Amanda and I are both originally from Illinois and moved to Kansas City, Missouri in the fall of 2004 when we launched Hearts-a-Blaze Ministries. Before joining the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (which HAB Ministries serves), I was a youth and young adult pastor at a Baptist Church in Southern Illinois, and Amanda worked full time as a registered nurse as she continues to do on a part-time basis.
We both radically gave our hearts to the Lord in 1999. We were college students at the time just outside of St. Louis, MO. We were both well acquainted with the “party scene” of the college campus culture and I personally had come to the place of severe drug abuse. In the mercy of God, through a series of events I was delivered and Amanda, while visiting a friend in Pensacola, Florida, was converted at the Brownsville Revival. After months of pursuing the Lord together, we were engaged to be married while ministering in Mexico City, Mexico. We were married on a Saturday night — June 23, 2001.
Throughout the entirety of our walk with the Lord, we have vowed to be faithful stewards of God’s grace and gifting that He’s given us and to be found with tender hearts full of passion for Jesus. Like every believer, the primary will of God for our life is to go deep in God’s heart and to be found alive in the inner man (Lk. 24:32; Mk. 12:30). We pursue this reality primarily by living a life of prayer, fasting and the study of God’s Word. We place these fundamental practices of the Christian walk at the very foundation of our ministry and discipleship of this young adult generation.
We long to see an expression of Christianity that truly models the life of Jesus as seen in the book of Acts in the New Testament. We believe that God is currently orchestrating this change of expression through the current worship and prayer movement across the earth. There is a turning in the church from the place of settling and lethargy, to a place of wholehearted abandonment to Jesus. God is raising up a church that will be faithful and loyal to His Son Jesus in their lives even unto death (Rev. 12:11).
Ali & Charli: Their Story
In April of 2006 we found out that Amanda was pregnant with our first child. We had been married nearly five years and we were right on schedule of when we wanted to begin having children. We were very excited to say the least. I had several impressions and even a dream in the times before about us having twins.
When Amanda began to be very sick with morning sickness we joked that there had to be more than one in there. Well, come May we found out there were two in there! The Lord had blessed us with twins. We would find out they were identical twin girls and we gave them the names Charlene Grace Martin, known as Charli, and Alia Grace Martin, known as Ali. (read more…)