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Pastor Martins and I first started emailing several years ago at a difficult time in my life. Before that I was desperately looking for someone to talk to about topics that were important to me – life’s difficulties, religion, faith – and after searching and reading various information, I came to Martin. He was very supportive, as much as time allowed him, he always answered my letters, strengthened me and gave me such a ray of hope in everything. He was not one of those “typical” pastors who postulate what and how should be the REAL thing, he always advised me to listen to myself and to trust in Christ. That is how he will remain in my memory – superior to all, precisely because that was not his goal at all, he achieved it with his lightness and sincerity!

We see a lot today what is going on around us in society, in other churches, and although we did not talk about these topics, I know that he fought many battles because he did not bend to all winds, he stood up for his church, his congregation, he often had his own view and thoughts that were different from other churches. What I felt was something I had never felt before from other pastors, he always preached Love, tolerance, patience, acceptance. Rather than frightening with quotes from the Bible, he strengthened by finding the right verses and saying them in the right words, a great art. In one of his emails he wrote to me: “I believe that Jesus died for us, not because we are holy, but because He loves us with all our imperfections. I think that if He were alive today, He would surely be crucified again, because many people have difficulties to expand the limits of their love, to let go of their prejudices and the narrowness of their hearts.”

Although Pastor Martin informed me of his illness this spring and we corresponded until two weeks ago (even then he still found the strength to do so), the news of his passing shocked me. I guess I was really still hoping for a miracle. I was deeply saddened that someone with whom I had developed such a private and warm relationship was no longer with us. He never forced me to do anything, to follow any obligations, to drag me to church or to give me any instructions, on the contrary, he always advised me to listen to myself, to my needs and to my heart, which is why he will always remain such a warm memory for me.

I always thank him for his time and words of encouragement, but it always seems that it was not enough, but I am really grateful that we walked a small part of the way together, even if it was in private. I will never forget that little piece of the road and Pastor Martins!

In one of his last emails, Martin wrote: “In Christ we can see God’s love, which is stronger than all the powers of death. And there is no judgment, only love!”

May the pastor have a bright path to God!

In deep gratitude and sincerity,