Tomorrow two of Life Teen’s finest will travel to Port-au-Prince to serve the people of Haiti: Stephen Smith and Eric Martin. Let me introduce you all to these gentlemen and share why they’re going.
Eric Martin has served for the past few years at Covecrest as a summer camp director and now the director of the Covecrest missionaries. If you’ve been to Covecrest anytime in the past three years, you’ll remember Eric: shaved head, glasses, much stronger than you. Eric joined youth ministers on a mission to Jamaica in 2007. He led the Life Teen Mission to Ghana for college students last summer. Plus he’s traveled to Mexico numerous times over the past few years. He’s as hardcore of a Catholic dude as you can get.
Some of you know Stephen Smith a member of our Board of Directors, others may’ve seen him running about Camp Covecrest fixing buildings or praying in the chapel. Still others of you know him as a retired school principal who became a Life Teen youth minister. Me? I just call him Dad. He’s my hero.
The one thing these two men have in common is their love for God and their desire to serve. That is why it should not have been a surprise to me when my father called me from my hometown in Georgia to share with me what God put on his heart during prayer time–to travel to Haiti and help the broken. Dad has been in a “missionary mood” over the past several years. He served in Post-Katrina New Orleans and ventured to Mexico twice with the Life teen’s college-aged missionaries (scroll down for photos.) After Dad explained that he’d spoken to Eric at Covecrest and the two were convinced they needed to travel to Haiti, I knew that this was a done deal. These guys are fearless.
Like many of you reading this, I’ve heard horror stories about how the lack of infrastructure in Haiti makes it difficult for well-intentioned relief workers to give proper care for the people whose lives are in ruin after last month’s earthquake. I love my father and do not want him to be in harms way. But through the several conversations that followed in the last few weeks, it became clear to me that Dad and Eric had no intention of staying put while brothers and sisters suffer in the aftermath of the earthquake. God called and they said yes.
So now the time has come. Tomorrow Eric and Stephen will board a plane that will touch down in Port-au-Prince. The two will not be in contact with us for the next two weeks. I am asking you to join me and the rest of the Life Teen staff in praying for Eric and Stephen. I look forward to sharing their stories with you all upon their return.
Below: Life Teen Missionary Eric Martin greets a new friend in Ghana, Summer 2009.
Below: Life Teen Missionary Pam Savoia (left) and Life Teen Board Member Stephen Smith (yellow shirt) work together on a 2009 mission to Mexico. Read more about Life Teen Missionaries
Below: Stephen Smith stands in front of a gift from his Life Teen group. They created a quilt from T-shirts from many youth conferences and summer camps they have attended together.