Matt Wallace ('00) | Bible, Missions and Ministry
Dry Bones, Denver, Colo.
As a youth ministry major at ACU, Matt Wallace began to doubt the path he had chosen. "I began to realize that I was not cut out for traditional youth ministry," he says.
Today, Matt is grateful to mentors such as Jack Walker and Dr. Kent Smith who encouraged him "to not feel weird" that he wasn't called to work for a church as he continued his ministry degree.
"I had professors that really encouraged me and taught me to think outside the box," Matt says. "The Bible Department generally instilled a philosophy of mission, ministry and service that impacted who I am and where I work today."
Finding his path
Eight months after graduation, Matt and his wife, Nikki (Schweikhard, '00), met a couple who were planning to move to Denver, Colo., and work with homeless youth. The Wallaces teamed up with Jeff ('94) and Kama (Birdwell, '94) Medders, and Dry Bones was born.
"This has been a perfect fit for me," Matt says. "Although there were years of searching and struggling to figure out what I was supposed to be, hindsight has now revealed that things fell into place in a really great way."
The ministry connects youth who live on the streets with resources, nutrition, entertainment and new friends, says Matt. "We meet the spiritual and physical needs of homeless youth, and all of our faith grows as we discover new life and good news together."
Now Matt serves as a mentor for other students who each summer travel to Denver to serve as Dry Bones interns. Though interns come from all over the country, many have been from ACU. "The interns from ACU are always servant-hearted, teachable and are thinkers. They have a strong foundation," Matt says.
"We tell our interns that the streets might just teach them more than they could ever teach the streets in two months. We all ask God together to continue to help us see the world as He sees it. When that happens (which it always does), interns have a life-changing summer."
What's it like ministering to homeless youth? See Q&A with Matt Wallace
Taking it to the Streets
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