Interview With Matthew Barnett
March 23, 2018
I recently had the great pleasure of sitting down for a chat with my good friend Matthew Barnett, founder of the Dream Center in Los Angeles, California. The Dream Center is an amazing ministry, serving people who are addicted, homeless, hungry, or displaced—people who are struggling and need transformation in their lives—and they have special programs to reach out to our veterans. It’s a 24/7 ministry, and all offered free of charge.
It’s been an honor for Free Chapel to be able to partner financially with the Dream Center to help share God’s love with people in need. When I heard about Pastor Barnett’s next project for the Dream Center, I couldn’t wait to be part of it and to share the exciting news with all of you.
Here, in his own words, is how God touched Pastor Barnett’s heart with the urgent need for another ministry to be birthed at the Dream Center:
“At the end of speaking at a church, I went to the book table just to sign books and talk to people. And women would come up to me and say, ‘Pastor, thank you for what you’re doing for the homeless veteran men who you’re helping at the Dream Center, housing them and getting them off the street, and providing job training. But could you please help the women?’ And…I felt like it was kind of a touch of God upon my heart.
“And then the very next week, I traveled somewhere else and the same thing happened, three weeks in a row. I had women weeping who were veterans, who had nowhere to go, who were basically homeless, who were struggling to provide for their children.”
Pastor Barnett was moved by the plight of these women. He saw the addiction, the homelessness, the post-traumatic stress disorder—the difficult issues facing women who have served our country. I’ve always had a place in my heart for people who fought for our freedom, who served our nation with dignity and honor. How can we turn our backs on them when they are struggling to keep their family together, or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, even homeless and living under bridges?
Pastor Barnett and the Dream Center are answering God’s call to make a place for veteran women. It will be a place to house them, clothe them, feed them, heal them, and restore them. Most importantly, it will be a place to bring them to the love, compassion, and grace of Jesus.
“You know, I feel like we were born for such a time as this,” Pastor Barnett told me. “Of all the things we’ve done in 23 years at the Dream Center, I feel this is the most special thing we’ve ever done.”
Friends, I can see this special place for veteran women who are struggling. They served our country, and now it’s our chance to serve them. I can hear them laughing again. I can see them smiling again. I can see the lives being restored, and I’m humbled just to have a tiny part in sowing into this.
I know many of you have a soft spot in your heart for veterans. Many of you are veterans yourself. I know you would love to lift up a sister—a fellow warrior. You know, she’s somebody’s daughter or granddaughter. We have the chance to be a small part of the miracle of God’s grace in their life.
If you’d like to be part of this miracle, now is the time. This is the place. You are the one.
Together, we can do this. We’re going to do this. We’re going to see the women veteran’s Freedom House built, and it will change lives on a daily basis, 24 hours a day.
If you’d like to be part of this, I’m asking you first to pray. We need the prayers of God’s people to undergird this project. We need your prayers for our veterans and our country. I’m also asking you to pray about whether God is moving in your heart to support the women veteran’s Freedom House financially. God will bless you as you sacrifice to bless others who are in need.
“He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor” (Prov. 22:9). Thank you for your generous spirit. I know you and your family will continue to be abundantly blessed by our loving and generous Father in heaven.