The Raining Season relies on a number of volunteers that give their time to support our organization. There is an African proverb that reads, “Many hands make light work.” If you have traveled to Sierra Leone, you have witnessed this in person. The truth is, we could not accomplish what we do without a group of people willing to join us and serve where they can. In recent years, the number of people reaching out, looking to volunteer and serve The Raining Season continues to grow, and for that, we are grateful. We are all in this together, working to fulfill our mission to serve the most vulnerable in Sierra Leone.
We have had the opportunity to introduce you to numerous in-country staff members. Today, it is an honor to introduce you to Matt Pearson, one of our board members. The board is made up of eight people from around the country. They have come together to serve The Raining Season. Matt has been a member of the board for four years. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Papillion, Nebraska, a suburb of Omaha. Together they have three boys, Josiah 10, Elijah 7, and Micaiah 4. Matt grew up in rural Nebraska. His parents still run a family farm with cattle and corn. Matt spent sixteen years in youth ministry. He remains on the pastoral staff at Trinity Lutheran while attending Seminary, as well.
Matt first learned about The Raining Season when his church packed meals for The Raining Season back in 2009-2010 through Kids Against Hunger. Erica Rust came to Nebraska to thank their church and their congregation got excited about partnering with TRS, which gave him an opportunity to go on a mission team to Sierra Leone. Matt and his family have sponsored several children since that first time hearing about Sierra Leone and the incredible work TRS was doing there. His congregation in Papillion has many families that sponsor kids and have traveled on Matt’s teams to Sierra Leone.
Matt has traveled to Sierra Leone seven times. This summer, he will lead another team for his eighth trip. With his background in ministry, Matt has been a great asset as a TRS board member. According to Matt, “I think Jason Rust was looking for someone with a lot of random Husker football knowledge. I certainly enjoy being a part of a team that has a passion to see Christ in Sierra Leone and to work to give the orphans of Sierra Leone a hope, a future, and hopefully a family.” Matt’s passion matches the vision of The Raining Season and his love for the Huskers is real. There is no shortage of Nebraska apparel when Matt is in country, and he usually has all of the kids chanting, “Go Big Red!” within the first 24 hours.
After four years on the board and nearly ten years of involvement with The Raining Season, Matt shared some of the changes he has witnessed. “The staff from top to bottom at the Center has done such a remarkable job of raising these kids and making them disciples of Jesus. That is a beautiful thing to see from year to year. The discipline, love, care, and structure they have created to raise these kids is incredible. The first few years always felt more chaotic and just trying to find our way as an organization and as a center.”
When asked about a favorite story from his time spent at the center, Matt shared, “There are so many great stories from travelers, kids at the center, and staff at the center, so it is really hard to pick just one. My favorite story might be Pastor Daniel sharing his testimony with us. It could also be showering under rain spouts when we heard the rain coming in, or playing soccer in the downpour with the older boys. I still fondly remember the heat of the old center during nightly devotions and the passion and power of the worship and prayer time. Probably the most significant story I can think of is Lucy’s story and the transformation that we saw once TRS began to care for her. There are so many stories of transformation in the children’s lives, and I’ve been blessed enough to travel many times and see that occur from year to year in each life of the kids at the center.”
Matt’s vision for The Raining Season is, “To see every child know Christ and to have a family that is their own.” He went on to add, “Realistically, that is our hope for every orphan in Sierra Leone.”
Matt, thank you for your continued dedication to serving The Raining Season.
The Raining Season