We recently asked Joel and Jen Martin, serving with DiscipleMakers at Lebanon Valley College to write an article about themselves and their ministry to share with us. We hope this will help you to better pray for them and encourage them in their ministry.
Hi, everyone! We are Joel and Jen Martin, campus missionaries with DiscipleMakers at Lebanon Valley College and Thaddeus Stevens College. Our heartbeat and passion are to make the gospel known among the next generation of local students and students from around the world. We long to see students eager to know Christ and to make Christ known; students who are able to disciple others who disciple others. In short, we long to reach the world with the gospel by reaching the campus with the gospel.
Joel was born in the Lancaster area but mostly raised in the Hershey area. For a time, my family attended Hershey Evangelical Free Church where I distinctly remember being led in worship by Pastor Bob. I attended Lower Dauphin High School and Bucknell University. It was at Bucknell that I gained a passion for campus ministry. I led Bible studies as a student and saw people come to faith in Christ. I discipled men and I saw them lead others to Christ. Personally, I concluded that there is no more rich environment for the gospel in the US than at the college campus. Students are eager to explore their beliefs and open to hearing from God as they prepare for their life ahead.
Jen is from western Berks and went to Tulpehocken High School and Gettysburg College. Trained there as a teacher, she saw the need for students to not only know academics but to know Jesus. After graduating from Gettysburg, she joined DiscipleMakers and worked at Penn State Main Campus. That is where we met. After getting married in 2010, we moved to Easton, PA and did campus ministry at Lafayette College. As DiscipleMakers continued to grow and as more and more college students decided to join the mission, we were looking for new campuses to expand to.
In 2013, we arrived in Lancaster eager to see what doors God might open. The week we arrived an email was in my inbox inviting me to Lebanon Valley College to help lead a small Bible study. Since then, God has done amazing things. We have a weekly meeting with biblical teaching, worship, and community. About 40 students attend each week. We host Bible studies and training Bible studies throughout the week. We meet individually or in small groups with many of the students to disciple them in what it means to be a follower of Jesus and also one who disciples others. The fellowship at LVC continues to grow. God’s kingdom is on the move in Annville.
We want to say special thanks to you all at GracePoint. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel. As a church, you’ve been our most involved and eager support team. The missions committee has done a wonderful job and our students are encouraged by your support. Thanks for helping them come to conferences to hear the gospel. Thanks for supporting us so that weekly the wonderful grace of God is clearly preached at LVC! Thanks for cherishing Christ. You are welcome to join us on any Thursday. Come to Miller Chapel at 7PM. Keep in mind, when the college is on semester breaks we do not meet at the chapel. We’d love to see you there!