Erik and Bridget Martin

Blessed Am I Among Women: 2012 Life Teen Ghana Mission

If God were ever preparing me to have more daughters, it’s now! I find myself back on mission in Ghana with my beautiful bride Bridget, our 5 month old daughter Theresa, and four amazing, brave college-aged women, Katy, Gaby, Barbara-Anne, and Anna. 

Two weeks into our mission here in Koforidua, Ghana I have been immersed into the world of raising daughters, from discussions on weddings to first kisses to Gilmore Girls to Princess Diaries, to having the blessing of comforting and drying up tears; there is no doubt that God is preparing me for a household filled with women. I’m sure at some point by the end of this mission the conversation of favorite nail polish will undoubtedly come out as well. But what a blessing it has been!

As we were preparing for this mission during one of our sessions I realized, I have no clue how to lead a group of all women. Having no sisters or female cousins growing up, receiving a large part of my formation at the Air Force Academy and my time in the Air Force, I have come to learn that my leadership style can be a little demanding. I often err more on the side of justice than mercy or compassion. God’s ways of forming me are hilarious: “I’m going to send you to a foreign country all the way in Africa to soften your heart and teach you about raising women.”

So what have I learned? I have learned that the initial excitement and feeling of adventure of foreign missions has faded for me. But the good news is my intentions have been purified. I realized that a major motivation to go on foreign missions was selfishly motivated by what I got out of them. I now have a greater understanding of “It is better to give, than to receive.”

I have learned that it is a joy to watch our girls be transformed by foreign missions, to see their missionary hearts grow as they exhaustingly spend hours entertaining and loving the school children that surround our work site.

I have learned that these girls are quick learners. They’ve learned how to saw, hammer, and mix mortar as we build a classroom for a local Catholic school.

I have learned that there is a great boldness hidden within each of their girly appearances and petite frames as they courageously encounter strangers and share the gospel with them.

Finally, we learned first-hand that witchcraft and sorcery is real and dangerous. The missionary women shared how they gained a whole new perspective when they saw the effects of witchcraft right in front of them.

At one of the first Masses we attended, a distraught mother brought her daughter before the congregation to pray over her because a spell had been placed upon her. Witchcraft runs deep in the tribal religions in Africa, and those that have to deal with it’s effects will tell you, it is very real and it is very evil. Thank God, the distraught mother and this faith-filled congregation believe in the power of the one true God and in the power of prayer.

 

We have one more week left here in Ghana. Please continue to pray for us as we share Christ’s message of love to all we encounter. Pray that my heart will continue to be softened and that I will fully embrace His work in me as He teaches me how to raise daughters. Nyame Nhyira Wu! (“God bless you” in Twi)

All for Love,

Erik

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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.