Chad and Miriam Martin
Chad and Miriam both graduated from the School of Discipleship in the summer of 2020. Miriam stayed on in housekeeping throughout that winter. After their wedding in October 2021, both Chad and Miriam came on as resident staff. Miriam currently does landscaping, taking care of the flowers and rock gardens around the property. Chad works primarily in the School of Discipleship overseeing student worktimes as well as teaching some classes. He also assists with maintenance projects as needed.
Chad and Miriam’s Newsletter
Dear Friends and Family,
A lot has happened since the last time we sent out an update letter. It always seems that life gets busy and time goes quickly! But we have had a good fall season.
At the end of August, we saw 29 students graduate from the School of Discipleship. I found it encouraging to hear their brief testimonies of what God has done in their lives over their time as students. Some of them shared that they learned to trust God in ways that they never had before, and others that they got to taste and see that God is good in new ways. It is exciting to see them desire to learn and grow and have a hunger for the things of God, especially as 11 of the graduates have joined us for a second year.
We now have another class of 29 students (including the second years) that have been with us since the beginning of September. One change for us this year that we have really enjoyed is that we have our own advisor group. All of the students are divided into groups of two or three and are assigned to a staff family who will be their advisors for the year. It is one of the unique aspects about our program that makes it more personal for the students and gives great opportunities for discipleship. Two of the students, Sienna and Christine, have been assigned to Miriam and I, and we have enjoyed getting to know them and meet with them weekly. Sienna is from New Hampshire and Christine is from New Jersey.
In October Miriam and I celebrated our first anniversary! As we look back on our first year of marriage, we are very thankful and blessed for the time that God has given us together. It has not been without its bumps, but it has been very good, and we both agree that everyone should get married! For our anniversary we took a weekend trip down to Lancaster PA to see David at the Sight and Sound theatre. We also got to spend some time with friends of ours who were students with us when we went through the program. One of them, Hannah, gave us a tour of the backstage as she works at Sight and Sound. It was very interesting and quite impressive to see the sets up close and learn about how the production is performed. I must say that Goliath was VERY large, and not someone I would want to fight!
With my work in the School of Discipleship, I have spent a lot of time this fall re-evaluating our program’s credit hours. While the School of Discipleship is not an accredited school, we would still like our credits to be comparable to typical college credits so that they are more transferrable to other Christian colleges. The hope is that we will be able to build relationships with other colleges that would take our credits, giving our students more opportunities to further their education elsewhere when they leave here. More recently I have been studying and preparing notes for our Systematic Theology class that I am co-teaching in January and February. I enjoy studying and learning theology, but it is difficult to turn what I am learning into something that others can learn as well.
While I typically spend most of my time working in the School of Discipleship, sometimes I am able to get out and help the shop guys with various projects. This fall I fixed two rotted thresholds on different housing units, and did some caulking on others. In landscaping, Miriam finished up removing dead growth from the various beds and flower pots, getting them ready for winter.
The most exciting news we have to share is that Miriam is pregnant! We are very grateful for the gift of life that God has given us. Other than Miriam dealing with morning/all day sickness and needing A LOT of rest, the pregnancy has been going very well. She is due in the end of May.
Ever since last spring, we have been attending a local Sunday evening fellowship group. Lord willing, those leading the group hoped that it would grow into a church plant. God has blessed the group and as of this fall, we have become established as a mission church. We are still meeting Sunday evenings and we don’t have a building of our own (we are currently meeting in a portion of someone’s heated shop), but we are able to have a service and the Lord’s supper each week. It has been a joy to fellowship with these believers, and Miriam and I have enjoyed building friendships with those in our local communities. In November we became members, and are looking forward to what God has next.
We enjoyed a trip out to Miriam’s family in Indiana for Thanksgiving, and are planning to head back out for Christmas. It was nice to have a little break and spend time with family. We are still unable to travel to Ontario to see my side of the family as I am still waiting for the immigration paperwork that allows me to leave the country. Pray that it will come soon. I am not sure when it will, but I am hoping that maybe it will as early as this winter or coming spring.
Pray also for our two students that we are mentoring this year, and that we would have wisdom in coming alongside them as they learn and grow. Pray that Miriam would continue to stay healthy and have a good pregnancy carrying the little life that is growing in her womb. Lastly, pray that I would be able to write good notes for class and teach them well when the time comes.
Thank you to all of you who have been praying for us, and to all who have supported us financially so that we can serve here in this ministry. If you are interested in giving a financial gift, you can look us up on the Miracle Mountain Ranch website and make a donation, or if you are in Ontario you can give your gift to our supporting church, Heidelberg Bible Fellowship, and designate it for Chad and Miriam.
As I think about the Christmas season and all that it means, I am amazed to think of Emmanuel; God with us. I am thankful for Christ’s great humility as he took on flesh and was born as a helpless baby. Not only that but he humbled himself to the point of death on a cross. But it was according to God’s plan, bringing about Christ’s exaltation and our salvation. It truly is the greatest example of humility, and the greatest gift!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Chad & Miriam