I'm Rachel Martin. I have been married to my best friend Kenton since 6/24/01. We have five very sweet children. Three out of five of them were born at home, our fourth and fifth were adopted through foster care.
Chandler our easy going, patient, forgiving, musician/adventurer was born 4/30/02. Peyton our kind hearted, goofy, book worm/actor was born 3/3/05. Reese our social, helpful, artist/adventurer was born 9/9/08. Zander our sweet, silly, special needs, dancing/mischief making snuggler entered our home at one week old 9/17/13 and was adopted into our family on 9/25/14. Kade our tiny, sweet, happy little ninja baby was born 6/25/15, we got the call about him at one week and were able to start visiting him in the Madison children's hospital at three weeks. After 6 and 1/2 weeks in the NICU he came to our home August of 2015 and was adopted into our family March 21st 2017.
We have a beagle/pug otherwise known as a Puggle named Wooton, that Kent found at work and live trapped in April of 2013.
Some of the things that we enjoy as a family are: swimming, camping as a family and with extended family, friends and youth, visiting Grandpa and Grandma Martin up north, going on bike rides and walks together. I love to read, gardening, baking and playing piano.
I was born 11/29/79 in Beloit, WI. Growing up I was taught a very legalistic view of God in a home with a mentally unstable and abusive mom. I struggled a lot with fear, guilt and self doubt. It was in June of 2002 at a Family Life Marriage conference that I began to see God in a different light and that started me on an amazing road to healing, contentment and the Joy that can only come from God. Through my husbands family, my friends in my moms group and our church family and leadership, I have been able to overcome my past and move forward with Gods Truth in what it means to have good boundaries, discernment and to be real in friendships and relationships.
I graduated from high school in 1998 and attended Black Hawk Technical College for Childcare and Spanish in hope of becoming a missionary. I got a job a job at a church daycare/preschool in Beloit at the age of 18. During this time God also started putting youth ministry on my heart but I kept pushing against it because of my past, fear and self doubt. After about a year and a half I knew God was telling me to move on. So I started attending Faith Community Church occasionally on Wednesday nights and going to the young adults group led by Tim Bales at the time. That is where I met my husband Kent. In March of 2000 I left the church in Beloit. I became a nanny for a doctor in Janesville, who had two girls ages 4 and 6 and were expecting a third in August. I'm still their nanny and I still love it. We are all like family.
I decided to call Faith Community Church my church home in March of 2000. I sang on the worship team and finally stopped ignoring Gods nudges and started helping with the youth. Kent was helping with the youth as well and our friendship grew and we started dating in June of 2000. We took a break from the youth group in August, got engaged in November and married on 6/24/01.
?In August of 2002 when our first-born son was three months old, we became youth leaders at Faith Community Church again and we are still loving it! :)
We have had Junior highers in our home every Wednesday during the school year since the fall of 2005. We call it "controlled chaos" :) We also head up youth missions called Mission 28:20. taken from this verse in the Bible, Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.“
As a family our hearts have always had a strong desire to adopt. Through many different seasons God was preparing us for something we never saw coming!
On 9/16/13 we became a licensed foster family for Rock County. Some children come and stay for awhile and then go and some stay forever. It is a difficult journey and brings lots of highs and lows, joy and sorrow to our family.
In January of 2015 I became the lead nursery worker here at Church and greatly enjoy spending time every Sunday with the Little's in our Church Family.?? Our family is so blessed to be part of such a wonderful church, youth group and children's ministry. It has been truly wonderful doing ministry under Michael and Kristi Powers and Jonanne Monogue. All of us youth leaders are the best of friends and as close as family. God has truly placed us together for a purpose. We love the youth and enjoy building relationships with them. Seeing them grow in Christ is amazing!
A good friend of mine told me this on a Sunday in February 2015 after a youth we loved deeply died, "to serve and just serve is just doing but to serve and love so deeply is so much more".....14 years of youth ministry and we have so many teens In our hearts, life goes on and we may not see them for awhile but O they never leave us fully....even with all the heartache that has come from loving them so much I would not trade youth ministry for anything else.....yes there have been seasons where we have just been worn down and questioned is this still where we are supposed to be God? can we just take our little family and move up north and not do ministry anymore?....We are reminded that we are who we are because of ministry and because of the people God has placed in our lives and He is not done with us.....just when it becomes so frustrating and we think we can't go on....then something happens & God confirms yes this is where we need to be.....whether it is through each other, the other youth leaders, youth parents, teens, alumni youth or even our own children....we know this is right where God wants us.....I can honestly say that week of Will's death has been the hardest in my entire life, yet I had never felt more peace about where God has us now more then ever before.
This is the Journey God has called our family on.
As our children say, “Youth ministry is our life, it is what our family does!”