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Seminary Alumni of the Year Ministering to First Nations throughout North America
2015-04-07
 
Rick and Linda Martin feel “uniquely called” to minister among North America’s First Nations communities.
 
“We believe God has been opening the doors for us to minister from east to west and north to south,” says Linda, who earned a Social Sciences degree from Providence University College and Master of Arts in Counselling from Providence Theological Seminary.
 
It’s a calling she heard loud and clear during her time at Providence, when she learned of three suicides in her tribal area.
 
“The news so hurt and overwhelmed me,” she says. But it also sprung her into action.
 
Even before her graduation in 2000 she and her husband, Rick, were helping a ministry that would blend into My People International in Canada, which they have been involved with ever since.
 
Rick, too, earned his Master of Arts in Counselling at Providence and, says Linda, shared her vision to “walk with my people” following graduation.
 
This spring the Martins are being honoured with Providence Theological Seminary Alumni of the Year recognition. Their work, however, remains as central to their lives as ever.
 
“We have presented workshops and ministered from Fairbanks, Alaska to Neah Bay and Seattle in the west, to Fredericton, New Brunswick and other places in the east,” says Linda. “Our focus is to bring the hope of Christ into everything we do, whether we are at a funeral doing grief counselling or teaching at a conference on abuse issues.”
 
Rick and Linda have also partnered with Dryden, Ontario-based Northern Youth Programs, which facilitates a Diploma in Biblical Counselling at Providence, and recently launched a Culture Camp for urban-raised Aboriginal children through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.
 
 “In all this we desire to build bridges between First Nations and all other peoples of this great land,” says Linda, adding, “The preparation and education we received at Providence has indeed been key to the work that we now do, and we hope we can continue to walk in this ministry for years to come.”
 
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