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Matt has texted his friend to share a scripture verse or an encouraging word every day for the past nine years. With the single exception of a week when his phone was out of service, he has not missed a day for the past 3,278 days!

Matt and Donald met each other at our URM Ironman conference through Jerry Jenkins who was Donald’s mentor. They hit it off immediately. They found common ground talking about God and sports. The two of them exchanged phone numbers that day and Matt immediately entered into a routine of texting Donald Bible verses the next day.

Donald came up to Matt’s dad at another one of our Ironman events and asked, “Does Matt ever get sick???” The reason for the question was due to Matt’s faithful commitment of daily sending Donald Bible verses without missing a day. Rain or shine, sickness and health, every single day he would text a Bible verse to Donald and have a virtual chat. Matt’s Dad had no idea until Donald told him. I’m sure Matt’s loyalty also blew Donald away. The texts never stopped coming, never fizzled out and a true friendship bond has been established.

It’s important to understand that Matt is an introvert by nature. Matt was born with Cerebral Palsy, and even though he’s a nice guy this type of relationship was not the norm for Matt. If you ask Matt, Donald is a brother to him. They’re like-minded in Christ. Matt loves Donald’s positive nature, they love to share a good laugh together and Matt knows that Donald would do anything for him.

Matt is the Michael Jordan of phone friends. There is only one MJ and there is only one Matt but there are many more Donalds. Men and women transitioning out of the Mission are in need of phone friends and a relational safety net. Matt’s story is a powerful example of how God can use our phones to show compassion and connection. Just a small investment of time, on a regular basis, can give a person who needs to feel loved a fighting chance in a difficult world.

You don’t have to send 3,278 texts for nine years running to be a phone friend. Even if you just consistently checked in once a week via text or a phone call you can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Will you join Matt as a phone friend? We have a list of women and men who have recently transitioned into more independent living and need a friend. Would you pray about being a phone friend?

Be like Matt. Sign up to be a phone friend by emailing Betty: Betty@deedandtruth.org

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