Pastor Jimmy Akers often makes fun of me, saying, “You have a thousand best friends.” He isn’t wrong. But in the past 10 years, one of my truest brothers in Christ is named Matt Crosson. Many of you know Matt. He’s a Worship Leader, songwriter, dad of 4 and husband. Best of all, he’s a minister of the Gospel. Matt has been on countless Ends of the Earth Cycling tours. He’s written song(s) on Ends tours. He’s been to West Africa with us to serve one of our beneficiaries. I could say so much about his accomplishments, but his character stands out the most to me.
In the Spring of 2022, Matt was making plans to join our first-ever Gravel Cycling Tour. Under the direction of Pastor Dan Kriel (one of my best friends), we would be riding our gravel bike on the C&O Canal and Great Allegheny Passage from just north of Washington DC to Pittsburgh, PA. We affectionately called this tour the COGAP2022, and Matt Crosson signed up.
Another brother who signed up for that tour is named Wayne Steinour. Yes, Wayne is another of my best friends…remember, I have 1,000 of them. Wayne was making plans to join the gravel cycling ride, but was sidelined by an injury and needed surgery. I remember the day Wayne called me and offered his full paid registration as a scholarship for someone who wanted to go. I began to pray, along with my wife, and Dan Kriel was separately praying, asking God who He would have to take the spot.
I didn’t hear any answers. But Karena did, and Dan did, they heard the same name: Jessica Crosson.
You can imagine the conversation when we called Matt to share that we sensed his wife was supposed to join him on the COGAP2022 and her registration was already paid for – if she wanted to go. Turns out, not only did she want to go, she actually was in her prayer closet asking God, “Why is my husband going without me AGAIN? Why don’t I get to go with him?” Wow! He truly answers prayer! Oh that we would cultivate such a special relationship with Him in the secret place of prayer, amen?
In May 2022, Matt & Jessica faithfully came on the COGAP2022. Their family members stepped up to watch their kids. They prayed and raised funds for a ministry in Latin America called INCA LINK. During this gravel cycling ride, they learned a lot about the ministry from the representative on the tour with us, Luke S. Every time Luke shared testimonies, prayer themes and stories, you could truly see the wheels turning in the minds of the Crossons. At the end of the gravel cycling tour Matt & Jessica stepped out in faith – God was calling them to become full-time missionaries and affiliate with Inca Link!
For the past several months, Matt & Jessica, Levi, Maisey, Nathan and Norah have been serving cross-culturally. They are currently in Peru. Previously they were in Costa Rica. Before that, they served in Ecuador – and we got to send a few of our teammates down to Quito & Manta to encourage them and see the youth ministry being done there.
To God be the Glory, great things He has done – and can do! We bless and prefer the Crosson family, in Jesus Name – His burning ones – whether here or there, they are being the hands & feet of Christ.