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Major Leaguer Picks Up Win in Fight Against Human Trafficking

One particular platform in Detroit has become far-reaching – where Matt Boyd offers more conviction than just pitch! The Detroit Tigers left-handed starter provides at-risk kids with a safe home from trafficking and slavery in Uganda – growing as guardian at his game and with the lives he helps protect.

Question: “Matt, as a Major League starting pitcher, what do you protect and defend when you take that mound?”

Matt: “As a starting pitcher – we can’t score – so we’re out there on the mound defending the score. We’re keeping the game as it is! They can only score on you. So we’re defending the score!”
Question: “You’ve been described as game-moment focused! Kind of fitting that there’s a fight in this Tiger! Where does that fight come from?”

Matt: “You’ve got to attack one pitch at a time. You got to live in the moment! His grace is perfected right now! Not ten minutes from now, not living in the past and you could possibly miss out on what He has for you in this, so you got to be present in the moment.”

Question: “Commitment, endurance, perseverance -- it’s all a part of getting out of an inning. But getting out of the plight to end slavery -- where do you draw strength from?”

Matt: “Ending slavery – child slavery is somewhat daunting but it’s able. You get your strength from the Lord. You know that through Him! It’s possible. You’ve got to be present where your feet are. That’s where His grace is perfected and only through that are we able to go end this thing!  It’s not on our own power -- it’s only through Him!”

Matt and his wife, Ashley – are present with their feet and hearts a half-world away ... opposing child-slavery though prevention, at Kingdom Home – a refugee of restoration!

Ashley: “Child sex slavery is a major issue in Uganda, specifically. A lot of times when those children are rescued out of situations, they unfortunately don’t have a place to go. Many of them were rescued from female genital mutilation or abandonment or forced-child marriages, all these things that put them at-risk. But that’s where we come in! We take those girls in and give them a place where they’re safe. Where they can grow up no longer at risk.”

Question: “Take us to Kingdom Home, what does it provide?”

Ashley: “All the girls physical, educational, spiritual needs! We will provide them with beds, three healthy meals a day – things that they maybe never had before! Clean clothes, running water, a new pair of shoes, might seem little to us, to the biggest thing – which is love! We provide them with a loving family. They’re all sisters now and they have the house-mother and the aunties who help her. You can’t measure how important it is for a child to receive that sort of love to be able to grow and thrive in a healthy way.”

Question: On your first trip to Uganda what did you see in those girls eyes?   

Matt: “Joy, happiness, singing, dancing, playing soccer, going to school just enjoying every single moment! Nothing of the past was present but they were part of a family we just saw children living as they should.”

Question: “So how do you narrow the distance between a life in Detoit and desperate lives in Uganda?”

Matt: “It’s quite a distance - but when you have a call, when your heart is pulled, when God is truly leading you to something that’s the choice that has to be made, to step forward, in faith, and go – ‘what’s next’? And that’s just what we’re doing – we’re just answering the call!”

Question: “To end the cycle of abuse, what’s the game changer?”

Matt: “Awareness! Bring light to the darkness expose this thing. its not fun to talk about. People don’t like talking about this issue but the sex trade is real child sex-slavery is real. Awareness is huge.”

Question: “You’re giving them a opportunity to transform their lives. The city that you play in here Detroit, even in its resilience there’s still scars from abandonment. Describe for me the power of hope and restoration.“

Matt: “As were you asked that question I just have this image of God breaking chains. When we take this field wearing that “D” on our chest, we go out there we’re representing more than just that name on the back its what’s on the front, it’s the city, it’s everyone else and we’re breaking those chains of the negativity that you know, that may be here! Chains may be broken over there too.”

Question: “How has your involvement in these girls lives changed yours?”

Ashley: “It really changes your perspective on what’s important in life. And things that used to be a big deal aren’t as big of a deal because you realize that what you’re facing is nothing compared to what those kids are facing.”

Question: “How have you seen unconditional love in kids that have been abused?”

Matt: “Their house mother Dorothy is the symbol of it she shares the love of Christ with all of them and it is truly amazing she is a hero in my life she’s here on my wife’s life we’re just so happy to partner with her she was rescued out of this as a child eight years old that’s what you see God love that is limitless and this is the true image of how God loves.”

Question: “How does salvation and deliverance look different to you now?“

Ashley: “Now I have a very real picture of it. We know these girls stories. We’ve seen that transformation work in them, that’s all just through the love of Christ that they’re receiving. God’s restoring them! That’s salvation! But their story is not over yet! God has great plans for them and I can’t wait for the day when I get to go back there and go to their graduation and go to their weddings and to see God’s victory over their lives.”

Matt: “What’s done is done. The past, it’s gone. They have a family! And their family and identity is in Christ now! And through Him they can do anything!”

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