Telling My Story with Theirs

Roland and Tammy Martinez
Brandon and Lauren Piner

Our Story

I (Tammy) knew the Lord had called me into ministry. Having no idea what that was going to look like, I knew I wanted to go to a Christian college and major in Elementary Education to one day work in a Christian school. I had no idea this would include marriage…. But when I met Roland, I felt the Lord tell me He was the one. It's crazy, I am as indecisive as they come but it was so clear to me. We got married in 1994 and started teaching in the Christian school, where Roland attended from Kindergarten to 12th grade. It was full throttle from the start, from a ministry standpoint. But it didn’t bother us. We were ready.

Mission Minded

Being all in, we wanted to win a thousand souls for Christ. And we wanted to pour our hearts into youth ministry. We wanted to make the Bible so clear to the kids/youth we taught. We found our common bond of inspiration in the music we loved to listen to together. Steven Curtis Chapman’s “For the sake of the call” was our anthem. Embarrassing to admit, but we would blast this song in our Nissan Altima as loud as it would go while we belted out the words…. “We will abandon it all for the sake of the call, no other reason at all but the sake of the call, holy devoted to live and to die for the sake of the call.” When the song would end, we would wipe tears from our eyes because it reminded us of our purpose.

But we didn’t see it coming. Trials and challenges in both ministry and personally. We started to cave, the great divide had begun. I stayed with the kids. Roland did ministry without me. I tried but failed to allow my heart to match his stride spiritually or to follow God’s call on our lives. I started to question God. Isn’t that just like Eve? Satan’s first attack on the first marriage. To question God. I didn’t just start to question God’s call on us as a couple, but to question us as a couple. I had no idea how God would redeem this season, but He did miraculously.

Their Story

We recently interviewed our good friends, Brandon and Lauren Piner. Take a listen to their podcast. We all reminisced about how we met and what drew us to each other in friendship and mentorship. They spoke of observing other marriages around them.The importance of finding someone a little (or a lot) ahead of you, is so crucial in marriage. We are not meant to live this life alone, isolated from others. We need people and people need us.

Brandon and Lauren have been married almost 14 years. In those early years, they didn’t just seek us out for friendship but they also reached out to partner with us in ministry. Brandon grabbed lunch with Roland. He hoped to hear more about these trips to Cuba to minister to couples in ministry, who’s marriages were falling apart. They both jumped in to help us. Brandon and Lauren volunteered so much of their time to bring some much needed organization to the ministry.

From finances to systems for donor communications, to planning the many trips into Cuba, and gathering all the information to take large groups in. A couple years later, they both came on staff. These were such exciting times. The Lord eventually called the Piners to leave NC and head to the great state of Texas. We miss them so much but God has opened amazing doors for them there. From adding children to the family, to serving in their community and church, starting a Christian school/coop. God has truly blessed them .

God’s Truth

When you look at a family who has adopted many children or started a new ministry, or have found a way to make an impact in the world, what are your thoughts? How did they get to that point? What caused them to go in that direction? How did they hear from the Lord? We start to apply human reasoning and understanding to what we “see” with our eyes in the physical realm and we forget the spiritual realm. When God brought Eve to Adam, did God know they were going to sin? Yes, in his foreknowledge, He knew. But He still gave them a 3 fold purpose.

To reflect His Image
To reproduce a Godly heritage
To reign in the spiritual realm

God's Purpose

God’s intention was never meant to be about them meeting that purpose without Him. In our flesh, we are weak. It’s not about our energy, our capacity, not even our calling. It’s about our full surrender to His purpose.

What is standing in our way? People? Resources? Exhaustion with life? I often am guilty of feeling emotionally exhausted with life, wanting to pull away if I’m honest. It's not natural for me to have the mental resources for what we do. I have to draw from the Lord. 2 Corinthians 12:9 - “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Then and only then, He receives the Glory. He’s the only One deserving of it.

I’d like to end this blog with these words from the song I referenced earlier. “Nobody stood and applauded them, so they knew from the start, this road would not lead to fame. All they really knew for sure was Jesus had called to them. He said ‘Come follow me’ and they came, with reckless abandon, they came. We will abandon it all for the sake of the call, no other reason at all…..”

Check out our podcast with more on this topic here!

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