Erik and Bridget Martin

The Power of an Invitation

“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. – Matthew 4:19-20

One of the great things about living at Covecrest is that each week you have an opportunity to meet some amazing people and hear some powerful stories. Recently I met an amazing young girl named Tori.  Now she has been up to Covecrest many times before and I’m sure that I had “met” her on several occasions, but this particular time was different. It was the first time I really met her, where I was able to slow down and listen and learn about her life. She shared with me in passing that her family didn’t really go to church, so I was curious how she became involved. She went on to share with me her story.

Tori was in the band at her high school and one day a friend of hers in the band found out that she was “Catholic”. She had been baptized and had received her first Communion but that was about the extent of Tori’s faith journey. Her family wasn’t practicing except for maybe the occasional Christmas or Easter Mass and it seemed as if she wasn’t either. When her friend found out she was Catholic she invited her to come to the Life Teen Mass at her parish and afterwards go to her youth group. Tori unfortunately was not interested. Tori’s friend was very persistent though and told her youth minister about Tori. Her friend’s youth minister persisted in inviting Tori on a retreat. She finally said ok. She was not really happy about going, in fact she was pretty confident that she was going to hate it. But it was on that retreat that Tori encountered a love she had never experienced before, particularly in Adoration. “It changed my life”, she said. “I’ve never really encountered love like that.”  Since then Tori has been an active participant in her Life Teen youth group and is thinking about going to Franciscan University or becoming a missionary. She is also a great example and role model to her younger brother and sister who she constantly invites to Edge.  It was beautiful to see the joy and excitement in her face as she shared her story with me and her new found love.

All of this, from a simple invitation.

It makes me ask the question, who am I inviting? If there is one word that has been constant throughout my four years as a missionary, it has been invitation. God continually invites us into His mission and we are called to invite others into it as well. One simple invitation could have an eternal impact on a young life, as we see with Tori, but not only her. Think of all the people she continues to invite, and all the people they invite as well. I want to personally invite you into this mission as well. Could God be calling you to be a missionary? Could He be calling you to be a mission partner through prayer and financial support? I encourage you to pray about this invitation. We need missionaries and we need mission partners who want to pray for the mission of Life Teen and all the missionaries and to support them financially, maybe it’s $5 a month, maybe it’s $200. I invite you to pray about this as we enter into this Lenten season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.” (Matthew 9:37)

I also want to invite any college students or recent grads to pray about going on our annual Ghana Mission in June. We still have a few spots open for guys and girls. For the past two years we have had the opportunity to love and serve the people in Ghana. We are looking forward to going back this summer. For more information you can check out the website at: http://lifeteenghanamission.wordpress.com/ or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=106210666123859.

I challenge you this Lent to pray about who you are inviting to be a part of this mission. Maybe it is simply inviting someone to come to Mass, or to youth group. Maybe it is inviting someone to be a Core member. There is power in a simple invitation. This Lent, let’s be bold and invite that person at work or that guy or girl down the hall in your dorm or in your class. If we believe in the love of Christ and the Mission of the Redeemer, how much would we have to hate someone not to tell them about it and invite them to be a part of it.

Thank you Tori for sharing your life and your story with me.  You are an inspiration for us all!

If you have questions about how to support this mission or get involved please email me at [email protected]

All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy? Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare.” - Isaiah 55:1-2

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Erik and Bridget Martin

About the Author

Erik and Bridget were married in April of 2011. Bridget was a missionary with Family Missions Company for 10 years and Erik became a missionary with Life Teen in 2007. They currently live and serve at Life Teen Covecrest, located in Tiger, GA focusing on local outreach and leading short term foreign mission trips for college students.