Fruitful and Challenging (What a Great God We Serve)

Good morning to all,

Well, it is the 22nd of May and we are still here praising the Lord.  Thank you for your continual support and for your prayers. I wanted to take the time to get you all up to speed on what has been happening over the past month in our lives.

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” – CS Lewis

It has been one of the most fruitful times and one of the most challenging times for us, since being on the mission field. The Lord has provided in mighty ways, we have seen salvations, I have been able to do my first baptism and the opportunities to speak around Sydney have been non-stop since the beginning of the year. Thanks for the constant prayer cover and we hope you are able to celebrate with us in all that the Lord has done.

School: Since the beginning of the year, the kids have started to attend Australian Christian College. It has been a blessing, but quite a change from homeschooling. The school has been great in helping Cathy and the kids to transition to the school atmosphere. The biggest challenge was the travel, Cathy was having to commute to the school each day for the kids.

Home: We decided to find a home closer to the school. Also, close to a train line for my work in the city. Part out of necessity, our rental home was being sold and we had to find a new place. The rental market is only 1% of the Sydney housing market, making it very challenging to find a home we could afford and that would fit our family. It took three months to find the house. (I will not go into all of the details, but at many homes viewings there were 50-100 people to see the house) At the end of March, The Lord provided a new home and we were planning to move in at the beginning of April. It is a lovely house, smaller, but meets all of our needs and we are able to serve effectively here.

Robbery: The weekend before the move, I was planning to preach at a sister church. We went to bed on Saturday night and during the night thieves broke into our home (while we were sleeping) and stole all of our computer, phones, bags (which contained our ids, money, etc.) and even my sermon. Feeling very violated and without many options, the Lord provided, but we needed to get our lives back in order. We only had a few days to move, but no immediate means of paying for a truck. We started moving the house, one van load at a time. It took many kilometres, but by the end of the week we were able to do get the move done. (We did eventually get some bank cards toward the end of the week and were able to secure a moving truck for the large items.) Fortunately, we were insured and the majority of items were replaced.

Van: A week later, as Cathy was coming home from setting up for an outreach event at church, the van broke down. Looking back, it is amazing that the van made it this far with all that it had gone through over the last few months. It broke down on a Friday night. No mechanics open until Monday in Australia. At 1am in the morning on Saturday, I sent out a brief prayer request. Within minutes, one of our supporting churches had offered to pay for a hire car for us until we were able to get the van fixed. Once we secured a van, we were still able to go the outreach on Saturday and I was able to preach on Sunday. We sent out a request to our supporters and WOW the Lord provided mightily. It was overwhelming and we hope you know how thankful we are for all of the responses. All the costs of the van were covered by the donations.

We are currently driving our faithful van and we are praising the Lord for the opportunity to serve.

Once again, thank you for your generosity and assistance with this process.

The Lord has been teaching us quite a bit about ourselves and Himself throughout this process.

  1. He is in control, even when we do not understand.
  2. We need to allow others to serve and learn through our situations.
  3. To rely on Him completely.
  4. He works through our good and bad times to speak to us and others.

Prayer requests:

  • John Series ar Glorious Hope Baptist- Five Speakers on different areas of the Gospel According to John
  • Planning for the team from First Family Church
  • Challenges and growth of the work at City Bible Forum – We would be able to secure the right panelists and speakers for the weekly talks
  • Aussie dollar ,it is strong (30year high)and the US dollar is weak. Puts a challenge on the finances

Thanks for your continued support and prayers.

The Adventure Continues…

Russ & Cathy Matthews