The Campus Calls

Growing up as a pastor’s daughter, Sarah Martinez had a close-up view of what full-time ministry looks like. Yet she never thought that would be her calling until Christian Challenge recruited her to work at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, as a collegiate missionary.

At first, Martinez felt unworthy and ill equipped for the task God was calling her to do. However, she soon learned the wisdom of Hebrews 13:20–21 (NIV): “Now may the God of peace . . . equip you with everything good for doing his will.”

The mission and vision of Christian Challenge is to evangelize, disciple, and develop leaders. It shares the gospel and walks with students, equipping them to lead ministry and plug into local churches to utilize the talents and gifts God has given them. Martinez had no training in these areas, but God knew exactly what she needed. The hardest part came when she learned she would have to raise her own support. Her family and friends did not support her quitting her job to go into full-time ministry.

She questioned herself, Is this something God called me to do? Or is this to fulfill a need in my life? But she knew what she had to do.

She worked for a year to save money, enough to take care of herself and her little girl, Gabriella.

Brad Schneeflock, state director of Christian Challenge, trained her for her ministry. Martinez worked on 3 campuses. Two of the ministry groups grew into thriving church plants. This is her first semester at Arizona State University, and she is still learning the campus culture and getting to know the girls. Four women are working with Martinez to reach their campus for Christ. Each leader is seeking 5 girls to engage in the gospel. Small groups meet to do homework or have a Bible study. The students tell Martinez they feel as if they have found a family away from home.

Martinez and her girls are very grateful for the love and prayers of WMU.

Ann Knowles’s passion is missions. She enjoys writing about missionaries and teaching mission studies.

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