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5 Reasons to do a Mission Trip

Mission trips can be an adventure filled with excitement and also scary at the same time.  You’re out there in a new place, out of your comfort zone, surrounded by new people with a whole different worldview than you. It doesn’t matter if your going just down the road or to a far off country. You get to experience the love of Jesus and share that love.

So here are my top 5 reasons to go on a mission trip.

5. Witness people’s lives changed

You will get to know some really cool people and hear their testimonies of how God has changed their life.  You will laugh, you will cry and you will feel what it’s like to see God move in someone else’s life.  You will witness how your presence can bring a smile into someone else’s life. 

4. Be transformed forever

It will be an experience that you will never forget.  Where you see God in work around you.  Where you see God’s world on a whole new level. Where you make lasting friendships. Where God stirs in your heart and you will never be the same.if you ask anyone whose ever gone on a missions trip they will tell you that it was the best thing that they have ever done. It is more than an experience; it sets the course for the rest of your life.

3. Experience God 

It is a time where you are 100% focused on God.  Where you have set aside your busy life schedule just for God and actually able to listen to Him.  It’s where you can disconnect from the every day life and dig deep with God.  Where you can hear from God about your life and His desires for you. As long as you are willing to listen. 

2. Molds our hearts

God uses this new experience to mold and shape us. He brings us out of our comfort zone to show us that He is with us. He shows us the power of prayer and dependency on Him.  

1. Sharing your faith

For many people it’s the first they’ve shared their faith with someone else.  It’s a time to share your life story. What God had done and is doing in your life. You get the opportunity to speak to others and allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you. And this will be the first of many that God will use your unique story to touch others.  God uses the BIG and small things in our life.

Mission trips are not about how well we can preach or what we can do to ‘save/help’ the people.  No, God can do that all by himself.  God wants to use us, bring us closer to Him, show us His love for us and the world.  

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God’s nature and Character 

This past week was one of my favorites in the training school here at YWAM.  Normally Edgar and I do a tag team teaching on God’s nature and character for a week.  However, since I am 38 weeks pregnant, this year I opted out of teaching.  I did end up translating for Edgar a few of the session times.  I don’t think I would have lasted standing any more hours since we often had morning and evening class time. 


My favorite thing about this class is to challenge each students worldview of how they view God and what do they truelly believe in.  Many questions come up: does God really know the future, did God know that man would sin, who is the Godhead and so many more.  


Edgar challenged them to give up their cell phones for a week.  The majority of the 15 students gave them up.  Unfortunetly, many times our phones get more attention than our relationship with Jesus and they become an idol.  


Please pray for the 15 students that they may grow in their relationship with Jesus.  Many of them barely know even the books of the Bibles.  I feel so blessed to have grown up in a Christian home where I went to church twice on Sunday and to a Christian school where I got to know who God was and also my Bible very well.  These students come from all over the world: England, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and USA.  

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Finding JOY

In this season it is easy to get lost in all the boxes, wrapping paper, baking and parties. We can get stuck in the box wrapped all nicely by the Christmas tree. There are so many good things happening and it can feel like the world is pulling you like little children who all want different things. 
This season is supposed to be filled with happy memories. 
My goal this year is to find JOY! I want to be joyful in each moment. Joyful that its bitter cold outside because if you’ve every lived in Minnesota you now what it must feel like to live at the North Pole. When the wind hits you, it burns your face and you can’t even catch a breath anymore. It’s the kind of cold arctic weather that makes you never want to step foot outside again.  
I am JOYFUL for a warm house with coffee!
I am JOYFUL that we get to visit more frequently family and friends around this time of year. Its about the conversations and the things we do together and not about the food, our how clean our house is, or how well it is decorated. 
My desire is that my children can learn to be JOYFUL too. JOYFUL in giving gifts to others. It’s not about the size of the gift. It’s about smiling and saying thank you to those whom we meet. My children who are eagerly asking me if they can have some coins to place in the tin can for Salvation Army. (They love hearing the clinging sound it makes.) It doesn’t matter if its pennies or dollar bills. It’s about teaching them to be generous and JOYFUL. 
It can be easy to compare ourselves with others and take on the attitude that I have nothing to give. That’s not true. It’s not about the amount but about the heart. That is what God is after-it is what He wants. We can’t stop being generous just because we can’t keep up with the Jones’s. Because God doesn’t care if you’re like the Jones’s because you’re not them. He wants you to be you and live in your identity in Him 
I had to tell myself as my girls begged me to bake cut out cookies with them, that it’s not about how neat and clean we can make this. However it’s about the memories and the desire in their hearts to give them to others (and taste test a few of them.) I’ve had to learn that being JOYFUL can be messy and silly at times. That I need to get out of my box of what I expect in order for myself to learn what JOYFUL truly is.
Christmas is bigger than anything else. Christmas is about Jesus and how He has come to meet us at all times. In all capacities. Jesus comes in our time of pain, joy, despair, anger, misunderstandings, in seasons of wealth and of pennies. He meets us right where we are at – in our emotions and feelings. He has come. Let’s be JOYFUL together that we have a friend who is with us at all times. Even when we don’t feel like he is there – he is. 
Let’s give with JOY! Let’s give hugs and warm greetings. Let’s give words of encouragement. Let’s give forgiveness. Let’s be thankful. Let’s let go of the nicely wrapped presents and the pressures of being like the Jones. Let’s embrace our silly and messy memories with each other.  

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Fear and Doubt

The word doubt means being uncertain. It’s hard to learn to trust God. We are so used to doing everything for ourselves. We often doubt quickly when we are in tough and trying times. It is in those moments of uncertainty of our life that we should be trusting God like never before. Because God is the only certain thing.
When there is a job loss, sickness, loss of a friendship, a trial in the marriage, or hard times financially. We need to seek God and be sincere with Him, and ask Him for wisdom. 
James 1:5-8 says,

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.”

God knows what we are thinking. We just need to ask, listen and move in faith. Not ask in doubt and ask in doubt. We need to ask without guilt. Many times we feel guilty because we don’t’ feel like we deserve it. Don’t be guilty, God forgave our sins and has removed them. 

Ask Boldly! Don’t be timid. If you love God with all your heart; you know His word. Don’t let yourself be tossed around by the wind. Believe and be bold.  
John 10:10 says,

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
We can’t enjoy our lives if we live in fear, doubt, and being timid. God want to give us life. 
Ephesians 3:12 says,

“in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him.”

We can approach God with boldness and confidence. Be bold! Don’t fall into the temptation of judging yourself. The “I should have.” I should have read my Bible longer. I should be a better wife. I should not have bought that. I should have said hello. I should talk in a nicer tone. You’re right. We make mistakes. We all have weaknesses. But God forgives us and we learn and grow. 
It’s about our love for Jesus. It’s about our relationship with Him. It’s not about trying to impress Him. It’s about, Lord I know I am not perfect but I trust you. Let’s walk in this together. 
I ask for your wisdom Lord. I ask with confidence and boldly for_____________. I trust you Lord. We will make it through this.  

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What does Urban Missions look like?

Currently a large number of missionaries live in the big city. Our world today is exploding and becoming very modern around the globe. People are leaving the rural communities to find jobs in the city and its modern connivances. Many of those who live in rural communities have TVs, cell phones and social media. 
The Minneapolis-St. Paul population is around 3.3 million. There is a HUGE need here and in many other big cities around the world. Our cities need to be reached like never before. How we serve those in the city looks very different than those in rural communities. Let’s face it, urban ministry is more sit down for café, message over Facebook, texting, calling and social media. It’s having people over for a meal and being a part of their life. It’s about mentoring people who are deeply damaged by verbal and social abuse they’ve experienced. It’s about helping people find God’s calling in life and identity in Him. It’s about bringing people into the family of God.

There are so many things in our world today that distract us from God. From spending time in His word, from listening to His voice, from trusting in Him and from just having a relationship with Him. 

I just want to encourage you to live an intentional, authentic, purposeful and deeply love those who are around you. Our cities are full of diverse number of people who come from all different backgrounds. We need to love the immigrant who is here legally or not, the refugee, the single mom, those teenage boys, the checkout lady who seems cranky and everyone else. We need to share God’s love wherever we are.

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End of year giving

We are in need of more committed monthly financial support. Your support goes directly to sustaining the ministry. Our entire income & ministry expenses comes from supporters…like you! Churches, families & individuals have sacrificed from their own finances so we can do what we do. You can make a one time donation or set up a regular monthly donation.

If this financial request fits into your end of year giving, we would greatly appreciate any financial gift you can give or monthly support.

For Tax-Deductable Donations

Make check out to YWAM. Attach a separate note with “Edgar & Jamie Martinez” written on it. Our names CAN NOT be anywheres on the check. Send to: Accounting, PO Box 268, Rockford, MN 55373

On line via paypal or credit/debit card

Go to http://www.ywam-mn.org and click on the Donations & Payment tab and follow the instructions. There will be on the 3rd screen an opportunity to add “Additional Instructions” – write Edgar & Jamie Martinez here.

We need your prayers! Whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, we would love for you to be lifting us up to the Lord in prayer. If you would like to know you can regularly and specifically be praying for us, send us a message to receive our regular e-mail newsletter, with updates, stories, and prayer needs by clicking here. Thanks so much!

May the Lord bless you as you bless others!

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Impacting lives right here

We are currently impacting lives in the Latino Community. We are strategically working with three Hispanic churches on a regular basis by offering a discipleship program for their youth and support to the leaders. The Hispanic church in the Twin Cities is one of the fastest growing churches and the majority do not have an established youth group or program. Unfortunately many of the youth feel disconnected from the church because of the cultural difference between the first generation latinos and their generation. We are bringing greater awareness to the Pastors and adding in bridging the gap between them.  

Edgar spends his weekends in the city visiting one on one with many of the young male Latino adults. He gives one-on-one discipleship to them, uplifting them in their calling and identity. He encourages them to be more involved in their church. They will often drop by our place and soon our place is full of men watching a soccer game and having an intense discussion about God at the same time.   


Edgar supports the youth leaders by giving a discipleship class to their youth every Saturday. He also gives pastoral care and encouragement to the different youth leaders. We also provide them a number of resources and are communicating with them through out the week. Our goal is to see healthy youth groups connected with their church and community. 

At the core of what Edgar and I have been called to is to help people see themselves as God sees them…precious, worthy, valuable – their true identity…not how the world sees them or even how they see themselves. It can be a lengthy process, to remove all the lies and replace them with truths. That is why one-on-one discipleship is so important and our relationship with them.

This past year we have seen this growth through a young man named, Joel. He has grown deeper in his relationship with Jesus and has helped lead a number of short-term missions trips with us this past summer. He has a desire to return to Mexico and start a church in his home town. He is currently working in his church here and is leading a young adults group.  


We are so grateful for the Hispanic church and for what God is doing through them. The Hispanic church is fairly young in the Twin Cities but it is a passionate church. Their doors are opened every day and are reaching out to their community. It is a pleasure to work with them. In the warmer months we spend our time helping them organize different outreach programs in their community.  

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Thankful

I am so thankful that God has blessed us with three beautiful girls and a boy on the way.  They have taught me so much on the topic of thankfulness.  

You see, every time I get frustrated, tired or butt heads with them I am reminded that children are a gift from God.  I pray these scriptures over my girls.  I made them a few years away when I had a few spare minutes.  They aren’t perfectly (grammer and artistically) done but it reminds me that I am not perfect too.  I also need to make one for Arianna and baby boy.  

These where two different verses that God had given me specifically for each one.  I am so thankful that I did this and put them up on their bedroom door.

“For Arianna is God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for Arianna to do.”  Eph 2:10

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How to deal with feelings?

Peace is being free. Free from the attacks and disturbance of the enemy. The enemy knows where to attack. He wants to steal your peace. He knows what buttons to push to get you upset. The feelings of bitterness, strife, anger, and resentment are all feeling that we have all felt at some point. They are feelings that can come at an instant or that can creep into our life. Some of us don’t even realize that they are there anymore. They are feeling that we need to take care of right away. The enemy can use these feelings to attack us. And in order to be free we can’t blame others for these feelings. We need to take responsibility for them. God gave us the gift of self-control. Not the gift of controlling other people. Yes, there are people who will make us mad, but it’s how we let it control us. Do we allow that anger to ruin the rest of our day or affect how we react to someone else later on? We need to understand what are the triggers. What is the underlining thing that is causing us to react in such a way? Many times we put our expectations on people. We expect them to act or do a certain thing.  


For example, we are running late for church. I ask the kids to get their shoes on. They sit down to put them on. One of them doesn’t want to wear her church shoes, the other just sits there and all I can think about is that we are going to be late. I start yelling at them to get their shoes on and get out the door to the van. Finally after 5 minutes, shoes are on and we are getting in the van. Of course, one of them insists on putting on her set belt. I start telling her to go faster because we will be late for church. Finally we are on the road. Now, I am left all flustered with a little bit of anger at how the kids didn’t move any faster. Because God forbid we arrive late to church. There I am at church with a tiny bit of anger and all I can think about is how long it takes the kids to do anything or how stubborn they are. Which, leads us to think about something else that we are bitter about and we can never allow what God wants to speak into our life in because our heart is consumed with anger and bitterness. Even though it might be a small portion it’s taking up space each moment we let it go on. 

Instead of realizing that I need to control my emotions, I know that it takes us 10 minutes to get loaded up into the van and I expected us to do it today in 3 minutes. I created expectations that shouldn’t be there. I need to realize that my children don’t intentionally try to offend me or make me angry. No, they wanted to feel pretty with their shoes or feel like a ‘big girl’. I was worried about what other people would think of us for walking into church late. God forbid that we arrive late instead of arriving on time and having this anger flustered feeling in my heart. 


It can happen at any point. Something some says to you one day might not offend you today but on a different day it will. The way some one drives or takes forever in the grocery line. The fact that your husband didn’t wash the dishes at the end of the day or that the dog just chewed up another shoe. You get angry about all the bad things happening in the world and how does God allow that to happen. 

When we feel offended or have anger, bitterness, strife, unforgiveness it’s a stumbling block and until we take care of it we can’t grow spiritually. Because all we can do is focus on the one little bad thing. We forget about all the good that God has given us. The moment we allow those negative feelings to consume us we are in trouble. The moment we start depending on someone else for our joy and peace – we are in trouble. 

God gave us self-control. When need to learn how to use it. We need to learn to stop the enemy attacks. Realize that we are being tempted and dragged down a road of resentment and being enticed to unforgiveness. For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:13-27) We need to examine our hearts and get rid of all filth right away. We need to immediately forgive. 


My prayer each day is that God shapes my children’s lives, sometimes for my own sanity but mostly because I want them to be more like Jesus. Just as I pray for my children I also need to pray that God shapes me more into His character each day. I pray that your love for others may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that you may discern what is best and pure each day. Stop the feeling of bitterness, anger, strife, and resentment right away before it takes away from what God has given you. Before it consumes you. We need to seek God right away, and examine our hearts. (Phil 1)

Often I will find myself trying to talk myself out of feeling bitter. For example, my husband forgot to take out the trash after I had asked him. I tell myself that he forgot but it still bothers me. This goes on for a few days and the trash still sits there. Every time I see it, I get a little bit bitterer. Until he comes home one day and I snap at him when he asks me if I washed his shirt. Many times we get things cooped up in our heads. We need to talk about things right away before it flusters into something bigger. Many times we need to forgive other people.


God talks about peace. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:15. On those bad days when we feel anger budding up we need to remember what we are truly thankful for. And when we are in the spirit of thanksgiving its really hard to be mad. Christ’s peace just starts to overwhelm us.

“Pursue peace with all men, and sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” Heb 12:14 Oh boy, are there days when this one is hard. 

“He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it…casting all anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 3:11, 5:7 Sometimes we don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Anxiety can consume us and that is when we must seek God. He is the only one who can reveal to us our true identity and that we may find peace in that. 

“See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15 There are days that it is hard to think about what is good for another and all we want to do is think about what is good for me. That is when we need to seek God’s love, seek His peace, seek His wisdom. 

“Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy…When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 12:20, 16:7 

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7

“The Lord will bless His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

May we all be peaceful adults, peaceful parents and peaceful spouses who seek God diligently.  

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Peace

My heart is overflowing with peace! Peace that transcends all understanding. 
As, we look back at this summer peace is what allowed us to have a worry free and stress free time. There where many times before the summer even began we started to think ‘how are we going to do this’? Edgar was gone for 3 weeks, as Jamie needed to train and send out 3 short-term missions teams simultaneously. Then he came back and we left for another short-term missions trip with a church. Followed by Edgar leaving again to Mexico for a short-term missions trip with a church from Chicago all the while Jamie was back in Minnesota sending out another 2 teams and taking care of the girls. Before we know it August was here and we were getting ready for a week long Latino Youth Discipleship Camp, followed by leading a VBS for a Latino Church and then helping another Latino church celebrate their anniversary while we lead their children’s program all weekend long. There are many more things, but the point is that God’s peace is what allowed this summer to be so joyful!

“Peace is not the absence of trouble but the presence of Christ.” –Sheila Walsh

When youth groups come to YWAM Minneapolis for their short-term missions trip its not about the training we give them and the missions experience but its about passing on a deeper understanding of God’s call to us to Go and Make Disciples of all Nations. Giving youth a passion to share in word and deed, all the while opening their eyes to the world around them. 


One of my favorite experiences from this summer was when we went up to northern Minnesota to Nett Lake where the Ojibwa live on the Boise Forte Reservation with a Korean group from Chicago. We stayed at the Baptist church where they lead a VBS in the afternoon. These youth where able to connect in a way that I have never seen short-term teams do before. I would literally walk around and see kids praying for another one or having a deep conversation. As the youth from the youth group opened up so did the kids. Our hearts are broken for them. Many of the Ojibwa children live in broken homes, parents in prison or who have abounded them. Their homes look nice on the outside but once you step inside you are overcome with sadness. 

 It was amazing to see how people would just stop by and want to visit with us. Many of the evenings we would go play basketball or have a bonfire with the people. We were able to speak into so many of their lives and pray over them.

Isabella and Emma had a blast.  They loved the VBS every day and being able to hang out with other kids and the youth groups.  Isabella will still recite many of the Bible memory verses she learned with the motions!  She loved having her face painted everyday.  Granted it took some work to wash it off.  

One evening we went to the bear sanctuary that is literally just down the road.  The girls loved seeing the brown bear up close.  There was probably more than 20 bears there.  Unfortunetly, the Bouse Forte Reservation has lots of issues with these bears in early spring before the bear sanctuary opens up for the season and starts to feed them.  Thankfully no one has ever been hurt.  

One interesting fact is that the majority of Minnesota’s wild rice is grown by the Owibja people.