Garbage to Gold: A Personal Testimony from Matt Freeman, Pastor Dude

25 years ago almost to the day my life, as I knew it, changed forever. The news media blasted out my story and exposed my sin. Guilt. Shame. Overwhelming despair. It was public and it was messy.  But the way God has transformed this dark season of my life has been miraculous and redemptive. Truly, God turns garbage to gold. 

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I am coming up on the 25-year mark of when I hit rock bottom. This tragic “anniversary” coincides with my birthday and also with the celebration of Christmas. Kind of a weird mix of darkness and light.   Gratefully, God does not waste pain and His light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it (John 1:5).  We are seeing the lives of the formerly homeless change by the greatness of the light of Christ shining at Community First! (CF!) and way beyond. 


Please consider investing and supporting the unique ministry unfolding in and through The Gathering at Community First! (CF!). 


Here are a two practical ways to personally connect with what God is doing at The Gathering as a Christ-centered mission to the disabled, chronically homeless:

1). Take 175 seconds to watch this brief story laying out a powerful, personal account of how God weaves and works EVERYTHING together for good.

2). Please join us in investing in several life-giving year-end opportunities that will empower the people of Austin and beyond into a lifestyle of following Christ alongside the homeless and formerly homeless. There are currently 181 folks who now call CF! home.  Formerly homeless sounds infinitely better than homeless!  By the end of 2018, CF! will be fully occupied and the leadership of Mobile Loaves & Fishes will prayerfully set sights on the next phase of development at CF! – an additional 24 acres adjacent to CF! that will lift 400 more brothers and sisters off the streets and into a safe, supportive loving place to call home.  

We need your gifts as we invest a sizable chunk of our budget into the ministry at CF!   You can donate by clicking here.  We are thrilled to pay your investment forward to carry out on a handful of life-changing endeavors, including lifting more folks off the streets by purchasing RVs, treating neighbors at CF! to two Gospel-driven weekend retreats in February 2018 at Camp Buckner, purchasing needed audio-visual equipment for the new sanctuary and MUCH MORE.  Your investment will change lives. The Gathering is 100% donor-funded through generous, tax-deductible gifts. 

Merry Christmas!  Thank you for caring for the under resourced and broken.  And thanks be to Jesus, the One whom the Scripture says, “… will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).