Saying Goodbye to Mattaw

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It brings me great sorrow to write you this letter, but I take great joy in the promises of God. He is sovereign, in control, and I trust that He will use me for His glory as long as I endure in the faith and don’t take heed of false doctrine.

As of returning to Mattaw Childrens Village this May, I found that there had been some changes. I was informed that all staff members and long term volunteers were required to undergo the Garden Apostolic Training Center’s first year of training. I began the schooling, but heard some claims that startled me. The thing that startled me most is Brandy Helton’s claim that Jesus Christ told her to go to Todd Bentley’s Glory to Glory revival. While she was there, she claims she was commissioned by God to go and start an Apostolic Training Center in San Angelo. I knew nothing of Bentley at the time, so I looked the man up and spent two weeks testing the man’s doctrine, life, and “holy” spirit against the Word of God. Because of accounts such as these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m8fx3NwVwc (Oral Roberts is dead)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTsYSR9kEeg&feature=player_embedded#t=0s

http://thegardenstc.org/#/about-us/where-weve-come-from

I have concluded that Bentley is not from God. If he is not from God, then Helton cannot tell the Truth from a lie, nor discern the voice of Jesus Christ from something telling her to go to this man. I sat down and spoke with Bud and Kimberly Huffman regarding my concern for Helton. I asked that they might consider lovingly confronting her regarding her statement that Jesus Christ told her to go to a revival where people receive spiritual impartations from Bentley. Two weeks later I received an email from Bud and Kimberly Huffman defending Todd Bentley saying that he is a man of God and defending the first two links listed above as from the Holy Spirit. At the end of their letter I was told that they would be standing by their policy that all staff and long term volunteers are required to submit themselves to Brandy Helton’s spiritual authority. As stated: “If you still are not in agreement with Todd or Brandy mentioning him, then we will need to set up a time to discuss further on releasing you from Mattaw Ministries. We still stand with the policy that anyone working with us full time and long term, must go through the Garden school.” If anyone is concerned that this has been taken out of context, I am happy to forward the entire letter.

In the mean time, I have no bad feelings, and the weight of the world is off my shoulders. I have prayed about whether or not to return home, and have decided to stay in Africa and pursue a ministry opportunity where I will be able to share the gospel with young women who have expressed a desire to learn about Christ. I ask that you would be praying for me discernment and wisdom. This is something that God has laid on my heart for a very long time now, and I have been preparing for it. If there is any desperate need in Africa, it is a need for Christ; there is a world of African women who need to hear the Gospel.

In Christ Jesus, and with much love,

Elizabeth McWhorter

47 Responses to Saying Goodbye to Mattaw

  1. LM says:

    My heart aches that you have had to go through this but I am singing the praises to God that you are so strong in your beliefs and convictions and won’t be swayed. May God continue to bless you and keep you on your path in His Holy Name. He chose you. Love, Lilly

    • Tara says:

      Hi Elizabeth, I have followed your good works thru your grandmother, Rita, with whom I’m facebook friends. So sad that there are such misguided people out there… after watching Tod Bentleys videos (I’d never heard of him before) I cant believe what a nut-job he is and how anyone in their right mind would buy into him! Good for you for sticking up to the truth – you dont need that ministry. God has a true place for you! Prayers coming your way..

  2. AL Luedecke says:

    Elizabeth, Many of us have followed your wonderful accounting of your time at Mattaw and reveled in the work you were accomplishing for the young people. I had no idea that the Mattaw Ministries could be under the influence of a man like Helton (a curious choice of names!). The links you provided painted a distressing picture similar to other groups over the year using God’s name to control large groups of people. You were wise to take a stand and live by it. I would have expected no less.

    On the bright side, God has opened yet another door for you to serve in a meaningful way. I look forward to many more messages and pictures as you go about your work with young women in Africa.

    Decisions are real turning points of life. They are often very hard to make, but once made can present you with great relief and pride. Please keep us posted. He lives in us!

    Al

  3. todd from NC says:

    Just go with what your heart tells you and dont worry about this mess . im not a very church going person but i do not believe this person at all he is a quack and the sad thing is he almost a jim jones type . stick with your beliefs and help those kids.

  4. Debbie says:

    I am truly sorry for your loss, and the children of Mattaw community’s loss, of your sweet spirit. You have blessed them, as well as your many readers, with your missions. I pray and have full confidence that you will continue to bring blessings to those you work with.

  5. Frannie Garcia says:

    I’ll be praying for you and also for those you’ll be leaving behind. God is leading you in a new direction and will equip you abundantly for all new challenges coming your way. I hope that you’ll do a blog (to share with those of us who have grown to love your heart for Jesus and the African people) in your new ministry. Your strong stand for God’s truth is inspirational. I know you will be missed, but I also believe you will be blessed. Love, hugs, and blessings to you.

  6. Paige Ragsdale says:

    Elizabeth, after reading your post and studying up on Bentley, I immediately cancelled my on-going financial support of Mattaw Ministeries! My heart breaks for the children you are leaving; however, continuing support would be against my beliefs and better judgment. I will continue to pray for you and know that God is smiling down on you for being strong and resilient!

  7. Jack says:

    I am shocked as I look into this. Did you all see this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhpFbjfmK6E

    • William says:

      Sickening. Apart from the people who’ve surrendered their minds and wills to follow this deviant… what does the world think about our faith when it sees something like this?

      The children for who you’ve poured out your life and heart suffer the most from this… but as for the organization; they do not deserve your time, talent and commitment and you need to distance yourself from them as fast as you can.

      This is the time, as written in Ecclesiastes, to tear apart, to uproot, to give up, to refrain from embracing… and perhaps, to mourn and cry.

      To be that well overflowing with an abundance to give to others, you must care for yourself, just as you are doing. Sometimes we are called into a situation of difficulty and even danger, but this is a very ugly, very dark thing. “from such… turn away”

      Your integrity, decency and courage are so admirable. In our Fathers house are many mansions… and, apparently, some excellent Sisters…. for whose protection, provision and wisdom “harmless as a dove, wise as a fox” I will pray

      faithfully,
      William
      the coast of Maine

  8. Aaron says:

    Hi Elizabeth…

    For me personally, this statement raised a serious red flag…

    “At the end of their letter I was told that they would be standing by their policy that all staff and long term volunteers are required to submit themselves to Brandy Helton’s spiritual authority.”

    Reading your post on this matter is very interesting as the Lord has been leading me to read Jeremiah 28 as of late. I found a site that goes into more about this issue…

    http://www.whatsaiththescripture.com/Prophets/How.To.ID.False.Prophet.html

    I will certainly pray for you and ask the Lord to give you further wisdom, knowledge and discernment and to continue to bless you in the days ahead. Praise God for your heart for Him. 🙂

    Please continue to keep us informed of what happens in your blog.

    God bless…

    Aaron

    • Jack says:

      Aaron,
      Thank you for the link. I found the article valuable. I bookmarked it as I want to read it more carefully. My question is this. Is this stuff just a matter of people being wrong in doctrine and theology, like people making mistakes, or is there something darker and more sinister. I mean is this Todd Bentley stuff just foolishness, or is there darker things going on here. This is the video I have been watching. It is three parts, but after the first one it should offer the other three parts.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBpw2oQrvMM

  9. Gary Galloway says:

    It’s definately time to split!

    Peace be with you.

    ~gg~

  10. Linda McWhorter says:

    Elizabeth, I know you are hurt and disappointed beyond measure, but you of all people know that all things have a purpose on this earth. You are certainly in the palms of God’s hand. Every decision you have made clearly indicates that you are closer to God than any of the people involved in this sordid episode. Hang on to that as I know you will. You simply weren’t meant to be in this ministry and God has bigger plans for you in his service. Hold on to the love that is all around you and know that you are in everyone’s prayers who knows you. This like all hurtful times will pass and you will be the stronger for it. I admire your commitment so much and how you could grow stronger is beyond me, but I know you will. You are the best thing about the human race Elizabeth, pure of heart and spirit. With that in your life, you hardly need anything else.

  11. Roger Mattern says:

    After hearing the remark “volunteers are required to submit themselves to Brandy Helton’s spiritual authority”, I couldn’t help but think of the Jimmy Jones Cult and the David Koresh Cult in Waco. The word “SUBMIT” rings of deeper meaning than “of your own free will”.
    You must get out of there at once, your talent is to good to be used up “SUBMITTING”.
    I sure there would be a very high demand for some one with your abilities without SUBMITTING to their CULT mentalities.

  12. Fran says:

    Girl, just be thankful that the Lord has protected you from this. Mattaw has had a horrific year, that, in my opinion, God has protected many families from joining them in this doctrine. Many people have come and gone with many issues stemming from they way the Huffmans treat them and their lack of willingness for accountability in many areas of the ministry- now including the doctrine they base themselves on. It’s very disturbing. God is using you in Kitale, Elizabeth, and I’m so very proud at how you have been willing to be His vessel.

  13. John says:

    I read about this on your Dad’s blog. You can’t help others by selling your soul. Make no mistake about it. This Todd Bentley is a false prophet and all who buy into his nonsense are in conflict with Scripture. The Mattaw “Ministry” places their misguided teachings ahead of the welfare of the orphans. Embrace your bad feelings. Be grateful for they are the work of the Holy Spirit watching out for you. Go forth with the confidence that this is the Lord’s will.
    John

  14. Mariam says:

    Don’t be discouraged! This Todd Bentley character is just your average attention seeker, using God’s name for advertising. Surely God is leading you to a greater place. Have faith, through times of both ease and difficulty! I believe in your goodwill. 🙂

  15. Jim Roche says:

    Elizabeth, as I read your words describing the pain in your heart, I am sorry for this difficult time of testing in your life, but just as through childbirth something beautiful will come from this and the sun will rise once again in the morning. The Lord is soverein and in complete control. He is using this time of challenge to train you up for your next mission. A little stronger, a little wiser, with even a greater capacity for loving your fellow man as you proclain the Truth found only in Jesus Christ. Now Miss Kenya Nurse, pray for “healing” for those at Mattaw and walk “on” in the footsteps of Jesus.

    Your Brother in Christ,

    Jim

  16. Maybelline says:

    One door shuts, another opens. Good for you to stay strong in your beliefs. Hope you can find fulfillment back in the good old USA. I know you willfind fulfillment wherever you work. We dearly need nurses like you to help wherever needed.

  17. Michael says:

    You certainly have good sense and good judgement. I’ve been following your work through your blog, and I’ve been quite moved by it. Thank you.

  18. Bill Miller says:

    Elizabeth,

    What you did took discernment, courage, and commitment to our Lord. He will lead. I will continue to pray that you clearly perceive and follow His path for your life.

  19. Jason McGuire says:

    Elizabeth,
    You don’t know me but I heard about your situation from a friend. I am acquainted, first hand, with the folks that you are concerned about. I just wanted to tell you that you are right on. These folks have been so destructive to so many people.They are all about control and lording it over those they can manipulate and decieve. I pray their eyes will be opened. Blessings!

  20. Violet Scott says:

    I was very concerned to hear about this. I watched the videos in the links and it made me nauseous. I cannot believe that these people who I believed to be sensible and seeking to do what’s right in the eyes of the Lord have been so mislead. I’m very sorry to hear about it and I’m sorry that you will be leaving Mattaw. You were ways such a bright spot and I’m sure you will miss the children! I’m praying that your work will continue on with the young women and will keep you in my prayers.

  21. Jesper Krog says:

    Dear Elisabeth,

    Congratulations on standing up to them, your decision not to let anyone dictate your belifs shows what a bright and intelligent person you are.

    I hope you can get back to nursing real soon, I am sure there is a huge need for intelligent nurses everywhere, and especially in africa.

    Have you considered working for one of the larger NGO’s like Save the children or Red Cross?

    I always believed that actions speak louder than words.

    /Jesper

  22. Russ says:

    Dear Miss EAM…

    I’m terribly sorry to see what you’re currently enduring. There are two thoughts that I have about this.

    Man cannot ordain anyone. If God calls someone, the best man can hope to do is acknowledge what God has done. We see this in the new Testament when lots were drawn to see who should replace Judas. Seeing that Paul wrote a large part of the new Testament, God had different plans 🙂

    Also keep in mind that God knew this would happen to you. Keep your eyes open to see what God has planned for you next. Don’t let this discourage you – let it draw you closer to God and rejoice that His hand is still on your life!!!

    As for this “prophet of God” – don’t bother yourself – God has interesting ways of taking care of those issues.

  23. Katie Kingston says:

    Dear Ms. EAM, who I know through your Dad’s Old Photo of the Day: I am an atheist, which absolutely does not preclude me from supporting you and your decision. I admire with my whole heart and soul a person who follows their conscience and heart as you do. You walk the walk, not just talk the talk. I hold you in highest esteem, and encourage you to continue to listen to that “small, still voice” within you, telling you that those folks are NOT what you believe. GO, you go, girl, and know that those who appreciate an honest, good, world-altering woman like you can be atheists, Muslims, etc. ad infinitum. You are an angel on earth. You will always be a success, because you are true to yourself, and good to others. xoxoxo Katie in Colorado

  24. Ashley Honea says:

    Elizabeth,
    Thank you for your honesty in this post. I know you must be going through a difficult time but just remember to put on the full armor of God. It is obvious that you have done so already but I am praying for you to stand firm in the faith. Paul said in Ephesians that our struggle is not against flesh and blood and this here is a perfect example of that. I will continue to lift you up and pray that you will not be persecuted for standing firm.

    May God’s grace be sufficient for you,
    Ashley Honea

  25. Amy Biemeck says:

    Elizabeth, proud of you for listening to God and heading scripture’s truth.
    Leaving a ministry is always painful, but God will reward your faithfulness. Howie and I will be praying with you for your next step. Excited to see how God will use you in the lives of African women. Lots of love.

  26. Myrtle says:

    Wow, creepy. You made the right choice. I know those kids will miss you just as much as you miss them. I am praying for you. Please do yourself a favor and thoroughly research the beliefs and practices of any mission you are associated with in the future. God bless you and thank you for sserving Him.

  27. Roger stafford says:

    Elizabeth, we are inconstant prayer for you and for the parents and children at Mattaw. Stand strong in the power of Christ. Pleaseforward the whole letter from the Huffman’s. We were to be hosting them in the fall and I need to thoroughly investigate this before making my final decision about this visit. If they are basing training on this biblical “fool”,I will be canceling the visit and other things that I have been working on since this summer.

    In His Grip,

    Roger Stafford

  28. Sylas Politte says:

    To say that I am so proud of you would be an understatement. You perseverance through a very tough trial brings much joy to my heart and encouragement. I want to encourage you also to continue to walk through this as you have. You have spoken with such grace in your writing, not allowing bitterness to take root and continuing to pursue holiness above all things. I love Bud and Kimberly as much as you do and I am praying for all the people involved with Mattaw. I look forward to hearing from you soon. I love you, Sylas.

  29. Linda says:

    Dearest Elizabeth,
    I am sorry that this has happened. Please get somewhere you will be safe. I watched a couple of the videos and I am concerned for you. This man is truly not from God(maybe we need to pray for him). What does the people who sent you there say or are they the ones who want this education for you. I am a follower of your Dad’s blog and have been following your journey to Africa from the beginning. I hope this site will be here so we can check on you and continue to support and pray. You are so special and are a true blessing to all you have touched. With love in Christ Linda

  30. Cousin Paula Frisbey says:

    Elizabeth, our family will be praying for you now that we know more about the ministry God has called you to. Am so thankful for your discernment in these times! So many want to have their ears tickled – and not be like the Thessalonicans who “examined the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” The Lord has a plan; will pray for His guidance for you!

  31. Bryan McCollum says:

    Elizabeth
    I will continue in prayer for you and your work. I am also glad to h ear that as doors close God has opened a new one. Keep steadfast in the faith and and your stand. Many are praying for your strength and mission. Colossians 1:15-20

    Thank You for Doing Our Work.

  32. Roger Mattern says:

    It has been over a week since your good bye notice, and no more news from you. Are you OK?
    Have not had a post from PJM in 2 days, so I am wondering about him also.

  33. SMS says:

    the things that are being said all over facebook, the malice and hatred that has been spewed, has been HORRIFIC. the people that have been spewing these things have said they are cult, venomous, just to name a few. these are people who claim that mattaw’s belief system is wrong and doesn’t align with the bible. whether right or wrong in that department, the people who are slandering the huffmans (who i know personally and love dearly), are too, not aligning themselves with the bible. i believe jesus would call them hypocrites.

    in matthew 18, it tells us how we are to deal with christians that have sin (in this – false doctrine, cults, letting elizabeth mcwhorter go, etc. – and whatever else these people want to add in). from what has been all over facebook, these people did not act in accordance to what the bible says.

    secondly, in matthew 18:17, it says that if they refuse to listen after the other steps are taken, you are to treat them as you would a gentile or tax collector.

    and how did Jesus treat the gentile and tax collector???? with love and compassion. remember the zacchaeus story. he was a tax collector. and who did paul reach out to and love and share the gospel with….the gentile.

    and if these people see the huffmans as an enemy now, rather than as a brother and sister, then how are we to treat our enemies: Proverbs 25:21-22, Romans 12:17-21, Luke 6:27-36. these are only to name a few.

    whether or not people believe in the direction that mattaw is going, at the end of the day, bud and kim are still a brother and sister in Christ. and they are being treated far worse than most would even treat their worst enemy (and even then we aren’t to treat them this horribly).

    Jesus said, “a new command i give you: love one another. as i have loved you, so you must love one another. by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” john 13:34-35.

    i’m thankful that God is perfect because if faith or christianity was based on all the people who have talked about the huffmans/mattaw, the way they have, no one would want to believe in Him. there has been no love, no grace, nothing at all, displayed for the huffmans.

    and shame on those people. before they start casting the stones of how much the huffmans have slide from the Word, they need to see how much they have also.

    Love. Prayer.

    Not hate and malice.

    • jason mcguire says:

      Ezekiel 33:1-6 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, 3 and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

    • Roger stafford says:

      (Reply to SMS)
      Wow. You cant judt grap amfew verses and use them outnof context and build a doctrinal position from them. Try reading athe whole Bible and using the science of hermanutics and putting the verses you misuse into the context they were intended for. Please don’t find anything I the scriptures that might not agree with your position and your hate filled condemnation of all these “hypocritical” people. When you want to attack people for their “hatred and hypocracy”, You might want to try following your own preaching about loving. Yours is the most hateful, venomous comment I have seen to date.

      The context of Matthew 18:17 is spoken to Jewish people and is intended to say that when someone sins and does not accept correction, you are to have nothing to do with them. But please, don’t allow scriptural and doctrinal integrity get in your way.

      I do not consider the Huffman’s to be enemies, but I also do not and cannot support the unsound doctrine that they seem to have tied themselves to. Anything having even the faint smell of the Bently “gospel” needs to be purged and the true Gospel lifted up high. I am a childnsponsornat mattaw and I have huge issues with this, at best, misguided attempt at sound doctrine. We will continue our support for our child, but that is as far as we can go until we see a return to sound, Biblical faith and doctrine. And yes, it does matter immensely.

  34. Bryan McCollum says:

    2 Timothy 4:3-5. Elizabeth I pray for you strength to endure hardship, to do the work of an evangelist, and to fulfill your ministry. Sister keep strong and move ahead in your new work.

  35. David says:

    I really think this has been handled incorrectly. First, it was good that you went to Kim and Bud. You guys were obviously in disagreement still afterwards.

    “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. – Matthew 18:15-17

    At that point you should have contacted those having authority over them. I realize there is no board of directors per se, but they are responsible to Servant Life in some capacity. Instead, you blogged about it. I get that Todd is a quack. I went to Oral Roberts. I can spot a quack. I also viewed the Garden website and I do disagree with some of their teachings as well. However, from a number of people I have spoken with the teachings have not trickled down into action like in the Bentley videos. I think posting the videos was misleading people into thinking that sort of thing is happening at Mattaw. The people I have spoken to have said they did not experience anything like that at Mattaw. Does this need to be investigated further? Absolutely.

    I was contacted via Facebook by someone I don’t know and given a link to this. I have discovered that there has been a facebook campaign to get this information out to people connected to Mattaw.

    Is there some funky theology from the Garden that people may disagree with? Yes, but how much of the Todd Bentley stuff is really being done at Mattaw? Do they focus on the gifts listed on scripture omitting the Gospel? Do you have video or testimonial evidence of wrong doing at Mattaw?

    If so, please present it to Servant Life or other affiliated organizations that work with Mattaw. Mattaw does not appear to be hiding their involvement with the Garden, so I see no reason for the facebook campaign.

    I am not affiliated with Mattaw, Servant Life or anyone else. I have been to Mattaw and follow the blog. Amazing things in the name of God are being done there. I don’t want to see a beautiful work of God where people are drawn to Jesus Christ over simple difference of opinion on theology. There is no Jim Jones nonsense happening there from any source that I have spoken with. I understand your disagreement with the theology, but lets handle this like Christians, in love.

    • David says:

      I just reread my post. I think it sounded a little hostile. Not my intention, sorry. I think there are a lot of questions that need to be answered still. I also am not aware of you being involved in the FB campaign, so if that seemed accusatory I apologize. I just really hate splits in Christian ministries and want to see this issue resolved for the benefit of the Gospel.

  36. Aaron says:

    Hi Elizabeth…

    Please give us an update as to what is going on. If you are posting updates at a new site, please give us the link. 🙂

    Thanks…

  37. Juan says:

    Elizabeth,

    I don’t know you, but I also had some trouble with the Garden and Brandy. She publicly said I was a sinner, and as a result God would end my life in a whirlwind. I now know it was a form of cursing. It was difficult, but God would not let me be taken. I realized they wanted to recruit me to use me so that I would curse people. One of the first things I was told to do was to agree with God that He would end the life of a witch who was cursing me. I realized that was a wrong assumption scripturally. Jesus said we are to be protected by the Name of Jesus. And we are to love our enemies not curse them. And we are to bless them. I realized that if a person is going to die for their sin, I should be sorrowful not joyous. God may let me know if someone will die, but it is never my work to take their life. It is a sorrowful thing for a soul to die. For someone who curses me I am to pray for them and God to bless them. I also realized I should not be in their group. We leave the bad paths and follow the Lord in the good right path. He protects us and He blesses us. God Bless you.

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