Ezra Matthews – South Africa
Ezra is creative and humorous, but likes to follow the rules. He currently serves as an area director in South Africa, alongside Pierre and Rentia. But Ezra hasn’t always known Christ. Before he knew Jesus, Ezra felt alone, empty and struggled with serious depression. He intended to commit suicide, and was even writing a book describing the pain he felt since he lost his mother, and why we was going to kill himself. Five chapters in, Ezra asked a local pastor who spoke English well to edit his book (he had changed the names so that the book appeared fictional). The pastor agreed, and also invited Ezra to pray with him. Eventually, Ezra was so influenced by the pastor’s persistent prayer and care for him that he gave his life to Christ and started attending this pastor’s church. But Ezra’s grandmother, who was his caretaker, did not approve of his newfound faith and told him if he continued going to this church that he would no longer have a place to stay with her. That night, Ezra paced the streets in tears, wondering where he would stay and what he would do. He ended up at the church, and this pastor allowed him to stay there. Ezra says, “it was during this move I lost my book and I forgot about my suicidal plans. I haven’t look back since.” A few years later, Ezra’s friend introduced him to Pierre. Ezra was “tired of being around people who are always serious,” and after hearing about Young Life, knew it was his way to share the gospel. Now he does ministry in the Limpopo Provence of South Africa in a township called Bela-Bela.
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