Ryan & Maura Martin
ASSIGNMENT:Campus Minister (Ryan)/Nurse (Maura)
SITE:Catholic University of Cameroon (CATUC)/Archdiocesan Health Secretariat
Maura and Ryan Martin and their children served the people of Cameroon, Africa by providing basic nursing care and instruction and social services.
IN OWN WORDS:
"We have always believed that we are all a part of God’s family, and that became even more of a reality when we had children. These little people entered into our lives, and we realized that, no matter what, we will love them. God gave us these particular little souls, but the souls of children in Africa, South America, Asia . . . He could have just as easily given us those precious souls, and we would have loved them. Somehow with this realization, came this sense that all of the children of the world are ours, and their parents are our brothers and sisters. It was this sense of love that gave us the courage to embrace the call of mission.
We were invited to the diocese of Bamenda in Cameroon, Africa. One of the most sacred moments during our time there was when my two-year-old son gave our neighbor a hug, and the neighbor looked up at me with tears in his eyes and said 'we are together.' We were not alone in this sense of 'oneness.' The people we met, and came to love, believed in this sense of family as well. Often, I would walk down the road only to have an 'old ma' ask me, 'How are my children?' She was not referring to children with ebony skin like hers; she was referring to the blond-hair, blue-eyed babies in my own home.
We are incredibly grateful for the community that supported us in going on mission, who loved the people we would meet, without ever meeting them. We did not go alone. We are also incredibly grateful for the community that welcomed us, as their own. Our lives will never be the same.
There is a reason we believe in the Trinity. Belief shapes being. We are all called to be ONE, as our God in heaven is ONE. It is our birth right. It is the image that we were created in. There is no greater gift.
We are Together!"