When you talk with Matt, you see a man at peace. He breathes evenly. His voice is steady. He almost glows when he mentions God and His faithfulness.
It’s hard to believe that, seven months ago, Matt lost both parents in a three-week period. A recovering meth addict and a new Christian, Matt had come to Open Door Mission just one month earlier to continue his journey to recovery.
“I was clean and, after 14 years of addiction of one kind or another, actually wanted to stay clean,” said Matt. “My parents gave me a good childhood. They did what they could to help me each and every step. I was the youngest of five kids, and had all the benefits of being youngest. It truly hurt to lose my mom and dad.
“If there was any time I might have returned to life as an addict, that was it.”
Matt has no complaints about his early life in northwest Missouri. His dad worked for IBM. His mom kept house. If he hadn’t tried alcohol in junior high, Matt might have a totally different story to tell.
“I kept drinking from about age 12 on. I added weed as a habit in college,” said Matt. “Then I started on methamphetamines. It took me all those years being miserable to understand that God was really helping me out when I got busted.
“Because that process of jail, then a judge, then a different recovery program, then another arrest, then another hearing, finally brought me to Open Door Mission. And you know what made the difference?
“There’s love here. But for the love of everyone here, especially Pat (Director of Men’s Emergency Services), I could have chosen to return to a life of addiction, poor choices, and the lack of character that nearly took me out in the first place.”
Today, Matt is determined to pay it forward in love. He leads a Bible study. He’s a greeter at the church he attends. He has a special joy in encouraging youth to make decisions that honor God and build character.
“Someone from church needs to do life with kids, so they understand that Jesus is present in every area of their lives. There needs to be someone who plays ball, or talks with them over a soft drink, or skips stones on the river – whatever – who shows them that inviting Jesus into everyday life is good stuff.”
Your support of Open Door Mission has encouraged Matt to pursue a career in addiction counseling. “I’m a people person. The Mission helped me get into vocational rehab as well as The Urban Ministry Institute to pursue my degree in counseling.
“There’s love here. I’m loveable now. And I love and help others. In return, that helps me.”
Thank you for making it possible for Open Door Mission to help Matt.