«The path of the virtuous leads away from evil; whoever follows that path is safe» (Proverbs 16:17, NLT).
Merl Allen Martin was born in Mobile, Alabama, USA, on February 7, 1895, in the bosom of a Christian home. Due to a devastating smallpox epidemic that swept the region in 1897, the family moved to California. There, little Merl acquired a great attachment to the countryside and nature. He also personally met Ellen White when she returned from Australia. When the political situation began to become cloudy in 1914, he asked the church leaders about the matter of going to war. He was told that he could work in the army as a nurse. He did so and, at the time, he participated in the United States Army in the First World War (from 1917 to 1918). Seeing so much death and pain on the battlefields left a deep imprint on his heart. From that moment on, he decided that he would provide hundreds of children and young people with the best weapon: education.
On his return to the United States, Merl gave himself fully to the work of a farmer and a cattleman. He also had a milk and cheese factory. God prospered his work abundantly. In those years, he donated $50,000.00 for the construction of buildings at Loma Linda University (California, USA). In 1951, he volunteered to take over the estate of the San Pascual Adventist Institute in Escondido (California, USA), where he also gave generous donations. Years later, he financed the construction of the first dormitories of what was then College of the Pacific (Navojoa, Mexico), and six houses for teachers. In addition, during one season he transported doctors and medicines to that region in his own plane. In 1962, he initiated the paperwork to build and finance an Adventist college in Tesopaco (Sonora, Mexico). The Juarez college opened in 1964. Merl financed the institution for about twelve years so that many young people with scarce resources could study. He died on February 14, 1982.
Within a school there are silent stories of people committed to youth. Education will always be the best way to consolidate a country’s stability. Books have much more power than rifles, screams, and pompous words. In the same way, education is one of the great treasures that the church has. That is why schools are agents of change, places of challenge, shelters to channel the illusion of those who want to be better.
Ask the Lord today to help you to take advantage of your journey through school and to give you a generous heart.