Sunday, June 30, 2013

Martin Family Reunion 2013

Every two years we gather (with Mom and as many of the original eight kids, plus families) as possible, for a family reunion. 

This year (June 27-30, 2013) it was at the Henry Horton State Park in Tennessee, about 40 miles south of Nashville.

My Mom (Lila Martin Parker)
(L-R) Tom Martin, Sue Johnson, Lynn, Janet and Steve

Many of us went on a hike through the TN woods.
I took some good shots- still and video.

Group shot in state park inn lobby.
(Only 19 made it, out of possible 66.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sabbath Peace (Shabbat Shalom) - some beautiful artwork to share each week

Hallah (challah) bread for the Shabbat meal

Yeshua is the Prince of Peace, 
the Creator of the Shabbath (Shabbat)

May you enjoy your weekly Shabbat Shalom - Sabbath peace and rest!

Ahava (love in Hebrew),

Steve Martin
Love For His People, Inc.

Kim Walker CD Still Believe Full

Secret Believers Share Faith under Fire

Secret Believers Share Faith under Fire
By George Thomas
CBN News Sr. Reporter

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan: One-hundred-thousand Christians are murdered because of their faith each year. In many cases, governments are to blame because they pass laws that restrict religious freedom.

Recently, CBN News gained exclusive access to a gathering of secret believers inside a former Soviet Republic to get a close-up look at what life is like for Christians who face daily persecution.

Secret Strategy

The setting in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan could not have been more ideal.

"This is a beautiful location," Vitaly, a secret believer, said. "Seventy percent of the country is mountainous. Locals call it the second Switzerland of Asia. Our goal was to find a safe place away from the city to not draw attention of the authorities."

For a few days Vitaly and a handful of Christians gathered in a secluded villa tucked away in the mountains about a two-hour drive outside the capital city Bishkek.

"We worship, pray, and strategize how to effectively share the love of Christ in our countries," Vitaly said.

CBN News cannot show you their faces or reveal their real names for security reasons, but in a room inside a secret getaway are underground believers from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. All are former Soviet Republics in Central Asia experiencing a rising tide of hostilities against believers.

They are members of a Christian ministry that's reaching young people in the former Soviet Union.

"It's practically impossible to openly share about Jesus Christ. Doing so will get you beaten, arrested, or killed," Vitaly warned.

Youth Not Allowed

But that has not stopped Marat, a youth leader from Uzbekistan, who said last year was a difficult year for him.

"Fortunately I wasn't arrested," Marat said. "But I was repeatedly interrogated by secret police accused of gathering people in my house. They said what I am doing is illegal."

Marat runs an informal Christian school training Uzbek leaders. He told CBN News that "the pressure is unrelenting."

"You can't relax. You are constantly under stress," he said. "You cannot trust anyone because you don't know if they'll turn you in or accuse you of proselytizing."

Doud is from Kazakhstan, the largest of the five Central Asian countries. There were no Kazakh Christians in 1990. Today there are about 15,000. But strict religious laws make it difficult for churches to register.

"According to our law you cannot attend church until you are 18 years old. That means we cannot hold youth meetings, discipleship classes or Bible study," Doud said.

One Life at a Time

Firuz is from Tajikistan. He gave CBN News exclusive access to home video of his secret house church that was smuggled out of the country. The meetings are small and typically held in a believer's home.

"The people in this video know exactly what's at stake," Firuz told CBN News in an undisclosed location. "Our parents taught us from childhood that one day we may have to sacrifice our lives."

Seven million people live in Tajikistan and only 1,000 are Christian.

"Each life counts," Firuz said. "God says, 'Be thankful every day, rejoice in every soul that comes into heaven.' That's what keeps us going: one life at a time."

Radical Islam On the Rise

Religious freedom exists in all five countries under the constitution, but barely. While Islam is the dominant religion, a more radical expression is taking root in Central Asia.

Dmitry Kabak is a human rights lawyer in Bishkek. He said fear of radicalism has led governments to adopt laws controlling all religions, including Islam and Christianity.

"Groups from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and elsewhere come in with a different interpretation and practice of Islam. That worries the authorities. Some of the radical groups have engaged in terrorist activities," Kabak told CBN News.

Oleg works in remote villages of Kyrgyzstan. He remembers what it was like spiritually after the fall of the Soviet Union.

"There was a lot of freedom in the 90s. People could openly share the gospel. But eventually, Islam started to make a move and gain influence," he said.

An Oasis from Persecution

All throughout the mountain areas of Kyrgyzstan the horse is another popular mode of transportation, especially to get around some of the tough terrain and step hills.

For the believers, the mountains are a spiritual oasis because it is an opportunity to get away from the almost daily routine, harassment, and persecution from the authorities and to come together in a safe place, a beautiful place, and to get spiritually energized.

"The beauty, the backdrop, (and) the scenery (are) wonderful distractions from (their) daily challenges," Marat said.

"To see Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Kazakh, and Tajik believers in the same place at one time is so encouraging," Firuz said. "We draw strength from each other. We know we are not in this spiritual battle alone."

After being encouraged, refreshed, and re-energized, the believers must travel back home to the uncertainty of the days ahead.

Yet they stand boldly, convinced of a calling to make the name of Jesus Christ known -- no matter the cost.

Video of the Day: Formula 1 comes to Jerusalem

Formula 1 comes to Jerusalem

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff  
Earlier this month, Jerusalem played host to a spectacular exhibition of Formula 1 and other racing genres.
The event brought out tens of thousands of residents of the city - Jews, Christians and Muslims - who lined the streets to catch a glimpse of racers speeding past the iconic walls of Jerusalem's Old City.
The following video provides a brief look at this wildly successful event, which Israelis hope to make a regular event in their capital city:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

India - Help for Flood Victims through Lighthouse Center India


Pastor John Ebenezer of Lighthouse Center India

From: John Ebenezer <>Sent: Tuesday, 25 June 2013 10:00 AM
Subject: Re: FLOODS

My Dear Partner Friends,

Praise the Lord, today I walked back to Dehradun and I have seen the very worst scenes which I have not seen in my life time. (Editor's note: John is over 70 years).

There are so many dead bodies which are floating in the water. No trace of many thousands of people. By the grace of GOD I have given some biscuits, bed sheets and towels, small food and water, given one bottle to each, but I could not reach all due to very small I have little money.

From my state there are 2,376 people who were on the pilgrimage and only 23 arrived. The rest all died. Still all the relatives are asking us in many ways where are they, but I have no answer. I just tell them to have peace of mind, for the love GOD will make all things for all people. The only way is Jesus Christ.

I am going to stay for a few more days so I can able to help the few people. Since I know the language, by the grace of GOD, I am able to speak with suffering people and slowly bring them to safer place. It's very heard to explain how it has happened. These people are blind  because of their worship of dead gods. I feel it's one way to know living GOD Jesus Christ.

Even today there are thousands of dead bodies floating on the waters. It takes a few weeks just to get it all cleaned. Even today they broadcast three more days of rain will come.

Please pray for us and the families who have lost their loved ones.Many people are searching for their loved ones and families too. Last night we prayed for five member group. Praise GOD they are all  saved and  received  the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. All praise to HIM only. 

Tonight we also have seen one small room asking people to join with us for food and then we are going to worship the Lord after the dinner. May GOD bring many souls to night. Please join with us in prayers, by this we need any kind of support to help those who are still suffering. We need any kind of support to live. Please pray what I need my GOD will provide in time of need.


I look up to Him> He will answer of my prayers and  NEEDS. Praise HIM ....Amen.

Servant of GOD,
John Ebenezer  

If you would like to send support, we are able toe receive funds for John's ministry, Lighthouse India, through our 501(3) ministry, Love For His People, Inc. here in the USA. All amounts will be sent 100% to John through our MoneyGram connection.

You can send to: 

Love For His People, Inc.
c/o India Fund 
12120 Woodside Falls Rd.
Pineville, NC 28134 USA

You will be receive a tax deductible receipt via e-mail or mail, as desired.

Pastor John Ebenezer and Steve Martin - Hydrabad, India

Steve Martin with Pastor John Ebenezer
at Pastor's Conference in Murchela, India

Murchela, India pastors

Praying for each pastor at Pastor's Conference