Less than a week … hope to see you before we fly out

This will be our last furlough update, the next update will be from Australia. In less than a week and we will flying home. We have had a great time with our supporters, friends & family at the Australian BBQ on the 27th (good turn out, especially with all of the play-off games going on in Iowa) and at First Family Church on Sunday. In the mean time we will be assisting with other events and packing to go.

The last opportunity for us to see many of you will be at Saylorville Baptist Church on Sunday, 31 October during the am & pm services, for details go to www.saylorvillebaptist.com.

Thanks for all who have asked to get together with us. We would encourage any of you to come to Saylorville for some time with our family. If we are unable to see you during this time in the US, we will look forward to seeing you on our next furlough in four years.

Projects to work on & prayer requests:

- Speaking at a youth event (Mt. Pleasant @ Calvary Baptist – 30 October)

-Funds for 2 new laptop computers  - Our computers need an upgrade to keep up with the demand of the city ministry (Approx. cost :$800 -1000 per computer)

- Assistance with shipping of 2 donated, rebuilt desk top computers for city ministry ($350/computer – we have a portion of this raised) We cannot ship them with our luggage on the plane with us due to the x-ray systems.

- Funds for 1 new laptop & 1 new desktop for family needs – Ours are in need of replacing at home

- Funds for a small vehicle to assist in travel needs for future ministry. (ex. Toyota Corrolla) Have you ever thought of donating your current vehicle for ministry needs?

-Direction and funding with church plant in Sydney; we have the opportunity for new church plants in 2011 – Our goal is to raise $5000 or more for this fund.

That is it for now. Thank you for your prayers and support. We hope to see you at the churches.

If you will not see us at the churches, here is how you can support us monthly, increase your support or with a one time gift.

It is easy as 1-2-3

1. Go to www.abwe.org and click on the GIVE tab (It is in the upper right corner in an orange box)
2. Put in our name and the amount & follow the instructions
3. Our account number is 0132363

Thanks for the questions and the support.

The adventure continues…
Russ, Cathy, Rebecca, Hope , Joshua & Caroline

Thanks for the prayers

We wanted to send you a quick update and thanks for the prayers:

1) Hope received her passport today. Looks like we get to take her with us to Australia. :)

2) We had a generous church member from one of our supporting churches write a cheque for a new laptop for the city ministry. Just two more computers to go!

Thanks to all who are praying for us and we will keep you up to date on the next two weeks here in the US.

The adventure continues…
Russ Matthews

Prayer request – Hope’s passport

We received all of the kids US passports in the post yesterday, except for Hope’s. The photographer had not told us that she could not have anything in her hair. So, we had to get a new picture taken and sent her application back to her express post. Pray her passport gets back before we plan to fly out on 4 November.

Thanks for your prayers and support.

Clarification on computers & shipping

During our time in churches on Sunday, we had a question and I think we need to clarify on the the computers and shipping.

In previous correspondence, we requested computers for the city ministry. We had a generous individual donate 2-3 rebuilt computers to the city ministry and we are currently looking for someone to assist with the shipping of two more computers. We are thankful for the donation from one of our supporters for the shipping of one of the computers.

For the other needed desk top and laptop computers (personal & ministry related), we would prefer to purchase the computers in Australia. We are grateful for purchases made in the US, but the shipping costs can be costly. If you would like to donate funds for those specific needs, please contact us through our website.

Thank you for the question on the computer requests and I hope this helps people to understand the process.

Cheers,
Russ & Cathy

One more computer

One day after we posted our needs for the ministry, we had someone donate a laptop to the city ministry! Thank you for the computer and for the prayers.

We are praying for someone to assist with the shipping costs for the desktop computers that were donated. Could it be you?

The adventure continues in the US, help us to get home to OZ…
Russ & Cathy

Answered prayer but need some shipping assistance needed

One of our prayer requests was for the provision of computers in the city ministry.

We had an exciting offer from one of our supporting churches. One of their members is willing to donate  rebuilt computers to the city ministry. The only thing that we need assistance with is shipping costs. We just wanted to ask if anyone would be willing to help with the shipping of the computers or knows of shipping opportunities at a low cost.

We hope you are encouraged by answered prayers! Glory to God and we are so thankful for your continued prayers and support.

Russ, Cathy, Rebecca, Hope, Joshua & Caroline

First Furlough… what an experience

Our First Furlough… What an experience… Thanks for you prayers for our first furlough. It has been quite an exciting, busy, and exhausting blessing to serve. We are at a different church each weekend and then meeting with friends, supporters & pastors during the week. It is a great time of sharing about four of our favourite things: Jesus, the Bible, Australia and our family. It is fun, but quite tiring. Our health has been up and down, but I think we are adjusting our schedule to get rest in this process.

Answering the Consistent Questions: We thought we would answer some of the questions from the church meetings.

“Why the short furlough?” Due to planning purposes for the various ministries in November and the desire to get back to the field we chose to a shorter furlough. It is difficult to be away from the work for such a long time. We are enjoying the time in the US, but we hoping to get home to Australia soon. When we came from Australia we had full support, but while at ABWE we needed to make some adjustments in our support levels and we are praying and working hard to meet those requirements. (Details below)

Caroline-ism: We were driving back from the church last week and Caroline said, “We do a pretty good American accent, don’t we.” Hope replied,”Honey, we are American.” “Oh, I thought we were Australian.” “Well, we are both, but we have an American accent.” Pray she can get her mind around that one.

Can we ask for you prayers for safety in our travels and discernment on where we can go for new support options?

Praises:

1) The calendar is filling up quickly with small groups, youth groups, friends, family and our supporting churches. We are still available for some groups and churches during the week, but time is going quickly. Thanks to all who have asked us to come.

2) Good connections with our neighbours and new people in the churches. Please continue to pray for  opportunities to share the good news of Christ in the US.

3) Our friend Andrew will be here soon. Pray for his safe arrival.

We have had for some specifics on our prayer requests:

-$275 monthly increase for support – This is due to a change in our schooling situation for 2011 and some adjustments in support from specific churches.

-4 new laptop computers & 2 new desk top computers for city ministry – Our computers need an upgrade to keep up with the demand of the city ministry

-1 new laptop & 1 new desktop for family needs – Ours are in need of replacing at home

-Direction and funding with church plant in Sydney; we have the opportunity for new church plants in 2011 – Our goal is to raise $5000 for this fund.

- One family or an individual who would be willing to come and serve in ministry in Australia. We would like people to consider working in the City ministry & church planting effort. Our suggestion would be to consider a short term trip, then look towards a long term commitment.

-Funds for furlough

-We would like to purchase a small vehicle to assist in travel needs for future ministry. (ex. Toyota Corrolla)

That is it for now, but there will be more to come. Thank you for your prayers and support.

The adventure continues…
Russ, Cathy, Rebecca, Hope , Joshua & Caroline

Internet Blackout is over – We are in our ‘home away from home’

We apologise for the length of time it has taken for us to send out an update. We have just been able to get the Internet working in our home in the US. I will send more detail soon, but for those who have been following our furlough, here are some of the details.

Praises:

1) We are living in Des Moines at a wonderful home provided by Grace Church. Thank you to the harvest team, our family and friends for all of the work in helping us to get settled.

2) Saylorville Baptist Church has provided a van for our travel. We have the church van and are currently waiting on the vote from the church to purchase a mini-van.

3) We have had three great experiences at churches. Two of them were supporting churches and it was great getting to re-connected with them. We will be on the road to Louisburg, KS this weekend.

4) Great time at ABWE Missionary Enrichment Conference. I had the opportunity to share the CBF ministry with all of the attendees at one of the events. Thanks to Kent Craig, George Collins, Amy Wheaton and Dr. Loftis for the experience.

5) The calendar is filling up quickly with small groups, youth groups, friends, family and our supporting churches. We are still available for some groups and churches during the week, but time is going quickly. Thanks to all who have asked us to come.

Key pray requests:
-Safety in travels during the furlough

-Opportunities to share the good news of Christ in the US

-$220 monthly increase for support

-4 laptop computers & 2 desk top computers for city ministry; 1 laptop & 1 desktop for family needs

-Direction and funding with church plant in Sydney

- One family or two individuals who would be willing to come and serve in Australia

-Funds for furlough and seed funds for ministry needs in Australia

-Funds for Ministry vehicle in Sydney for next term

That is it for now, but there will be more to come. Thank you for your prayers and support.

The adventure continues…
Russ, Cathy, Rebecca, Hope , Joshua & Caroline

Flying out tomorrow- hope to see you soon

We fly out tomorrow, 15 July. We could use your prayers for the long flights from Australia to the US and LA to Baltimore. Pray all of the family will do well in this wild flying experience. We are grateful for some great friends in LA who will be there to greet us on the West Coast. We will be driving to ABWE & churches on the East Coast then traveling across the US to the Heartland, Iowa. Also, three of the kids are not feeling well. Please pray for their health and comfort in flying.

Praises:

A good house-sitter and friends who are helping us out with travel to the airport.

Continued opportunities to talk with people about Jesus. Even during all of the packing and errands, we had a great time to discuss Jesus with a young lady yesterday. Pray for her and her family.

Prayer requests:

Van: A van while we are in Iowa (13 August – 5 November) We have to turn our rental in on arrival from the East Coast.

Funds for our travels across US:
Four of us will be on the road from 10-13 August. Funds can be sent to ABWE  marked ‘furlough’. Furlough has cost quite a bit more than we planned. Any help in this area would be appreciated.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. We look forward to seeing how the Lord will provide for these requests and seeing our friends & family in the US.

The adventure continues…
Russ & Cathy Matthews

Just a week away: Quick praise and prayer request for furlough

Thanks for your patience with all of the updates, but it is easier to answer many of your questions via the website. We have received many answers to prayers and we do have a couple of requests.

Praises:
We had a generous gift given to the girls for their special request. Thank you!

Our passports all arrived. We are officially dual citizens. (Funny, the accent did not come in the envelope, all that money and no Aussie accent.)

Prayer requests:

Van:  A van while we are in Iowa (13 August – 5 November) We have to turn our rental in on arrival from the East Coast.

Funds for our travels across US:
Four of us will be on the road from 10-13 August. Funds can be sent to ABWE (for tax benefits) marked ‘furlough’.

Traveling mercies:
We will be flying from Sydney to LA (15+ hours), laid over for 8 hours and then flying overnight to Baltimore. Pray all of the family will do well in this wild flying experience. We are grateful for some great friends in LA who will be there to greet us on the West Coast. We will be driving to ABWE & churches on the East Coast then traveling across the US to the Heartland, Iowa.

Cultural experience: I have been spending quite a bit of time explaining US geography this month. No one knows where Iowa is, but they know where Radar O’Riley & Capt. James T Kirk grew up. You have got to love pop culture sometimes.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. We look forward to seeing how the Lord will provide for these requests and seeing our friends & family in the US.

The adventure continues…
Russ Matthews