On March 18 at 10:30 am, Marjory Martin passed peacefully from this life into the arms of God while asleep at our home. Marjory is the mother of my wife, Cheris. She lived the past 21 years in our home. She influenced both Cheris and me deeply – especially through her prayers and love for God and people, which are vividly described in Cheris’s tribute to her mother and in her nephew, Dick Hagerty’s eulogy given at the memorial service. Her prayers made a huge difference. Her passing marks an important milestone in TLI’s history.
My first 6 hour EPC (time of Extended Personal Communion)
My first extended time alone with God where He called me to begin TLI was in Marjory’s and her husband Fred Martin’s home in 1987. They offered me the space to meet with God while they were out-of-town. One of TLI’s founding faculty, Wayne Anderson, had suggested this practice to me during a period when I was experiencing deep vocational ambiguity regarding my calling. During this EPC, now a core spiritual practice for those in our TLI discipling community, I clearly sensed God calling me to start TLI. Marjory loved Wayne and was part of his house church for several years before he passed away in 2008.
Cheris’s mother was a humble friend of Jesus whose prayers often nobody saw but God, her Father who is in secret. Cheris unearthed an unknown drawer of her prayer notes for people including Cheris and me (some written in shorthand), members of her extended family, close friends and staff and donors of TLI that she supported. She was TLI’s supporter with the longest tenure.
Cheris found a prayer letter in this drawer from the early 2000s in which I had requested prayer for 10 specific areas of my PhD program where I felt great need. She had starred each item and had obviously prayed for each in her time with God. No one knew. I only vaguely remember writing the letter; but God saw and remembered! Whatever battle was won in my doctoral work was secured in that place of prayer.
Among the persons Marjory prayed for were Bitrus and Monica Audu from Nigeria who have led the Journey on behalf of TLI in that country since 2012. They called her “Mama.” I read Bitrus’s tribute to Mama at her memorial service. (Watch a video of this moving service below) It is fitting that the 11th Nigerian cohort of leaders beginning TLI’s Journey in their nation’s capital, Abuja, heard about Mama’s death within 2 hours of her passing at the conclusion of their EPC day of solitude and silence. They stopped their proceedings to give thanks and praise for Mama’s life and legacy.
Would you prayerfully consider taking on Marjory’s Mantle to more fully pray for others, especially those in leadership? For reasons far beyond human comprehension, God normally limits himself to our prayers to do what he longs to do in the world. Would you consider becoming an intercessor for TLI’s global work of mentoring leaders like Bitrus and Monica? Troy Walling, TLI’s Executive Director and COO, estimates it may take 100 intercessors to replace Marjory’s faithful prayers over many years on behalf of this ministry.