Today the trip starts in Dawsonville, Georgia. Ben Mathes since 1978, has traveled the world on behalf of International health development, explorations, and Christian missions. He works extensively in the Congo, Kenya, Cameroon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, El Salvador, Brazil, Belize, Ecuador, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. He serves in a different country almost each month. Row has recently completed new ships in Congo and Brazil. The ships serve 150,000 in the Lusambo Health Zone of Congo and an average of 27 villages a year. Staff members Congo Staff Omba, Akula, and Shamba, are responsible for a program that has treated over 1 million cases of river blindness and immunized over 500,000 children against polio, and every one treated by ROW staff hears the Gospel.
In addition to serving in Congo and Brazil, Row actively ministers in Kenya, Vietnam, Belize, Honduras, Peru, and Bolivia. Ben is a regular on K-Love Christian Radio, reaching over 3 million listeners with a twice daily feature about his mission adventures. Ben was recently honored by Rotary International with an Honorary Membership in appreciation for his work fighting polio and river blindness. As an avid sportsman, he hunts and fishes around the world. He enjoys tennis running, music and is an often published photographer. Ben received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Hampden Sydney College in May of 1999, and an Honorary Paul Harris Award from Rotary International during the same month. Ben’s wife Mickie is from Nagoya, Japan. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in Special Education. She is actively involved in tennis at all levels, is a harpist, a water color artist, and a professor at Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga. Ben has two sons, Benjamin is 26, an actor, who lives in Irvine, Ca. and Lt Adam Mathes, USMC, 25, is stationed At Camp Pendleton, Ca and has returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq. The Mathes have one dog, Winston, who travels with Ben. Ben Has used Walter’s knives in over 20 countries to do everything from open MRE’s in Iraq, to defend himself against bandits in the Congo, to dispatch fish on the Amazon- and chickens in the Congo, to dig my outhouse on a sandbar in the Sankuru River of Congo, to pithing iquanas with the May in Belize. Ben has reported cleaning deer, turkey and wild boar with his Brend. An amazingly preached in “I dont know how many villages along the worlds most remote rivers.“