A 21-year-old theology student has died while on a mission trip to Kenya. Emily Martin, of Hebron Baptist Church in Bush, La., passed away following complications from a blood clot that developed inside her lungs shortly after arriving in the African nation.
Martin, who organized the trip herself, worked alongside missionaries Len and Susan Eastwood, who represent Neighbors Outreach Worldwide ministry in Nakaru, Kenya. Martin was a student with Leavell College of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and had been on several mission trips in the past.
Her father, Scott, said that Emily would likely have moved out to Kenya following her graduation. “Emily had this infectious laugh and smile that drew people to her,” he said, as reported by Baptist Press.
“She had a compassion for people and had a way of making people feel loved just like Jesus would. From the comments we have gotten in the past few days, we really have seen just how much of an impact she had on so many people.”
Her church’s pastor, Rickie Wilson, said that Emily was an extraordinary girl who sought to serve Christ in all she did.
“Her passing doesn’t seem real,” Wilson said. “She was one of the most joyful people I have met. “When I first started, I asked her various questions such as, ‘If you could walk through a door and be anywhere in the world where would you want to exit to?'” he continued. “She answered, ‘Kenya.'”
Hey everyone!!! I know our hearts are still very heavy, and we are still grieving over the loss of our Emily, so I…
Above everything, Wilson asked for people to cover Emily’s family in prayer.
“Pray for the family’s healing and peace,” Wilson said. “Her parents have a strong faith. Pray for people to see in her life the love she had for reaching Kenya.
“Pray for the youth she worked with — to see and understand that she was willing to be used by God and even in this unexpected loss her life was a witness for Him,” he said. “Pray for their healing.”
Incredibly, Emily posted this to Facebook on 18th August last year. Some of her friends have hinted at the significance of this considering Martin had a tattoo of Romans 8:18 on her ankle.
Take a moment to look at the date Emily posted this. God is so intricate with His designs in our lives. “For I…
One of those on the mission trip with Emily, her cousin Joshua, also noted the flight number for his return flight back to the US.
So Emily had this verse on her ankle. Romans 8:18. Who knew?! Josh’s flight number on his way back is 818. Emily and the lord are working in mysterious ways. I love you emily!
“If you have never believed that we serve a God of detail, a God that ALL things matter, you really should now. How can man orchestrate a flight number to be the very number that our Em has made 100’s of people ( maybe even 1000’s) open up their bible and see what that verses say,” wrote Tina Campbell on Facebook.
“Man can’t. But God can. In the middle of our chaos and pain God loves us enough to send us a message that He loves us and that HE is in control of ALL things. Even flight numbers. He’s a God of detail Exodus 26. #BringingHomeRomans818.
“My sweet Emily’s name will touch lives forever,” she added.
“My heart is shattered into a million pieces and I’m not sure how to even begin to pick them up. To know that her name live on forever in the place her heart always longed to be is comforting. I love you my Embob and we will honor your name and taking care of the place you loved so much.”
President of NOBTS Chuck Kelley talked about Martin’s love for the people of Kenya in an e-mailed statement to the Baptist Message:
The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary family is shocked and deeply saddened with the news of the homegoing of our Leavell College student Emily Martin while on a mission trip to Kenya,” Kelley said.
“Emily was deeply passionate about the Lord and her calling. She loved the people of Kenya and had made several mission trips there. We pray for God’s grace and comfort for her parents and other family members as they deal with unimaginable grief from this sudden and unexpected loss.
In addition, we pray also for our faculty and students as well as they return from the holidays to find her chair empty. Her life mattered to all who knew her here and all who experienced her love and witness in Kenya. May we all live and serve as she did.”
Emily partnered with mission organization Neighbors Outreach Worldwide. They recently posted a stunning tribute to her on their website:
“On December 25th, Emily Martin left the United States to come and serve people she loved in Kenya. That would be her third and sadly, final time.
On January 1, 2018 she left us suddenly to be with Jesus. Our deepest sympathies are extended to her family – both in the US and in Kenya. Emily was loved by so many people. We have lost one of God’s finest creations.
Len, Susan and Esther had asked Emily to serve on the board of The Haven and while she was here, she was to sign documents making her an official member. Before she passed, she was able to visit the nearly complete facility which only had a foundation and a few walls when she was last in Kenya.”
Then, a beautiful announcement:
“In honor of her life of service to Christ and her passion and commitment to the people of Kenya, the haven will be registered as and will forever be known as:
THE EMILY MARTIN RESCUE CENTRE”
Do pray for Emily’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time. Details on how you can donate to the family can be found below: