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A Long Way from Home | Ben Mathes

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Front Cover.JPG

A Long Way from Home | Ben Mathes

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Books can do many things. They can inspire, share history, scare, thrill, inform- the list is long. As I look over the chapters on Iraq, Chiapas, Iran, Hezbollah, Zaire etc- I see the very real possibility that this book could become a new text for the International Society for Research on Impulsivity!

Impulsivity is defined as the “tendency to act on a whim, displaying behavior characterized by little or no forethought, reflection, or consideration of the consequences.”

I got that- I really do.

Personally, I’ve tried to measure some life situations- and some decisions- by this axiom; “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”

As of this writing, it’s been over 40 years since I had the privilege of working as a young chaplain at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department in Memphis, Tennessee. The Senior Chaplain was Rev. Jimmy Whitlock, a complicated amalgamation of faith and fury. Under his care, I spent my days in the jail, and my nights on the streets of Memphis.

The streets of Memphis in the early 1970’s were not as deadly as they are today. Getting hurt was pretty common, getting killed was rare. Drugs, crime, runaways, convicts in personal distress, and deputies in need of support, filled my nights with long hours and lots of coffee.


As the Founder a.k.a. “Old Man of ROW, previous Executive Director of ROW and an ordained Presbyterian minister, Ben has spent the last 38 years serving others around the world and continues to help the second generation of ROW by providing guidance and inspiration.

Since 1978, Ben has worked on behalf of international health development, explorations and Christian missions. He has worked extensively in the Congo, Kenya, Cameroon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, and El Salvador, Brazil, Belize, Ecuador, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Guatemala.

Ben was also a regular on K-LOVE Christian Radio, reaching over 5 million listeners with a twice-daily feature about his mission adventures. He is the author of the on-going series of devotion books titled “ROWVotions“, and a series of audio books, DVD’s and paperback books under the title of “Lessons From The Forests.”

He received degrees from Rhodes College – B.A; Columbia Theological Seminary – M-Div.; Washington College Academy – D.D.; Hampden-Sydney College – L.D.H.

Ben is married to Pui, and they spend their time living in Georgia and Thailand. Ben has two sons: Benjamin is 36, and he lives in Hollywood. He is an actor and the Founder of Urban Confessional, and Adam, 34, completed three tours in Iraq as a US Marine. He is now a Navy Chaplain and an ordained United Methodist Pastor. Adam lives in Smyrna, GA with his wife Sarah, sons Allen and Trap, daughter Saralyn, and puppy Copper!



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