Questions about furlough

“ I just jumped on the train after leaving Circular Quay, the home of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We completed the City Bible Forum today where close to 100 people came to hear from Ian Powell on ‘Jesus – Mad or Majestic? I am the Bread of Life.’ We have a swim carnival this afternoon and we were preparing for an evangelistic weekend away with the City Bible Forum group.” – Russ

This was just in one day, how do we begin to communicate all the Lord has brought into our lives in four years? It is a challenge, but a challenge we look forward to sharing with you. We are coming to a church near you. As it gets closer, we have been getting more questions. Here are areas where you can pray or assist us with in the process of furlough.

Will you be doing school? – Cathy and the kids have been asked if they look forward to having a holiday from school for the months we are in the US. We will have a few weeks of travel where the family will not be able to do school work, but once we are in Iowa, school begins again. The kids will work on school through a distance education programme at Australian Christian College.

Do you have a full schedule? – We have been fortunate to coordinate a time to spend with all of our current supporting churches. Also, all of our individual supporters and church families are welcome to come to our Matthews Family BBQ on 27 October @ Saylorville Baptist Church. During our church visits and at the BBQ we will be presenting our ministries and the opportunities of sharing about our Saviour, Jesus Christ, in Australia. We will be in a different church every weekend and our schedule is very full now. I appreciate all who have responded to or have requested assist with different ministry opportunities in the US. We do love sharing about what the Lord is doing in Sydney and in our lives. Our schedule is filling quite quickly.  I would encourage anyone who would like for us to come to any events or groups while we are in the US to email us prior to 15 July.

How are you doing for funds? Based on the projected budget, this furlough will cost approximately $25000. The costs: plane tickets, petrol, a van for travel, prayer cards, rent for housing in the US and maintaining our home in Australia, phone, etc. The airplane tickets and accomodations in Maryland and Iowa are taken care of in the US for furlough, but we could use some assistance with the travel funds. Anyone that is willing to assist us in this area, please contact us at matthewsdownunder@bigpond.com. We can direct you to where to send the funds. Thank you for this assistance.

How are you getting around? We are blessed to have a van for the time we are on the East Coast, but we are still looking for support for a van for our travel from the East Coast to Iowa and for the time we are in Iowa. Does anyone have any contacts or access to a van we could utilise during this time? Please send any information to the email address above.

Thanks for the questions. We look forward to seeing you soon.

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua, & Caroline

Citizenship application

We wanted to update you all with our application process. We have officially applied for citizenship to Australia. We have to take a test and have an interview on 18 March. Please pray that all would go well with this process and that it will be processed prior to our leaving for furlough in July.

Answer a few inquiries:

Why would you apply for citizenship?

Great question, one minor benefit is ease of travel and other minor benefits. The key reason would be show our commitment to the people we work with and are reaching for Christ to the ministry of serving in Australia.

Why now and not when you arrived?

We have to wait for four years of residing in Australia to be able to apply. So, it does add a bit of stress onto the year, but it is worth the effort.

You have to take a test?

Yes, it is newly introduced. It is a means of learning some of the history and details of Australia. It is not too hard, but it is a test.

Please pray for the process to go smoothly and we would love to show you our Australian passports when we come back to the US.

The adventure continues…

Russ & Cathy Matthews

Heart check up for Caroline

Caroline had her four year checkup and immunizations a few weeks ago and our doctor noticed a slight heart murmur.  We were aware of this since she was born, but it had never been anything enough to draw concern in the past. Still our doctor wanted it checked, just to put it to rest. We visited a pediatric cardiologist.  She is an incredibly kind and gentle doctor who actually lived and worked in Bethesda, Maryland for several years.  After Caroline’s exam she explained that there is a some tissue growing over one end of her aortic valve that shouldn’t be there and if it continues to grow it could cause damage due to disrupting the flow of blood.  She decided the next best step is to have a second opinion, this time with another cardiologist that she said, “she’d trust her children with”. This is not life threatening, but if it was to progress could become serious.

We have that appointment on Tuesday, 9 March.  At this time, Caroline can continue life as normal, but it is something that will have to be followed up. We are thankful for the country we live in and the opportunity to get this checked. We trust the Lord will use this situation for His glory. We will  keep you posted. We would appreciate your prayers for Caroline.

We appreciate your support and prayers,

Russ & Cathy



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