Having been brought up in a very “good” home by honest and patriotic parents, I attended several Sunday Schools and Churches as a child. I had, several times, heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. However, no one ever told me that I needed a personal relationship with Christ.
As I progressed into my teen years, I was easily led into the tragic sins that ruin so many teenage lives. It is always embarrassing to share this part of my life, but Praise God I did not stay lost and hopeless!! I share this because I hope I can help someone else out there to come to Christ and find the peace and forgiveness I found! You cannot live a victorious life with a mere head knowledge of Jesus.
In 1985, in a little old mobile home in the woods in Michigan, I received Christ as my personal Savior. It was about 2am and I was defrosting an old refrigerator freezer. I was miserable and at the end of my hope. My hand became stuck in the space between the freezer and the frame of the refrigerator. I began to panic, thinking, “What else could go wrong!” I was alone and my son (an infant/toddler) was sleeping in his crib. I could not call out for help and risk waking him and not be able to get to him. I could not reach the dish soap to try to help slip my hand out. I then remembered GOD.
God let me get to the end of myself and realize my need. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit seemed to speak to my heart, “It is not about your hand, it is about your life.” I could get one knee to the floor and I cried out to God for forgiveness for my rebellion and sin and asked Him to come in and take control of my whole life. I knew what Jesus had done for me, but that night it finally became real to me. I went from head knowledge to finally inviting Christ into my heart!
The next I can tell you is that I was in the living room with BOTH hands raised toward heaven thanking God for what He had done for me, for my life and my heart and soul. I knew I was not alone and in the midst of my misery, I found JOY.
I was not able to really begin to grow spiritually until Steve and I began to get things right in our personal lives. We were married on Sept. 4, 1988 and we continued to struggle until he received the Lord in 1991. Then our family got into church faithfully and began to seek ways to serve the Lord. In 1995 we surrendered our lives to missions. In 1996 we made our first mission trip as lay people.
We continued to serve faithfully in our local church and attended Bible Institute etc... In 1999 God gave us a specific call to minister to the U.S. Military by establishing and directing Christian Serviceman Centers which work in fellowship with an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church.
One of the biggest challenges I had in our marriage was trying to understand my Veteran husband's struggles, which I later learned was the result of his having PTSD and TBI. Looking back I see that God graciously saved he and I both and lovingly led us through a minefield of struggles. Not only that, but God chose to use us to serve others by HIS grace. After establishing and serving through two Serviceman Center outreaches over a 16 year period, God allowed us to be trained in the Wounded Spirits PTSD outreach. We felt His call to serve full time with Wounded Spirits Ministry. It is our hearts desire to share hope, love and healing through the Word of God. We are living proof of the help and deliverance God gives! My life for Thee oh Lord is my hearts desire.
It is my JOY to serve God and others!
Lucinda Martinez, Gal. 2:20
As a young man of 19 yrs. old, I was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to fight in Vietnam. I was searching, even then, for some real spiritual guidance. Having been brought up a Catholic, I still felt there was more that I needed to know about God, I wanted the Truth about how to have Salvation through Christ and to find the hope and peace which I had such a great need of in my life. There was something missing. It seemed that there was no one who cared for my soul.
In 1970 I was seriously wounded on the battlefield. The young man beside me died instantly. His body had shielded me from the bombs full impact that day. I had turned to him to warn him that they were about to fire on us just as the bombs went off and saw him grab his face I knew he was dead. I then was shot in the chest, collapsing my lung and tearing up my ribs. I had shrapnel all over my body. Later in life I discovered I also have chronic TBI from the impact of the bombs.
For the next 20 years after I was sent home from Vietnam, I questioned why God had even let me live. Why did the young man beside me that fateful day die and I lived?? I was miserable. I hated life, people, everything! I had turned to drugs and alcohol and sin had a grip on my life. I even contemplated suicide a few times. (I did not realize I had PTSD, nor TBI until many years later). One night I had even snuck into a Church in a drunken fury and stood at the altar shaking my fist at heaven and daring God to take my life. Cursing Him, I blamed God for my miserable life.
Praise be to God for His loving kindness and mercy! He kept loving me and drawing me to Himself and in 1991, after hearing the Gospel in a little Baptist Church out in the country in Brooklet, GA, I bowed and asked the Lord to forgive me of my sins and to come into my heart and take control of my life. I was gloriously saved that day!!
My heart rejoices as I recall when Christ saved me, and lifted the bitterness and anger that I had carried for so long. Yes, I deal with PTSD, but God has blessed me with help and hope, which I desire to share with others. I love the Lord and my heart's desire is to serve Him with my life. Thank God for the Blood of Christ which paid my sin debt and gave me NEW LIFE and hope and peace!!
In 1995 the Lord called upon me and my wife Lucinda to surrender our hearts to serve Him in Missions. My wife and I did so and in 1999 the Lord gave us a clear direction for His call upon our lives. God allowed us to take the Gospel to the U.S. Military by starting and establishing Christian Serviceman Centers which work in fellowship with a local Church. We did this outreach for over 16 yrs. Literally thousands heard the Gospel and many of those trusted Christ as their Savior.
In 2014 God called us to also begin to train to serve with the Wounded Spirits PTSD outreach. In 2016-2017 we transitioned from the serviceman centers to full time serving with Wounded Spirits Ministries. We serve Veterans, active duty Military, First Responders, their families, or anyone who is dealing with symptoms of PTSD, or just need hope and help from the Lord. Many people attend the outreach of Wounded Spirits as a way to gain more Biblical knowledge, so that they can go help others too! We tell people all the time that they will meet people we may never meet. Being equipped to show them hope and help from God's Word is the responsibility of every Christian. God's Word has the answers for all of us!
Our goal in coming years is to keep reaching the hurting with hope and the great gift of God's Salvation. Through the Wounded Spirits ministry we have seen lives and souls saved, marriages and families healed, hope for living restored and peace that passes all understanding for hurting hearts and minds. We are not clinical help, we are BIBLICAL MINISTRY OUTREACH. We plan to serve Christ with our lives and share His love and help with others as long as HE allows us to. God blesses and helps us daily and we want to share that same help and blessing with others.
Steve Martinez , Phil. 1:6
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