For those in the frozen Tundra (The Northern US), to give you a warmer perspective on things. We are currently in the middle of the hot season here in Australia. It has been unseasonably humid, but February is generally hot every year. (30+ Celsius everyday) Also, this is the time of year when things start to ramp up in ministry opportunities. We would appreciate your prayers on many items that are on our plate at this time. It is exciting to be part of all that is going on in Sydney. 1. Start of City Bible Forum (We are on Facebook City Bible Forum, Sydney, become a fan) and great series. (Did Jesus Say That? , Journey with Jesus -A perspective from John, Ecclesiastes, Counterfeit gods,etc.) Please pray we can find a new and more accessible venue for Wednesday and Thursday. Please pray for a fruitful year of ministry. Pray for our expansion into Melbourne & Adelaide and continued growth in Perth & Brisbane.
2. Sydney Prayer Breakfast - I was asked to be on the board for a first in Sydney. I know there are many prayer breakfasts around the world, but this one is a first for Sydney. Andrew Scippione (Commissioner of the NSW police) will be our speaker. Good Christian man and a big event. More details and website to come.
3. Spiritual Leadership course- Glorious Hope Baptist will be a running a course for the next couple of months for our leaders. Based on the book by J. Oswald Saunders. I will be assisting with the running of the course. Please pray for the leaders for our church to rise up to the opportunities of our growing church.
4. Life of Jesus course and Bible reading groups - All of our new courses are beginning in the city. Pray for many non-Christians to come to these courses and for a fruitful ministry.
5. Urban Fight Club (Men's ministry) - UFC gets started next week with a good Aussie BBQ. Looking ahead to the year and how we can serve the Lord.
6. Church plants- We could use your prayers on these opportunities. I will send details soon, but I will be in discussions with some key leaders in the city for two fellowship plants in the city, Sydney. We are asking for God's wisdom in these exciting new ventures.
7. School- We are still homeschooling for this year, but we are considering putting our kids into a great school next year. Challenges are distance from where we live. Thanks for your prayers on this decision.Also, it is a new curriculum for the kids this year (School starts in January in Australia and it is year round). Pray for their adjustment to a web based learning system.
8. Caroline's health - Caroline started Kindy this year and is excited about all things. She will be going into the pediatric cardiologist for a second opinion on 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. Thanks for your prayers for Caroline.
9. Footy season begins- Josh will be playing AFL (Real football-check out the promotion on my Facebook page) again this year. pray for his adjustment and protection for the season. Also, we would be a testimony to the players and families who attend each week.
10. Hope and Becca turn 16- I think the prayers for the parents go without saying on this one. Two words - Drivers Licenses. Two more words - White hair. Actually, pray for the girls. They are amazing young ladies and have servants hearts for the Lord. Pray for them during these challenging teen years. Pray they would continue to be a witness for you and testimony of all He is doing in their lives.
Well...that was supposed to be a quick update. My apologies for the length. Please keep in touch with us through signing up for our monthly updates on our website, just enter you e-mail in the RSS feed box. Also, we are on Facebook. Sorry, Skype is not the best option to contact us.
I will finish with a story: a good friend was all excited about the year of talks in Sydney. He had brought a non-Christian friend to the talks. His friend had commented, "You all really focus on Jesus, don't you?"My friend stated, "Now he is getting it!"
All praise and honour goes to Jesus. That is what we are on about here in Australia. There is much to be done and we look forward to what he has for us in the future. We appreciate your prayers and support.
The adventure continues...
The Matthews Family