Surfacing to a wider ministry

As a young man in Devon, Marten Holmes joined the Royal Navy as a submariner. During this time, he experienced living out the Christian life in the confines of a submarine. Since leaving the service, he has shared his faith far beyond such confines.

Marten attended the Birmingham School of Evangelism which showcased school work and this led to developing his ministry among children and teenagers as well as adults. Today as an evangelist with OAC Ministries (formerly Open Air Campaigners), he has travelled widely in Britain and overseas where he trains others.

Having settled in Cornwall, Marten notes, "The Cornish remain close to their spiritual heritage of Methodism. Also, there’s a smaller multi-national community here so the dynamics are different from a big city."

School work stays high on Marten’s agenda. He notes, "I begin with a straight forward Bible story. Then it helps to pick out one aspect of the story to which children can relate. They need to hear that God knows them and God loves them. The spiritual application is emphasised."

One example is the scene where Peter walked on the water and began to sink.

"We all get into difficult problems," he continues. "We can all say 'Jesus, help me'. He always answers, even if it’s not in the way we expect."

Marten believes it's important to reinforce the morals of the school.

"Then too I try to link the biblical account with core studies such as history or geography, to make it cross- curriculum," he says.

Special events include all ages and range from youth camps to cabarets, where Marten shares the Gospel by combining humour and creative objects lessons such as those involving illusion.

In order to share the Gospel widely, OAC partners with both local churches and other evangelical societies. Over the years, Marten has worked with Operation Mobilisation (OM) to train people in Eastern Europe. In the Czech Republic, he helped equip workers to engage in local ministry. His work with the Good News Crusade led him to both Tanzania and Kenya to train African evangelists.

Work with international teams has led to training in Austria for summer outreach. Marten also had opportunities to teach outreach teams in Hungary and Romania to illustrate Gospel messages with sketchboard paintings.

This February Marten travelled to Turkey with OM to facilitate street evangelism and an English club for schoolchildren. In March he will be the ministry leader for a skiing holiday in the French Alps – all of which he notes is not beyond the call of duty.

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