Associate Chaplain Minister
To Mentor and guide fellow students in the UK
y name is Matthew Caffell, a leader in a transport outreach in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
My Christian walk has been anything but straightforward, in fact it has been one of ebbs and flows.
I started my walk at about eight years of age.
My parents had split when I was very young. After their break up, my Dad recommitted to The Faith, and God lead him to become an Elder of a local Evangelical church. He continued in ministry in one way or another till his going to Glory in 2018.
My Mum on the other hand was not a Christian, and did almost everything she could to dissuade me from following in my father’s footsteps; This caused rather a mixed upbringing, and was very hard for me to know what was right.
Thankfully God himself started to show himself to me, in the way that only He can.
I remember praying true heartfelt prayers from a young age, even asking God to be my Lord and Jesus to be my Saviour, as I understood it then.
I had a varied childhood, often being the greatest advert for the Enemy, interspersed with times where I did what I was able, to be right and walking with the Lord.
I was baptised in the fountains in Trafalgar Square, London, England on Friday 13th February 1998, which was part of a great leap forward in my spiritual walk.
Whilst my walk did not run smooth, I spent a long time away from church, I never really gave up my faith.
There is more to say, but that would lengthen the way past the necessary.
What I will say is that on 28th December 2003 I was turned on to God fully, and that is the date that I count as the start of my ministry journey.
I received supernatural healing for a severe spinal injury. That day the pastor of that church invited me to become his apprentice.
I spent nine months in training with Rev Dr William Isaacs-Sodeye who is a powerful minister of the Gospel. My time with him was of great value to my walk of faith.
Over the following years I have developed a deeper relationship with God and Jesus.
God has brought the most wonderful woman to be by my side and join me in the walk of faith.
We now have two awesome daughters together.
My career has been in the transport sector, mainly as a HGV and PSV driver. God has used this experience through a ministry for truck drivers in the UK, which I have been blessed with the position of Assistant Ministry lead.
This is the ministry that I have predominantly joined CLI to help Further. Firstly, deepening my relationship with The Lord and all that I learn in this process, secondly, I would then be able to pass this knowledge on to those who I minister to in Jesus name.
My passion is to encourage, minister, mentor, and share the Gospel where God has called me to serve.
My name is Susan Pogue. You can call me Sue if you would like. I live in Olmsted Falls which is in northeast Ohio in the United States. I was born in Lakewood, Ohio which is also in northeast Ohio. You might think I never left here, but you would be wrong.
Church was not a big thing to my parents. They made sure my brother and I went to Catholic school and church but they didn’t go. I was baptized when I was nine days old because that is what is done in that religion. At that time, we weren’t allowed to own or read a bible. Even so I felt the call of God. I went to church and confession a lot. I made my first communion in first grade and later was confirmed. I even wanted to be a nun.
While the religion is considered Christian, member contact with God was only through a priest. As I grew I needed to know God on a personal level. He was always calling but I didn’t know who He was, what He wanted me to do or how to reach him. I was asking questions. The problem was I wasn’t getting answers. If you asked a question, their answer was always, “you need to take it on faith”. That wasn’t good enough for me so I finally got kicked out of the religion because I was still asking questions.
That was the best thing that could have happened to me because I went on a spiritual journey to search for God. I didn’t know where to find Him so I tried a lot of different religions, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, indigenous American Indian and even Wicca but I never found Him. Then I tried mainstream Christian religions like Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, etc. Finally I was looking in the right places. I got a bible and started reading.
Unfortunately, that was when Satan showed up in my life. (You would think he would show up in Wicca but he didn’t because he knew I wasn’t going to find Jesus so why waste his time.) I started partying, drinking, doing drugs, promiscuity and more. I became a smoker at 9, an alcoholic by 12, a drug addict by 19 and homeless by 20. But thanks to God’s grace, by 21 I was no longer drinking, taking drugs or partying. (I was still smoking but at this writing I stopped that over 10 years ago. Praise God!)
I somehow knew God had delivered me so I began reading the bible again. Like a lot of people who are new to the bible, I began in Genesis. I saw how God formed everything and put it on the earth, but now what. When I got to chapter 3, I gave up.
I worked at a hospital. Every day I would meet a woman for coffee before work. The night before she was always at church, going to church, going to bible study (a new concept for me), at a service, or something. I was confused. Why would anyone do that every day?
Because she didn’t want to get in trouble at work, she never talked to me about God, just what she did at church the night before. After six weeks of asking, I finally convinced her to give me the address to the church and she agreed to meet me there. It was an Apostolic Pentecostal church with speaking in tongues and dancing in the Spirit. I had never seen anything like that. I was amazed but curious. I stayed in the back row (easy access to the door) and hung on to the pew, literally.
It was the first night of a six week revival. I didn’t know what a revival was but I kept going back because there was something there that was different. I didn’t know what but I wanted to find out. On night three, one of the ladies invited me to the altar to pray. I had been watching and hadn’t seen anything really scary (like snakes, saw that in rural Georgia). So I went. Then I was surprised to find out, they were praying for me but these were different prayers than I had ever heard. They were each talking to God. Again, something I had never seen or heard before. That night, I accepted Jesus into my life and a few hours later I was baptized. I felt like I was walking on air for three days. I had finally met Jesus and it was wonderful. That was 1980.
I didn’t know it but my friend was married to the pastor’s brother and I was thrown in ministry the very first weekend. I was taken out on bus ministry and the outreach minister also taught the new convert’s class. He had me be his assistant. Two years later, in June 1982, I married that minister, who was the pastor’s identical twin brother. Jimmy was not just a minister but also an evangelist. With my husband, I finally began my biblical education as we traveled to his speaking engagements. I not only learned about God but I also learned what faith is and what it means to live by faith, following God’s calling and direction on our life.
I remember there was a national conference in Louisville, Kentucky (not real far but we did needed to stay a week for the conference.) My husband had 8 children from his previous marriage (His divorce was biblical) so we didn’t have a lot of extra money. Jimmy told me that God told him he needed to go to the conference. I told him we shouldn’t go because we didn’t have the money to go. His answer to me was “IF God is telling us to go there, He will make a way”. To which I replied, “IF?”
Somehow, I thought of Sarah. This is fictional but I could see it happening. Picture this. Abraham comes home and tells Sarah, “Honey pack up the tent were moving this weekend.” Sarah asks, “Where are we going?” to which Abraham answers, “I don’t know. God said he’ll tell us when we get there.”
Well, we went because my husband and Sarah’s were the heads of our households. It was our husband’s job to lead where God took them and ours to follow. Abraham’s faith was counted to him for righteousness and I’m sure my husband’s was, too. Maybe not as much but still obeying.
Unfortunately, my husband passed in April, 1999. Since then God has had me on a wonderful journey. He sent to from Ohio to Florida. I was there 13 years working with the homeless people and also starting an after school program for low income children. The after school program allowed the people to get to know me. As a result, I taught Sunday School, in my living room, for about 25 children and adults. From there, God took me to Douglas, a small town in southeast Georgia.
The Lord has blessed me with multiple sclerosis. I say blessed because it opened up my witness to people I would never have met without the disease. (I’ve had it since 1982. It is chronic and incurable but in 2018 I was informed by Cleveland Clinic doctors that I have outgrown it. (Actually, the immune system slowed down and is no longer attacking my body, which is what MS is.) Praise God!
In Douglas, I ended up in a nursing home. Where I was not only a resident but also a volunteer visiting other residents who were near the end of their lives and teaching bible studies four days a week. My brother came to visit me in November 2018. In February 2019 he told me it was time to come home. I said “No”. (Remember Sarah) Then I went to prayer. Too often I begin with MY answer and then ask God what He thinks. (a little backward but at least I do ask). After many discussions with Jesus I knew I needed to come back to northeast Ohio where it was 36 degrees and I was leaving Georgia where it was 86 degrees and right after I had given away my winter coat. (I said I was never bored.)
I am now back in Ohio. I am permanently other-abled not disabled. I do live in a nursing home because while I am healed, I also have some physical problems that are best handled here. Yes I use a wheelchair always. My income has been cut to $50 a month. (No, this is not a plea for money. God and I are doing just fine with what I get.)
Let me tell you what God is blessing me with and doing in my life now. Let’s address the wheelchair. Everyone talks to me, so it is easy to talk to them about God. I am at church every service because I am blessed by the people from my church, who pick me up. I teach a bible study at the nursing home on Wednesday evenings. Today the chaplain here at the nursing home asked me if I would start a bible study on the memory unit for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia God is good and without him I could do nothing. Being “disabled” allows me access to people I wouldn’t see without the disease like doctors, nurses, aids, therapists, dietary workers, transportation drivers, other residents in my nursing home, the people in church (they sometimes need to be reminded) and the list goes on.
I am taking these classes because I want more knowledge so I can teach better lessons as I continue my journey with God. I am so thankful to CLI because I can now get the education within my meager income. I have been looking for a while and taking a class here and there. But now I can really get down to work. May God bless you for the work you are doing. Without CLI, I could never think about a ministry (remember I’m in a nursing home) like working with disabled, elderly, victim’s of Alzheimer’s, dementia or domestic violence.
Since I wrote my profile, I have continued studying. I am now a Licensed Officiating Minister, an Ordained Deacon Minister, an Ordained Officiating Minister, an Ordained Associate Chaplain Minister and most recently an Ordained Restorative Life Minister. I have an online Bible Study group for which I am writing the Bible Study. I am also teaching via Zoom for a ministry in Zambia. And here at Christian Leaders Institute, I am a student, volunteer Feedback Coordinator and Mentor Minister. God and CLI have given me life at a time when most people are slowing down and I will be eternally grateful.