by Maggie Witherow, Co-Founder
I have had the privilege of answering the office phone for the past couple days, and I really don’t know how the staff gets anything else done. I have 3 pages of phone calls and I was surprised how many came from other states. We are well known around the U.S. and in addition to the many calls from state and federal prisons in FL, I received calls from MO, GA, TX, and NM. That was just the first day!
Sometimes the mail comes to the Lake Worth address instead of the one in Pahokee. One day I picked up housing requests from KS, CA, TX, and AL. Wow!
A good part of our job is referring folks to a place near their home town or one better suited to their needs, and I praise God that we can help folks in need. To those mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and even police officers that so desperately are trying to help, I applaud you. It isn’t easy to find housing for those returning from prison.
I thank you for the privilege of being your hands extended and to be able to do as the Lord said. Thank you, Lord, and thank you our newsletter family.
So, let’s Do Something BIG Together!
For the past seven years Matthew 25 Ministries has been part of a global initiative to counter the rampant commercialism surrounding the holiday season. As we celebrate the birth of Christ by giving and sharing gifts, the focus on commercialism can detract from the real “Reason For The Season”.
#GivingTuesday follows the retail events of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday with a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.
This year we want to rally our supporters for maximum impact, and provide an opportunity to support a cause that matters: a second chance to live in safety and in God’s presence. Come back by on Tuesday, November 27 and click DONATE!
35 for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. 36 I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’
40 “The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.’
Matthew 25 : 35-36, 40
My story is common among those who have been deemed sex offenders by the Justice System. When released from prison to South Florida, you learn quickly that there simply is no housing options for us. After searching endlessly with no results, by parents got in touch with the local probation office. It was then that my assigned probation officer informed them about Matthew 25 Ministries.
Upon being accepted by Matthew 25, I was relieved of a great amount of stress. I found a community that was not only willing, but wanting to help give me a home and help me with the burdens that come with my new label. We are a diverse group, but in the same boat. Let’s be there for each other, just like Matthew 25 is here for us.
I remember nearly nine years ago when Matthew 25 Ministries welcomed a new resident. He settled in quickly, became active in the community and made many friends. His friendship with one woman grew over time, they began dating and were married in September, 2012 at Jacob’s Destiny Church. I know so well because my beautiful bride, Rose, and I renewed our vows on September 30th and are celebrating six wonderful years of marriage. I love you, sweetheart!
Ted & Rose Rodarm
6 year anniversary
September 22 2018
by Ted Rodarm, Executive Director
We often grow close to those we serve as we get to know them and invest ourselves in them.
This month, we welcomed a young man (let’s call him Daniel) who had recently been convicted of a felony. He knew that this felony conviction would change his life forever. He had many concerns before he arrived. “Where will I work?” “Who will I live with?” “What will I do?” Knowing many of our residents have been incarcerated, where he had not, he wondered what they would be like and if he could fit in.
Daniel quickly got acclimated and found that the other men in the transition house were quite like him and he fit in right away.
Daniel had been residing in the U.S. legally, but is not a citizen. With a felony conviction on his record, we knew he may be subject to deportation, but he realized he had to move forward while he was here. Nine days after his arrival, immigration officials arrived to detain him.
I felt robbed! I was working with him individually to get him acclimated and we had planned to go job hunting the following day. He was doing so well and there were already signs of success. While I was working with Daniel, there were lessons I learned along the way.
He called me last week to thank me and told me that in the nine days he was at Matthew 25 Ministries, he felt a love, peace and joy that he thought he’d never experience again. We agreed that what he was feeling was Jesus in his heart and he was giving these things as well as receiving them.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to help Daniel in his time of need and the lessons I learned from him. He is now looking forward to being reunited with his family in his homeland and we will always treasure him being a part of our family at Matthew 25 Ministries.
I would like to share my thoughts and feelings on Matthew 25 Ministries here in Pahokee. Before I came here, I was filled with apprehension. I had heard much misinformation about the community: that there would be little help; that we would live with many rules that governed our stay; that we would live in shacks; it goes on and on.
My apprehension quickly vanished when Ted offered to pick me up upon my release. This simple gesture turned a lot of minds to the kindness of others. My family and friends were taken aback; they thought that if a complete stranger would drive for hours to help me, then surely where I will be going must be filled with compassionate people. They were correct.
When I arrived, all the previous myths were dispelled. The community is lovely; the help that I received to get my paperwork in order was indispensable; the place I stay is clean and concrete. Since my arrival, I have met more and more members of the church, and I can feel the love and hear the compassion of their voice.
To anyone who is thinking of coming to our community, I want you to know that you are in good hands and have made the right choice. And to the members that have accepted me, and the ones I still have yet to meet, I want to say thank you and God bless!
by Ted Rodarm, Executive Director
August was a very busy month for us. We welcomed five new residents during this time and are preparing for more in September. Each arrival brings its own challenges. Cleaning, painting and waxing of floors are done in preparation for a new resident. Beds, bedding and supplies are needed as well. We communicate with and coordinate with family members, release officers and probation officers regarding their pick-up and arrival. Trips to the probation office, Sheriff’s Office and the tax collector to get identification are all legally required within 48 hours. It can be a whirlwind!
As each new resident arrives, they are immediately surrounded by their new family and built-in support system. These are all things that add to the successful reentry of those we serve.
Matthew 25 Ministries is actively involved in many things beyond the 24 acres outside of Pahokee and those we serve there.
Our Co-Founder and Community Outreach Coordinator, Maggie Witherow and Executive Director Ted Rodarm will be representing Matthew 25 Ministries at the Palm Beach County Reentry summit on October 3-5. This summit will attract service providers and government officials from around the country. Maggie has been on the planning committee for this event since its inception and Ted will be serving as a panelist during one of the breakout sessions.
Come join us for this exciting event! Early registration ends September 2, so make sure to complete your registration now. For more information or to register for this event, visit
Maggie and Ted also represent M25M on the Palm Beach County Reentry Task Force. Maggie regularly participates on several subcommittees and Ted is Chairman of the Sex-Offender Subcommittee.
The Palm Beach County reentry model is viewed as a successful model for replication throughout the nation as recidivism rates have been reduced by 50% since 2008.
We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to reach out and serve our greater community.