Imagine you live in a third world country. No matter that you know the language, are learning the customs, and can move fairly easily throughout the country. You still live under a constant stress. It’s not an overwhelming stress, but it is still a burden to your heart, soul and even body. Because no matter how acclimated you are, this culture isn’t your culture.
Imagine you’ve lived in Southeast Asia with your family (wife & four young children) for three years. Three years of missed holidays with family and friends. Yes, you are living there for a noble cause: working to bring justice and healing to children. But three years of seeing social media posts and pictures of friends and families gathering and enjoying the holidays together. You Skype and Google Hangout, but it just isn’t quite the same.
Imagine the excitement of planning a retreat to a neighboring country for the Christmas holiday. The children will forgo presents so that you, on your tight missionary budget, can afford the transportation costs, the lodging costs, and the meal costs – just so you can bring a bit of relaxation and rest to your stressed family.
Imagine a late night / early morning, lonely moto ride, eagerly looking forward to crawling into bed after a long day (and night) of intense work. As you ride your moto, suddenly you are struck by a car, which leaves you crumpled on the side of the road. The car speeds away. You are seriously injured. Your moto is wrecked. You are alone and in danger. In nothing less than a miracle, you make it to a Khmer friend’s home where you collapse in their doorway. They contact your wife, and begin the process of getting you medical help. Your moto only drives in circles – how did you get there? God.
Stress and fear and worry and more stress.
Imagine now that your only concern is getting healed up. Christmas travel plans are canceled. Medical procedures have to be redone. There are possible needs to travel to a neighboring country to receive skin grafts. There is a lot on your plate, and you don’t know where to turn, except God.
Imagine that you are in the “Western” world reading this. My friend, Matt, is experiencing all of what I have written above. He needs help. If I could describe Matt to you, it would be this way: Matt would be your perfect brother. Funny, witty, smart, and a heart that is bigger than anyone I know. He cares about people. He’s given up a “normal” life and dedicated his own to rescuing those who’ve been exploited. He also desires to see these children grow into beautiful futures. He gives his time, his own limited resources and now, his body to the cause God has laid on his heart.
Matt, and his wife Kimbra, need our help. There is a Go Fund Me campaign started to help offset some of the expenses they have incurred. You can find it located here.
Please consider how you can help: Pray. Give. Share.
And imagine the encouragement you can provide to Matt & his family this Christmas.