Through the Eyes of a Young Father

2 Jun

To be completely honest, two years ago when my wife told me that she felt called to go on a short-term mission trip with Warren to Swaziland, I thought she was kidding. In fact, I thought that she had made up the very name of the country. When she mentioned the cost of the trip I definitely thought she was kidding. Boy was I wrong. Jeanna did end up going to a real place in the southern part of Africa, completely paid for by friends and family. She returned home fired up for foreign missions as well as determined to sponsor a beautiful young girl named Nonhlanhla. God did amazing things in and through Jeanna on that trip and we have been sponsoring Nonhlanhla ever since. Yet, there was still a sense of distance and disconnect between my heart and the beautiful young girl whose picture is proudly displayed on my fridge.

Over the past two years, God has continued to work in my heart regarding the importance of foreign missions. He has placed friends and family in my life to spur me on to a passion for the fame of God’s name in all the earth. It is through this work and these relationships that I finally said “Yes” to joining 21 others on a trip halfway around the world to a place I had never heard of to share the Gospel with people whose language I do not speak. Yet, over the past week, God has done such amazing things in and through our team that have filled my heart with inexplicable joy regarding Swaziland. Not only have I had the opportunity to minister to hundreds of children and adults, I have had the privilege of spending time with Nonhlanhla daily. In fact, I have also met her brother and mother, who both recognized me from the pictures displayed in their home sent in letters by my wife. Nonhlanhla is no longer just the beautiful young girl on my fridge, but is my Swazi-daugher and sister in Christ who has taught me through her kind heart and sweet speech what it means to love without bounds.

I would encourage anyone interested in the work Warren is doing in Swaziland to jump onboard, whether it is serving on a missions trip, sponsoring a child, or even writing letters of encouragement to the children served at the care-points. Due to poverty and disease, as well as a lack of male Christian leadership worldwide, there is a dire need for Christian men to rise up and fulfill these roles regarding the beautiful young souls at Timbutini and Ntabas. I call to men, young and old, to step-up and rise to the challenge of serving God’s people in this wonderful country. The hustle and bustle of life so easily blinds us to the work that God is doing all around us. It is time to set aside personal ambition and to obey the command of Christ to make disciples and multiply disciple-makers, at home and abroad. I can assure you that Swaziland is a perfect place to start.
Ntabas signteam photo
Team members
Timbutini sign
Chelsea home visit

6 Responses to “Through the Eyes of a Young Father”

  1. Julie Lewellyn June 2, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    God is so amazing! It has been awesome to hear of all He is doing not only for the children of Swaziland but for all of you as well. May His love continue to flow and bless you all! Praying for you! Happy Birthday to my sweet Carolyn! We love you bunches and know you are where you should be on your special day!

  2. Jason June 2, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    To God be the Glory, GREAT things HE hath done! I have so enjoyed seeing the pictures and having the privilege of praying for you guys. I can see Robin and Cricket bee-bopping around and calling those kids by name, and can see Mama GoGo holding 4 kids at one time on her sweet lap and just rocking (and crying) with them, I can see Scott pulling some strings to make something happen that you thought was impossible, I can see Uncle Jessie rigging up the bubble machine and duct taping SOMETHING….oh, the wonderful memories. I know that all the new folks have many wonderful memories that are forever-etched in their hearts and minds. Know that you have done a mighty work and have glorified the Father by being a willing servant for Him. I’m certain that Stephen has led you, and led you well. I know his heart and his ability, and I, like all of you, am grateful for him. Finish Strong…and know that you’re all loved and prayed over! See you on this side!

  3. Rose June 2, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Amen! I am so glad that you and all of the team followed God’s call to serve Him in Swaziland. The people there will forever hold a special place in my heart as I’m sure they do yours. We go there expecting to serve, and we do, but we receive so much more in return! Thank you for being Christ’s hands and feet. We miss you all! Love you Mema and Gaga! XOXO (Happy Birthday Mema!)

  4. Jody June 2, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Precious Zac!! Thanks for sharing your journey!!

  5. Teresa Pritchett June 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    I have so enjoyed the pictures that to me say a thousand words, they capture pain and the sorrow of suffering but they all capture expressions of joy, an immense satisfaction from doing the will of God by accepting the call to be on mission with Him, and they capture the smiles and faces of those we love and those who need love! I have read every story of what God has done and will continue to do in days to come. Zac I am pumped about your story about accepting God’s to go on mission, seeing what he sees then challenging men to serve in a country that has no leaders with strong leadership.
    I am praying for the team as you each return a changed person!

  6. Dona & Jeff Hornung June 4, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    This post both pierces & fills my heart. So very thankful how God worked in and through you and opened your eyes to this ministry. Sometimes it is difficult to express, in words, what His calling is for THIS people group. You said it well Mr. Martin. Thank you! Praying that many will hear & answer. God Bless you and your beautiful wife, Jeanna.

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