by Roving Reporter Marcia M.
I recently spent time with Voices of Praise member Martin Saunders. We had a fun time getting to know each other. Martin moved to San Diego in 1997 for a change in life and scenery. He started attending PB UMC shortly after that. “On my second Sunday at PB UMC, a couple of choir members chatted with me telling me I should join Voices of Praise. They told me that the church is like a family and the choir is a family within that family.”
When I asked him what it meant to him to be in the choir, he told me, “My father was a music director at a church and my high school and I was involved in both choirs back then. So, I was open to joining the Voices of Praise. It is so much more than I expected. Ron encourages us to learn so much and to stretch our limits. Prior to joining, I had not performed on stage in many years, and by Christmas of that first year, I was cast as a singing, dancing wise man!”
Moving to San Diego was an opportunity for change for Martin. When he moved here, he went back to school to get a teaching credential, and since 1999 has an elementary school teacher at Camp Pendleton. “In Atlanta I worked as a tax accountant. I sat in an office all day. Now I’m moving around the classroom all day teaching elementary students. I get constant contact with unpredictable children knowing I am having a good influence. Elementary school turned out to be a good choice for me. I didn’t want to be a yelling teacher like some I had. I feel like I’m doing a good job.”
When I asked Martin if he had anything else he’d like to share with us he told me, “When I was 12, my cousins lived in Panama and my dad decided to drive the 2 of us down there to see them. That trip through parts of the US, Mexico, and Central America got me interested in traveling to other countries. Since then, I’ve gotten to travel a lot to a lot of foreign countries. In fact, I just spent a week of last year’s Christmas break in Singapore. That was a fascinating trip.”
While the future for Martin obviously involves more spectacular trips, we are very lucky to have this fun and talented guy as part of our church and choir. I hope you get the opportunity to chat with him, too.