Joshua’s knee

We would appreciate prayer for Joshua. He had an accident awhile back and now is suffering from damage to the cartilage in his knee. Josh  will need surgery on his knee soon.

We have been to a knee specialist (orthopedic) and had the spectrum of tests run and the mri shows  the cartiledge behind his knee cap on one side is pretty much destroyed and there is some bone poking into the back of his knee cap. Most likely from a fall  at a skate park, but then sports made it worse. He will have to have “keyhole” surgery to fix it and hopefully get cartiledge to regrow or else he will suffer from major arthritis when he is older. We are getting a second opinion just for peace of mind and will keep you up to date on details and all that.

We just need wisdom in who to take him to for surgery, how we are going to pay for it and a quick recovery for him.

Thanks for your prayers and support,

Russ & Cathy

First Family Mission Team (Thank you) – You cannot tell everthing by the numbers, but…

We have been blessed by the team from First Family Church. They came willing to participate in any and all things we do in Sydney. 

It has been planned for over a year and a month prior to their arrival, they closed the main train line to our part of the city, so transport became an issue. Yet the team and the family persevered.

You cannot tell everything by the numbers, but it is pretty amazing to see all that the team has been able to be part of in just 13 days. When you come to Sydney, it is not a typical mission field. No building projects (Due to strict building regulations, etc.), just straight forward people work. You would think that would be easier, but it was not the case. I think the team will go home tomorrow pretty tired, but excited about what the Lord is doing here to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A mission here is ‘hold on and get ready for an exciting ride!’ (It ain’t for the faint hearted.)

28 Train rides, 11 bus rides, 2 international, plane rides, 2 ferry rides, and a Rivercat ride

6 City Bible Forums

2 Afterwork Bible studies

4 Lunch time Bible Studies

3 Firehouse tours – Yup. Even Firehouse 1 in Sydney (Luke is a firefighter)

2 Evangelism Training sessions

A church service, a Young adult picnic / talk , a Young City Workers Evangelistic Talk (20 attendees) and a Walk- up Evangelism session

The Smith Lecture (178 attendees – 1/2 non-believers)

10+ one-one mobilising /evangelistic meetings

2 BBQs

2 Kids Clubs

1 Scripture class

A Lebanese meal, Lebanese pizza, a Vietnamese meal with noodles, a Thai dinner, Fish & Chips, Meat pies, Sausage Rolls & Pavlova

2 beaches and a scuba diving adventure

1 1982 Honda Civic

Fed kangaroos, petted a koala and saw a huge crocodile

1 trip to Chinatown

Too many coffees to count

One God, One Faith, One Saviour

Key stories: Alex,Vince,‘the bus rides’, bus stop parking, CBF, Smith Lecture, Street evangelism conversations, Rugby League v Rugby Union

Thank you for this incredible team of people. Your dedication, flexibility and willingness to go out of your comfort zone was a blessing and we will have many stories to come of the Lord working in the lives of the people of Australia.

To our supporters, family and friends, if you have the opportunity, look to see when they will be doing their presentation at First Family Church in Ankeny and come along.

Our mission field and style of mission is not easy and not for everyone, but this team was exceptional and we are grateful for their work in Sydney!

Holiday Conversations, Visiting Team and the Car

Holiday conversations  

We had friends (One of my work colleagues at City Bible Forum and his family) invite us to go to Griffith, NSW for a short holiday. It was a great time of relaxing and enjoying a unique part of the country. Griffith is the farming centre of New South Wales. They have an irrigation system that allows for the growth of grapes, citrus, rice and various other foods. It was beautiful part of the country.

One night we were invited to go out to dinner with a high school mate of my friend, Craig. It was a great time of conversation and making new friends. Craig’s friend had brought his new girlfriend. She began to enquire about what Craig and I do for a living. As we were able to share about the work of the Gospel, she started in on the questions. Everything from creation to cults to death was out on the table. It was great. At one point the friend said to Cathy, “I did not know she had some many questions…” As things began to spiral around more questions, it came down to differentiation of beliefs. How were we different?

We were able to say that with all that is in the Bible, it all points to one thing, to one point in history to one person, Jesus. Once you can see that, the differentiation is how we respond to Him and the offer he gives to us. Grace within the Gospel. The difference from other beliefs, Jesus.

It shows that regardless of the time and place, you never know when you will have the opportunity to share the Gospel. Also, it made us appreciate your part in this process through your prayers and support.

Prayer Points

FFC team - We are excited to have a team coming from First Family Church in Ankeny in October. Pray for all the preparation, opportunities for ministry and their experience of the culture. The Lord did provide for us to borrow an additional car to assist with transport. The team will be participating in evangelistic outreach, scripture classes, Kids Clubs, Young Adult outing in Sydney, street evangelism, the Smith Lecture, church and many other events. Pray for their safe arrival, their many opportunities to minister and for the Lord to be glorified in it all.

Introducing God (Church) - It has been great, speaking through the Introducing Course at Glorious Hope and Grace Baptist Churches this past month. Pray for many to hear the Gospel and for Christians gain the training to share the Gospel with others through this clear presentation of the message of the Bible. We close each talk with a Q&A time. People have been searching out what they believe and we have been able to develop an atmosphere for them to engage with the Bible and God.

Investigating Christianity - In October,Russ will begin teaching a course on how to walk people through the four weeks of Investigating Christianity.  It is a great course  It is rather intensive with practical application, pray that the participants will be willing to go through the work and develop their skills in sharing their faith in Jesus Christ.

Life of Jesus- We begin a Life of Jesus course. It is a walk through the book of Luke and explaining the life of Jesus. Pray for Christians to gain a clear view of their faith. Also, for those who are not followers of Christ would see that Christianity is not a religion or another list of do’s and don’ts, but life- style that is centered on this person, Jesus.

The Car 

We have had one vehicle, a Toyota Tarago mini-van, since arriving in Australia. We bought it used and it has served us well, but it is beginning to show it’s age. With a family of six, which includes three teenagers, you can imagine the wear and tear on the van. It currently has 265000 km (164663 miles) on it and it is beginning to need a fair amount of work. We were hoping for to hang on to it for awhile longer, but we could use a smaller vehicle to help with getting us around and to lighten the load on the Tarago. We prayerfully considered it and we wanted to share this need with you. Would you and/or your church be willing to assist us with the expense of a new vehicle? We are looking to raise approximately $8000+ for a used car.

How can you help? If you are able to assist with the car we would appreciate your contribution. You can go to the ABWE website and either give one-off and state the contribution is for the ministry vehicle. Also,  you can send cheques to ABWE or Saylorville Baptist Church for these gifts. If you would like to contribute to the vehicle, merely mark on your contribution O&P funds for Matthews vehicle. If you or your church sends in funds to ABWE, could you cc us in the correspondence? The only way we can know about it is if you send us a message. Thanks for the consideration.

Thanks for your prayers and support.

The adventure continues…

The Matthews family


Caroline quote of the week:

Caroline: ‘Did you know we were going to Hong Kong?’

Sunday School teacher:  ’No, when are you going to Hong Kong?’

Caroline: After thinking about it for a minute… “No,no… not Hong Kong, we are going to Wollongong, Wollongong.” (It is where were are picking up the borrowed car.) 

So don’t believe the rumours, we are not going to Hong Kong!