We are the Martin Family
The last thing I thought I would ever be was a missionary. That was until Missionary Bob Hughes came to visit my home church, First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana, In March of 1976. Brother Hughes was dying of cancer. That night he was only able to speak for a few minutes but when he was finished I turned to my wife Becky and told her we were going to the Philippines.
We arrived in Iloilo City in October, 1977 and shortly afterward started a Bible Study in our apartment. Most churches are started as a result of Bible Studies and in April of 1978, Iloilo Baptist Church was born. This past April the church celebrated its 34th anniversary. Iloilo Baptist College was started in June of 1978, with a goal of starting churches.
God blessed us with two wonderful children: a son, Ricky, and a daughter, Rachel. Ricky and his wife Brandie are now working here with us. They have a son named Tristan (T.J.), and a daughter named Ava. Our daughter Rachel married a fine young man named Matt. They are working in a church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They have a son named Landon.
In 1990, the Lord impressed on my heart three new ways to start more churches. One was to send out graduates to other countries. I made a trip to Haiti and soon after, a young man on our church staff surrendered to go there. After two years of deputation in the Philippines he left with his wife for Haiti. It was also in Haiti where I met a missionary who shared with me how some of the graduates of his Bible College had started night time Bible Institutes for married men. Like Haiti, it is very difficult for married men in the Philippines to go off to Bible College. Many are farmers and fishermen with families and there are no jobs in a city for them. When I returned to the Philippines a challenge was given to the graduates of Iloilo Baptist College to train married men in their churches to become pastors.
The third way the Lord impressed me to start churches was by encouraging a few of our more experienced graduates to start Bible schools to train single young people. The Lord has blessed these four ways: starting Iloilo Baptist College, nighttime Bible Institutes for married men, Bible schools for young people, and sending missionaries to other countries, to start more churches.
The Philippines, for the 38 years we have lived here, has been very receptive to the Gospel. The people of Iloilo are especially open. There are many open doors. The Philippine Constitution allows churches to send their workers into the public schools and teach their religion on a volunteer basis. Many teachers and principals, who have never accepted Christ, welcome us to teach the Bible. Special people groups like the deaf, educable slow, street children, lepers, blind, patients in hospitals, prisoners, etc., are hungry for our great Saviour. There are countless opportunities.
Becky and I are grateful for your prayers and interest in what God is doing here. I pray that this website will be a blessing to you and also cause you to pray more for a great and wonderful people—the Filipino people.