Restoration and Following God

In 2019 Matthew Rinella asked his dad, Jim Rinella, Navigators Collegiate, if he could go to a Colorado State University (CSU) men’s dorm to start a Bible study. As they drove toward campus, Jim asked Matthew (in his 20s) why he had decided to start a Bible study. Matthew said, “God is calling me to lead a Bible study and disciple college men.”

Restoration and Following God | The Navigators Collegiate Ministry | CSU Men's Bible study led by Matthew Rinella (in hat).
CSU Mens Bible study led by Matthew Rinella in hat

This request marked a huge milestone in a journey of healing for Matthew. Three years previously he had a workplace injury that led to an emergency room visit for a concussion. The injury was serious, and he faced the impacts of a traumatic brain injury that changed the trajectory of his life. From a college student working a summer job, to several years of medical specialists and limited ability to even leave his home, life was upended for Matthew and his family.

Along with ongoing medical treatment, many people prayed for Matthew, Jim, and Linda (his mom). God is answering those years of prayers and restoring Matthew. Jim and Linda share their gratefulness for the prayer support, “So many of our friends and even many strangers pray for Matthew. It has deeply touched our hearts to know how many people pray for him daily.”

Matthew shares how God has been present in his journey, “My family and I didn’t know what my life would look like after my injury, but we trusted in God. I prayed that the Lord would still be able to use my life.”

The freshman Bible study that Matthew started is still going strong as the participants have now completed their sophomore year. Matthew shares, “I have been able to see the Lord at work in the lives of these young men. In many ways, I am grateful for this injury and the opportunities it has now opened for me. Though it was not in my plan; I believe it was always in God’s plan. I am so grateful that the Lord has given me the chance to serve in a Bible study and I hope to use my life to serve others and the Lord.”

Matthew continues to receive physical and speech therapy as he deals with issues related to his brain injury. He also started taking classes at CSU again last year and hopes to finish his degree and continue discipling students. He is now working part-time with Navigators Collegiate as he continues to focus on moving forward and following God’s call in this season of his life.

Praise God for His work in Matthew’s life and on the campus of CSU. Pray for continued progress and for the Good News of Jesus to be proclaimed widely at campuses around the country.


  1. Thank you so much everyone for your praises and responses! Thank you for sharing stories, I had no idea before this injury how serious brain injuries could be in our society. It is such a joy that God has let me be back on campus. I am grateful for your kindness. God is good!!

  2. We deeply appreciate your comments and the verse you shared. Your comment means a lot, and we hope you continue in your healing. Thanks for your encouragement.

  3. I too, can identify with you. Eleven months after we married Pam received the tragic news that I was in the Emergency Room because of a high-speed head-on collision. The doctors called it a Traumatic Brain Injury. My life was severely altered. I do not doubt the existence of Angels.
    The road to recovery has been very long since 1978, and slow. But I am not without hope! I have Isaiah 41:10. God repeatedly says to me, ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ Consider who is talking…..the great I AM. Consider too, what He says to me, three times…..I will. I have learned that it my responsibility to keep my eyes glued on Him.

  4. God is always ahead of us to shine the light of his ability to be sovereign, merciful, and compassionate. Praise Him!

  5. I thank our Lord for healing Mathew and being with him as he faithfully follows the way our Lord is leading him. Bless the faithful parents in this situation.

  6. PTL! Way to go! As a mother with 2 adult sons (one with a TBI from his military time, and the other a walking miracle that has overcome hydrocephalus, etc) stories like these make me so happy!

    Bless you!

  7. Many blessings as you continue in your life journey, Matthew. I, too, survived a traumatic brain injury and continue to feel God’s presence in my life as my direction was changed as he planned. in a world that needs more of you, Matthew!

    1. Thanks for sharing this. Perhaps other people can see that God works in ways we can’t even imagine.

  8. I know God uses us in ways we can’t even imagine but when we are willing he is most certainly there for us. I pray he will continue to strengthen you in what you do for Christ. Blessing and wisdom as you seek His face. Praise God for You.

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