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Currently residing in Edmonton, Canada.
I've known Manoj for several years now and our sites have been linked up for quite some time, so I
figured it was about time for us to get more insight into
Be sure to check out his family website,
The Mathew Family
Posted on January 22, 2007
Lao: Manoj, how are you?
Manoj: I’m doing good Chris, how about
Chung Lao: Where did you grow up?
Manoj: I was born in Calgary, however my
family moved, when I was 2, to a small town in Northern
Alberta called Fort McMurray (where the sun shines till
11:00pm in the summer!) where we lived for 10 years Then it
was14 years in Edmonton. After getting married, I moved
back to Calgary for 6 years and the last 2 and half years
have been back in Edmonton. In short, I’ve been all over
Chung Lao: Pick one word that describes you.
Manoj: Lazy – I am the typical person who
leaves things till the last second.
Chung Lao: What church do you attend?
Manoj: We searched for about a year and
half before we were led to Terwillegar Community Church – a
great little church plant that’s 3 years old and in our
neighborhood. Looking for a church was not an easy task as
I am from a Pentecostal background and my wife Jenie is from
a Brethren background. We prayed that the Lord would open
the doors to a church where He wanted us to serve. The one
thing we’ve come to realize is that you can be comfortable
in a particular church, however the question we need to ask
“Is this where the Lord wants us to serve Him?”
Chung Lao: What do you think of IndaPhatFarm.com?
Manoj: It’s awesome. I first came across
the site when your brother-in-law, Jaeson sent me pictures
from his wedding. That was … 4 or 5 years ago? I’ve been
keeping tabs ever since and I have to say that you and
everyone else involved have been doing a great job.
Chung Lao: What is Canada’s place in the world?
Manoj: North of the 49th and
very cold in certain places! Seriously – our place has
always been in the background, trying to accomplish goals
through diplomatic means. Things will change though in
terms of influence over the next few decades. Canada is set
to become a huge player in the oil market as the Oil Sands
here in Alberta are continuing to be explored. If you’re
wondering how that’s possible, then I’ll make a selfish
pitch here and point you to my site for a write up that
provides more details on that subject.
Chung Lao: It’s come to my attention that you’re as
fanatic about you’re Edmonton Oilers (hockey team) as I am
about my Washington Redskins. When did this start, and from
where does this fanaticism stem?
Manoj: This started back in the early ‘80s
when the Oilers were literally re-writing the hockey record
books. It’s hard to describe in brief but one has to look
at the teams’ numbers to really understand how and why they
made such an impact on hockey. On top of that when you
watch them, win 5 Stanley Cup Championships in 7 years it’s
hard not to become a fan. Since then I’ve become a bit of a
hockey history buff, which has helped me to understand the
impact the Oilers made and its significance – which has made
being a fan much more special.
Chung Lao: Tell us about those skills in the kitchen.
Manoj: I can certainly pop a mean bag of
popcorn – actually my kitchen skills are more focused on
anything chocolate … next time you’re in town you’ll have to
try my ‘Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake’.
Chung Lao: Welcome to the Canadian election report,
featuring Manoj Mathew. Next federal election:
Conservatives, Liberals? Or maybe the NDP?
Manoj: NDP (New Democratic Party)? I don’t
think our cold weather has reached hell yet. In terms of
the other two parties …. I’d say the Conservatives are
swaying towards forming another government in the next
election. However we’ve had 2 consecutive minority
governments, which is a big deal here and I don’t think
people are convinced that either party has the leader or the
policies to form a majority at this stage. It’s pretty much
a coin toss.
Chung Lao: List your favorites:
Chocolate, Chocolate and Chocolate
Nissan Skyline (GT-R)
Playing and listening to music, collecting comics, playing
and watching both soccer and hockey, collecting paper
currency from around the world.
Moxies – I don’t know if you have this one down there, but
they make a wicked Steak Oscar. Dairy Queen – you can never
go wrong with a Peanut Buster Parfait!
E. Countries to visit, re-visit:
visit – Turkey, Greece and Italy. Re-visit – India
(Kerala) and Malaysia.
F. Character from “Transformers”:
I was never into Transformers – I count myself more a
Flintstones and Looney Tunes fan.
G. Bible Passage:
"I can do all things through He who gives me strength” -
Lao: Would you recommend a move to Canada? What are
Manoj: I’d recommend it to anyone. However
be prepared to be taxed out of the wazoo! Canada is known
for its social programs (read: Health Care), however someone
has to pay for it. My opinion is biased on this one, but
Alberta has tons of opportunities right now because of the
Oil boom here, which has no end in sight – how many McDonald
locations do you know pay between $15 - $20 per hour?
Lao: Should Quebec be allowed to secede from Canada?
Manoj: My take has always been if they want
to leave, let them, but don’t expect any assistance from
us. You can’t split from the country and expect to receive
the same benefits as before – you’re either in or out.
Lao: What is your occupation?
Manoj: Systems Analyst.
Chung Lao: Name someone you admire, and why.
Manoj: My little sister, Manjula, who’s an
example of how to live by faith. When she finished her
undergrad she spent 10 years in missions’ work completely
trusting that God would meet her needs – which He did. Now
she’s settled down in New Jersey and still working for the
Lord along side her husband, Stephen – they are both
involved in full-time Campus Ministries at Montclair State
Chung Lao: What is your take on George W Bush? How
will he be remembered?
Manoj: President Bush will obviously be
remembered for the war on terror. My take is that he made
decisions which he felt were necessary to protect his
country. I have never agreed with all of those decisions;
however I do respect his position and the fact that he did
and continues to do what he feels is necessary.
Lao: What is your take on interracial marriage?
Manoj: If it’s the Will of God, 2 people -
a man and a woman will be married regardless of race. The
only thing that should matter is that God is at the center
of the marriage. Each person should be able to say that
they love God first and then their spouse – everything else
will fall into place after that. (I hope that makes sense).
Chung Lao: As a fellow comic book aficionado, list
some of your favorites:
Manoj: I’ve always been a DC person myself
– (not really sure why) but Superman is right up there on my
list. Some of the other characters I’ve followed on and off
have been Green Lantern, Flash and Batman. I’m a fan of the
team comics as well – Justice League of America, the old
Justice Society of America and the Teen Titans from the
Chung Lao: What are some of the things you’ve learned
by being a father?
Manoj: You can’t put into words the JOY
your kids bring into your life. What I’ve learned is that I
will and have done things that I never thought I would ever
do in terms of caring for my girls – Mya and Yasmeen. If
there’s one thing that I’ve come to understand, it’s that
once you have a family you can’t expect to maintain the
lifestyle and routines that you once had. In some cases you
may not be able to achieve the goals in life that you once
aimed for. I’ve gained a greater respect and appreciation
for those of our parents that came from India in terms of
the sacrifices they made to ensure that we had
everything we needed.
Chung Lao: What is something you cannot stand in a
Chung Lao: Ok, you have 2 watermelons. Now divide
those by the square root of fruit salad. What do you have?
Manoj: Fruit salad with extra watermelon –
might there be any chocolate sauce to drizzle?
Chung Lao: Using nothing but Microsoft Paint, please
draw us a picture.
Chung Lao: What job could you absolutely not do?
Manoj: One of those high rise window
washers – I’m afraid of heights.
Chung Lao: Is the glass half empty or half full?
Manoj: Half Full
Chung Lao: What would you do for a Klondike bar?
Manoj: Nothing, give me a Fudgesicle any
Chung Lao: Are we living in the End Times?
Manoj: I honestly don’t know and I try not
to focus on that. I hear this question being asked and
answered many different ways; however my approach is to
continue serving God the way He has instructed me to. If He
comes GREAT! If He doesn’t (in my life time) then I just
keep serving Him to the best of my ability.
Lao: What is the most important thing in life?
Manoj: Love and serve God as best as we
Chung Lao: Ok, it’s Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
It’s the Edmonton Oilers against the Detroit Red Wings.
It’s a tight game, the score is 2-2. Suddenly one of
Detroit’s offensive players nails the Oiler’s goalie, and he
crumples to the ice in agony. He’s carted off, but
obviously done for the night.
Coach looks around the bench and hones in on his only
remaining option to fill that spot. Manoj Mathew. “Manoj,
get in there and win this thing fella” he shouts as you race
on to the ice and into position.
Just 30 seconds left on the clock, you see a Detroit
defender weaving and moving with lightning speed w/the puck,
coming right toward you. As you fix your gaze on him, your
It’s Wayne Gretzky in his prime, coming right at you. What
do you do?
Manoj: I don’t panic and try to make the
save as best as I can because, even in his heyday, Gretzky
really sucked on breakaways – so my chances are just as good
as any other guy coming in at me.
Chung Lao: Define the ideal church, even if it’s not
Manoj: For me the ideal church would be a
place where everyone moves out of their comfort zone to try
and connect with those that are not well connected with
others - especially those who are new to the Faith. It’s so
easy to settle into our own groups and forget about those
who are standing in a corner waiting for someone to come and
Chung Lao: Lastly, leave us with a parting thought.
Manoj: When you wake up every morning ask
yourself, “What can I do for the Lord?”
Lao: Thanks Manoj, next up on
is Pasha Bains. Keep it locked in for that one.
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