Meet Matt Elkins

Hear how one Reliant family keeps a kingdom mindset wherever the Lord may have them serving.

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Meet Matt Elkins

Matt Elkins | Sep 23, 2016, 20:28 PM

Hear how one Reliant family keeps a kingdom mindset wherever the Lord may have them serving.

God has taken Matt Elkins and his family on a faith-filled journey, and Reliant is excited to come alongside them to see the nations reached and more missionaries mobilized! Our Reliant blog field editor, Jenni Olowo, took some time to get to know Matt and share a little of his life’s story.

How long have you been with Reliant?

I have been a missionary with Reliant for three years.

Why did you become a missionary with Reliant?

I originally came on staff with Reliant to be a missionary to Japan. Japan is one of the most unreached countries in the entire world. Less than .25 percent of people in Japan have ever heard the gospel, and this has been true for the entire history of the country. I was a staff member at a large church in the Dallas area, and I knew that if I left my position, a hundred men could take over for me. As a family, we had always dreamed of going overseas one day — the need for workers in Japan is clear, and our family wanted to invest our lives there. In 2014 I sold my house and moved to Japan with my wife and three children.

What did you do while in Japan?

We mostly focused those two years on language learning while also building friendships with Japanese. I would make friends with Japanese men through a mutual language learning interest. I would teach them English while they helped me learn Japanese. My wife began a teatime in our home for Japanese women. Many of our Japanese friends told us that we were the first Christians they had ever met.

What do you do with Reliant now?

After our first two years in Japan, we returned to the United States on furlough with the intention of going back. However, one of our children needed help with some health issues that had come up while living overseas. Due to the needs of my family, we settled back in Dallas, and I serve as the Southwest regional field director. My role is to come alongside churches and organizations who partner with Reliant to train leaders and recruit others to go overseas as missionaries. I also will be providing pastoral care and counsel to those serving with Reliant doing cross-cultural missions work.

Do you still have a connection to Japan?

In Dallas there are many Japanese. My wife was at a park one day and happened to meet a group of Japanese moms having a playdate with their children. She has joined them and has the opportunity to show them the love of Jesus. I also am considering being a part of starting a program to help Japanese exchange students come to the U.S. and stay in the home of a believer. This is a wide open door for them to hear the gospel. Our family can still participate in reaching the unreached right where we live!

What is your favorite part of being in full-time ministry?

I love getting to be around people and ministering to them during their best and worst times in life. Ministry is not a job that I just clock in and out of — it’s a job that involves investment in people’s lives. I get to help send people to ministry locations and see dreams and visions they have come to fruition, or I get to comfort them during their worst times.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I consider myself an adventure junkie. Especially in my twenties, if it was crazy, I did it. The craziest thing is traveling overland by foot for months from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, to the border of Egypt along the Nile River.