This is a very true story, which means a lot to me. This is about my late son, Matthew. He was only 13 years old when he passed away. My husband and I have one daughter, Christie who was born in 1980. Afterwards my husband and I tried for many years to have another child.
On the 13th of November, Matthew was born. He was a typical little boy and very active, even hyperactive. One night I prayed to God to please help me to cope with this little guy. I was sleeping and heard the Lord told me not to worry, Matthew will be fine. The next day Matthew had a little friend to play with. Her name was Samantha. While she was there, she came running up to me with a piece of paper on which a little note was written: “Mommy and Daddy, I love you so much and Jesus loves you as well.” I looked at this guy; he was never the same again. He was the most sensitive little boy after that day. Our lives changed forever
In January 2002 Matthew attended the Selbourne College in East London. He was determined to make the very best of it and was chosen for the water polo A-team as soon as he arrived. On the 15th of March 2002, Matthew wrote in his book: My Philosophy of life: “I think life is all about making mistakes and learning from them. Also to enjoy every minute of your life to help the world. To my parents, I am the loveable boy, to my friends I am the good person, to my teacher, I am the listening student and to my enemies, I am the competition to them. Three words I would like others to use in describing me, are friendly, helpful and good to them”.
On the 9th of April 2002, eight days before he died, Matthew called me to his bedroom. He had a Bible distributing by the Gideons in his hand, which he received a month before. He said to me: “Mom, this is really a cool Bible. If you are anxious or sad, you just refer to the front and you go right through.” He said to me: “Mom, I just want Jesus to come into my life today.” He asked me the date and wrote in front the 9th of April 2002. And at the back he wrote that he wants Jesus to come into his life. I told him that he made this commitment when he was four years old. He told me that he did not really understand it. Now he did. It was a very special moment for me
On the morning of the 17th of April, Matthew has not spoken to his Dad for two days. So I asked him to quickly phone his Dad and ask him to fetch him after the hockey tournament the evening. His Dad joyfully agreed and Matthew told him that he was really looking forward to this hockey tour.
Rod went to pick up Matthew at the school at 10:00. He waited and waited at the school. At 10:30 PM Matthew was not at the school yet. When I phoned Rod at 11:00 he told me that there was an accident and he was going to look for Matthew. Matthew, his hockey coach as well as 3 of his team-mates were killed in the bus on his way back. The school bus was involved in a head on collision with a taxi outside Stutterheim.
It was the most horrific moment in my life. All I was thinking how I was going to cope without my son. I was so angry with God. He better do something to rectify this. Messages of condolences came from all over South Africa. The school was greatly affected. I spoke to my friend, Mike Loppnow, who was a Gideon who told me that he was horrified to hear about my son’s death, but relieved to know that Matthew had given his life to the Lord 8 days before he died.
My plea to everyone is, do not ever stop handing out these Bibles to the schools. I would not know where my son is to go, if it was not for the Gideon Association. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Testimony of Lynn Paxton
The Gideons International