Caroline’s Doctor’s appt, School & Panel + series

Caroline’s Doctors Appt

We wanted to update you on Caroline’s doctor’s appt. with the pediatric cardiologist. If you remember last year, Caroline had been diagnosed with a development of tissue on one of the valves of her heart. It causes a slight leakage or murmur in her heart. The specialists at the time stated there was no concern at that time and we would need to come in for an evaluation each year. If there is any growth, she would need to have surgery.

Come to find out this condition only occurs in approx. 2% of people and usually needs surgery. Our cardiologist has had to operate on all of her patients that have this condition in the past.

It has been a year since Caroline was diagnosed with this condition. She has not had any ill effects since the diagnosis. She was a champion at the doctor this week. After looking at her heart, the cardiologist saw no growth in the tissue and did not see the need for surgery at this time. Caroline even said, “I like going to the doctor, ” as we left the office. What a trooper. We will need to go back for another evaluation in 12 months. Thanks for your prayers.

School

A big day for all on Monday, all of the kids start school at the Australian Christian College (Colleges are the schools prior to University in Australia) Yes, our school year starts in January, after summer in Australia. Quite an adjustment from homeschooling for Cathy and the kids. Please be praying they all adjust well to the transition.

Panel + Series

City Bible Forum is changing the format for the Forums for 2011. It is exciting changes, but not without its challenges. We would appreciate your prayers for it. Details about City Bible Forum at www.citybibleforum.org

Format: Each month the Forum would begin with a Talking Point issue. We would have a panel of 3-4 ‘experts’ on the various topics. Then from the panel, the following weeks would be a series answering many of the discussion points from a Biblical perspective.

eg: Imagine series: Panel discussion would utilise the lyrics from the John Lennon song and discuss the idea Imagine there was no religion, God, heaven or hell… Then Al Stewart would do a series for three weeks on the Biblical perspective of these implications based in the New Testament. Our panelists are Dr. John Dickson (biblical historian), Jane Caro (Writer/Athiest) & Dr Tanveer Ahmed (Writer /Clinical Psychiatrist/ Moderate Muslim).

Panel format: Three to four individuals would be willing to discuss their view on the topic. It is not a debate, but an interactive discussion with a moderator and the audience. We would have key people set in the audience who have a specific view on this topic to set in motion the conversation. We are following the model of SBS ‘INSIGHT’ for the format. Time: 1:10-1:50 (Wednesdays and Thursdays) First week of each month.

Panelists: We would like the panel to be a mix of differing view points. We have a mixed audience of approximately 200+ each week. The experts we are contacting are not desiring to recruit for their own cause, but willing to intellectually discuss their view with an audience and others in a panel atmosphere.

Panel and series topics: Imagine no religion, Crossing Over: Is there anything after this life?, Why do we do what we do? Analysing the Human Condition, 2012 and end times: A look at the book of Revelation and others. All will follow with a series based on a biblical perspective of the topic.

We would appreciate your prayers for this format change and that many non-Christians would come to hear the panel and the series.

Thanks for your support and prayers.

The adventure continues…

The Matthews Family

Rain in Brisbane, QLD

Just a quick note for all who have been asking about the floods in Queensland, Australia.

The floods are occuring about 10-11 hours north of us. We currently live in Sydney, NSW. We are not effected by the floods directly in Sydney.

The people of Queensland can use your prayers and support right now. At this time, the floods are not impacting our family or churches.

Thanks for all those who are concerned.

Cheers,
Russ Matthews

Happy New Year from rainy Australia

We wanted to wish you all a Happy 2011. It is raining this week in Oz.

We hope to have an update about the coming year this week on key prayer points in ministry.

A taste of things to come…
Panel discussions and new formats at City Bible Forum, Men’s League, New school endeavours, City Bible Forum Afterwork , Nehemiah Series at church & more.

New Newsletter Format:

We will be trying out some new methods of formatting our Matthewsdownunder updates. We will be sharing our current ministries, future events, key readings and links that have impacted us throughout our year.

Getting back into the ‘Stream of Life’

We are finally ‘getting our feet’ after being back in Australia. It has taken more time to get back into all of the key ministries. After three & a half months away, we came to realise it was more of a disruption than we thought it would be, but all is good.

Canoeing on a river

They best way I can describe the post-furlough challenge is canoeing on a river. Canoeing down a river seems to be rite of passage for many in their formative years. I always look back fondly to riding quietly down the river in a canoe with a friend. It can be a good representation of your life’s journey.

Your life is represented by the canoe and you are canoeing on a river. The river is all the activities of your life. In a missionaries life, furlough is pulling the canoe out of the one river and putting it down in another. Going from your normal river to the furlough river. Moving from all that has become normal and moving into familiar but different waters. The furlough river is fast, exhausting work, exciting & a bit choppy, but parallels the river of your ministry life. When furlough is complete, you pull the canoe out and put it back into the river that was your ‘normal’ life. Anyone who has come back to navigating a river will tell you that most things are familiar, but many things will have changed. The current, the scenery and you have to get used to the changes that moving water causes.  What you will remember about the ride will be familiar, but you have to make adjustments for the beginning of the trip that will influence the rest of the journey.

Our family, on return to Australia, is finally getting readjusted to the river that we call normal life. Putting our paddles in, getting used to the currents, realising that things are the same, but many have changed in our time away and looking ahead to an exciting ride in 2011.

Thanks for your continued prayers & support.

The new adventures continue…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua & Caroline