Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Connection in Canada is Filming a Movie

We are in the midst of our filming marathon. Fortunately we've been able to get some short breaks in between to get some rest (and get other work done). Today was all indoor shots - as we shot the closing scene of the movie. It rained all day. Tiffany and I also had to take Paint, our dog, to the doggy doctor. Paint either sprained her leg or broke it. But the Dr. thinks the dog will be fine. Just a lot of rest.

Tomorrw and Thursday we'll be filming outdoors. Please pray for dry sunny weather. We need this for continuity. There are scenes that continue in the movie but are shot several weeks apart. Tomorrow and Thursday we go pretty late. Tomorrw it's till 2 AM. I'm not yet sure about Thursday. Probably about the same. Pray for weather and that all goes well. So far God has been with us. It has been a lot of work but in the end God provided. For example, it took about 50 phone calls and about as many "No's" but finally one place let us use a Hummer for nearly free. (Other places were wanting to charge us up to 2000$.) That's just the way it goes.
Filming a scene at a restaurant.

John Martens
The Connection

Sunday, July 27, 2008

First Provides AC for Bolivia!

First Baptist Church joined with Wise Choices to provide Air Conditioning for the Ministry in Bolivia! Thank You!
The following letter from July 26th Copied from Wise Choices Blog ...

Saturday Night in Santa Cruz...Here we sit under the stars in the patio area of our beautiful surroundings at Hotel Yotau. It is the only place we can get a good internet connection. We certainly are modern missionaries! Anyway, the day was awesome and we are pleased to be able to report to you a good report.This morning, we hosted our PINC conference for the English Speaking Missionaries and the young women they influence. Suzanne and Sara first with the young women and spoke about purity and setting boundaries. The young women responded with enthusiasm and one of the senior girls from the Christian Learning Center invited them to come speak at the senior girls Bible study on Thursday night. This was something that God had laid on Sara's heart and an opportunity that she had been praying for as she prepared for Bolivia. There were many teens, moms, and missionary women who made a commitment to purity and they in turn prayed for our next week of sessions to be spoken in the schools and orphanages.This afternoon, 15 women who are volunteers at Centro de Vida, came for training. The discussion and training was very interesting to see the cultural differences between our two countries on the subject of adoption, abortion, stds, and so on. We presented them with a small gift from Wise Choices and also presented them with youth education curriculum which is in spanish. They were very thankful and appreciative. Their "graciousness" and appreciation for what we have offered are very heart-felt!We found out yesterday that we will be presenting purity and integrity to a group of 15 young women who have been in prostitution and/or have been sexually abused. So if you are reading this prior to our speaking...we certainly would appreciate your prayers!Tomorrow morning we will go to the Trinity Union Church and are looking forward to seeing and meeting more of the local English speaking missionaries. We hope to encourage them to pray for our team and for Centro de Vida. We will get a bit of souvenire shopping in at the plaza tomorrow and then back to the hotel to relax and get ready for the full week ahead of us.
Buenos Noches from Bolivia! Eve, Leslie, Suzanne, and Sara

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mexico Mission Group - Monday

First Baptist Church of Fisherville, TN and First Baptist Church of Decatur, TX are having a VBS at Miguel and Suzi's church in Saltillo. Here they are putting on a puppet skit for over 40 kids.

Pray for our Missionaries in Mexico this week. Go to for more information on the Children's Home of the Mountain.

They will be returning on Saturday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Youth Student Life Camp

We got a call from Ron in Durango this afternoon and he had GREAT news! Two of our students that are with him at camp accepted Christ last night as their Lord and Savior. To say the least, we are all THRILLED! Keep praying for Ron, the leaders, and all of the youth that are there, and pray that the Lord will continue to do great things!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Camp Copass Day 1

We arrived at Camp Copass, got registered, unpacked, and headed to our first "Pep Rally."Craig Tackett and his band, "Jonathan Project," are leading our worship time. This group led us, last year and the kids loved them. Craig is also our camp pastor and last night we learned the similarities between "Humpty-Dumpty" and Job. Evening worship was followed by our cabin devotion time. We wrapped up the evening with a"Nite at the Theme Park" which included bounce houses, water slides, a dunking booth, sno-cones, cotton candy, and lots of games. Lights were out @ 11:00 with just a few rebels who had a hard time getting up this morning. Please keep all of our kids and leaders in your prayers this week. More updates soon!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Things have been swirling around the FBC Family this morning --

Students left last night at 10pm for Colorado and we just heard from Ron that they arrived there safe and sound and all is well.
Candy and a mob of kids loaded up at 11:ooam and headed for Camp Copass.
Chip and his group are getting the last details together to leave for Mexico. Whew!!! What an exciting Morning! Praise God for what He is doing among us at First.

Love God Love Students Love Children Love Missions -- It is an exciting time to be in Decatur!

Pray for each group to grow deeper, closer and more in love with Jesus as they share with each other and their world.

Fulfulling our Mission: To share the Joy of Jesus with our World!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wise Choices Group Heads to Bolivia!

Pastor –

Thanks so much for the prayer.

My group is getting geared up for our trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We leave in less than 3 weeks. We will work with Centro de Vida (Center for Life) Pregnancy Center. We will be presenting “PINC! Purity and Integrity in Christ”. This will be given in Bolivian Schools (500 teen girls), 4 orphanages (60 teen girls), and the English speaking missionary women/mothers and their teens. Our team of four: Eve and Sara Roberts (my step-daughter), Leslie Hollis and Suzanne Juro. Sara and I speak a little Spanish and the other two do not. We will use translators. We are so excited to see what God is already doing and what He will do through this trip.

We leave on the 24th.

(click to email Eve)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Connection -- Martens celebrate 4th!!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 (11 PM)

These last days have been pretty wild (and wonderful as well). On Friday the 4th (go America!) we finished our first week of camps. With over 120 kids, it was quit a ride. Basketball, preschool arts, cheerleading, and (the very poplar and brand new) cooking for Kids. It was a wonderful time of outreach and ministry. On Friday we had a closing program with Timmy (the puppet) and presentations from all the different groups. I briefly shared about our church and invited the parents to come if they were looking for a church. It was all low pressure but hopefully planted an idea in their minds. Then at noon one of the teams put on a BBQ for all the kids and parents and we had time to just chat. Several people expressed a great interest in our church. There were families from Argentina, families from Korea that hardly spoke any English, and families from Scotland (don’t you love those British accents!) One parent told me “I really want some of this stuff for my kids. Can I enroll them in Sunday morning?” She was almost in tears as she spoke. I could tell there is a spiritual appetite. Please pray for her.

Friday night the big team from Little Rock Arkansas helped with the youth. It was a great big party for everyone. Tiffany and I also had one of our cousins visit us from Manitoba that night.

Kyle, Tiffany, Mikaela, and I were working shooting a few scenes for the movie. That went pretty late. Sunday morning we were up early to get ready for church. In the afternoon we were getting all the last minute stuff ready for shooting (movie) on Monday. In the evening we were to meet the 2 teams that were coming down for the next week of camps. Were we ever in for a surprise.

At about 7 pm Kevin finally heard from the 2nd team. This was the group that was scheduled to run our basketball camp. They were about to be turned back at the border. They were finally allowed in, but only after swearing (literally) to not work with children. So the rest of the evening we were replanning and trying to figure out how to stretch our existing team to cover the needs.

Yes, that is how this week started. Oh yeah, Tiffany also got sick, I developed a mild flue, and Adam broke his wrist. So now we’re running several camps. We are short staffed in all areas but (with a lot of stretching on everyone’s part) we are making it happen. Kevin has taken on the basketball and the team from Oregon has split themselves up.

Pray for Kevin as he takes up coaching for the basketball.
Pray for Pamela as she organizes the camps even while running a preschool camp of her own. Pray for energy and health.
Pray for Kyle as he tries to get all the shooting organized.
And pray especially that we find the people that God is drawing to himself and to our church.

Thank you First Baptist for praying and supporting us!
John Martens, The Connection, Maple Ridge BC

Monday, July 7, 2008

Rebecca R on Mission to Peru!!!

Pray for Rebecca who is on a Brio Mission Trip to Lima, Peru (6/30-7/13). Check out the website and search for her picture.
You can email Rebecca.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Connection, CANADA

Day 1 (June 30, 2008)

I told you it would get busy once these weeks started, but even with all that I knew would happen there are always a few exciting surprises.

Last night we had a meal at the church for a team from Arkansas and one from California. That lasted till about 9. Then it was baths and bed for everyone here. It was about 11 before we all got settled. I made a promise to myself that we’d be in bed by 10 tomorrow. (Remember those surprised?)

Well, today was Monday and the first day of our camps. We were all involved and had to get up early and get everyone ready to be at the school at around 8 AM. Kevin was over here and had to load a few things in the morning yet. I had some phone calls and stuff and was a little bit later. We all got there and got set up. I also missed my time of prayer and wanted to make sure I did that late.

Then it was registering about 100 children. My job was to visit the different families while our team handed out coffee and tea and an invitation to a free financial seminar. Unfortunately, nearly everyone came at about 9 so it took about 45 minutes to get everyone in the gym. But I met several very interesting families. One talked to me for a long time. They were just starting to look for a church. When they left, I went around and took a few pictures and visited the different rooms. Kyle felt sick and had to go home. I also hurried home.

About ½ of our house is used for church work. Our church offices are in the basement (which is really the first floor.) In the office, Wanda was working on the movie posters and I needed to just see how she was doing. Then I needed to rush to my messages. Because of Kyle’s busy schedule with filming, he needed all the videos for the next 5 messages by Tuesday. So I needed to have a solid idea of these messages by today. I worked and planned furiously. At noon it was back to the school for the closing and another time of seeing the parents. Good thing the camps were in the safe hands of Pamela (camp coordinator) & Kevin (team coordinator). After that I was starving and found some left over egg sandwiches from Sunday. I sat with Adam as he ate a soup and I devoured 3 sandwiches. Wow. Then back to the school again for a quick debriefing. I got Kevin’s camera so I could get the photos of the parents and identify the ones I had met and visited with. The memory stick did not want to read but finally I got it working. I tried working a little bit again. There were people in our back yard working and a few in and out of the office. Plus phone calls. But I had to keep my focus on those messages.

At 4 there was another closing. I was slightly late for that one. I visited with a few more parents and met a recent immigrant for Ireland. They were very interesting. (I love British accents.) Coming from a large family they were obviously lonely. I tried to figure how to reach them for Jesus. There were also several Pilipino families that wanted us to run these camps in their city next yet. They said they would help gather many families.

After closing up the school and saying thank you to the principal, I headed home and went over to the church for a time of prayer. God surprised me by visiting me in a powerful way. He taught me things and moved in my heart in such a powerful way – I just can’t explain it in this space – except to say that my heart was broken anew with how much God loves people and wants everyone to come to know him. After God had showed me this in a fresh way, I fell on my knees and begged him for the privilege of bringing many souls to know him.

Then it was home, a 15 minute jog, and a supper. Tiffany had an evening practice and had been in a hot school for 8 hours (as camp nurse) and didn’t really feel like cooking. Do you blame her? So after eating our very healthy Subway sandwiches, we hurried home so Tiffany could get ready for her 7 pm practice. One of our neighbors has asked us to watch their plants and lawn. Adam and I go over there to get the details. Meanwhile Tiffany rearranges the practice. Because Kyle was still sick – we think with the flue – and the church would be very hot she moves the band practice to our home. Besides, it would take an hour to set up the sound equipment. (Since we did not yet have bars on our location, the new sound equipment, purchased since the robbery 3 weeks ago, is being stored at our house.) So very soon, Catherine, Andrea, Tiffany, Lionel & Dorothy were here to practice.

Meanwhile, I headed back to the keyboard to work on the messages. There was a deadline. And how beautiful it was to work to the sound of angels singing in the next room! It was like being in heaven. While this is going on, Pamela was printing dozens of copies of a parenting flier to be handed out to parents this week. I took a look. It was beautiful.

At about 8:30 I took Adam to the skateboard park. He had asked me all day and I wanted do that for at least a few minutes. After all, this is one of his favorite activities. The day was been very hot, but the evening was turning out beautifully.

At the park the mosquitoes were out. How unusual for Maple Ridge! We don’t usually have any. The team from Little Rock was at the skate park. We visited and watched Adam. Then Adam comes to me with a hurt arm. He felt it was serious.

So we headed home where Tiffany looked at the wrist. She was concerned that it might be broken. We decided that it is best that we check out the hospital tonight. That might take a long time but tomorrow would be no better.

I stayed home and sat down with Mikaela to watch the end of the Mariner’s game. But within an inning, the phone rings. The intern who had driven all the way from Oregon had just arrived at the church. Initially Kyle was going to handle this but he was still sick. I ask the Matt, and his friend, Josh (part of the mission team coming next week) to drive to our place where I felt them what left over pizza and ice tea I could find. Finally at 10 PM, I was able to get hold of the place where they were to stay for the night. Then I drive them across the city.

I get back at about 10:30. Tiffany is still not back with Adam. ER waits can be 4 hours. So I put Mikaela to bed and wait.

Now, it’s midnight. I’m still waiting.

I share this with you so you might pray for us. I’m sure that if any one of our team shared their day it would be just as interesting as mine. So pray for all of us. Pray for Pamela as she handles all the details. Pray for Kevin as he deals with the team. Pray for Kyle that he get better quickly. Pray for our family and our core team. Pray that we meet and bring in some more team members.

Tomorrow will be another day. There will be struggles and surprised. Today, God brought some new people into our life, allowed me to worship him in a new and powerful way, and let me grow in the grace of patience. Who knows what tomorrow will hold?

John MartensThe Connection