Graham Martin is undertaking a multi-faceted mission with The City Project that will lead him from inner-city ministry and theological studies in Durham to an outreach ministry in New York and to communities and villages in Kenya.

Archived Story

Martin joins The City Project mission

Published 7:47pm Thursday, May 24, 2012

College student Graham Martin is doing just what he wants to do this late spring and summer.

Martin is undertaking a multi-faceted mission with The City Project that will lead him from inner-city ministry and theological studies in Durham to an outreach ministry in New York and to communities and villages in Kenya.

“I decided to do this because of the international piece. I knew I wanted to go abroad (this summer). The Lord put it in my heart to go somewhere and do an international ministry,” said the rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I am considering ministry as a vocation. This is a means to test those interests and to shape those interests. One of the reasons I chose (The City Project) is it’s so exciting, so multi-faceted. There are so many different components. I don’t know what to expect,” he said.

Those components include a week immersed in a large Muslim community in Queens, N.Y., where Martin said he will learn how to conduct inter-faith ministry.

He and his fellow students will then spend a month in Durham, taking a variety of theological classes — from studying the Bible to learning how to do outreach with different cultures and different religions — while also working with a ministry that helps impoverished communities in the Durham area, he said.

The final aspect of the summer’s mission is a three-week trip to Kenya with A Uhuru Child, a nonprofit organization focused on creating sustainable development in impoverished communities around Nairobi, Martin said.

“We will be visiting some refugee camps and villages, sharing in their life. If they have to walk four miles to get water, we will walk with them. It’s about people sharing their life, sharing their story and us telling them our story and sharing the gospel.”

As a Young Life leader, Martin has been building relationships and sharing the gospel with young folks at Orange High School in an impoverished area near Hillsborough for several years.

Now, Martin said, he is excited to have the opportunity to learn ministry on a larger scale.

“It’s incredibly appealing to me. I’m very familiar with local ministry, but I’ve never gone on a national or international ministry. (With this opportunity) I will begin to see what it’s like to do ministry on an international scale. I will get to know what taking the gospel to these places looks like,” Martin said.

Martin has leaned toward an international direction throughout his college years, majoring in history and peace, war and defense and minoring in geography to gain a more global perspective, he said.

“They’ve given me perspective on the world — how things are changing, how things in the world are connected, like how do farmers in Brazil affect the United States?”

An unexpected blessing to Martin’s decision to join The City Project is the funds he received to make the journey.

“I had to raise $4,500 to go. I wrote letters to people in the community and raised $8,000. It was really incredible the response I got to those letters — how much and how fast,” he said.

Martin has donated his excess funds to Young Life at Orange High School to be used for camp scholarships for students there.

“I felt it was the Lord blessing me,” he said.

Martin is the son of the Rev. Jay Martin and Jeanne Martin of Washington.

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