Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13
team australia- The first part of 2007 has brought exciting opportunities and new challenges for our life in Australia. We hope that our monthly updates, through our website, have been able to keep you informed of all the Lord is doing in the land Down Under. This is our bi-annual update of the details of our ministry, which will include our financial information.
- homebuilders â€“ We have been privileged to start a new home group at Cornerstone Baptist this year. The growth of the church meant we needed to look to a new home group for mid-week Bible studies. We started the â€˜Homebuildersâ€™ group that will primarily have an outreach to young families and married couples. It has been great to build relationships with the current six couples; we ask your prayers for each of the couples and the potential for new families in the next year.
- introducing God â€“ I have been running an iGod on Thursday nights in the city. The team has had increased interest in the course and many non-Christians coming to hear more about the God of the Bible. It is a pretty labor intensive course, but in establishing an environment for the non-Christians to come has made it worth the effort. We have between 30 -45 people attend each week.
- holiday Bible club â€“ We have a youth group from the US coming in July to work with our HBC at Madang Public School. (Yes, we are able to do a HBC in a public school!) Please be praying for Matt Borst, Lisa Behrends and the youth team that will be coming.
- preaching â€“ I have been regularly preaching in the evenings at Cornerstone Baptist Church, working through Acts. It has been challenging and motivating to see the missionary journeys, growth and persecution of the first century church. We are looking forward to the opportunity of starting a church in the future in Sydney.
- jason parmerlee â€“ What a blessing this man has been to us this year. Jason has taken on some big tasks this year and it has been great for the churches and for our family. He is teaching scripture in the public schools, running the youth group at Cornerstone Baptist, helping me with the Introducing God course in the city and strives to find other ways to serve the team in Sydney. He has only been here four months, but we are grateful for his servantâ€™s heart.
- melbourne â€“ The family was able to get away for a long weekend to Melbourne. It was a long drive, but it is a beautiful city. We stayed at a caravan park and thoroughly enjoyed the city. We visited Tim Loftisâ€™ church, Suburban Baptist and had a nice day with their family. We, also, had the opportunity to learn all about Ned Kelly, the notorious bank robber. Read up on him, if you are coming to Oz. Fascinating history. Â
- youth group â€“ The girls are apart of the youth group this year. Wow! Thirteen years old. They love it. Making friends. They went to a big youth conference; KYCK in April. It was great to be apart of the ministry and see the youth group growing as a team. The youth group will be apart of the HBC in July.
- scouts â€“ Josh is looking to join the Scouts. He had a great time the other night at his fist meeting. He even was pretty good at cricket!
- talking- Caroline is talking up a storm, still a bit of babbling, but she is not short of words. She is the center of all conversations at church. Caroline likes to get around to all of the families, but seems to like spending a good portion of her time with the Young Adult Men, hmmmâ€¦.Â Â Â Pray for us!
Thank you for your faithful support. We committed last year to only do a financial update twice a year. Please contact with any questions.
- exchange rate â€“ The exchange rate is the highest is has been 17 years. We have made the necessary adjustments to our budget. We are not leaving beyond our means, but if the dollar increases by more than five more cents on the dollar, we will need to move. We understand that is a part of the ministry, but we hope not to have to move until we know the area we desire to do a future church plant. Please pray for the needed adjustments to occur.
- international cost index â€“ Due to the strength of the Australian economy and the weakness of the American dollar we have seen an increase in our support needs. The ICI and the Australian field council determine the increase in our support requirements. Sydney was just ranked internationally, as the fifth most expensive place to live in the world. This is due to lack of building, strength in the dollar and increase in the Australian stock market. We did come to the field over-supported and increases in support from churches in 2006 had our support level at over 100%, but due to steady increase in support needs we are currently under-supported by 10% or $600 per month. Â We are making a request to all who have considered supporting our ministry, but currently do not or anyone who would be willing to increase their monthly support of our ministry. (Based on our number of current supporters, that would beÂ approximately $13 per supporter) Thanks for your prayerful consideration of our needed support.
Thanks Thank you for your support and prayers. This update was longer, but we wanted to keep you informed about the current year. PleaseÂ pray for the needs presented in this letter. Know we are praying for you, also.
The adventure continues...
The Matthews Family (Russ, Cathy, Rebecca, Hope, Jushua and Caroline) If you are not a current subscriber to our monthly updates, we encourage you to go to our website www.matthewsdownunder.com and click onto the RSS link. We update our information on our website monthly and you can get them automatically through this link.