Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Matt Miracle

This story goes back a few years, how many - I'm not quite sure. It started with a call from my sister Anne. Her youngest son Matt, who had always been a bit of a free spirit, had been traveling through South America. Matt would call home or email with enough frequency to ease Anne's mind somewhat, although I can't help but think that having a young son traveling in South America would be a worry for even the most open minded parent. In any case, at some point contact with Matt was lost. Since Matt's last known location was somewhere on the border between Peru and Ecuador, and since David has family living in Ecuador he was asked to see if his family had any connections in the business of finding lost people. After nine weeks of no word from Matt, Anne and her husband Paul got a call late one night from Doctors Without Borders to tell them that Matt had been seen lying in a hut in an impenetrable tribe. Fraught with worry, Anne and Paul decided that they would fly to South America to follow what clues they had to locate their missing son. When they found Matt he was in very poor condition, having stopped eating and having lost most of his body mass. Even after finding him and trying to get him to eat it was uncertain as to whether he would survive. Family members sent prayers and messages of love, hope and inspiration to Matt and his parents though, and something struck a cord with him and he started to eat, breaking his fast with peanut butter on a pen. After regaining his health and returning to his home in the U.S., Matt still had some exploring to do - his travels continued. One day, out of the blue I received a call from Matt saying that he was passing through my town with some friends, and wondering if he could drop by. Not knowing what to expect, I diverted him to my office, located a short distance from Ste. Anne's. His arrival is pictured above. Needless to say, I was a little taken aback and a little skeptical about Matt's choice of traveling companions. None-the-less, I took Matt and his school bus full of friends to Maison Sante where they enjoyed a swim, much needed showers and some naked gymnastics in my back yard, and then off they went to take in the Shelter Valley Folk Festival. Somehow, over the next couple of days, Matt made his way to visit my youngest sister in Belleville. Marijo introduced Matt to the good folks at Maranatha Christian Reformed Church. I'm not really clear on exactly how things progressed from there, but fast forward to today where Matt now lives with his beautiful wife Sara and their newborn baby, Anna Sophia, pictured above I've also included a picture of proud great uncle Jim holding the beautiful Anna Sophia. I know Maranatha takes great pride in Matt's salvation, as they rightly should, and they were quick to claim Anna Sophia as one of their own. For my part, I'd like to think things started to turn around for Matt with a baptism (of sorts), in the form of a deep cleansing shower at Maison Sante through the healing waters of Ste. Anne's Spa! Best to Matt and his family.

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