From Comfort Zone to Compassion

Matthew’s Path to Full-Time Missions

Matthew left Tennessee after his college graduation to serve with the GenSend team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Going into the summer, he understood some of the challenges before him.

Sent from a missional church, Matthew considered full-time missions as his next step after graduation, but when he entered Pittsburgh, he had no idea what God had in store for him.

For two months, Matthew served with local church plants and worked in the Send Relief ministry center, serving the homeless community.

While serving in compassion ministry, Matthew confronted their great need. He started to understand the importance of relational evangelism, and he saw God’s heart for those in need. God’s holiness, love and kindness struck Matthew in a new way, changing his life.

During one of the GenSend team’s evangelism days, they met a student who spent the summer living with his grandmother in the city.

Although the student knew the gospel, he had never received discipleship and had an interest in learning more. Over the summer, Matthew and this student’s friendship grew.

“He ate dinner with the team, we visited his home, and he invited us to his grandmother’s home for dinner,” Matthew shared.

The connection to their new friend also opened countless doors in the community, including an invitation to a neighborhood block party and lessons for the team on how to play the banjo.

From that friendship, Matthew had the opportunity to consistently disciple this student for the two months he ministered in Pittsburgh. A few weeks into the summer, this local student invited another friend to hear what Matthew had to say and joined in the discipleship.

That summer, the unexpected experiences of serving in an unfamiliar city proved personally challenging for Matthew. It made him realize how narrow his view of God was, and although he believed God to be Lord of his comfort, Matthew soon realized God was calling him into the unknown of His global mission. 

Shortly after GenSend, Matthew answered the call to full-time missions and opened his mind to serving beyond his comfort zone. A few months later, he joined the Send Relief team in Puerto Rico as a Journeyman—moving far from home into an unknown place and people group with a foreign language.

Matthew works specifically with compassion ministry, strengthening communities through construction projects and disaster relief while seeking to share the hope of Christ with the people of Puerto Rico.

He also leads summer GenSend teams, teaching students the essential lessons he learned through his missional experience. GenSend taught Matthew how to live on mission in his community and join the international mission of God. He now reaches a whole new community with the hope of Jesus and for the glory of God.

God took me out of my comfort zone. That was not a bad thing. GenSend 100% put me on the path I’m on now; without it, I would not trust in God’s holiness, love and plan for me. Without GenSend, I would never be where I am now.”

Published November 3, 2023