“Now Is The Time”
Nov. 4, 2010
When the Lord put His “Now is the time” word into my heart on Nov. 23, 2009 (my 55th birthday), I knew that I knew. Yes, this is it. I had been waiting for over 24 years, wanting to “have my own vineyard” – to step out and do exactly what I felt I was called to do. Now the release was at hand.
From the age of 10, my heart’s desire was to be a missionary. Primarily in Africa. I was moved by the suffering, despair, and lack of hope for the black people. By the time I reached the 8th grade at St. Patrick’s Catholic elementary school, Father Percel tried to steer me into being a dioscean (local) priest, but I insisted that I was going to be a “missionary” priest. For since my Mom’s instilled longing in me was to do that (be a missionary - obviously not a celibate priest!), I wanted to be one who would go. Not one else wanted to go to Africa!
I had received that heart to be what it would take to love His people, wherever they would be. Books written on the lives of saints and martyrs helped fuel the fire that had begun to burn within. It would just be a matter of time I thought. Once I was ready.
In further discussions with my priest, he made me understand that there was no way I could get married though, if I became as he was. No special “absolution”, even from Pope John XXIII himself, would permit that for me. I could only become a deacon in the Catholic Church.
Well, being a boy of 12, that ended any further discussion of priesthood. I wasn’t about to be celibate for the rest of my life. (My Dad had eight kids, with Mom’s help of course. Years later, after my four had come out, I said to him before his passing, “I am only half the man you are Dad!”) And besides, “populating the earth” is among the top of the list of commandments one should obey.
As life goes, my journey through high school and my only one year of college had it’s ups and downs. I was latched onto by a Christian campus group at the University of N. Iowa in Cedar Falls, which helped end my pre-medical studies real quick. But as we must trust in His leading, my pursuit of serving the Lord in “fulltime” continued moving forward.
So after leaving Cedar Falls, after a marriage engagement had ended abruptly, I moved to LaSalle/Peru, Illinois to join a “common-purse Christian community” and hopefully meet another helpmate candidate. My desire to serve Him had not diminished. In fact, He even gave me my helpmate (Miss Laura Unzicker, daughter of Otto and Lorraine) at the age of 23, to walk along side me in this call. She was fresh out of high school, but I did wait until she was 18 before we got married. (33 years ago now!) And then of course we started to fill our quiver.
The next two decades, as we walked together on this life’s journey, we were led out of her hometown, spent seven years (to the day) in East Lansing, MI, another seven years in Fort Lauderdale, and now a full 16 here in Charlotte, NC. The last 23 years I was either the Administrator, Director of Operations and Finances, or simply Director for three international ministries. I tried to be as faithful as I could, to serving at each, and as best as I could, yet longing for yet another further release for His purposes.
And so when I heard His voice declare to me on Nov. 23, 2009, that 55th birthday of my being, (as I sat in my favorite brown prayer chair at home at 5:00 a.m.), “Now is the time”, the tears rolled down my face, and messed up my shirt. And I was ready to step out once again.
Love For His People has now begun. As a full 501( c)3 not-for-profit believing ministry, our heart’s desire is to primarily bless the people of Israel, and other nations as He directs and sends us. With this being our first year, slowly getting started officially as of July 1, 2010, the boat is in the water, and our prayer to heaven is “Lord, here we are. Our trust is in You to float this boat. Then bring some steam. Move onto coal. Then oil. Maybe reach the nuclear powered stage down the river.” We are building a solid foundation, for it is in His purposes that we go and do.
After sending out eleven daily e-journal entries from our just completed, first Ahava Adventures trip to Israel, I asked the Lord this morning at 3:30 am (jet-lag), “Now what?”
He spoke again, saying to use one of the gifts I had already been given. “Write love letters.”
Thus today was born “Ahava Love Letters”. I hope you like him!
I really love the word “ahava” – which is the Hebrew word for “love”! How cool is that. And now you have read a taste of what they will be like, being this is the first one, the “pilot”. I believe this will be a weekly e-mail to those who ask to be on the list. No charge.
And knowing a bit more in my older years, I will try to keep it under two pages (being FOX News has breaking news all the time, and I wouldn’t want to keep you from that.)
I will share things from my life’s journies thus far. I will take you from the “rocky roads” in Cedar Falls during my youth days, to the rocky roads in Jerusalem. I will include adventurous times from being in Israel on ten occasions thus far; China with Derek Prince Ministries in 2002 to smuggle in Bibles and his teaching in their language; or from being in India this past February for Vision for Israel, to teach 70 pastors on having a love for The Promised Land
We all have stories to tell, and I hope you will enjoy mine.
So let me know if you want to be on the Ahava Love Letters list. But know this, I can’t sit here long in my nice brown chair waiting for your decision. I still have to cut the grass today, being I was gone ten days and it still grows in November in Charlotte.
So responded yet today, or when you get this forwarded from someone else.
There is a work to be done, to bless, by having love for His people. I would love to share it with you.
P.S. Thus far we have sent 100% of designated funds received to the current “adoptions” we have – two works in Jerusalem, Israel (as I shared about in the recent e-journals from there); one in Hyderabad, India; and the other one to the orphanage we help support in Ghana, Africa. (Someday we will even make it to Africa to meet Ephraim, a Messianic Jew, and the eight kids in person!)
From just the total $500 a month we currently receive from our faithful seven supporters for Love for His People, those gifts have already encouraged each of these works “on the front lines.” (They each get $100 a month thus far.)
With no job (even after over 200 resumes have been sent out), since I left my last one on June 30, 2010, things can get a bit “anxious” too on the home front. A resignation from my previous job position doesn’t allow for unemployment benefits. (But I wouldn’t want to look to the USA government for provision anyway, as helpful as it is for many.)
Trust is good. Provision is great. My arms are open to receive from Him as He moves on hearts in that direction. All gifts to Love For His People (I received a dollar once from a real dear friend) will receive a charitable tax receipt too. I’d love to send you one!
Love For His People, Inc. P.O. Box 470035 Charlotte, NC 28247
704-806-6934 Facebook pages: Steve Martin and Love For His People