The American Chronicles: The Linda and Marty story

The beauty of America is found in its people. True Americans who embrace the ideal of America, which might be summed up in the words: God, family, and country. We share the ideals of freedom and equality, a live and let live creed, rugged individualism, commitment to community, goodwill to others, a strong work ethic. These are values that the majority of true Americans share—not only as a people, but to others as well. The American Chronicles is dedicated to telling those stories of the America that still exists, despite what the media and politicians pound into us every day. Linda and Marty are examples of the delightful people who care about their country and neighbors, and love God with all their hearts.

In December 2021, I received this email from Linda: “We have been enjoying your emails for quite a while and feel we can trust them. We don’t watch the news so we really depend on your messages. Thank you for all your reporting and effort that goes into them. God Bless you in the new year. Marty & Linda.” A year and a half later, another email: “I see you are near Florida.  Marty & I live in the Ocala National Forest. If you would like to stop here and visit with us we would love it. Let us know. Marty & Linda.” Then another email in January: “Hi, Remember us, Marty & Linda? We wrote to you last year and invited you to visit when you were in Florida. You said you had already been in Florida, but you may be back in February. It is almost February and we extend the invitation to visit us. Look forward to hearing from you (Old picture).”

They must have been watching for us because Linda was in their yard waving at us when we were turning onto their road. Marty helped guide our RV into the driveway. It was a warm greeting as if we knew each other for years. In a short hour, we covered a lot of ground about our lives, our love of God and our country. Marty and Linda are quite the adventurers. They sailed up and down the East coast to the Caribbean spreading the Word of God. What was amazing, they did it in a sailboat that Marty crafted by hand over a 12-year period. Their mission work impacted the lives of many in every port they docked. They eventually turned over the ship to the locals, who use it to transport needed goods in the area. To God be the glory! But Marty had yet another idea—build a houseboat. Which he did.

Linda told how every part of the boat had to be just right or Marty would pull it and start over. They named the boat “Sweet Chariot” and it was a conversation starter for evangelism. In a tract, they explained, “We have chosen the name “Sweet Chariot” for our boat from the line in the spiritual song that goes “swing low sweet chariot coming for to carry me home.”  In their 70s and 80s, Linda and Marty’s sailing days are over, but they still minister the Word of God. Linda has a network of folks she ministers to and Marty is encouraging a prayer team at their church. 2 Kings 2:11 says “suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire…and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” It was a whirlwind visit with Linda and Marty, inspiring and uplifting, we prayed together and said our goodbyes. They indeed are sweet chariots of Godly fire!

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Bill Wilson