Happy New Year from rainy Australia

We wanted to wish you all a Happy 2011. It is raining this week in Oz. We hope to have an update about the coming year this week on key prayer points in ministry.

A taste of things to come... Panel discussions and new formats at City Bible Forum, Men's League, New school endeavours, City Bible Forum Afterwork , Nehemiah Series at church & more.

New Newsletter Format:

We will be trying out some new methods of formatting our Matthewsdownunder updates. We will be sharing our current ministries, future events, key readings and links that have impacted us throughout our year.

Getting back into the 'Stream of Life'

We are finally 'getting our feet' after being back in Australia. It has taken more time to get back into all of the key ministries. After three & a half months away, we came to realise it was more of a disruption than we thought it would be, but all is good.

Canoeing on a river

They best way I can describe the post-furlough challenge is canoeing on a river. Canoeing down a river seems to be rite of passage for many in their formative years. I always look back fondly to riding quietly down the river in a canoe with a friend. It can be a good representation of your life's journey.

Your life is represented by the canoe and you are canoeing on a river. The river is all the activities of your life. In a missionaries life, furlough is pulling the canoe out of the one river and putting it down in another. Going from your normal river to the furlough river. Moving from all that has become normal and moving into familiar but different waters. The furlough river is fast, exhausting work, exciting & a bit choppy, but parallels the river of your ministry life. When furlough is complete, you pull the canoe out and put it back into the river that was your 'normal' life. Anyone who has come back to navigating a river will tell you that most things are familiar, but many things will have changed. The current, the scenery and you have to get used to the changes that moving water causes.  What you will remember about the ride will be familiar, but you have to make adjustments for the beginning of the trip that will influence the rest of the journey.

Our family, on return to Australia, is finally getting readjusted to the river that we call normal life. Putting our paddles in, getting used to the currents, realising that things are the same, but many have changed in our time away and looking ahead to an exciting ride in 2011.

Thanks for your continued prayers & support.

The new adventures continue...

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua & Caroline