Matt Newnham lives in Cape Town, South Africa and that is a very long way from where he grew up, in fact where he is and what he is doing now is as good as being on a different planet, speaking a dialect that people of Earth do not understand and doing things that only perhaps a Martian would consider normal.
As you may have guessed, Matt Newnham has an amazing creative imagination and it is that which has placed him where he is today, that along with faith and the Golden Rule.
But, rewind a little over four decades and Matt Newnham will be found growing up in the beautiful, lush, green and peaceful Sussex Countryside. With two younger brothers and a younger sister Matt grew up in a small village, going to school in the village school before attending Warden Park Comprehensive, growing up with friends and attending a small village church. Matt’s mother never fails to embarrass him about how, officially, he is still head Choirboy at St Mary’s Church, in Balcombe because he was never replaced. Matt must be the oldest living boy soprano in the world.
As a boy, Matt found comfort in his village church and reading and grew up as a caring, loving and helpful boy. He didn’t know it then but he was applying the Golden Rule as documented in Matthew 7:12 from a very young age, giving to others as he would expect from them. It is perhaps that very natural application of a simple yet meaningful element of life that gives him the ability to write about the Golden Rule in the way he does.
Matt Newnham grew up always being aware of God but never truly accepting Christ as his saviour until a little later in his life. This comfort he found with his God helped him through the ups and downs of life.
In the mid 1980’s Matt’s mother and father separated and then a few years later divorced. This painful episode soon made Matt a brother, son, father and husband in one massive step. Although he did not know it then the events, the lessons learnt and the knowledge gained from this would play such an important part in his life 30 years later. Matt stayed close to home, dropping or delaying his career plans and dreams to be there for his family at a time when they needed him. He threw himself into his family firmly following the Golden Rule and for a few years stuck where he was.
During this time Matt worked on the local farm and his ability with animals and especially pigs was noted by a lecturer at Brinsbury Agricultural College. The late Alan Pargeter who sadly passed away in 2001 always said Matt had a way with animals especially pigs and he will never forget this – Sarah, if you read this your husband was an amazing man and played a role in Matt’s life that can never be repaid. Matt stayed close to home and worked the land until his calling came.
Those years spent close to family and working the land humbled Matt and his soft and caring heart lead him to where he is now. Having spent a few months working for a children’s charity, Children in Crisis, where giving to others was more than just a choice, Matt ended up in accounting software sales. With a glowing reference he took a humble telesales job that saw him, thanks to a blessing from a God he still did not know, set his path for South Africa.
Matt ended up eventually working with a company in the UK that had a South African connection selling a product called ACCPAC. His creativity and some knowledge of Poland gained over the last few months saw him excel and his giving nature made him a tremendous team player. In only a short space of time Matt was to be offered an opportunity that would change his life forever but at the same time a separate decision would be made that would save his life forever.
A chance opportunity to attend a church meeting lead Matt to Jesus Christ, it was hear that he knew he was set for an adventure of a lifetime and even then he did not know that his life of living by giving would almost 18 years later put him in place he could never have dreamed.
Less than a week later, after his coming to Christ, Matt had a meeting outside London Bridge Station. Over a pint of Guinness with South African businessman Matt made a decision that placed him firmly on God’s path. On a cold and wet night he said “yes” to a contact in Cape Town starting three days later. He then made plans to make a very permanent move to a country he now calls home.
17 years later Matt has settled in Cape Town, South Africa. His application of Matthew 7:12 saw him make friends and excel in the accounting software and ERP industry but God had bigger plans for him a million miles from his comfort zone. Matt always does as he would have others do to or for him and a series of life challenges saw the reward for this coming in manner nobody can define.
Matt was divorced by 2011 and his growing son had become very close to him. Life was a challenge and Matt did everything, and still does, for his son. At 11.49pm on 31st December 2013 the life changing event that made Matt the acclaimed writer that he is today shook his world and his life like never before. A phone call came in, his ex-wife, the mother of his son had been assaulted and badly beaten and was in hospital. A word from God told Matt to keep his son with him that New Year’s Eve and he obeyed and changed his plans. That obedience saved his Son’s life.
The lesson though had not ended. Two weeks after the assault, Matt took his son for an Ice cream on the beach to let his ex-wife rest, the assault had left her bruised and in need of rest. The day was a little eerie and Matt and his son sensed God was at work but they had no idea just what this work was. The work of God shook both Matt and his son to their absolute core, it was a shaking that was planned by God to force Matt into making a decision so huge, bigger than the move to South Africa, it cannot be described but one that would be given the perfect outcome as a result of many years use of the Golden Rule.
Matt and his son tried phoning to find out what time they should come home. There was no answer and they made their way to the house sensing something was up. What confronted them changed three lives forever. Matt’s ex-wife had taken a massive overdose of prescription drugs and was unconscious on her bed. The world was suddenly turned upside down, Matt’s ex-wife, the mother of his son was in a critical condition and paramedics were called to assist her and friends came to take his son away from the scene. Over the next 24 hours Matt sat by the bedside of the mother of his son to ensure she would survive, he prayed and let God take control. She pulled through but the battle was not over.
Matt’s ex-wife was sent a psychiatric hospital for evaluation and she spent two months in the institution. Matthew 7:12 kicked in and Matt took his son each and every day to visit his Mom in the hospital, he went out of his way, took care of things and juggled his life and his career for the sake of his son and his mother. This put Matt under pressure, his son came first and Matt was forced to take a huge leap of faith and quit his well-paid job.
Matt resigned from his job and resigned with a blessing at the end of February 2014, he worked his notice and had no prospect of income. He prayed and sought counsel and the word he received was reward for his loyalty of the Golden Rule. God told Matt Newnham to write, “Use the gift I gave you” and so Matt started to write.
Less than 2 years later Matt has persevered, he has had over 1000 articles paid for and published and has written and is about to have his first Children’s book “Space Ranger Fred and the Shoelace adventure” published.
Life has never looked better for Matt Newnham, and each and every day he applies the Golden Rule, seeks God before he acts and then obeys. Matt does to and for others what he would expect from them and the rewards are what you are reading today.
Matt Newnham is a Christian, Writer and Speaker. He is a single father and lives in Cape Town, South Africa. Matt is passionate about life and success and his ability to touch the heart of readers has earned him the title “The Master of Emotional Appeal” Follow Matt on Twitter @MattNewnhamZA and on his Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/mattwjnewnham