all going out for the first time bold in our faith. I was with a really sweat really bold girl who came to our Bible College from Alaska.  She had been doing evangelism on her own for a while. I wanted her to show me the ropes. I thought that she was a good person to hide behind because she had done this for a while. I now know that even if I didn’t know what to do that was the wrong attitude to have. God would have us all be bold for him. However I was fearful that I would look stupid and that the people I talked to would get mad at me. 
 
We walked around and she tried talking with a couple people. Once again I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I know why now, it was because I cared more about looking good than I did about peoples souls. That’s may be too honest from a guy writing an evangelism story but that really was what it was. The town was nearly deserted that day. When we got there I saw a guy sitting down and looking very sadly at the sunset. It was a beautiful sunset in an otherwise very grey and cold day. She said I should go talk to him. I agreed but as I walked toward him with my Bible and tracks I felt like my clothes had blown off in the wind and everyone could see my underwear. 

I came went over and I sat down right next to him. He looked up at me with semi teary eyes. I asked him. Isn’t the sunset beautiful? Yes he agreed that it was. I asked, have you ever wondered who put that all together and why your here on earth? Yes. He said very affirmatively and looked straight at my eyes looking for an answer. I quickly handed him a tract and said here read this.  Then I walked off trying to do my best to look confident and like I had just nailed a home run. I recounted the story to my partner in embarrassment.  She sweetly said, lets pray for him. We weren’t more than thirty feet away and I still remember his anguished confused face staring at us as we knelt down praying for him. I knew it wasn’t a home run and that I had bunted when I should have swung with all my might. 

I discovered two things that day. One that’s not what tracts are for.   Two, is that sometime unsaved people do really want to hear the truth. Often time’s people are just waiting there for you to show up and give them the gospel. There not angry, they are desperate. They have had God chipping away at their reasons for not believing or trusting in Him. Many are tired of the fa├žade and are ready for a good answer for their existence. If I could go back in time I know I would do that with boldness knowing that I was delivering this man the good news of eternal life and rightness with his creator. I only hope the tract had the same affect that talking with him would have had. 

Everyone has to start somewhere and that is where I started.  The more I did the more confident I became.  I am not ashamed anymore. I am bold.  The good news is not something to be ashamed of.   It’s the power of God. It’s able to lift us from our desperate self-pity, it gives us a life of freedom and joy. It delivers us from Gods righteous anger. Please I beg you to see the gospel this way. If I had then I would be able to be sure I would see this man in heaven instead of just hoping he might be there. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Future of Morning by Morning Ministries

By: Daniel & Rachel Martin

As mentioned before our main goal is to spread the gospel. While we enjoy and have plans to continue things like teaching dance and guitar to the children of Mexico and serving the ministries already in place in our community there are some other things on our hearts.  

Evangelism – We would like to see the street evangelism ministry expand globally.  We would like to be able to reach others by encouraging and teaching them how to effectively do street evangelism.  Daniel has classes prepared and many of our blogs in the future will be from his memoirs so to speak.  They are stories of evangelism, how it either went wrong or right, what to learn from them, and encouragement as to why it is so important to be bold about your faith.  

We would like to see a revolution in the church as a whole about sharing our faith.  We would like to reach out to others not just missions groups that travel into our area but also to others all around the world needing encouragement and lessons on how to win people for Christ.  One way is this blog, facebook and the internet in general.  It can reach people all over the world so pass on something you read on our blog or invite people to our Facebook page if you find something that encourages you.  Another is allowing us access to your mission’s team when they come into the area.  We will happily come to you, do classes, help you along, and take you out with us to see how it can be done effectively.  Thirdly let us know if we can e-mail, phone call,  video conference, or even come visit you or your church and encourage you in any way.  Do you need scripture about witnessing, reading material suggestions, encouragement to be bold?  Let us know.   
Daniel taking our neighbors grandson to do street evangelism.
Homeless Bags - The second ministry we would also like to expand is the homeless bags.  At the moment we live in a very small space.  A travel trailer to be exact.  While we love living there the expansion of our ministry is ready for the next step.  Our hope is to one day soon raise enough funds to move into a place large enough to store bags, supplies, and other things in order to make more bags.  At the moment we do 4 at a time and store them in our car.  This is a new ministry and a great way to reach people and we would like to see it grow.  When we have a space you could help by sending us long handled bags (such as that can be worn over the shoulder for easy carry when walking) or fabric to make them and or funding for necessities to go in the bags.  Until then you could help by praying and carefully considering partnering with us so that we can move into a space big enough to expand this ministry.

Our son helping me fill a homeless bag.
Accountability Filter - Third we would like to start serving as a conduit for those looking to help people and needing a non-profit to donate through.  Our hearts are for the lost and those that others might not consider helping.  We take food to the Christian Rehab center twice a month sometimes only once a month.  We would love to make that every week.  We would love to reach more people with the homeless bags.  We would like to spend more than one day in the states a month reaching American’s.  We have been, in the past, the hands and feet of people wishing to give and not able to come themselves.  We would like to get to know people personally and be the hands and feet for others.  We want to be able to allow people to give and know that their funds and being used properly and give them peace that it will go to the right places.
The Recovery Center where we take food every other week.

Hosting - Finally, in the future we would love to host people.  We both have a heart for young people and have worked with them in various ways in the past.  We see the impact mission has on the interns in our life and have had young people ask before if we could host them.   We would really like to host young people looking to serve and partner with us for 3 months up to a year.  We would also like to be able to host families.  We had three families come here to partner with us this winter and we had to find lodging for them.  We hope that some day opening our home will cut costs for those from our supporters and churches looking to do short term missions.  This would all mean less cost for either interns or short term missions families.  If people did not have to worry about a place to stay and the cost involved it would make it a much easier process for more missions to Mexico.  Mexico is undeserved at the moment, particularly, with evangelists and oh how we would love to see that change.

Intern Bible Study in our home.
Before any of those things can be done we have to be fully funded and we are about $1,500 a month in regular donors away from that goal.  The biggest way you can support is through prayer.  Pray for full funding but even more importantly for wisdom, patience, and boldness.  As we take the next steps out in faith and consider what He has laid before us please remember us in prayer.  We believe that God has plans for us and these seem to be the ones we prayerfully have considered and think God would have us peruse.  Just like we had no idea when we met a little more then 4 short years ago that we would be here with a child, serving God and loving every minute of it.  He will direct our path and open doors and shut others until we are just where He wants us to be and where we can be of most use to the Kingdom.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Who We Are #2

By: Rachel Martin

Daniel and I met in December 2010, at the time we had no idea how quickly our lives would change.  We started dating in February of 2011, and were married in May of that same year after a short 1 week engagement.  In November of 2011 I was pregnant with our son.  By July 2012 when he was born the difficult pregnancy had pretty well worn me out.  My hard pregnancy and all the issues that happened after his birth turned my 3 month maternity leave into semi-permanent retirement.  I owned a small dance school on the Oregon Coast and in the end I sold it to an amazing women and good friend.  The business still thrives today and she continues to run it with integrity and an eye toward God.
Our wedding day.
At this time Daniel was looking for work in ministry, particularly with youth or young adults.  He was working at a local Fred Meyers store but knew all his training and heart were for ministry.  Missions were never on the map so to speak.  Daniel had been to a missionary training school and had some bad experiences so it was something he never wanted to do again.  After many doors were closed while we looked for work in the states we started opening up our hearts to Mexico.  We knew we had a place to stay in La Mision and after a while it became apparent that was where God wanted us to go.  We feel that scripture says, God calls and we should answer, yet we found no organizations willing to send us out without 100% funding.  Daniel also felt that because of his past workings with different mission’s organizations we would have more freedom to do as God calls if we went on our own.  We filled out the paperwork for a 501c3 with the help of a family friend CPA and by January 2014 we were packed up and on the road to La Mision where we now serve.

Our little family about 4 months before we left for Mexico.
The first year we spent most of our time in Rosarito about 45 minutes North of us.  Daniel was acting as fill in Pastor and we were both running the tiny worship team at our church there.  Daniel was set to take over for the pastor of the English speaking congregation upon his retirement at the end of the year.  In the end however the church decided to close the English speaking part of the church and we were left behind trying to find a new church and figure out what our ministry would be.  We knew God called us here so what was next?  We were already living in La Mision so we turned our attentions here to this lovely place full of amazing people.  Over the next few weeks our ministry became apparent and is what it is today.  

From the beginning we taught dance and guitar at Casa De Luz in Primo Tapia.  They are a free day care serving single parents.  This allows the parents to work and keep their children rather than resorting to taking them to an orphanage.  We love going there and we continue to teach there every week as part of our ongoing ministry.  We find ourselves in a cool location with many ministries already in place.  We spend much of our time supporting them in various ways.  The freedom we have with Morning by Morning Ministries allows us to do as God calls and we are often doing for the ministries here.  Daniel spends time two days a week at a local men’s recovery center discipling the guys and teaching guitar.  We encourage the local interns from the various ministries with a Bible Study and dinner every other Friday night at our home.  The Friday nights we don’t meet Daniel helps (along with the interns) at a youth group from our local church.  I teach dance at our church and charge 10 pesos per class (about.70 cents).  If the kids can’t afford it I don’t make them pay.  All the money from classes are donated to our local churches mission fund.  Daniel also plays music with the worship band at both of their weekly services.

Daniel teaching guitar at Casa De Luz.
One of the main focuses of our ministry is street evangelism.  Daniel has had much experience teaching, leading, and doing street evangelism.  We do this in various ways.  One way is through music.  We play music in the park and get in to conversations with people.  Daniel takes to the back roads here in La Mision and talks to people. Everywhere we go we consider it a street evangelism mission field on a daily basis.  Even on our trips home or to San Diego we are always on the lookout and chatting with people with heart of spreading the name of Jesus.

While we are out doing street evangelism we carry homeless bags with us.  These are bags I made and we filled with necessities and food.  We also include a Bible in Spanish, some tracts and a few coins.  No one gets a bag unless we talk with them first ensuring that they receive the gospel before leaving us.  This is a ministry we have just started and would like to see grow in the future.
This is the short story of what we do and how we got here the second half of the story.  Make sure you check out our next blog about where we would like to take the ministry in the future.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Who We Are #1

By: Rachel Martin

We are a non-profit 501c3 based out of Tillamook Oregon.  We have a board of directors made up of people that will both ask the hard questions and allow us the freedom to do as God calls.  We are Daniel and Rachel Martin the only two missionaries that work with Morning by Morning Ministries. We serve in La Mision Baja Norte Mexico.  While that is our home and some ministry is done here we also do street evangelism and homeless outreach from San Diego to Ensenada.  

Daniel and I both grew up in Christian homes.  Daniel’s father was and still is a pastor.  He now pastors a Calvary Bible Church where Daniel grew up.  During Daniel’s Junior year of High school he was allowed to attend Ecola Bible School to earn his high school credits.   After high school he again attended Ecola Bible School.  That is where Daniel got his first taste of street evangelism and had some great people mentoring him there.  

After Ecola Daniel attended a Bible and Missionary Training School.  This is where his street evangelism skills were honed and he started training young people to do the same.  After that he returned to Manzanita and got a job at a local grocery.  In his church he taught boys Sunday School classes, helped with youth group continued street evangelism and generally helped out at his church.  Daniel has a long list of schooling and missions that have all come in very useful in our current ministry.
Daniel at Missionary Training School with one of his students.
In preparation for our move to Mexico, Daniel went back to school and received his Certified Nurses License. He worked a short time in the states before we arrived in Mexico and here in Mexico, his CNA license has been instrumental in our service.  He has been able to help in the local medical clinic, it has enabled him to take on an occasional client and his knowledge of first aid  and nursing has been called on many times throughout our ministry.  

As I said I also grew up in a Christian home.  My father was a deacon of our church and regular Sunday attendance and Bible studies were always part of our life.  During high school I started teaching dance and helping with handicapped youth and children in our community.  I took a photography class in school and was hooked.  After graduation from High school I followed my three main loves.  Dance, photography and food.  I worked as a deli chief at a local shop learning what I could and enjoying the small space and customers.  After that I worked at a photo shop developing film, selling 35mm cameras and learning more about my craft.  That should date me a bit.  Haha.  I remember when digital cameras first came out we thought they were a joke and would never last.  At that time I also was taking lessons from a local portrait photographer and teaching dance one day a week.
When my dance instructor decided to retire she graciously allowed me to purchase the business and I jumped right in.  While I owned the school I went to Dance Educators of America each summer for 4 years and became a certified dance instructor.  I continue to be a DEA member in good standing thanks to the new owner of the Dance Center that I sold before moving here.  I expanded the curriculum to include classes for mentally disabled adults and well as branched the Dance Center out into other forms of dance like hip hop, contemporary, a toddler dance program and cheer leading in which I was also certified.  I offered free classes for students wanting to compete in competitions around the North West and our staff served with local event and charities in the community.  

Me in the front in white dancing with some of my students as the local fair.
I still consult with the Dance Center on occasion and the current owner also helps me with all things blog, facebook, and internet related.  I go back every year and use my now honed photography skills to take pictures of the dancers in costume.  I love my trips home and have one coming up in May.  The Dance center was my mission field for years and I loved it.  It is always a special treat to come home and see old friends and how much the students have grown under their new teachers care.
As I write this I can see all that God has done to work both of our lives together so that we could serve Him here. We are both using our gifts and passions to serve and enjoying it immensely.  

For the rest of the story check out our next blog.  Thanks for visiting us!