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  • Writer's picturetimothy martiny

A Life well lived. Tribute to Dr. Little, Cadaniño Board Member

Updated: 2 days ago

I met Dr. Little 15 years ago at a men's Bible study group in Louisiana.

From the beginning, a few things drew us together. Key among them was our shared interests and passion for helping people, especially kids and youth, discover their interests, pursue their passions, and develop their abilities in a way that enabled them to prosper.

We both believed that discipleship and development need to work hand in hand.

Discipleship, living out what it means to be a follower of Christ, and development, helping people make the most of who they are, is fundamentally intertwined with every aspect of human flourishing at the personal, familial, communal, and societal levels.

My wife and I have been missionaries in Guatemala for 21 years. When we first met Dr. Little, our work consisted of serving children in orphanages through educational and vocational training programs and Bible classes. We would show up day after day and spend time teaching computer, English, woodworking, and cooking skills while teaching them the Bible and striving to be there for those who were abused and forgotten.

We didn't have a big ministry, but we invested our lives walking alongside those who had suffered and working hard to discover the best way to serve them well.

Dr. Little was a visionary who didn't just see what was; he saw what could, be and together, we talked, brainstormed, and prayed about a better way to serve the vulnerable.

With time, we discovered that most of the children we served in the orphanages had families, and our work moved upstream to pursue a way to work in the communities where these broken families live. We strongly believed that through the power of the Gospel to change hearts, lives could be changed, families restored, and hearts redeemed to their heavenly Father.

Central to this is the belief that every person has value and is gifted by God with gifts, talents and abilities. If we can create an environment that helps people discover their calling and fosters a desire to learn and develop their skills, we could make a difference in even the hardest places.

Dr. Little believed strongly that community-based development and the empowering and training of local leaders was so incredibly vital to this that he regularly came down to Guatemala and invested time working with our staff, speaking with the youth, going on home visits to meet the families, and then taking time to talk, discuss, brainstorm, and work with us to create the core concepts of what became the Cadaniño ministry.

What started in a small garage in 2016 with 1 teacher and 35 students has grown into a dynamic afterschool program with two community centers, a team of 16 local teachers and youth pastors, and 250 students enrolled in programs that provide spiritual formation, academic reinforcement, and family strengthening services to the children, youth and families we serve in some of the most difficult and challenging places in Guatemala.

This has led to incredible results! By utilizing a Gospel-centered holistic approach that provides a safe place for students to learn, with teachers who care for them and help meet their physical, educational, and emotional needs, and focusing on discipleship and development, we inspire and equip people to discover their God-given gifts and abilities, and use them to their greatest potential, in a way that glorifies Him.

Last year, 21% of our students, many of whom live in abject poverty, made the honor roll in school. Children who have never touched computers are learning web design, programming, and coding. Shy, quiet kids are gaining confidence, the teenagers in our youth programs are serving and evangelizing in their communities, and, best of all, children, parents, and families are coming to a personal relationship with God.

A lot of this was made possible because of the time, effort, and support that Dr. Little has given over the last 15 years, pouring into our team.

I still remember the first conversation I had with him after the Bible study where we met, and it centered around the verse of 2 Timothy 2:2 "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."

I don't know if it was his favorite verse, but it was definitely one that he lived his life by.

He believed that our gifts and knowledge were not given to us for our own sake but were to us to be shared with others. We are stewards of everything given to us, from our resources to our skills, to our time, and we make the most of them by investing them in others.

And that is what he did. I know I was just one of many missionaries and ministries he supported financially and with his time. Pouring into others wasn't something he did in his spare time; it was what he lived and breathed.

He was so dedicated to serving and empowering others that even in the weeks leading up to his accident, he was talking about moving to Guatemala to work with us and our team.

He often told me that he didn't have savings and retirement. He didn't know how he would make it once he stopped working. Yet he believed, without a shadow of a doubt, that if he invested everything that he had in God's work, that God would provide for him till the end, and He did.

Dr. Little's impact on Cadaniño and the communities we serve is profound. Not only did he invest in me and our team of teachers, but he also encouraged us to empower the youth we serve. Despite many living in impoverished conditions, we instill in them the drive to serve others. As a result, Cadaniño's missions program has flourished. For the past four years, dozens of youth from our mission club have been actively teaching Bible classes in their communities. Recently, a youth team volunteered in rural Guatemala, constructing homes for impoverished families.

Dr. Little dedicated his time to teaching, developing, and mentoring me and our team, which enabled us to train the youth we serve. Now, these young individuals are spreading a message of hope and salvation to countless people, including many whom I have never met.

Generations of lives are being changed because of Dr. Little's faithful willingness to pour into others and encourage them to do the same.

So, while we are sad that he is gone and no longer with us, we can rejoice that the work that he dedicated his life to, the work of the kingdom of God, will continue for eternity through the lives of those whose hearts were changed by coming to a knowledge and understanding of salvation through faith in Christ.

May we all be so blessed to live lives so thoroughly dedicated to empowering people to serve others.

We ask for your prayers for the following:

  • For the family of Dr. Little that God will comfort them.

  • That God to raise up the right person to take his place on the board of directors of the Cadaniño ministry.

  • For donors who will step up to replace his generous support of the community centers.


Timothy Martiny


Partner with us today and impact lives for eternity!

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