Mrs. Martínez got Married on a Monday

It has been about 10 months since I have posted a new blog entry but I am back to announce that Natán and I got married 3 weeks ago on the dreamy island of Roatan, Honduras!! All I have to say is that we are loving married life and are in the preparation stage of a new ministry opportunity (that we’ll share soon) aaaannnddd are still just oogling over our photos from David Díaz Photography:

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This past crazy month [July 2012]

SO much has happened in the last 30 days of my life. Medical trip in Honduras, best friend’s wedding in Tennessee, Church of God General Assembly in Florida. I will try my best to accurately recap.

1. Medical Trip || Honduras

I spent the first week and a half of July in the country of Honduras, which will soon become my home for the next year. With the group from Argo Christian Fellowship (my grandmother’s church) we were able to see 1,700 patients in Copán, Honduras within only 4 days of clinics! In cooperation with several Honduran doctors, dentists, evangelists, translators and other volunteers, we had the privilege of being a part of God’s redemption story by showing His love to the people of this beautiful Central American country.

Me explaining medicine to families in the pharmacy.

“The hills are alive with the sound of music…” It is always necessary to stop on the roadside for a little frolicking in the mountains.

2. Best friend’s wedding || Tennessee

What an emotional weekend that was! My best friend since I was 12 changed her last name and started a new family on Saturday, July 14th. Brianna and I have made so many memories over the years. With her I have laughed harder, thought deeper and cried longer than with almost any other person I know. We went through all the awkward stages of adolescence together…

From when we first met, as nerdy pre-teens, to now… (just nerdy pre-teens in adult bodies…)

Bridal party: Allison, Melanie, Laura Anne, Emily, Brianna, Evin, Me, Jessi.

I am so happy for the love that she and Josh have committed to for the rest of their lives. Bree & Josh: I wish you the best!

Here is a little wedding music rehearsal medley from a couple nights before the wedding. Two very talented families!

3. Church of God General Assembly || Florida

What a long, exhausting but good week in Orlando. I saw many old friends (and friends who are like family) and met some wonderful new friends. I met some seasoned missionary veterans who have been on the field for decades, all who have committed their lives to adopting new cultures and learning new languages and loving people in the name of Christ. I came away from this past week pretty inspired.

My Honduran family I lived with in Panamá last fall was at General Assembly. It was so good to see the Leons!

As well as several videos that I edited for World Missions being used during the conference, this photo of mine of Honduran pastors in Copán was used on the Latin America missions banner. 🙂

Being part of the media team, our schedule was pretty full and a couple days we worked 13+ hours. Other than being in Orlando without being able to visit Disney World :/ and wanting a little more time to spend with friends, the week was great. It made me thankful for divine networking and the way God puts people in our paths at just the right time. 🙂 He continues to be faithful and guide our steps.

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Aaaaand now…. It is time to pack. I move to Honduras in a little over a week!

Celebratory Weekend

This past weekend I attended two celebrations.

1. A girl who has been part of the mentorship program I’ve been involved in turned fifteen-years-old Saturday. As is customary in Guatemala, where her family is from, and in other Latin American countries, turning fifteen is a very important event in a young girl’s life. The quince años signifies coming into adulthood and this is usually marked by a large elaborate celebration, la fiesta de quinceañera. Oftentimes this event is as big of a deal and as expensive as a wedding. It takes months of planning and the guest list is extensive.

quinceañera

La Quinceañera.

The quinceañera, birthday girl, was escorted by her cousin. One of her younger cousins asked me, “ella se va a casar con él?”

“Is she going to marry him?” It was a reasonable question and her confusion was understandable. 😉

I have heard the Perez family talk about this fiesta for at least a year. Mr. Perez and one of the quinceañera’s aunts shared with me this weekend how hard life was growing up in Guatemala. As children they weren’t even able to have toys. That is why it is so important to them that their children have better opportunities here in this country and are able to have things that they couldn’t. The love among the extended family members was evident and I knew that every small detail of that night’s celebration was a direct result of some hard sacrifices that many in her family had made. It was a dream day for sure.

2. Sunday morning, I attended a lovely wedding downtown that was held in a park. This was the most unique wedding I have been to and the most meaningful. The bride wanted to share this special day with friends, family… and strangers. I had never met her but I had heard her testimony. My grandmother has been involved in ministry with her and so I tagged along for the special occasion.

This ceremony was the most beautiful and symbolic picture of Christ’s redeeming love. I felt like I was reading the book of Hosea. The bride has an incredible story of how her broken past has been turned around and is now used to reach young girls who are in similar situations to that which she found herself years ago. She reaches out to those caught in sex trafficking and is opening a home for girls who want to get out of that lifestyle. Without even knowing her personally, I became emotional just thinking of that immense and scandalous grace.

After the ceremony, we shared soup and cake with the guests and passersby which included many who slept in that park. Each Sunday, she and her (now) husband minister to the homeless and bring them food. Times like these I sense that Jesus is more real than ever.