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Thursday
Nov152012

Matthew Reed: Walking Into His Destiny

Colorado native and Charis Bible College graduate, Matthew Reed, during a recent ministry trip to London. (Click to enlarge)A string of poor decisions can quickly lead a person down a path of destruction; that is what happened to Matthew Reed. At the age of sixteen, he was in a rollover car accident in which he suffered a severe injury to his ankle. During his recovery he became depressed and began using drugs. This choice to use, eventually led to full-blown drug and alcohol abuse, followed by visits to rehab centers and back to using again. Right in the middle of what seemed like an endless cycle, a pastor in Kansas invited Matthew to a Charis Bible College Men's Advance in Colorado Springs. Matthew attended the event and since then, has never been the same.

Matthew speaking at Pastor B's (Bill Ummel) church, Praise Fellowship in Ransom, Kansas in May of 2012. Pastor B (red circle) introduced Matthew to Andrew's teaching by taking him to a CBC Men's Advance in 2009. (Click to enlarge)At the age of 19, Matthew's parents caught him with drugs. He had flunked out of college and was sitting in his bedroom when his mother and father found him. It was in that moment that he realized he had a problem, and his parents made arrangements to have him admitted to a rehab center near their home in Colorado.

One may assume that an extended stay in rehab will straighten a person out, but this was not the case for Matthew. The stresses in his life and residual pain from the car wreck perpetuated his need to get high. Failed physical rehabilitation from his injuries led to severe back problems and more physical pain, culminating in more depression. His repeated choices to turn to drugs and alcohol, even after getting sober, put him in situations that led him to make other poor decisions. During this spin cycle of indiscretion, Matthew hooked up with the wrong kind of friends, became a father, and spent nearly a year in jail for assault and battery. "I went through cycles of being sober and dealing with pain, and after six months or so, I would start drinking, which lead to drugs, which eventually lead back to rehabs and sober living homes," said Matthew.

Matthew and his wonderful daughter, Autumn. (Click to enlarge)While in a rehab facility in 2004, Matthew had an encounter with God. He received Jesus as his Savior, and he felt the tangible love of God for two week's time. Matthew began to think about going back to school, but he couldn't see a way to pay for tuition, and he still had his back issue which prevented him from sitting for long periods of time. Eventually, the desire subsided and Matthew slipped back to old ways of thinking. He chose to turn away from God.

Because of his constant back pain and his drug addiction, Matthew was unable to work, and he became increasingly desperate. In 2008, Matthew was in need of help again and he chose to return, for the third time, to a ministry-based rehab in Arkansas. While driving through Kansas, on his way to the facility, he was arrested for drug possession. Matthew standing in Budapest with the first man (center) he ever led to the Lord. (Click to enlarge)Matthew was booked, spent three weeks in jail, and was also sentenced to one year probation.

In early 2009, Matthew's probation officer introduced him to Bill Ummel, a local pastor in Kansas. Nine days after meeting "Pastor B," as Matthew refers to him, Bill brought him to the Men's Advance that changed his life. "Ever since the arrest, I had white-knuckled sobriety because of my probation, but it was Pastor B and his church that loved on me, and turned me back on to God—I haven't used since," said Matthew.

At the conclusion of Matthew's probation, he returned to Denver, Colorado. There he maintained contact with Bill and his church family back in Kansas. "I still talked to Pastor B weekly, and he Street ministry with European Initiative in Berlin. (Click to enlarge)said that if I would go to CBC-Colorado, his small church of 20 people would pay my tuition. They just finished paying for my three years," Matthew said with a grateful heart.

His time at Charis was productive, and as a result of studying God's unconditional love and grace, Matthew has seen great recovery in his own life and in countless lives around him. While his back issues are almost completely healed, his time in school provided even more recovery. Matthew said, "CBC was such a healing journey for my faith and my mind. I had become so retarded that at one point, I couldn't speak or look at people. CBC has given me a future and hope. I'm free in ways like never before."Matthew stands with the Olympic torch from the 2012 London games. (Click to enlarge)

It was during his two CBC mission trips to Germany that Matthew realized his passion for street ministry. "My second trip to Berlin with CBC was truly amazing. This trip is where I truly saw the fruit and value of sharing Christ on the street," said Matthew. He went on to say that it was through these trips that he became comfortable and confident walking in his identity in Christ and letting Jesus work through him.

His trips to Germany also connected him with a ministry called European Initiative (EI). During the summer of 2012, Matthew returned to Germany to serve as an intern with EI, and he traveled with the organization to minister in Budapest and London. While he saw great things in London during the Olympics, it was in Budapest that he had a personal breakthrough. "Budapest is the first time I ever lead anyone to the Lord—it happened three times that trip," he said with excitement.

Matthew and Thor (right) ministered healing to this man's ankles, and prayed for him to get off the streets.
(Click to enlarge)
Now, at 32, Matthew's passion for street ministry has grown, and these days he is ministering in a variety of capacities in the Denver area. One venue he and several friends frequent is the 16th Street Mall in the city's downtown. On one occasion he saw a woman sitting curbside on a horse-drawn cab, waiting for a fare. As the woman let Matthew pet her horse, the Lord gave him a word of knowledge about a problem with the woman's wrist. As their conversation continued she shared that she also suffered from upper and lower back pain. After he ministered to her she was completely healed and humbled by the love of God.

Matthew has become comfortable with street ministry and in his words, "Manifesting Christ in all situations." (Click to anlarge)"We hold up signs that read 'Free Prayer,' and we minister, pray and love on people. We've been laughed at and mocked, but I've personally seen many healings and salvations," Matthew said.

Matthew recalled that his first year at CBC was difficult, but his perseverance paid off. "I couldn't physically pay attention during night school, but God got me through and bombarded me with the Word every night. CBC saved my life and was such a healing atmosphere for me. I came to school a broken mess and in complete bondage, and I left three years later walking into the destiny God has designed for me."

Reader Comments (11)

Matthew, God is Awesome.
I'm so proud of you, God's blessings always.
Andine

November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndine

Such a GREAT story! Very encouraging and exciting to see someone walking in the true freedom and identity of Christ! God bless you!
Heather :) zx9gal on youtube :)

November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Nelson

Matthew that is an amazing story..I am so blessed by it....It was such a blessing and a pleasure to have met you while I was CBC.....So happy to see what God is doing in your life!!!!!

November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGloria Winston

A Free Prayer sign.... that's funny. I like it. I'm sure a lot of people take you up on that offer.

November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

You go Matthew! Great story. So pleased to hear that you are street evangelizing in the states. Go God!! Go street evangelists!

November 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim Droptiny

awesome story brother. Checkout Todd white. He has an amazing street ministry.

November 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Hi Matthew, God is good!! Will share your story as often as I can. Continue to walk in the Blessings of the Most High God, our Father.

November 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSALLY

...thank you...

November 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Hi Matthew, It was so good to read your whole story! We were classmates at CBC and I will always remember your big hugs and sweet smile. I am so proud of you and I know the Lord has very big plans for your life and you have just begun. Love you!!!

November 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine Herron

So very blessed to hear of Praise Fellowshiip to hear of a chuirch that teaches and lives the truth in Ransom, KS. I was baptized in the Catholic church at one month old. Was born-again at 31, now 62. Grandfather homesteaded there twice. I've got alot of cousins there. There is great hope for my family to receive Jesus. Thank you Pastor B and church .God bless you all.

December 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Jenkins,WV

What an awesome story. Praise God!!! Continue to let God move in your life.

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTamika

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