Legitimate Free Ministry Training
My name is Matthew A. Erwin and I am excited to receive legitimate free ministry training at CLI. I’m 31 years old, and I live in Seattle, WA. I am 6’2 with a very athletic frame and have a hearing disability. Seattle can be a rough place to minister, primarily to the homeless, and with that comes a certain stereotyping that falls on me, as some find me intimidating, as my inability to hear and respond to people and tendency to talk over them (unaware they are speaking) often gives that impression. I see so much spiritual sickness in the world and I know the cure–Jesus Christ–but have no ability to administer it. Through my prayers, it’s been made clear that the Lord wants me to wait for His time, not my own, so I am at ease knowing he is in control as I walk with Him and continue to grow.
I come from a mixed family. I’m the eldest sibling, having two younger brothers, Joseph (29) and William (13). My loving parents, after having Joseph and me, unfortunately, separated when I was 15 years of age. My mother had William with another man when I was 18 before separating from him as well shortly after. It was my three sets of grandparents that took me to church, introduced me to Jesus, and established my foundation in Christianity. On Christmas and my birthday, I would get the opportunity to see my Uncle Kevin, who all my life has been a father figure, mentor, and much-needed Christian influence. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I found and dedicated my life to Jesus Christ fully as Uncle Kevin introduced me to his church family at Family Life Center Church of God in Auburn, WA, including Pastor Paul Allison. I was I baptized by Pastor Allison in the White River.
Despite the brokenness of my parents’ marriage, I still hoped and prayed to be married one day. I was 24 when God answered that prayer with His most beautiful blessing on my life, Tashara. Five years after we met we married on February 28, 2015. We faced many obstacles, yet we still stand victorious today in love. I have learned patience, compassion, leadership, sacrifice, and forgiveness on a whole new level through our marriage covenant. My walk with God amplified to a new degree when I took Tashara’s hand. Through my shortcomings and overcomings, it brought about a confidence in my leadership and raised new questions I’d never asked about God’s plan for me and how He wants to utilize the gifts He’s given me to minister and mentor.
I felt that Jesus was calling to me to be a disciple, but dealt with so many obstacles. Having hearing and learning disabilities and being financially unable to get specialist doctors, hearing aids or schooling to aid them stalemated me for many years. How was I to hear people’s needs? How was I to remember all the material, names or testimonies? Who is going to be willing to listen to spiritual advice from someone who can’t even hear them or their needs? But this time I couldn’t get through half the list of things I couldn’t do on my own before God interceded and spoke the obvious to me: it’s Him. I’m not capable on my own; it’s all only possible through Him. It’s victory through struggle that reaps the most glory unto Him.
It wasn’t long after that revelation that my wife came across Christian Leaders Institute and enrolled. She was so excited and full of zeal. She shared everything about CLI: the operations, the mission, the website, the intro video, and the bios of the pastors. I was skeptical at first about how authentic it was. Was this legitimate free ministry training? After praying about it and upon my wife completing the “Getting Started” class, I knew it was the answer to my prayers. I can’t express how anxious I am to receive the knowledge CLI has to give, so I can fulfill God’s instruction to me to spread the Gospel!
Obtaining a degree in Divinity is vital to me. I feel it’s the next big step in my spiritual journey and a test of faith. It will bring my testimony to a new level and bring more glory to God by conquering and claiming victory over all the struggles I’ve faced through my walk in ministry. I’m so thankful to the donors and staff who help keep this program alive for people who can’t afford this level of training like myself. I hope to one day be in a financial position to be able to be a donor myself to this wonderful organization with its legitimate free ministry training. Thank you for taking the time to read my testimony and may God bless your life beyond your imagination as He has mine!
Learn about minister ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.