Monthly Archives: September 2011

Don’t Forget


We’ve been home a little over a month and I have been trying to organize my thoughts and somehow summarize what I would like to share from our trip to the Philippines to bring Vanessa home. It seems overwhelming to try to share everything. Recently, I was reading and came cross the following verse from Deuteronomy 4:9…Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.

After reading that verse it became clear that I need to think about it differently. I stopped trying to summarize and decided to focus on the things I do not want to slip from my heart as long as I live.

During our trip we made the decision not to stay in a hotel, but we decided to stay at the guest house at the YMC…why? This would give us the opportunity to participate in Vanessa’s daily environment and experience the people and events she has experienced each day. We also got to be a part of the community (church, mission teams, children’s home) and we even had the opportunity to serve at one of the community feedings. It was emotionally overwhelming to be serving the only meal that these children would be receiving for the day. With all those great experiences…what is the one thing I don’t want to slip from my heart as long as I live?

On Sunday morning we attended church at the JCCV with Vanessa and the members of the community. During the service we all gathered at the front of the church where Pastor Aranas and Jeff Long, the director of the ministry, prayed for us. It was Jeff’s prayer that is the answer to my question. His prayer included the following words (paraphrased):

God, we pray for Vanessa and her mom and dad and family. We pray for courage for her. While we will miss her we celebrate your plans for her. We are sending Vanessa to North Carolina as a missionary…people in NC need Jesus and Vanessa knows and loves Jesus. We pray that lives will be changed and more people will know Jesus because of the plans you have for her.

During that prayer I was once again humbled by God’s greatness and how He works to further His Kingdom and bring glory to Himself. You see, deep down, I somehow thought that I was doing a good thing and through my resources I was saving Vanessa by giving her a home. I had it upside down! God wanted to send Vanessa to NC to be a missionary and live a life that shares her love for Him. That may seem crazy, but that was His plan. He chose the Martin Family to adopt her so she could come to NC to extend the saving grace of Jesus. My resources and abilities were not that important…I was just a part of His plan. Our society would say this family is doing a good thing by adopting a child and giving her a safe and loving home, but God says we need a missionary…we need someone in NC that loves Me and has a story to share about my glory.

Each day seems to bring joy and also another challenge in our new family. While it has been good I can’t say it has been perfect. God didn’t give us a guarantee that it would be easy and some days have been better than others during this transition, but by saying yes to him He has proven He will provide the strength we need.

So here’s the challenge…Do I begin each day, each business trip, each conversation with my neighbors with the thought that God is sending me as a missionary and will provide the strength we need? I personally have a need for growth, but I am constantly amazed by His greatness.

Amazed and challenged by God, Chad

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


So much.


There are so many things I have thought to blog about…and then I wonder what people really want to know. Everything is going so perfectly…not perfect, but perfectly. I continue to be in awe of Vanessa. She is adjusting to life here and taking her homesickness in stride. I would be in a puddle of tears if I were her. She has had more dental work in the past month than most people have in a year (or a lifetime). And has been homeschooled by the most incompetent homeschooler since the beginning of time…well, maybe not THE most incompetent, but not a competent one. She is looking forward to the leaves changing…this is her first Fall. She is excited.

My other kids are doing fabulous…loving her, doing school, being themselves. Chad and I are amazed and overwhelmed that we continue to feel so blessed and so prayed for. God is so good.

In classic Martin style, we have laughed A LOT as we have all worked towards a new normal.
The temps drastically changed here yesterday and it was one of the funniest moments I have seen thus far. Vanessa opened the back door to the garage and grabbed both sides of the door frame and SCREAMED. Then she and I both began laughing hysterically. As we drove down our street she rolled the window down (after turning on the heat full blast and her seat heater) reached her hand out the window and said, “Look! It’s icy!!!!” I looked at the temp on my dash…it was 64 outside. Again, I burst into peals of laughter….and said something like—Oh honey…you ain’t seen nothin yet! The 30 year low in the Philippines is 68 or something like that. Needless to say, January might be a rough month for her. She does take everything in stride but did opt out of Friday night football last night. Haha!

I would love to write more….if you have a question about anything, please feel free to ask it in the comments section…maybe that will give me food for thought!


Miracle Day


I can only sit here in awe of an amazing God who would allow me and my family to witness a miracle!!! Many of you know how I have prayed and begged and wept to the Lord for Vanessa to be here on her 16th birthday. I was so afraid of this day coming and going with us still apart.
So for us, today is a miracle. It has been less than 7 months since we filed our first document…she is here…on her birthday…today is a miracle. She was very shy that it was her birthday and a little overwhelmed by the gifts, but we kept reminding her that TODAY IS A MIRACLE!! Chad even told her that was what he was going to call it from now on, Miracle Day.
Chad’s parents came up for the day and were able to meet her for the first time. We had such a blast with them! We are looking forward to celebrating again on Saturday with my sister and her family as well as my parents! love to you all! Amy

He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.
Deuteronomy 10:21