Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Josh's Philanthropic Travels

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” The scholar said in reply, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  Jesus replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
                                                                                          -Luke 10. 25-29

Dear friends,

To give you a brief background of myself: this May I will be graduating from Marian University with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, a minor in Psychology, and with a concentration in Ethics.  I studied for one year at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary with spiritual formation to become a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. I was elected treasurer of the Philosophy Club my junior year, I was elected as co-president of the Philosophy Clubspectives. my senior year, and I was also elected treasurer of the Pro-Life Club my senior year. At Marian, I helped plan and direct alongside several colleagues a trip of eighty-five peers to the annual March for Life in Washington D.C. Additionally, over the past four years I have volunteered two weeks of the summer to help lead trips to various national parks. These trips were led through Roncalli High School’s Summer Field Studies, where students are given the opportunity to study for academic credits in Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, San Juan National Forrest, and various other locations. The goals of these trips were to educate students in the natural sciences, ecology, outdoorsmanship, mountaineering, and the like. My greatest accomplishment to date, however, has been to co-establish a course at Marian University called Third World Rural Philanthropy: Issues and Perspectives.

The nature of this letter is to give you an idea of this class, my post-graduation plans, and to humbly ask for your help.

The philanthropy course was established and granted permission by the President, Provost, legal counsel, and Dean of Education at Marian University to take a “field trip” to Basa Village, Nepal in Southeast Asia under the direction of Adjunct Professor Jeff Rasley. Professor Rasley, the founder of Basa Village Foundation USA, has travelled to Nepal numerous times, is a well-published author of several books and over thirty articles, and will lead us through the current spring semester as we prepare for our trip to Basa Village in May. The course’s objective is to research, devise, and execute a proposal for a philanthropic endeavor in this ancient village of roughly 250 people that has survived for about 500 years. These men and women of Basa Village are the neighbors that Christ instructs us to love, as cited in Luke’s Gospel. 

Upon the completion of our philanthropic projects in Nepal, I plan to travel to Calcutta, India, to volunteer with the Missionaries of Charity for two to three weeks. This is the order that Blessed Mother Teresa founded in 1950 and worked tirelessly for the miserably poor of Calcutta.

I am currently enrolled in a course through the TEFL Institute in Chicago. This course will license me as an international instructor of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Following my time in India, I intend to land in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, teaching English to students ranging from fifth grade to university level.

I am thrilled to have been able to set myself up for these opportunities, but I implore your help. The final step to accomplishing this trip is to find the monies that will allow me to travel and best help the villagers.  Thus far I have prepared myself academically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I ask for your gracious financial donations to my cause. You can donate to my cause, here. Following this letter is the full-budget breakdown and time frame of my following year. Please feel free to contact me personally; I will be happy to sit down and further explain the above and to where the money is going. I ask that if this cannot work into your budget that you keep my safety and success in your daily prayers.

Thank you sincerely.                                                                                                     
In Christ’s Love,    

Josh Matthews
(317) 840.2148

Projected Costs:

Nepal: Philanthropy (6 weeks)
$1475-travel to Kathmandu (flight plus passport ($175) and visa ($100))
$150-additional necessary, inner-country travel
$1550-trekking fee (includes six weeks of food, hotel, all trekking expenses, etc.) 

Calcutta, India: Volunteer with Missionaries of Charity (3 weeks)
$240-travel to Calcutta (flight plus visa ($100)
$560-$10/night-hotel ($280), $10/day-food ($280)

Teaching: Vietnam (TBD—dependent on contract)
$530-travel to Ho Chi Minh City (flight plus visa ($100)
$1000-food, clothes, rent (until first paycheck from teaching English)
$ 750-travel home

$500-emergency, spare costs, unpredicted

Grand Total:

Projected Timeline:

May 11th: Graduation from Marian University
May 12th: Departure to Kathmandu, Nepal
May 14th: Arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal: explore the city, visit major monasteries, study culture
May 17th: Trek to Basa Village
May 19th: Arrive in Basa Village, do philanthropic projects, travel the Himalayan Mountains, visit Buddhist monasteries
June 25th: Arrive back to Kathmandu, Nepal, for departure flight to Calcutta, India
June 27th: Arrive in Calcutta, India: volunteer with Missionaries of Charity
July 11th: Depart Calcutta for departure flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Please visit the following websites: