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hen I was in elementary school, many of my summers were spent at Columbia International

University. My dad, Dr. Rick Martin (2004/2015), was pursuing his master’s degree and thus, my family

migrated down from our home in Virginia to CIU for his summer classes. The campus was a backyard dream

for me and my siblings.

One of my sisters learned how to ride a bike with no training wheels down one of the hills on campus, and

playing in the student center and the gym made me feel like I was in college. That was a big deal for an

eight-year-old. We learned very quickly about red (fire) ants, and were fascinated by the lizards roaming


We would stop and buy a watermelon from the “watermelon man” down the road, and my mom would take

us to Lake Murray for countless hours. Because we were from a small town, Columbia was the first place we

had Chick-fil-A. That’s important enough of a discovery to be mentioned, amen?

Needless to say, CIU claims a dear corner in my heart when I reminisce on childhood memories. I remember

going to the library daily and pouring over the children’s biographies of missionaries like Amy Carmichael

and Jim and Elisabeth Elliot and Gladys Aylward and dreaming that one day maybe God would use me like

that, too. “To know Him and make Him known” became engrained in my heart as I rode my bike around

campus at least five times each day and saw the CIU motto everywhere. I’ll always remember breathing in

deeply the full and fragrant blossoms of the crepe myrtles lining CIU’s paths.



summer love

a ciu

By Abi Martin Marrah

The culmination of

a summer love that

began at CIU.


CIU Today

Winter 2016