Our mission is well said in Romans 1:11-12. Paul is speaking of his coming to fellow Believers and says this: “I LONG to see you so that we may be MUTUALLY ENCOURAGED by our testimony, both yours AND mine.” That’s it right there! Our mission is to encourage others with the testimony of God’s grace and redemption on our lives, both individually and as a family.
Our family comes from a tough past, one of drug abuse, turmoil, chaos, confusion, doubt and instability. It wasn’t until we let God really get ahold of us that we began to recover and come out healed and whole. And because of that redeeming work God did in our lives and the life of our little family, we just cannot help but to share those works of God, both then AND now.
We live 100% by faith in God, both in direction and provision. We know we are unique in form and style when it comes to ministry, but we are confident in this calling from God and in His ability to show up each and every day for this Ministry. And we just cannot wait to tell all about His works, all to HIS glory!
Matt was born on October 22, 1972. He was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, but left at the age of 17 because he simply did not agree with all of their teachings. All throughout his child- and adulthood, though, Matt felt the presence of God in his life. Many times as a young boy he would even call out “Jehovah” and would be calmed in whatever situation he was in at the time.
Matt struggled with addiction for about a decade, as well as living in a world of “organized crime.” He came to Christ for salvation in 2011, but, as in many cases, did not come out of that lifestyle right away. It was a process. It was not until he told someone that “only God, Himself, was going to be able to mess with his way of life” that things really started to change. God started to shake things up from then, removing things in Matt’s life that were not from “God, Himself.”
Erin was born on May 14, 1983. She was raised in a “Fundamental Independent Baptist” Church. She participated in the youth group for all activities, was at church every time the doors were open, went to church camp, did visitation services, took discipleship classes…the whole nine yards. But she was totally lost.
In January of 1998, Erin walked the aisle with a youth pastor’s wife, and repeated “The Prayer of Salvation.” She was baptized the next week. Her Grandmother cried tears of joy, which was not a common thing for her (the only other time Erin saw her cry was the night her Grandfather died). She was 14 then, having already experienced plenty of her own heartache and pain, her mother having left her father along with her and her younger brother and sister. All of this was just added to a home filled with a lot of chaos and silent turmoil. Erin moved out as a “grown-up” at 17. She had a hard time finding peace in her heart because she knew she was not living a life that looked remotely like that of the Christian she was supposed to be. She was still totally lost.
Erin struggled with the “rules” that she grew up knowing. Also, she struggled with “knowing everything.” She had a decent amount of Biblical knowledge, though basic, and had an understanding of what salvation is, who it is from, and how to receive it, but she could not seem to get it to leave her head and fill her heart instead, becoming not SOMETHING she knows, but SOMEONE she knows. However, Jesus won that battle in September of 2015, when Erin accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior.
Matt & Erin
Matt and Erin met in April of 2003. They went totally backward and (honestly) un-Godly about the way they lived out their lives. They became pregnant with Nehemiah 6 months into their relationship, when they were both just about ready to quit on each other. Due to Matt’s oldest son, Jonathan (6 at the time) moving 10 hours away, they left their home in Lubbock, Texas to move to the Houston area when Nehemiah was only 2 months old. That took its toll on them both, but Erin especially because she was in a “foreign land” with a new baby and no family around to call on.
To add to the upheaval in their lives, they became pregnant with Zechariah when Nemo was only 6 months old. So….they were unmarried, broke, sad, and just generally broken as individuals and as a couple. There was no kindness, no gentleness, no meekness, no nothing good between them other than their two babies.
In 2008, Erin was living with her sister, because Matt and Erin living together and behaving the way they were was just not good at all. During that time, she started going to church with her sister. Matt and Erin made their way back to each other, but they also remained going to church. Matt will tell you, though, that the only reason he was going was because he feared that Erin would “find a church guy.” Whatever the reason, though, Gods Word does NOT return empty (Isaiah 55:11), because he started to listen to what the preacher was saying, hearing God call on him to “go up there and receive salvation.” Matt, though, did not go because he felt he was “too dirty,” not understanding yet that you don’t get clean until AFTER you are saved.
Matt and Erin moved to a different church, though, because they felt they needed to find one closer to where they were living. Oh, yeah! They had 2 more babies by then, Asaiah and Madeline, 13 months apart. This new church, Texas Avenue Baptist Church in League City, TX, showed them Jesus by loving them to good spiritual health, regardless of their not being married. In January of 2013, they were married. Their youngest was 2 years old.
In January of 2016, they all moved from the Houston area back “home” to Lubbock. They started to feel the call on their lives to travel the United States in 2016. They told their pastor at the time about this call on their family’s life, and he was not exactly supportive (as expected), because he felt that one should be “called through their church.” Unfortunately, that left them in need of a new church home, which led them to Highland Baptist. The people of Highland have been more than supportive of this slightly unusual call on their lives, and now here they are…heeding the call God has placed on them, refusing to let the world around them or the nervous stomachs inside of them dictate what they should do with that call.
Nehemiah, Nemo to his family, is 15 years old, born on August 6, 2004. He is super athletic and super accident-prone, which is a rough combination of traits. Of all of his siblings, he is by far the one who frequents the ER the most. He had a broken arm/wrist at 4, a twisted and banged-up knee on many occasions, fractured hand, badly jammed fingers, and even a very bad ATV accident in 2016, leaving him with a level 3 spleen laceration, a broken rib, a bruised pancreas, half of a front tooth missing, a concussion (his 2nd in a years time), and a week-long stay in the hospital. Most recently, he has had hand surgery, another knee accident, and we found out in Rochester, NY that he is DEATHLY allergic to bees, too. To top all of that off, he also has exercise-induced asthma! But none of this stops any of his desire to be on the move, running, playing basketball, bike riding, or any other activity that keeps him moving.
These times have been trying for him, of course, but Nehemiah is resolved to trust in Christ. He was saved in 2012 and was baptized the day after his parents were married. Nehemiah loves Jesus and knows that He will always keep him safe and always has his best interest in mind. When he was at his worst in the ER right after his ATV accident, his dad asked him if he was scared. In that moment, a moment that had his parents fearing for their son’s well-being, Nehemiah told his dad, “I’m not scared. I know that Jesus is with me.”
He also got to preach a “sermon-ette” in Idaho Falls, Idaho in October of 2017. Maybe God has a call to preach on his life? We will see. Here’s the link for that sermon: https://youtu.be/N4OXarhZ6vc
He has also developed an amazing talent in videography! He has made multiple promo videos for churches, including one for First African Baptist Church in Savannah, GA, which is the oldest running “all” African church in America. It has been a huge blessing for him and an awesome opportunity to provide this service!
Nehemiah enjoys being on this Jesus Journey his family is on. He knows this is definitely a very different lifestyle than most families have, but different does not scare him. He is always ready to be out there and share Jesus and all that he has seen Him do for his family with people in the world.
Zechariah, Zeke to his family, is 14 years old, born on November 11, 2005. He is an engineer at heart, able to plot, plan, and design anything that comes across his young mind, especially with Legos. He is the most giving boy you can ever meet. Since he was just a small tot, whenever he got a dollar or two somewhere, he would ALWAYS make sure to buy something for him AND his brother. He is very much that way now with all 3 of his siblings. His mother has told his dad often that she feels he will be a millionaire with the Biblical gift of giving, simply because he has the smarts to make it big and the heart to give it all away.
He is also an amazing artist! He can draw characters of all sorts with such an easy touch. He pays close attention to the details and coloring. He has already customized some Air Force 1s, a pair of canvas shoes for his niece and his brother’s headphone case. He is very gifted!
Zeke had it rough, alongside his brother, in the early years, because of the life that his parents lived, but he has not missed God in his life at all. He was saved around the same time as his brother, Nemo, and baptized the same day. Zeke hears the Holy Spirit speak to him very clearly. When he does, and when he shares it, his parents listen. They have seen him moved to tears with what God has told him, at times being admonished for a behavior that may not be the best. His heart is in-tuned to what he is being told and he knows that to not share it or act on it would mean a heavy heart. His parents are grateful for this trait in him.
Zeke is very much enjoying this Journey his family is has embarked on. He’s a Mr.Fix-It, so he feels ready for whatever comes their way. He has a desire to meet people in the world to share Jesus with them.
Asaiah (Uh-SI-Uh) Solis
Asaiah, Uncle Si to his niece, is 9 years old, born on November 28, 2009. He is a charmer, for sure. He is the sweetest, most loving little boy you could meet. Ornery, too. He has been told how cute he is his whole life, so now he is convinced of it, himself. He is a wiz-kid when it comes to math, constantly checking his answers, which he figures out in his head, with his brothers and parents. There is no number problem too tall for him. He wants to be a Drummer, a Christian Country Singer, an Athlete, a Guitar Player, a Cop, a Boxer, a VideoGame Maker, and a few more things that have been forgotten when he grows up. He wants to have TWELVE kids!!! He also has the humorous wit of an adult, getting and inserting jokes and quips into any conversation that would amuse anyone. He is hilarious! One of his favorite jokes is, “What do you call a pig who takes Karate? A PORK CHOP!!!”
Asaiah was saved in September 2016 and baptized the same week. He has a compassion for others, often offended at anything negative said about anyone. He will admonish others, saying that they are not being kind in what they are saying. He has grown up being taught about the Jesus of the Bible, not the one of Religion, and is ahead in his understanding than even some adults. He loves Jesus and knows that Jesus loves him.
Asaiah enjoys taking this Jesus Journey because he wants to be a Missionary, meeting people to share the Gospel with them. He wants to go to different states, and says, “It’s going to be crazy.” He has never met anyone he could not make a friend of.
Madeline, Maddy to her family, is 8 years old, born on New Years Day of 2011, making her birthday 1-1-11. Maddy loves to sing and dance and tell elaborate stories. Her mother can’t wait until Maddy can write them all down. She is a typical little girl, loving girly things, but also with the mean streak required to, not only fend for herself with all of these brothers but also to keep them in line. She is very loving and very giving, always wanting to take care of anyone and everyone needing a hand.
Maddy loves Jesus and has been taught about Him her whole life. She desires to be a “Jesus Girl,” as her Daddy teaches her to be, staying sensitive to how a Christian lady should dress and act. She can tell many Bible stories, having learned them for so long, as well as write little songs about Jesus. She accepted Christ at a Franklin Graham event in Fort Myers, FL in January 2020.
Maddy feels this Jesus Journey is great and gives her the opportunity to be the Missionary she has always wanted to be. She has always wanted to be a person who shares the Gospel and loves that she is doing it with her parents and her brothers. She also had a strong desire to help the homeless, children being the ones she thinks of most. She says she very much enjoys it, even asking, “Can we hit the road tomorrow?” anytime we are staying too long in a place.