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The Martin Family

Serving in Southall, UK
As the year draws to an end, would you consider supporting our family with a special, one-time donation?
We are in need of an additional $2,000 in monthly support. Would you pray and consider partnering with us in our gospel work here in West London? 
Click HERE to pledge your support
2021 Year End Update
"And I will betroth you to me forever.
I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.
I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.
“And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD,
…I will have mercy on No Mercy,
and I will say to Not My People, You are my people’;
and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”
Hosea 2:19-21a, 23b


Merry Christmas from our family here in West London!

     We have entered into this wonderful season of advent and I pray that you are enjoying the rest and peace offered by our loving Savior, Christ Jesus!
     As we are in a season of gift giving, I have to admit something, I love and enjoy giving gifts to Angel and the girls, but I am not that great at it…  I am not great at listening to my girls (especially Angel) and “knowing” what they truly want. Knowing the object for which their heart is longing.  Sometimes I do pretty well and give a really special gift! But often, the gifts I give are just…good. I’m grateful that our Heavenly Father is the best gift giver ever; that He knows my heart better that I do. I am grateful that even in my blindness and unfaithfulness, the Holy Spirit allured my heart and the Heavenly Father lavished the mercy of Christ Jesus on me.
     This leads me to the scripture quoted above. Hosea has always been one of my favorite books of the Bible. The promises offered by our faithful God to an unfaithful people through His prophet are truly amazing and incredibly beautiful.The way these promises point to Christ have been especially impactful to my heart today as I sit to write this update. I will share some of the highlights of the last month of ministry with you, and in each, this verse touches an aspect of them. As always, if you want some more information on any of our updates, send me an email and I will provide you more details.

Leadership Development
     On the last ministry update that I sent out, I shared with you about my practicum regarding leadership development within New Life Masih Ghar church (NLMG). Over the upcoming year, much of my focus and time will be directed towards the raising up of new Elders and Deacons within our church family. The session of NLMG has approved and offered their support to me.
     At the start of the year, the pastors will begin preaching and teaching on leadership, servanthood, shepherding and the requirements set in scripture for the offices of elder and deacon. I am grateful for this and I look forward to how the Spirit will use the Word of God to excite the hearts of our church. Both the hearts of those whom He may be raising up to serve in these offices and also the hearts of those who will pray over and nominate potential officers.  I have been in contact with the Candidate and Credentials committee of our denomination, the International Presbyterian Church to begin the process of gathering training material. I will also be reaching out to some of you for insight and help as well. Please pray for wisdom as I present the material to the session. Specifically, that the material will be theologically sound, Christ honoring, church edifying and culturally understandable. 
     The last point of my prayer request is weighing heaviest on my heart. In the multi-cultural context of Southall, I desire to approach this training in a way that is understandable to the hearts and minds of my South-Asian brothers. Please pray for wisdom as I speak to American friends, Anglo-British friends and local co-workers in seeking advice.  I desire to see servant leaders who say first and foremost, “ You are my God, because You have made me Your people!” Then, flowing from this amazing statement of identity, they can be practitioners of the Word into a ethnically and culturally diverse community with loving and merciful hearts.

Book Table
     Our team has resumed going to the streets of Southall to do sidewalk evangelism and to offer free copies of the Gospel of John to those that we meet. While preparing to go do evangelism is always a time filled with anxiety, fear and doubt, once we begin greeting people walking by us and offering “words of peace” the emotions begin to change. The fear flees and it is replaced with a longing for those who don’t know Jesus.
     A few weeks ago, we set up on the sidewalk and one of the first men that I greeted stopped and asked me what I was offering. I told him that I was offering words of peace and an invitation to know my Savior, Christ Jesus. The man chuckled and asked if I knew that Jesus was a Buddhist priest who was buried in Sri Lanka. He even told me that he could show me his grave!
     I smiled and told him that it couldn’t be true… I said that Jesus is not in any grave. He rose from the dead and has ascended to Heaven. I know that my Living Savior loves me because He has sent His Spirit to dwell within me.
     He told me that he was late for an appointment, but that he would like to talk more. So I introduced myself to him and said that I would love to talk more. He told me that his name is Rajita and that he is a Buddhist monk. After exchanging some pleasantries, he left for his meeting.  After an hour or so, Rajita returned and asked me if I would like to come to his temple and join him for tea. I had never been to a Buddhist temple before, so I accepted and asked if my teammates could join us, Rajita agreed.  
                              

     








     After  drinking some tea and eating some Ferrero Rocher chocolates, we began to ask Rajita questions about Buddhism. One of the terms he used that really stuck with me was how he referred to his beliefs as a “science,” that there are 10’s of thousands of specific rules that if you follow them all, you will achieve the perfection of nirvana and escape from the physical. 

     I asked Rajita if in Buddhism, there is any external help, any faith in a higher power to help you achieve this perfection. He replied no, but you can have many attempts at working to achieve it. Upon hearing this, my heart hurt for Rajita…
     While being a delightful and hospitable man, he knew nothing of true Mercy. I told him how my hope is not in my own accomplishments, because they will always ultimately fail, but that my hope rests in Christ Jesus, my God, who mercifully and graciously offers his righteousness to us. 
     Our time with Rajita ended with neither of us persuading the other. While he may be disappointed in the ineffectiveness of his arguments, I am thankful that I can rest in the hope that it is not my words that will regenerate someone’s heart. We prayed for Rajita, we prayed that the Holy Spirit would break this man’s heart and make him realize the hopelessness of trusting in himself. We pray that Rajita will seek out Jesus Christ as his Savior. We pray that Rajita will realize that Mercy is being freely offered to those of “No Mercy.” 

Gym Friends
     A few months back, Riley and I (Jeremy) started going to the community gym every morning. While the initial motivation was to get into shape, the Lord opened the door to meeting people that I would not have met otherwise. Now I look forward to the possible interactions each morning! 
     I am a big man, 6’2” when I stand up straight. I have very rarely felt small in any social interactions. That changed when I met my friend Steve (not his real name). Steve is 6’5”, 35 years old, very muscular and handsome. Standing next to him, I often feel like Danny Devito standing next to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 90’s movie “Twins”.  
                                             

     Steve was born in Iraq. His early childhood was impacted by the first Gulf War, ultimately leading to his family to the UK as asylum seekers and in need of advance medical care. Steve and his German girlfriend Samantha (not her real name either) moved near us just before the Covid lockdowns came. They haven’t had much opportunity to get to know their neighbors and are longing for friendship, for community.
     Now after 4 or 5 weeks, we have become friends. Riley exercises with Steve and Samantha each morning. We have had them over to our house a few times for meals. And they have accepted an invitation to attend church with us! For the last month, they have come every week and sit with our family. 
     They are longing for family, for relationship and for answers to some real hard questions about suffering. I am grateful that they have listened to the sermons each week, they ask some really good questions about them. We have had some really good, deep and open conversations about faith and the gospel invitation of Jesus.
     Please pray for our friends. Please pray for our family as well. Please pray that their desire for family will be beautifully fulfilled through the invitation of Jesus Christ. Please pray for wisdom as we love on this couple and proclaim truth to them. Please pray that they will know the joy of being called “My People” by our Loving Heavenly Father.


Finances
     This is one aspect of missionary work that is never easy. Our financial support is in the red. Over the last 6 months or so, the Lord has provided for our needs though one-time gifts, but our monthly recurring support receipts have been short each month. 
     I am asking you to please pray and consider helping us stay here in Southall and focused on ministry to our church and our neighbors. We are needing to raise $2,000 in additional monthly support. This could be achieved by an increase in monthly giving or a new pledge of monthly support.
     Since our monthly support has been short each month, our support account is nearly depleted. We have less than one month of budget needs as a reserve in our fund. So as we approach the end of the year, we would be very grateful if you would consider a special one-time financial gift.  These funds help in our living expenses and in our ministry outreach expenses. You can make a pledge or a one-time gift by clicking this link.

Click HERE to pledge your support
 
As I say in every letter, we are so grateful for each of you! We are grateful for your love, your encouragement, your prayers and your support. You are all a great gift to our family. Thank you for being in partnership with us in our calling to Southall.

Merry Christmas!

Jeremy, Angel, Riley, Genevieve and Caroline. 
 
 
Riley will soon be 17! Her birthday is on Dec 29th. This school year has gone really well doing Florida Virtual School.
She is achieving excellent grades and is also involved as a peer tutor. Angel and I are so proud of her!
We are enjoying Riley being more involved in our outreach programs. She has become a great asset to our Parent and Tot's group. 
Genevieve is an amazing young lady. She has always had a way of loving people really well and that has been evident in the close friends that she has made at school and in how she cares for her little sister.  Genevieve is in the midst of "mock" GCSE exams in school. We are proud that she is constantly scoring in the top of her class. After school, Genevieve has been a great help in our Kid's Club.
Caroline celebrated her first birthday on October 30th! It is hard to believe how fast this year has gone. As each day passes, she is walking faster and getting into more things that she shouldn't... She is keeping all 4 of us on our toes!
Caroline has a very outgoing personality. It has been fun at restaurants or on public transport watching Caroline wave and smile at people bringing joy and smiles to an often tedious   environment.  

Images from our life here in London

Scenes from our life and ministry. (Top to Bottom)
-Riley, Genevieve and Caroline at Kew Garden's Christmas Celebration
-Celebrating Thanksgiving with our coworkers.
-At the Brighton Palace Pier
-Bumper cars at Brighton's Christmas festival
-Family hike at Devil's Dyke.
-Angel and Kelly dressed like twins!
-Family dinner celebrating Jeremy's birthday.

 
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