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Mat

July 30th, 2013

Mathew

Missionary in Southeast Asia

“The Path to Southeast Asia”

            On his first mission trip to Mexico in 8th grade Mat gave his life to Christ. That became the forefront of what his life would eventually look like: “Living a life for the Lord, you must be passionate about people more than yourself.” From that trip on he continued going on short-term mission trips, which eventually lead him to Southeast Asia in 2011 for a week. A trip he hadn’t been particularly excited about because of the relaxed agenda they would have, became the place where he was called by God to minister to the people in Southeast Asia. On the plane ride home he was confronted by God to go back and was beginning to become more and more broken for the people there. He began to pray for God to send him back, and another short-term mission trip opened up soon after. Unfortunately, the funds weren’t being poured out, and he didn’t end up going back as soon as he thought. What is interesting about the missed trip is that the group that left for Southeast Asia was going to help the same missionaries Mat would be apart of 2 years later. After missing the chance to go back, Mat began searching out organizations and ways to return, but all doors seemed to be shutting. He quickly realized all of this searching was led by his desires and done in his own strength. He hadn’t relied on God’s power or direction, and figured out that was his answer: God would open up doors if he would let God lead him.

Mat Toal 2- small

In August of 2011, as Jonathan moved to the College Pastor position, he enlisted Mat to join on as his intern. Under Jonathan’s leadership Mat grew more spiritually and was beginning to understand that apart from this time as a learner, he wouldn’t be able to be the leader set apart for long-term missions. One of the main things Jonathan equipped Mat with was the power and importance of discipleship. Through Jonathan and Crossgates, Mat was directed to many options for foreign missions opportunities. Southeast Asia was put down as his last option simply because the ministry there was focused on Ministry through The Arts, and that was definitely not Mat’s forte. Soon enough, the head missionary from the Southeast Asia group came back to Crossgates, and Mat met up with him. After his encounter, Mat was convinced Southeast Asia was where God was opening up the door for him to go. In August 2012, God provided everything he needed within 2 months, and Mat was off to begin his ministry there for 10 months.

During his 10 months there, Mat helped an Art gallery ministry, which brought people from over 40 different countries. The gallery gave Mat means to meet new people and share the Gospel.  Now back in Mississippi, Mat is preparing to return for another year. He is raising funds and awareness of what God is doing in Southeast Asia.

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