Happenings in Sydney: David Murrow, Resurrection on Trial & furlough update

The most recent updates have been about about the recent trip to Bangkok and the Urban Missions Summit. But we cannot forget Sydney. We have some exciting coming up in the next few weeks in the city. We would appreciate your prayers.

David Murrow

The Forum has the privilege of having David Murrow speaking at various events around Sydney. He will be part of the Bible on Trial series.

His talk will be The Church on Trial: Why are people leaving religion behind?

Details about David: Why are men and boys fleeing Christianity? David Murrow has dedicated his life to answering that question. He’s a best-selling author of ‘Why Men Hate Going to Church.’ Murrow is an entertaining speaker who handles this taboo subject with humour and grace. He’s a television producer and writer by trade. Murrow comes to us all the way from Chugiak, Alaska. We look forward to learn more from David on why people are leaving religion behind.

He will be speaking at The Forum, special dinners, City Bible Forum Legal, Moore Theological College and Bridge Street Fellowship.

The Resurrection Inquest - Hoax or history?

Two barristers go head to head questioning believer and Bible teacher Ian Powell on the evidence or otherwise for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Defence Counsel – Ian Davidson, SC

Ian Davidson became a Barrister in 1991 after legal experience in the US, followed by work as a Solicitor from 1983. His practice is primarily in commercial and equity. Ian also has inquest experience, though never involving a vanishing corpse.

Prosecuting Counsel – Martin Hadley

Martin Hadley became a Solicitor in 1982 and a Barrister in 1990. He is an editorial consultant to The Skeptic magazine and Treasurer of Australian Skeptics Inc, having joined its Board in 2000.

This is an evangelistic event where the audience gets to be the jury.

Rouse Hill Bible Church

We will be concluding the Hosea Series this month. Then gearing up for the Easter holiday season and then… Genesis!

We are loving the church and the opportunity to serve alongside the church family at RHBC.

US ministry- we could use your help: The family will be heading back to the US at the later part of the year for our US ministry. We look forward to sharing all that the Lord has been doing in Sydney and Australia. We look forward to sharing stories of salvations, ministry opportunities and churches doing a great work. We have saved over the past four years for the trip, but costs are higher and we find that we will need some assistance with the airfare and travel. Tickets will cost around $15,000. If you have the capacity to assist with this request, please click on the give tab and enter these details: Matthews – Australia – Furlough expenses – 0132363

Link: GIVE to the Matthews airfare

A fun furlough note: Australian Rules Football season has started in Sydney, we are looking forward to it all. Joshua will be playing for the Kellyville Magpies. When we are back in Des Moines, Josh may get a go with the Des Moines Roosters. Did you even know you had an AFL club in DSM? Go support our friend Tyler and the Roosters!

Thank you for all you do for our family. We look forward to seeing many of you this year. Please keep praying for the ministries in Sydney, Australia and Southeast Asia.

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua & Caroline

PS – For those pedantic folk, we live in Australia and our spelling is in the Australian tradition. Thank you for the editorial comments. 

3 days in Bangkok – The gravel & more questions: Urban Ministry Chronicles Vol 1, Chapter 5

The Urban Missions Summit was an amazing opportunity and I look forward to what the Lord will do with the weeks work. Thank you for your prayers and support of this visionary event. 

When asked to be part of this event, I asked one of the attendees if we are ready to be part of the foundation for the future of our mission going forward. After the meeting I feel like we are part of the gravel that is laid down before the foundation. We have much to do, but I think we are going in the right direction.

The result was to develop specifics for our existing ABWE teams and our American constituency through partnering, recruiting, educating and networking.

Preliminary steps would be:

1. To designate recruiters in the USA

2. To explore the potential for vision trips in the cities of Asia, especially for pastors

3. To supply stories of urban ministry in Asia for publications

There were some answers, but there were many more questions that will need answering.

The reps came from Cambodia, the Philippians, India, China, Thailand, Nepal, the US, Hong Kong and Australia for the Urban Missions Summit. There were networks developed, visions communicated and action steps considered. It was a great meeting and exciting list of possibilities for missions in the future. The meetings were in a room in downtown Bangkok. The time together was not secret, but the value and meaning to each of the attendees will be seen in the future.

The big question remains to be seen. Will ABWE, missionaries, churches, pastors and ministry partners see the opportunities in two key areas?

The first area for consideration is Asia (Australia is part of this area). The growth, finances and influence look to be moving this direction in the world. Do people see the need for reaching the vast people groups of this area of the world for Christ?

The second area of consideration is the cities. The growth, finances and influence for the various countries represented at the Summit are in the cities. Will ABWE and other missions consider this shift? Time will tell if this message catches on.

Many questions went unanswered:

  1. Will our communications and publications print material about the cities of Asia?
  2. Will funding from ABWE and our churches be considered for the cities of Asia?
  3. Will future missionaries begin to consider bi-vocational missions as an option to get the fields quicker? Also, will churches be willing to look at the cities and not just the ‘bush’ as viable mission consideration?
  4. Will organisations be willing to source missionaries from other areas of the world besides North America?
  5. Would missionaries look more to partnerships opposed to pioneer missions?

These are many of the questions that came from the summit. I do not think I can answer them now. I think the proof will be based on the fruit. Have the seeds of Urban Missions in Asia landed on rocky or good soil?

My opinion: I think the future of missions will continue to grow in the cities. Asia is the area of the world that the world is focussed on in politics, finances and missions. The big question of my skeptical Australian heart is… anyone is listening?

We will see… Keep praying

The adventure continues…

Urban Australian Missionary – Russell Matthews