Christmas in July

Please pray for this upcoming evangelistic event in the city. We are hoping for 100+ people to attend and that there would be 30+ enquirers at the event.

Would you be willing to pray?

You can find everything on your Christmas list…. in July!

Fun, food & drink, live music, gift giving, and Sam Chan giving a talk on What does Hollywood teach us about Christmas?

Pray that many will come along to enjoy a great evening of fun, food, music and a good speaker.

Thursday, July 16;  6:30-8pm

Location: Hotel CBD, 4th floor; 75 King Street

Speaker: Sam Chan
He has previously lectured at a theological college, and now works part-time as a doctor. He is also a conference speaker, ethicist, ex-rugby player (Sydney Uni 5ths!), and his PhD in theology.

Special musical guest: Jake Nauta
Jake’s fun, laid back, conversational live show is delighting his ever-growing gathering of loyal fans. Selling out shows across Sydney and the Blue Mountains, his performance leaves fans feeling like they have made a new friend.

Enjoy a video of Jake Nauta

What would a Christmas be without gift giving?

Operation Christmas Child is an organisation who provides Christmas gifts to less privileged children around the world.

At the Christmas in July event, we will have some fun and raise some funds to help making Christmas special for children around the world.

Please pray for the Christmas in July event!

How can people register?

What is Christmas in July? We did a bit of research and here is the answer!

Thanks,

The Matthews

 

How is the family going?

Culture lesson: Greeting in the US – How are you doing? Same greeting in Australia – How are you going, mate? 

So, how is the Matthews family going? Overall, pretty good.

Some of our supporters have asked for an update on our family. In this world of Facebook and Instagram, it can feel a bit redundant, but it is important to realise that there are people behind the ministry work. Five out the six of us have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, if you want those details, check them out.

Our website can tend to focus on ministry opportunities, but here is a bit about the family. This update will be about the kiddos… I will let Cathy do an update on her life in Cathy’s Corner soon.

Back Home – We have been back in Australia for six months and we do feel like we are back home. It took some time getting back into the work of the ministries and life in Oz, but we are feeling like we are finally getting our feet.

Hope and Becca - Busy at work as full-time early childhood teachers. They work in Richmond and experience the daily grind of working with children. It is rewarding, but exhausting. It is hard not to brag, but Cathy and I are so proud of who they have become as young women. They are both in relationships with nice, Christian young men. (Go to their FB sites and you can fill in the blanks). They go to church with us and attend Multi-cultural Bible Ministries (MBM) church in the evening. They live the active life of young adults and we do not see them as much as we would like, but it is exciting to see who they are becoming. Please pray for them and that the Lord will use Hope and Becca for His glory.

Joshua - Coming to the end of year 11 and the intense part of high school called year 12 and the HSC (High School Certificate). It is a whole new level of expectation put on an exam that determines placement in University. In amongst the busyness of school, assessments and exams, he is loving playing for the East Coast Eagles – Australian Football team. Also, he goes to weekly youth group and finds time to play a bit of XBOX. He had a wonderful opportunity to go on a special excursion to the US. It was a wonderful experience for him and for our family in the US. (Go to his FB site and you can fill in the blanks). He recently received the Long Tan Youth Leadership award from his school. Thankful for the young man that he is becoming, please pray for him and that the Lord will use Joshua for His glory.

Caroline – How many children do you know that are upset when school holidays arrive? Caroline loves school, challenging herself and learning more about most things in life. She loves to read, play her violin and piano, do any craft project and spending time with her friends and family. She loves to ask questions of everyone she gets to know and soak up what she learns. Pray for her that she will continue to grow in her love for knowledge and the Lord. As with all of our children, she brings a beautiful spark and enjoyable component to our family.

Thank you for your prayers for our family. We are grateful for your involvement in our lives.

The adventure continues…

The Matthews

 Ministry websites:

City Bible Forum, Sydney

Rouse Hill Bible Church

Russelling Reviews

Do you pray? If you do, THANK YOU! – Life, reviews and good-bye to a good friend

We are moving into autumn in Sydney. We are into the second term of school and the new series at City Bible Forum. The weather is changing and the opportunities for a multitude of evangelistic events are open to us. 

Do you pray? Seems like s silly question for many, but do you really pray for others? Honestly, it is something that is a conscience effort and easier said than done. We can get so caught up in our lives and needs, if we do pray the words tend to be for our own personal needs. It seems like a simple request to ask for prayer, but we understand that it takes quite a bit to take something from theory to practice. So, THANK YOU!

Thank you to those who take the time to pray for us. It is a bigger request than many may realise. So, THANK YOU for your prayers.

Here are some of the latest prayer points and events in Sydney:

Ask Dr. Sam about life, God and surgery?

Beginning in May,  Dr. Sam Chan will be giving talk about four of life’s biggest questions. Am I somebody to someone? Am I making a difference? Am I having fun? Will I be remembered? 

Pray that many would come along for this series. Sam will be talking on how we know our lives are valuable, appreciated and worthwhile.

Also, each week at The Forum, we finish each talk with a Q&A time. Many have asked to extend that time with our speakers. On Thursdays, 21 & 28 May, we will meet those requests with an extended Q&A session with Dr Sam Chan.

Anyone is welcome to come along and ask questions about God and life, yes… even surgery. (Once you read his bio, you will understand why!)

Dr Sam Chan  is a “double doctor” - a medical doctor with a PhD in theology – who speaks on life, meaning and faith. He is hopeless at dancing, rugby and karaoke – but he does know the words to American Pie (or maybe just the chorus).

Russelling Reviews: Can we see God in film? 

Over the past few years, Russ has had the opportunity to work on his evangelistic work within the film industry. Through various evangelistic events, he has been able to work with industry professionals to see more Christians having a voice within this community. It has been a fascinating and stretching journey, but the Lord has opened amazing doors to His work in this area. One component of this work is writing articles and reviews on film. Through good mentorship, he has been able to be published in Insights magazine and currently has a blog called Russelling Reviews. The intention of these reviews is to incorporate his love of film and point people to see how we can find God within the storyline of these films.

It has led to coordination of evangelistic events that combine film and the Gospel. Please pray for these events and for all who do not know the Lord who come along. For many, this is the first introduction to the Gospel.

 Celebration of the life of  a good friend 

Pastor John Colyer of Ankeny Free Church went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 18, 2015 while doing missionary work in Lusaka, Zambia. Ankeny Free Church is a vibrant church that has been exciting ministry partner over the years. Even though John would be too humble to admit it, The Lord has worked in mighty ways through him and the church, but please know that he was more than a supporter of our mission work. He was a good friend and we will miss him greatly, for now. John was instrumental in helping our family get to the mission field and was always willing to give of his time and wisdom.  We praise the Lord for the opportunity to have known John Colyer in this life, for all he did for us and we are thankful that we will see him again. Please pray for the church and his family during this time of grief, celebration and transition.

Thank you for your prayers. Enjoy the update, read the reviews and keep serving the Lord.

Cheers,

The Matthews

 

Creation and The Age of Adaline

We would appreciate your prayers for some of the upcoming events in Sydney:

Russ will be speaking on the purpose of creation at Rouse Hill Bible Church. We will be travelling through Psalm 104, we will look at the majesty of creation, but try to find the purpose of it all.

Pray as we engage on this massive topic of God’s creation and its purpose.

Details on rousehillchurch.org

The Forum goes to the Flicks: The Age of Adaline

City Bible Forum will be hosting an engaging evening of film and discussion with some of the industry’s commentators. After the film, Ben McEachen (Empire Magazine, Open House) and Renee Brack (Writer and industry professional) will discuss the film and what it says about life and eternity.

Please pray for the evangelistic opportunities from this event.

Details on citybibleforum.org/sydney

Praising the Lord for a wonderful weekend with Dr. Mark Harwood

Why won’t they listen? Have you wondered why your witnessing falls flat and people fail to respond? Many comment that science has disproved the Bible and therefore it is not relevant to today’s modern world. But what’s the answer? Can the majority of scientists really be wrong?Dr Mark Harwood delivered a powerful message ‘Going Where the Evidence Leads’ on Sunday 22 March.

The conversations about creation were wonderful and challenging for our church family.

Details on rousehillchurch.org

Adjustments of post-furlough

It has been great getting home, but the realities of the life of ministry have set in. There are many different things that we are excited to participate, but now is the time to determine what is the right things for us to put our efforts. Pray that we continue to follow the Lord’s direction for all things.

We are grateful for your prayers and support.

The Matthews family

 

Life lessons from cross-country

1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

I look back fondly on my years of high school and university cross-country. There were good days and bad days, but these lessons still impact my life today. Also, being a Christian, I have come to appreciate how running has provided life-lessons and a multitude of sermon analogies.

Top 10 lessons from cross-country

  1. Run despite the weather
  2. You can talk and run at the same time
  3. Value rest
  4. Never run injured
  5. Hills are better than the flat
  6. Stay hydrated
  7. Good shoes make the difference
  8. A bad day running is better than not running at all
  9. Knowing your limits, but pushing ahead anyway
  10. We run individually, but we finish as a team

My daughter asked me the other day, why 1 Corinthians 9:24 is my favourite verse?

I love to run. I have been running for over 30 years. It has provided many great experiences in life and I have been privileged to run in countries all around the world. Just give me a good pair of running shoes, a course to run and I will go see the world. Running through the city streets and the countryside, the runner’s perspective of things is an amazing experience. Seeing the sites, experiencing the smells and being amongst the people, regardless of the language and culture barriers, running allows unique access to the world.

The Apostle Paul used a multitude of sporting analogies to share about the work that he was doing sharing the Gospel throughout the world. I do not think he was a runner, but he shared a similar mindset that helped with his rigorous efforts and single minded focus for the spread of God’s message. In the words of 1 Corinthians, Paul was not condoning a work based faith, but the willingness to do all that he could with the life that was given to him for the sake of serving God. To the end of his life, or the metaphoric race, he would serve the Lord with all that he had been given.

I cherish the opportunity to run and the many lessons I have learned. But even more, I cherish the grace and mercy  given to me by God. I hope I can utilise the life I have been given to finish the race well and serve Him throughout my life.

Thanks goes out to Coach Chuck Knutsen, the Apostle Paul and Jesus for these lessons.

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

Written by Russell Matthews @ Matthews Down Under

The four keys to happiness, ministries and school begins

We are rolling into the new year with The Forum, Bible studies at Rouse Hill Bible Church, scripture classes, Bible Study Fellowship and school beginning.

Please be praying for all of these items for us.  If you would like to find out more about each of these events, click on the links.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

The adventure continues,

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Joshua and Caroline

The Forum

 

The four keys to happiness with Dr Sam Chan

 

 

 

 

Rouse Hill Bible Church

 

 

Home again

Thank you for all of your prayers and support over furlough. We are back home in Sydney. We are looking forward to 2015.

Please pray for the planning for the ministries of the coming year.

City Bible Forum, Rouse Hill Bible Church, scripture classes and Bible Study Fellowship

Unbroken on the radio 

Hope you can stay up to listen to 2CH 1170AM’s Sunday Night program next Sunday night, 11 January

Dominic Steele interviews City Bible Forum’s film reviewer Russ Matthews about faith in the new film release, Unbroken

You can listen on-line or on that thing called a radio: 2CH

Russelling Reviews on the film Unbroken

Missions Vehicle

Thanks for your prayers and support for our missions vehicle. We are thrilled to announce that we received the funds for our vehicle.

 

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline

Thank you for a wonderful furlough experience

Goodonya, mates

We are coming into the final week in the US. It has been a busy, but a great experience. The churches have been wonderful and we are grateful for all who were willing to talk with us about the Lord’s work in Australia. We hope we were able to see you.  We have tried to get up with as many friends, family and supporters as the time would allow. Please forgive us if we missed seeing you during this trip.

Thank you for your support and prayers.

We will be at Saylorville Church for our final Sunday in Iowa.

Funds for ministry vehicle

As we conclude the US trip, one of the key fundraising components is to replace our current missions vehicle. Our current van is a 2003 Toyota Tarago with 320km on the metre. We merely what to replace that vehicle with a similar vehicle. We would need to raise approximately $20,000 for the vehicle.

We have received funds for the vehicle, but still need more torch our goal. If you have the capacity to contribute to this project, we would appreciate the support.

Van Donation link: Enter in these details: Matthews ministry vehicle, Account: 0132363

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season. Keep living for the Lord and thank you for your support and prayers.

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, hope, Joshua and Caroline

Living for Jesus links, the van and debunking the rest myth

It happened again this past Sunday, someone asked the question, “Are you getting some rest during your furlough?”

Our friends in Australia may think we are on an extended holiday. Our friends in the US may think we are just resting up for the next few years in overseas ministry. We just wanted to debunk one of the myths of the missionary lifestyle: Furlough is not a time for rest or holiday.

We came to the US to reconnect with supporters and family, share the needs of the ministry and thank those that support the work in Australia. Rest and relaxation are not the priority for this time in the US. We have enjoyed times with friends and family, but rest is not the primary emphasis for this trip. The misconception is completely understandable, due to the historical application of furlough. We wanted to clarify  that our goal is work hard and finish well as we get closer to going home to Australia.

Just to give you a bit of perspective, here are some of the numbers during the last few months: 12 church presentations (Most Sundays we travel to different churches and the day involves 2-3 presentations), we were involved in 2 missions conferences, 29 dinners (Supporters or sharing about the ministry), 3 youth events, a three week Living for Jesus course, supporters road trips to South Dakota and Kansas City, and a multitude of one-to-one meetings (Thankfully most of these involved coffee!). This is not a point of pride, but a way to communicate that furlough is not meant to be a time for rest.

Our only regret would be not being able to see more people during our time in the US, but our time here is coming to an end. We have been blessed by our time here and we are thankful for your prayers and all who took the time to connect with us. Thank you to the churches, pastors and supporters that have opened their doors to our family. It has been a privilege to share what the Lord is doing in Australia.

Thankfully, furlough was not meant to be a time for rest, but a time to celebrate what the Lord has been doing around the world.

Living for Jesus links

The Living for Jesus course at Ankeny Free Church was a one of the highlights of this trip.

Some were not able to come along on the night. Here are the links to the talks. If you are interested in the worksheets, email me.

Week 1 – Remarkable Integrity: Lives worth questioning, answers worth hearing

Week 2 – An Eye for the Harvest: Workplace as a Mission Field

Week 3 – Speaking of God’s Mercy: Talking about Jesus at Work

Thank you to Pastor Colyer and the team at AFC for supporting this course and I pray the Lord uses it to reach more people for Christ.

Funds for ministry vehicle

As we conclude the US trip, one of the key fundraising components is to replace our current missions vehicle. Our current van is a 2003 Toyota Tarago with 320km on the metre. We merely what to replace that vehicle with a similar vehicle. We would need to raise approximately $20,000 for the vehicle.

If you have the capacity to contribute to this project, we would appreciate the support.

Van Donation link: Enter in these details: Matthews ministry vehicle, Account: 0132363

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season. Keep living for the Lord and thank you for your support and prayers.

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, hope, Joshua and Caroline

Matthews Down Under Iowa tour – Cold, home sick, but warm welcomes

We will admit it, we have become a bit soft when it comes to the cold.

It is cold in Iowa. Most mornings have been well below freezing and snow has already arrived. This is a thrill for Caroline, since it is the first time she has experienced snow. But, even she admits going out into the cold has been quite an adjustment and makes us yearn for Sydney. Our time in Iowa and the US here has been great, but the cold is quite an adjustment. Yet, Iowa is still an amazing place to be during this time of year. There is a beauty to the countryside and the people.

We are in the last few weeks of our time with our supporters and family in Iowa. All of the churches have been welcoming  and we have been encouraged by the growth of many of the churches. We have enjoyed many dinners and times of prayer with supporters. These experiences have been humbling and invigorating. People have been receptive and excited about the various ministries at City Bible Forum and Rouse Hill Bible Church. Thank you to all of the churches and supporters for the warm welcomes in the cold winter months.

Please pray that we would finish our time in Iowa well, enjoy the celebration with friends and family during the Christmas holidays and celebrate with us as we look forward to getting home to serve in Sydney soon. Our schedule is pretty full until our departure for Sydney, but we hope to see more people before we leave.

Living for Jesus

The Living for Jesus course at Ankeny Free Church has been such a blessing. Over the last few weeks we have had a full room of people discussing the workplace as a mission field and how to share their faith with their work colleagues. We finish this coming week. Pray the Lord bless and people take the information on board and God is glorified through the work of Living for Jesus.

The course has been recorded and if anyone would like the notes and links, please contact me in the coming weeks.

Thank you to Pastor Colyer and the team at AFC. I has been a privilege to serve with you this month.

Funds for ministry vehicle

A specific project we are working on is replacing our current ministry vehicle. If you have the capacity to contribute to this project, we would appreciate the support. Our current van is a 2003 Toyota Tarago with 320km on the metre. We merely what to replace that vehicle with a similar vehicle. We need to raise $20K for this project.

Van Donation link: Enter in these details: Matthews ministry vehicle, Account: 0132363

City Bible Forum : ABWE project

With the ministry in Australia, we are taking the Good News to where people spend most of their time: the workplace. By teaming up with the urban evangelism organisation City Bible Forum, The team is sharing Christ inside businesses and training Christians to reach their unsaved coworkers with the gospel.

You can help us do more. Nearly $10,000 is needed to facilitate the final two 2014 series of The Forum, a bi-weekly public lunchtime discussion that welcomes seekers, questioners, and believers to learn more about the Bible inside their workplace. Your donation will help cover the cost of renting venue space and audio/visual equipment, along with paying for speaker fees and promotional materials.

Will you help us reach more Australians where they live?

If mailing a check: Please make it out to ABWE Foundation and include Urban Ministry-City Bible Forum L1410 in the memo line.

Thank you for all you do for our family and please pray for the opportunities in the US over the next few weeks.

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline

 

* Just a friendly reminder: We do serve in Sydney and our spelling is based on Australian spelling. Thank you for reminders about our spelling, but we hope you understand that we live in a different country.