Wise words over a steaming cup of coffee

Last week, David and I as the Back2Back del Norte team, got the privilege to do something that I have long desired—share coffee and listen to the stories and wisdom of an incredible woman that God has brought into our lives. Her name is Martha Rojas, more commonly known as “Hermana Martha”. She is the one of bold faith who decided to open a children’s home after she retired from a complete career as a nurse. I have heard her story many times, as it has made itself famous in the realm of Back2Back, but this time we asked about it differently.


As we sat down to share breakfast and coffee, David asked the question “How did this all begin?”, to which she answered “Oh I have told you the story hundreds of times, I tell it to everyone.” I asked her to start back a little further, not just with the story of the children’s home, but the story of her life. And she did. I was doing my best to take notes and capture every nugget of wisdom, while also carefully reading the story on her face as she spoke.

“God gives us inquietudes,” she began her story. I suppose the best English translation for this word is “restlessness” or “uneasiness””. It’s like that thing that makes you feel uncomfortable, no longer at peace with how things are or have been. A lot of times when I share with groups I debrief here at Back2Back, we refer to this as “the burr in your saddle”.  So, this woman who has lived 79 beautiful years, worked as a nurse, volunteered in the penitentiary and dangerous impoverished areas, raised her own children and began a children’s home says the story all begins like this—with a God who gives us inquietudes, a God who plants in us this “need to do something.”

Her story continues, with many details beyond what we could ever cover over breakfast, but what amazed me were the way that each moment was strung together- almost like there was no lightning bolt defining moment in which she said “this is what I will do”, but rather it was a series of inquietudes and that ever-present “need to do something” followed by affirmations from Jesus, steps of faith and opened doors. She chose to listen to Him, dream big dreams and take steps even beyond her limitations in order to do His will. Her story is one of miraculous provision, divine wisdom and continued sacrifice.

I hope and pray that the inquietudes that God gives to each one of us do not get overlooked or pushed aside by the daily routine or our own limitations. I pray that we have the boldness to walk out the journey of faith, moved by the need to do something, whether that is the need to be a great mom, pursue that career, move to that city or start a children’s home post-retirement, and I pray that looking back, we can answer the question “what is the biggest thing God has taught you on this journey?” in the same way that she did:

“To depend on Him”

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2 Responses to Wise words over a steaming cup of coffee

  1. jill says:

    Loved this. I so appreciate that she has provided a PLACE for a child I dearly love. I am so glad our sweet girl has a safe place to call home, along with her siblings….because of the o science of Martha. God bless her!

  2. Gayle says:

    Thank you for sharing part of Martha’s story. She is truly an inspiration to all of us. I especially love her message about ” inquietudes”. That little voice and Those “heart tugs” speak to us every day. May we spend time to listen and act…..love the RE message with B2B this year. REally has me thinking more on how I will REceive these “inquietudes” and how I will REact in showing God’s love to others. I also discovered on this trip that God works in His own time, one moment at a time. He is the one who makes the difference. You demonstrate how you have followed your heart to serve the children at Del Norte. Thank you for your service and your open generous heart. May you mission continue to be blessed….Love, G

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