Financials

Leadership that sticks and a financial update

Welcome to 2018

We are excited about what the Lord will bring in the coming year. Thank you for all of your support and prayers in the past few years. There is a multitude of things coming through the various ministries of City Bible Forum, The Edge, Reel Dialogue, Rouse Hill Bible Church, Bible Study Fellowship and scripture classes.

Website

Keep up to date on our Facebook pages and websites for all of the upcoming events.

We are excited to announce to the new Edge website: theedge.live

Check out all of the latest details of upcoming events and videos from previous events.

What is next for The Edge? Leadership that sticks

What does leadership in the workplace look like today? What does 'leading on the edge' even mean?

Description of the topic: The way we work has changed dramatically in the past decade. More people are employed in non-traditional industries, working flexible hours and using technology to work anywhere. Expectations of leaders have become a moving target and it is hard to know how to lead and who to follow in this new era.

Speakers: Former NSW premier Mike Baird and Michelle Lim (KPMG, Westpac)

What is The Edge?

Short. Sharp. Smart. The Edge is a talk series that will live up to its name. Like TedEx, two expert speakers will address today’s topics in a short, but content-rich style. But we want to do more. After the talks, Dr. Justine Toh of the Centre for Public Christianity will allow you to interview the speakers and take them to the edge of the topic.

 Financial Update

Thank you for your continued support and prayers. It has been a blessed year for our family. In the coming year, we have a wedding, our first grandchild and the launch of new things in the various ministries.

One of the most exciting parts of these ministries is seeing people come to Christ through these works and His provision. We do our best to keep our supporters informed over the year and we are grateful for your role in these amazing evangelistic works in Australia.

One thing we committed to doing is communicating with you twice a year is our support levels. Our goal is to not focus on finances in most of our monthly communications, but we do desire to keep you up-to-date about our needs. With all of the ever-changing world economics, Australia has been affected by these ups and downs, but we have been very thankful for the continued support from all who have supported us regularly this year.

Monthly support: Due to changes in our support needs (Increases in support levels) and supporters changes in their opportunities to give, we are currently close to our 100% support level. To achieve our monthly support goal we will need to raise $310 per month for 2018.

A one-off need: We are looking to raise $5000 for the sake of supporting the work of The Edge and Reel Dialogue.

We appreciate the consideration from you or your churches when evaluating your upcoming budget discussions. You can give monthly to our ministry or give to the ministry with a one-off gift. The best way to give to our family and the ministries is through this link to ABWE.

Support: ABWE : RUSSELL W. & CATHY MATTHEWS (0132363)

Our family continues to give thanks to God for all you have done for us this year. Know we pray for our supporters regularly. Please keep in contact with us and send us any questions about our ministries or financial details.

Happy New Year and know that the adventure continues for our family.

Russ and Cathy Matthews

 

Support that will take people to The Edge

The team in Sydney is looking forward to an exceptionally busy year in 2017 with our evangelistic endeavours at City Bible Forum. It has been a great year so far, but we have some exciting new projects coming up. We are looking to introduce a new evangelistic outreach called The Edge (Formerly, The Conversation) in May. All of the details are in place for a set of quality events to occur throughout the year, but we need some help.

We will be charging for the events, but we are hoping to gain supplemental support for the talks to keep ticket prices at an accessible level.

I have attached the details below for The Edge to communicate the details of the funds we need to raise for these events and other projects. We need to raise $10000 for these events.

We are grateful for your prayers over the years and we would like to ask you to consider supporting this evangelistic endeavour or to consider presenting this proposal to your local church for potential support?

After reading through the details, if people would like to support the events.

You can support send in their contribution by going to this link:

ABWE and entering RUSSELL W. & CATHY MATTHEWS (0132363)

If you or others choose to send in support, please have them email us. ABWE does not notify us when gifts are received and we would like to ensure the church or person giving are thanked for their additional support.

Thank you for the consideration and please pray for the upcoming evangelistic efforts in Sydney.

Russ & Cathy Matthews

 Details in place: 

1 The Edge: Thinking for a change

2 Venue: Dendy Opera Quays

3 Frequency:  Once a month, One hour (During  school term) May, June, Aug, Sept, Oct, & Nov

5 Times and nights: Straight afterwork; 6:30-7:45pm;  Thursday

6 Formats: Two TEDtalk style talks with Q&A

Two speakers speaking for 15 minutes 

Talk 1 - Contestability (Head) - (Positive apologetic consideration)

Talk 2 -Plausability (Heart) - (Difference faith makes)

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

The Big Picture, City Bible Forum project and ministry vehicle

It has been a busy month in the US, but some exciting things going on...

The Big Picture Missions Conference at Saylorville Church

We had a wonderful time at the missions conference. It was an encouraging time with the church family. Our family enjoyed time with cell groups, men's & women's events, the Saylorville Youth, panel discussions, missionary Christmas and the Sunday morning services.

Praise the Lord, the church was very full and a woman came to know Jesus as her Saviour in the morning.

Thank you to Saylorville Church. Please go to the Facebook link and the website to see many of the images and videos from the events.

Funds for ministry vehicle

We need your help: A specific project we are working on is replacing our current ministry vehicle. If you have the capacity to contribute to this project, we appreciate the support.

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

City Bible Forum : ABWE project

According a 2013 report in Christianity Today, faith in Christ is on a steady decline in Australia.

To stop this trend, our missionaries are taking the Good News to where Australians spend most of their time: the workplace. By teaming up with the urban evangelism organization City Bible Forum, ABWE missionaries are sharing Christ inside secular 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 work?

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

Just a reminder: Living for Jesus course

Regardless of what you do for a living, you may ask ‘How do I live as a Christian at work and how would I talk with work colleagues about Jesus?’

The Living for Jesus course is for you …and here is what it is about and how you can be involved.

The course introduces some basic Biblical concepts in being a Christian at work. Encourages people to see the opportunities for service in the workplace. Motivates workers to pray for their colleagues at work.

Living for Jesus consists of three 45 minute studies… 1. Working for God's glory... being godly at work + living lives worth questioning & giving answers worth hearing

2. An eye for the harvest... seeing the workplace as a mission field

3. Speaking of God's mercy... talking about Jesus at work

Audience: Work colleagues, small groups and/ or anyone keen to share their faith at work

Instructor: Russell Matthews

When: First three Thursdays in November:  6, 13 & 20 November

Where: Ankeny Free Church; 118 NW Linden St  www.ankenyfree.org

Time: 7-8:00 pm - Cost: Free to the public

Thank you for your prayers!
The Matthews

Evangelistic event: Cosmic Chemistry with Professor John Lennox - we need your help

 

We are excited to announce the national evangelistic tour: Cosmic Chemistry

About the Prof John Lennox tour

We are very excited to be hosting Prof John Lennox on a national tour in August this year and would like to invite your involvement, given your passion for mathematics, philosophy, education and a good honest and intelligent debate.

John Lennox is a Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, a best-selling author and international speaker on the interface between science, religion and philosophy. He has debated Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Singer and Lawrence Krauss around the globe.

Lennox will be touring Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney with his wife Sally and speaking at university events, conferences and our five key evening events. More biographical information on John is provided below. We first invited John to Australia in 2008. He was very well received at IQ2 (Intelligence Squared), on ABC’s Q&A in 2013 and at a number of other events in association with National Science Week.

This year’s tour is of particular significance as it may be the last opportunity for Australian audiences to experience Prof John Lennox on stage in Australia.

City Bible Forum is producing this 5-city headline event series at the following venues: Melbourne City Conference Centre (capacity 700) on Friday 8 August

Bonython Hall, University of Adelaide (capacity 900) on Tuesday 12 August Perth Concert Hall (capacity 1,700) on Monday 18 August Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (capacity 620) on Friday 22 August Sydney Town Hall (capacity 2,000) on Monday 25 August

The audiences will largely consist of CBD based professionals and university students. We are partnering with churches in each city for promotion and follow up, and anticipate a strong interest from the science community and secular societies (such as the Australian Skeptics). People will come with a variety of worldviews, from committed atheists to devoted Christian believers. As with our 2013 national tour with Prof Lawrence Krauss and Dr William Lane Craig (entitled Life, Universe and Nothing), we hope to shake a few pre-suppositions and enlighten audiences with state of the art thinking. These events are being promoted through Christian and secular channels, and have been advertised as National Science Week 2014.

At this stage we envisage the evenings consisting of three segments:

A 20-30 minute presentation by Prof Lennox on the intersection of science and religion, followed by An interview / discussion for 30-40 minutes Concluding with audience Q&A for 30-40 minutes.

About Prof John Lennox

John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and is a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum. In addition he teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme at the Executive Education Centre, Said Business School, Oxford University. John is much loved for his quick, Irish wit and sense of humour. His extensive travels have exposed him to a variety of cultures, including former communist Europe and Asia. He is able to converse in numerous languages including Russian and German.

Prof Lennox has written numerous titles on the interface between science, philosophy and theology, including God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? (2009), God and Stephen Hawking, a response to The Grand Design (2011), Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing the Target (2011), Seven Days that Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (2011), as well as 70 published mathematical papers and other academic texts.

As mentioned above he has had public conversations with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Singer, Michael Shermer and Lawrence Krauss at events around the globe.

A short reminder of City Bible Forum

City Bible Forum was started in 1991 in Sydney. We now run activities in the mainland capital cities. We are a ‘non-denominational’, not for profit charity that seeks to stimulate discussion among city workers on the bigger questions of life. To this end we have hosted numerous forums on topics such as science, religious violence, happiness, the GFC, euthanasia etc., with notable secular and Christian thought leaders including, among others - Lawrence Krauss, Peter Singer, Edwin Judge, Ian Harper, John Anderson, Jane Caro, Mark Scott, Ross Gittins, Hugh Mackay and Michael Spence.

How can you help?

We need your prays and financial support for the event. We have raised a large portion of the funds to support this national event, but we need help with raising the final portion. The remaining need is $16,000. (Based on a budget of $100k.)

If you have the capacity to give to this event, please go to www.abwe.org/give and enter Russell & Cathy Matthews (0132363) and Lennox event. 

This is an approved event through ABWE and has the capacity to reach many throughout Australia with the Gospel.

Thank you for the prayerful consideration And we look forward to sharing how The Lord worked through this event in the coming months.

The adventure continues...

The Matthews

 

An open letter to our supporters

As we prepare for furlough or US ministry, it can be daunting to look at all the meetings to be organised, the travel to the US and around the country and time away from our home and ministries in Australia. Over the last year, we have been trying to get in contact with all of our supporters through email, letters or phone calls. As we look over this list of partners in the ministry, one feeling tends to overwhelm us, thankfulness. We have been raising support for over 11 years and we have been in Australia for over eight years. Throughout that time, supporters have come and gone, support levels have changed and many of you have been exceptionally generous during financially challenging times that have come up throughout our ministry life. We know that it is not always easy to keep giving, but we pray you are blessed by your faithfulness.

Furlough (or US ministry) can be considered a time for missionaries to raise support. Realistically, that is part of the process. But as we look through our list of supporters names we are thankful.  As we come to your churches or into your homes, we hope the message that walk away with one of thankfulness.

Thank you.

It may be a simple thing to say, but it is not minimalistic in its meaning. We are thankful for your your prayers and support.

Thank you for supporting our family. Thank you for supporting the spread of the Gospel in a spiritually dark place of the world. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for communicating with us. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel. Thank you for your love for our family And our Saviour.

We praise The Lord for you.

The adventure continues... Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline

US ministry- we could use your help: The family will be heading back to the US at the later part of the year for our ministry. We look forward to sharing all that the Lord has been doing in Sydney and Australia. We look forward to sharing stories of salvations, ministry opportunities and churches doing a great work.

We need some assistance in the cost of our travel. If you have the capacity to help with some of the costs of the travel, please click on the give tab and enter these details: Matthews – Australia – Furlough expenses – 013236

Link: GIVE to the US ministry needs of the Matthews

Happenings in Sydney: David Murrow, Resurrection on Trial & furlough update

The most recent updates have been about about the recent trip to Bangkok and the Urban Missions Summit. But we cannot forget Sydney. We have some exciting coming up in the next few weeks in the city. We would appreciate your prayers.

David Murrow

The Forum has the privilege of having David Murrow speaking at various events around Sydney. He will be part of the Bible on Trial series.

His talk will be The Church on Trial: Why are people leaving religion behind?

Details about David: Why are men and boys fleeing Christianity? David Murrow has dedicated his life to answering that question. He's a best-selling author of ‘Why Men Hate Going to Church.’ Murrow is an entertaining speaker who handles this taboo subject with humour and grace. He's a television producer and writer by trade. Murrow comes to us all the way from Chugiak, Alaska. We look forward to learn more from David on why people are leaving religion behind.

He will be speaking at The Forum, special dinners, City Bible Forum Legal, Moore Theological College and Bridge Street Fellowship.

The Resurrection Inquest - Hoax or history?

Two barristers go head to head questioning believer and Bible teacher Ian Powell on the evidence or otherwise for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Defence Counsel - Ian Davidson, SC

Ian Davidson became a Barrister in 1991 after legal experience in the US, followed by work as a Solicitor from 1983. His practice is primarily in commercial and equity. Ian also has inquest experience, though never involving a vanishing corpse.

Prosecuting Counsel - Martin Hadley

Martin Hadley became a Solicitor in 1982 and a Barrister in 1990. He is an editorial consultant to The Skeptic magazine and Treasurer of Australian Skeptics Inc, having joined its Board in 2000.

This is an evangelistic event where the audience gets to be the jury.

Rouse Hill Bible Church

We will be concluding the Hosea Series this month. Then gearing up for the Easter holiday season and then... Genesis!

We are loving the church and the opportunity to serve alongside the church family at RHBC.

US ministry- we could use your help: The family will be heading back to the US at the later part of the year for our US ministry. We look forward to sharing all that the Lord has been doing in Sydney and Australia. We look forward to sharing stories of salvations, ministry opportunities and churches doing a great work. We have saved over the past four years for the trip, but costs are higher and we find that we will need some assistance with the airfare and travel. Tickets will cost around $15,000. If you have the capacity to assist with this request, please click on the give tab and enter these details: Matthews - Australia - Furlough expenses - 0132363

Link: GIVE to the Matthews airfare

A fun furlough note: Australian Rules Football season has started in Sydney, we are looking forward to it all. Joshua will be playing for the Kellyville Magpies. When we are back in Des Moines, Josh may get a go with the Des Moines Roosters. Did you even know you had an AFL club in DSM? Go support our friend Tyler and the Roosters!

Thank you for all you do for our family. We look forward to seeing many of you this year. Please keep praying for the ministries in Sydney, Australia and Southeast Asia.

The adventure continues...

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua & Caroline

PS - For those pedantic folk, we live in Australia and our spelling is in the Australian tradition. Thank you for the editorial comments. 

Excited, Nervous and Thankful for Bangkok trip + a request for our future US trip

I will admit it, I woke up this morning excited and nervous about the today's trip to Bangkok. I did not sleep well last night. Thinking of all the things coming up in the next week and month. But today, I need to focus on travel, being away from my family, and preparing for meetings. These meetings have the potential to have a significant impact on ministry in our area of the world. Please pray for me,our family and the ABWE team this week. The details are below for this trip and for our trip later this year. Thank you for all who contributed to this event and for your prayers. Prayer points:

1. The Lord will work in the lives of all who are coming to the Summit and show us how we can reach more people for Christ in SE Asia.

2. Safety in travel to and in Bangkok. Also, for a safe return.

3. For the family while I am away for the week.

Goal of Urban Ministry Summit : to develop and implement an aggressive strategy to reach Asia through the cities.

City Ministry is a central theme of where we reach people for Christ. Thank you to all who have been praying and have supported the upcoming Urban Ministry Summit in Bangkok. Please pray for wisdom and strategies to reach into the cities of Asia/Pacific region. I hope to report some of the details surrounding the event. We have ministry leaders coming from all over the region and world to participate in this unique opportunity.

US ministry- we could use your help: The family will be heading back to the US at the later part of the year for our US ministry. We look forward to sharing all that the Lord has been doing in Sydney and Australia. We look forward to sharing stories of salvations, ministry opportunities and churches doing a great work. We have saved over the past four years for the trip, but costs are higher and we find that we will need some assistance with the airfare and travel. Tickets will cost around $15,000. If you have the capacity to assist with this request, please click on the give tab and enter these details: Matthews - Australia - Furlough expenses - 0132363

Link: GIVE to the Matthews airfare

Thank you for all you do for our family. We look forward to seeing many of you this year. Please keep praying for the ministries in Sydney, Australia and Southeast Asia.

The adventure continues...

Russ Matthews

Urban Ministry Chronicles - Vol 1, Chapter 3: Urban Ministry Summit & US ministry

Goal of Urban Ministry Summit : to develop and implement an aggressive strategy to reach Asia through the cities. City Ministry is a central theme of where we reach people for Christ. Thank you to all who have been praying and have supported the upcoming Urban Ministry Summit in Bangkok. Please pray for wisdom and strategies to reach into the cities of Asia/Pacific region. I hope to report some of the details surrounding the event. We have ministry leaders coming from all over the region and world to participate in this unique opportunity.

US ministry: The family will be heading back to the US at the later part of the year for our US ministry. We look forward to sharing all that the Lord has been doing in Sydney and Australia. We have saved for the trip, but still find that we will need some assistance with the airfare and travel. If you have the capacity to assist with this request, please click on the give tab and enter these details: Matthews - Australia - Furlough expenses - 0132363

Link: GIVE to the Matthews airfare

Thank you for all you do for our family. We look forward to seeing many of you this year. Please keep praying for the ministries in Sydney, Australia and Southeast Asia.

The adventure continues...

Russ Matthews

Busy May - Winning the City, Leadership and Prayer

Greetings from Sydney The month of May 2013 will be a busy time for the ministry work in Sydney. We wanted to share some of the events going on in the city and ways you can pray. Please go to the links to find out more.

Winning the City Breakfast, 15 May

Our annual fundraising event with speaker former Deputy Prime Minister Mr John Anderson AO.

As we enjoy a delicious breakfast together in the heart of the city, at one of Sydney's loveliest establishments, we will share some fresh stories from the coal-face, our exciting future direction.

Pray for our fundraising efforts, help City Bible Forum win the cities.

The Forum: Leading the Aussie Way, 15/16 May

How is leading Australians different?

What are the essential characteristics of leadership?

There are some leaders we instinctively warm to, and then there are others we love to loathe.

Why? What attracts us to good leaders? Is it the oratory skills of an Obama, the courage of a Churchill, the vision of a Jobs, the brashness of a Branson or perhaps the humility of a Gandhi?

Against the backdrop of the imminent federal election, our specialist panel will consider if there is anything distinctive about the way Australians lead and respond to leadership. Has Jesus' model of sacrifice and service left an indelible mark on our understanding of true leadership?

Our Forum panellists: John Anderson, Mark Scott and Andrew Scippione

Re:think series with Al Stewart; Wednesdays and Thursdays in May & June

We continue through the book of Mark and consider some of the big issues that are addressed throughout this incredible gospel account.

Could Jesus be right about … Leadership, Human nature, Religion, Himself and getting ahead?

Sydney Prayer Breakfast; 24 May

We hope to double last years numbers for the Sydney Prayer Breakfast. Our goal will to have over 1000 people in attendance.

Speaker: General David Hurley, Head of the Armed Forces in Australia

 

Finances: We are praying for our current support needs which are about at a $500/month deficit. We also accept one off donations to assist with the various ministries and family needs. It has been a challenging year and we would appreciate any assistance you are willing to provide.

To give go to this link: ABWE donations/The Matthews and put in our number: 0132363

 

Thank you for all of your support, prayers and we are thankful for all who write us.

The adventure continues,

Rus, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline

 

Visits, leadership, a move and 2013

Coming to this end of the year It is a beautiful spring in Sydney. The year is coming to a close, but this is when things seem to ramp up with activity. We try to plan for it, but November comes around every year and we seem to find ourselves in a new level of busyness. It has been a great year of ministry and the opportunities do not stop during this season.

We will have visits from family and work colleagues from the US over the next few months. It is always a great time to celebrate the work that is being done here and to share our lives with those who pray and support us.

This will limit some of our communication over the coming months. Our next update will be towards the end of December.

Changes at ABWE

We are experiencing an exciting time in ABWE Australia's history. Our Field Coordinator, Steve Mayo, has been promoted to new position within our region. A much deserved promotion for Steve and it leaves our team with inevitable changes. We will be introducing a new Field coordinator and it will change the structure of our region and the influence our team will have on this area of the world for mission. Pray for wisdom and unity within the team at this time.

A move

Why not add one of the biggest stresses of life into the mix?

As many know, our finances have been a challenge this year. The Lord has provided in a multitude of ways and we have had some of our supporters get behind the ministry with financial considerations. One opportunity presented to us was to move to a different house that will lower our housing costs. It is within a few minutes of where we are now, but the move will be within a month. Pray for us as we move into our new home in November. We will send the details and address out soon.

Planning for 2013

This is the time of year we begin to put the final touches on the programme for 2013. We are looking forward to many of the new things going on in 2013 in regard to church, city ministry and evangelism for 2013. Please pray for our organisation and wisdom in getting an effective programme that will glorify the Lord and introduce Christ to many in Australia.

5%

Thank you for for the church and supporters who have increased the support of the ministry in Australia. Please pray for our churches to consider a cost of living increase of 5% on our current support levels. If all churches would be willing to do this increase we would be at 100% of our monthly support. This request is similar to any worker who requests a cost of living increase for the year. Thank you for the prayers and consideration.

Prayer points: - next series at City Bible Forum: 5 truths that will transform your life - visits from ABWE team members and family in the coming weeks - planning for 2013 - leadership changes at ABWE Australia - Becca and Hope graduate in December (end of the school year in Australia)

The paralympian, sharia law and the commitment + family update

"Our Lord's making of a disciple is supernatural. He does not build on any natural capacity of ours at all. God does not ask us to do the things that are naturally easy for us- He only asks us to do the things that are perfectly fit to do through His grace, and that is where the cross we must bear will always come."  -Oswald Chambers, His Upmost for His Highest The Paralympian

Blokes Breakfast with Glenn Pyne

This past weekend on a beautiful Spring day in Sydney, we had a Blokes Breakfast. Bringing men together from various churches in the area. We had the privilege of having Glenn Pyne speak to our men. A double amputee who has represented Australia in the Paralympics in canoeing, weight lifting and volleyball. A testimony of a man who went from being angry for his physical situation to a man glorifying the Lord for the uniques opportunity he has to represent his country and his Saviour around the world.

Usually we have a challenge getting men to come along on an early Saturday morning. Not this Saturday. We had a packed cafe and heard a great talk of sport, working against the odds and how grace has a way of lifting men who choose to follow the Lord out of the challenges in life.

Thank you for your prayers.

Sharia law

The papers had headlines of protests throughout the past few weeks. A warning for Americans to not go into the CBD for safety reasons. Why? The worldwide protests over a silly film out of California.

Interesting how the Lord provides through trying times. The City Bible Forum will be having  a Forum and series that will be addressing the issues of Sharia Law and the comparison of opposites of Christianity and Islam. It had been a challenging topic, but the recent events gave us a platform to promote this Forum.

Pray that many would come interests in hearing the discussion and maybe introduced to Christ in the process.

Commitment

Can you believe it will be seven years of service in Australia as of February? Look through the updates over the years and you can see how the Lord has directed us to many great things that He is doing. We continue to see amazing things here and we are committed to being in Australia. We do not see the Lord changing the direction on what we are doing in Australia and we are committed to His service here.

This year has presented one of the most challenging years of service in Australia. We have been part of great opportunities in regards to ministry, hopefully you have been getting our regular updates. The challenge has been on the financial side of things. We continue to have our finances taken care of by the Lord and our faithful supporters, but due to some attrition of supporters and cost of living increases, we have found ourselves in a difficult monthly support level. Please pray for our supporters and churches to consider an increase in our monthly support of 5% ($5 for every $100 of support). One already has helped us with this increase. If this challenge was met, we would be at our necessary support levels. Thank you for the prayers and the consideration

Family update

If you have not had the opportunity to catch up on Facebook with the many things going on in our lives.

  • Hope and Rebecca graduate fro Australian Christian College with a diploma in Child Care Services. We are so proud of them.
  • Joshua completed his first season on the Under 16s Hawkesbury Bombers Australian Football team. He is looking to join the swimming team this summer. (Yes, we are going into summer)
  • Caroline loves school and is taking violin and enjoying swim lessons.
The adventure continues...
Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline

A forum, a talk, a funeral and finances

Thank you for you prayers and support, here is a note to update you on the last few weeks. A funeral: Pam Cain's funeral went exceptionally well. Pam was Cathy’s best friend since moving to Sydney. It was a great day to celebrate the life of Pam and a good time for many to to come along and hear about her life.  Also, through the eulogies and the message, a clear presentation of the gospel was presented for all 400+ people who attended. It was a good day. Pray that the family will be able to move forward in their lives and the Lord would continue to do a work in their lives. Cathy is doing well, but she is exhausted. She gave the prayer of thanksgiving during the funeral. Pray for her and all that comes with the grieving process.

A forum: London Calling: Probably one of the biggest topics in Sydney would be the Olympics in London. It is happening on the other side of the world and at a different time. Yet, we are a sport driven nation. Especially for the Olympics. We had two great panel discussions with Olympians and key athletic figures in Sydney come along and discuss, what does it take to perform? They are all Christians and will share their experiences in athletic performance and how Christ has had an impact on their lives. Details at citybibleforum.org/the forum

A 'sharing your faith talk' in Caringbah: I was glad I had the opportunity to give the talk on Wednesday night at St Philips. 50+ men there to hear about the opportunity of sharing their faith in their area of influence. Good questions and conversations after the talk. A few who had been to various City Bible Forum events in the past. Pray they take on the opportunity to share their faith in the workplace. It preceded one of the most important football events in NSW history, Origin III. Once they got past hearing the American accent from a man wearing a NSW Blues guernsey we had a great time. Good game, wrong result, but the evening went really well.

Another series - Glorious Hope Baptist Church: On a smaller scale, I am currently working through the book of 1 Corinthians at Glorious Hope Baptist Church. We will be in chapter 5 this coming week. Pray for our church as we look at a challenging book of the Bible and how we can learn to be better servants in our church and for God.

Finances: Thank you for your continued support and prayers. It has been an amazing year for our family. The opportunities for ministry continue to grow. We have had the privilege of seeing people come to Christ through the various ministries that we participated in this year.  Through the Lord’s will and your support we have been able to be a apart of this amazing work in Australia.

We committed to communicating our support levels to you twice a year.  With all of the world economic challenges, Australia has been effected by the changes too. We have been very thankful for the continued support from all who have supported us regularly this year.  We have had changes in the Australian economy and a few of our supporters finances. With some of these adjustments we are currently at 90% of our monthly support level.  We are only experiencing a shortfall of $500 per month.

We appreciate consideration from you or your churches when evaluating your upcoming budget discussions. Would you be willing to consider a 5% increase in our support. It is a small request, especially since we have not requested this in our six years on the field. Would you or your church be willing to increase our support but this small amount. This minor increase would get us closer to achieving our monthly expenses.

Thanks for all you do for our family and we look forward to contacting you soon.

The adventure continues...

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline

The Forum, Mission to the Atheists & a car (psst... 6 years in Australia & 20th wedding anniversary)

Every year we have people ask us about our ministry in Australia. How we do  ministry in the city and how we are funded. It is a fair question and our opportunity to share that the City Bible Forum is supported by individuals who give generously to the Lord's work. Our family costs are supported through churches and individuals in the US and Australia. Yet, the actual cost of City Bible Forum is covered by the donations of many of our ministry partners in the cities of Australia.

Once I explain this to most people the next two question tend to be, 'Are there any projects that need specific support and how can we help?'

Here are three key projects for 2012 that you could help us with this year. Two of them are ministry costs and one is a personal request.

1) The Forum - In 2011, we started doing large public panel / forums on key topics in the city. Examining current topics calmly without the media hype. Bringing in people with differing positions and discussing the implications of the topic on our society. Allowing the audience to participate in the discussion through questions and answers. After 'The Forum' we would follow with a four to six week series on the Biblical position on the topic. Example: 'Crossing Over: Is the anything after this life?' if you would like to see the videos click on this link. The Forum or videos of 2011

We will continue 'The Forum' in 2012. We have been able to get prominent people to participate in these engaging events. The costs are in regards to travel for the speakers and audio and visual costs. We are asking for assistance to off-set the costs of these Forums.

Annual Cost: $15000

2) Mission during the 'Global Atheist Conference'

In April 2012, some of the worlds leading authors and expositors of Atheism will be in Australia. Richard Dawkins, etc. Our team will be participating in events, evangelism and debates that will be going on at the conference and will be doing outreach. We have been the front runners in mobilising Christians to do outreach during the Global Atheist Conference. Cost will involve venue hire, material production and housing costs. We are asking for funds to off set these costs.

Cost for mission: $10000

3) Ministry vehicle: we are asking our supporters to consider assisting us with replacing our current ministry vehicle. Our current van is getting to point of needing replacement or minimising its usage. Also, we have been given a 1988 Honda Civic to supplement our travel needs, but it is older and in need of replacement.  We are asking for assistance in replacing these vehicles.

Needed funds for vehicle: $5000

Note: Our family does not do a financial appeal monthly, we strive to keep it to special occurrences and a twice a year update for your information.

Thank you for reading through these details and prayerfully considering supporting one if not all of these projects. Please pray for all of the Lord to be glorified through all of these events.

To support any of these projects, you can send your donations to ABWE and enter Matthews City Ministry or Car and number 0132363.

Personal note: We just wanted to celebrate with all of you. We have officially been in Australia for 6 years and Cathy & I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary on 21 March. It has been an amazing ride together and we look forward to all of the years the Lord has to offer us. Thanks for being part of these six years in Oz and 20 years as a couple.

The adventure continues,

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline

Experiencing two worlds

Experiencing two worlds

Crest Baptist Church Family Camp

It is summer break in Australia and this is the time for the beach, holidays, Australia Day and camp. Our family was asked to come to a Family Camp for Crest Baptist Church. It is an Arabic church in the heart of Sydney. People from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and other areas of the middle east. A loving and vibrant church that was getting away for the weekend. The camp was in the beautiful tip of the Southern Highlands.

I was asked to talk to the English speaking portion of the church throughout the weekend. Yet, most of the time it was an interesting mix of Arabic & Australian culture. Consistently I had to remind myself where we were and even though I did not speak the language of the majority of the people, the testimonies and enthusiasm for the Lord was contagious. It was a great reminder that Jesus & the Holy Spirit transcend cultures and languages.

Highlights: 1. I was speaking through Nehemiah, the church leaders asked for this series due to the building time in the church culture. The first night I brought a huge tub of Lego to encourage them to build something individually, a fun way to start the weekend. The following night I asked I asked them to take apart their individual creations and make something as one unit, for one purpose and for one name. Building something together, like the people of Jerusalem in the book of Nehemiah. It was late and the Legos just sat there until I went to bed at midnight. I woke up the next morning for a run and as I came into the main hall, there was a bit of a buzz. As I turned around to see what everyone was so excited about, I saw not just a wall but a city had been built! Pictures are on Facebook.

2. Ammon - on Friday night I got to meet Ammon. He is the same age as Joshua (our son). Quiet and friendly, but kept to himself. After my first talk on Saturday morning, I noticed one of the leaders actively engaged in a conversation with Ammon, who had just started coming to the church. Then I noticed that they went to go pray. After my second talk I had an opportunity to talk with the leader. Ammon had become a Christian that day! Nothing mores satisfying to hear.

3. Gus- after the Sunday morning talk, the music leader asked me to pray for a man who had just come to the camp after. An invitation during a church building project. Gus is a truck driver who was on medical leave from his job. Right after we prayed, Gus came walking up to us and began peppering us with questions about the church, the Bible and why these talks were so different than anything he had experienced in church. He was not ready to become a Christian at that time, but you can be praying for him.

4. The girls were not there! This may seem a bit negative, but it is a gift to us. We wanted to the Hope & Becca to be with us, but they were counseling at a camp on the Central Coast. It was a sacrifice to not have these incredible young ladies with us, but it was worth it. They were counseled at a camp for under-privileged children. It was their third year counseling. This year they had the incredible opportunity to lead 14 girls to the Lord! I know it is all of the Lord, but I am so proud of what the Lord is doing through our daughters. Praise His Name!

Prayer points: we would like to share a few prayer points for 2012

1. Exciting start to city ministry: panels, evangelism training, new fellowships in the city and evangelistic events inside corporations. Please pray for their start this year and for the Lord to sustain the ministry in 2012.

2. Glorious Hope Baptist Church: growth and direction for 2012

3.Hope and Becca's final year of high school : wow, are they growing up!

4. School year begins on 31 January: New uniforms, new teachers, new challenges

5. Finances: we would appreciate anyone willing to assist us with a new ministry vehicle

6. 20th anniversary: Cathy & I celebrate 20 years of marriage this year. We are looking to get away in March for a long weekend.

7. Wisdom in our decisions with ministry partners and direction for 2012

Thanks for your faithful support and prayers. The adventure continues, Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua & Caroline

Holiday Conversations, Visiting Team and the Car

Holiday conversations  

We had friends (One of my work colleagues at City Bible Forum and his family) invite us to go to Griffith, NSW for a short holiday. It was a great time of relaxing and enjoying a unique part of the country. Griffith is the farming centre of New South Wales. They have an irrigation system that allows for the growth of grapes, citrus, rice and various other foods. It was beautiful part of the country.

One night we were invited to go out to dinner with a high school mate of my friend, Craig. It was a great time of conversation and making new friends. Craig's friend had brought his new girlfriend. She began to enquire about what Craig and I do for a living. As we were able to share about the work of the Gospel, she started in on the questions. Everything from creation to cults to death was out on the table. It was great. At one point the friend said to Cathy, "I did not know she had some many questions..." As things began to spiral around more questions, it came down to differentiation of beliefs. How were we different?

We were able to say that with all that is in the Bible, it all points to one thing, to one point in history to one person, Jesus. Once you can see that, the differentiation is how we respond to Him and the offer he gives to us. Grace within the Gospel. The difference from other beliefs, Jesus.

It shows that regardless of the time and place, you never know when you will have the opportunity to share the Gospel. Also, it made us appreciate your part in this process through your prayers and support.

Prayer Points

FFC team - We are excited to have a team coming from First Family Church in Ankeny in October. Pray for all the preparation, opportunities for ministry and their experience of the culture. The Lord did provide for us to borrow an additional car to assist with transport. The team will be participating in evangelistic outreach, scripture classes, Kids Clubs, Young Adult outing in Sydney, street evangelism, the Smith Lecture, church and many other events. Pray for their safe arrival, their many opportunities to minister and for the Lord to be glorified in it all.

Introducing God (Church) - It has been great, speaking through the Introducing Course at Glorious Hope and Grace Baptist Churches this past month. Pray for many to hear the Gospel and for Christians gain the training to share the Gospel with others through this clear presentation of the message of the Bible. We close each talk with a Q&A time. People have been searching out what they believe and we have been able to develop an atmosphere for them to engage with the Bible and God.

Investigating Christianity - In October,Russ will begin teaching a course on how to walk people through the four weeks of Investigating Christianity.  It is a great course  It is rather intensive with practical application, pray that the participants will be willing to go through the work and develop their skills in sharing their faith in Jesus Christ.

Life of Jesus- We begin a Life of Jesus course. It is a walk through the book of Luke and explaining the life of Jesus. Pray for Christians to gain a clear view of their faith. Also, for those who are not followers of Christ would see that Christianity is not a religion or another list of do’s and don’ts, but life- style that is centered on this person, Jesus.

The Car 

We have had one vehicle, a Toyota Tarago mini-van, since arriving in Australia. We bought it used and it has served us well, but it is beginning to show it's age. With a family of six, which includes three teenagers, you can imagine the wear and tear on the van. It currently has 265000 km (164663 miles) on it and it is beginning to need a fair amount of work. We were hoping for to hang on to it for awhile longer, but we could use a smaller vehicle to help with getting us around and to lighten the load on the Tarago. We prayerfully considered it and we wanted to share this need with you. Would you and/or your church be willing to assist us with the expense of a new vehicle? We are looking to raise approximately $8000+ for a used car.

How can you help? If you are able to assist with the car we would appreciate your contribution. You can go to the ABWE website and either give one-off and state the contribution is for the ministry vehicle. Also,  you can send cheques to ABWE or Saylorville Baptist Church for these gifts. If you would like to contribute to the vehicle, merely mark on your contribution O&P funds for Matthews vehicle. If you or your church sends in funds to ABWE, could you cc us in the correspondence? The only way we can know about it is if you send us a message. Thanks for the consideration.

Thanks for your prayers and support.

The adventure continues...

The Matthews family

 

Caroline quote of the week:

Caroline: 'Did you know we were going to Hong Kong?'

Sunday School teacher:  'No, when are you going to Hong Kong?'

Caroline: After thinking about it for a minute... "No,no... not Hong Kong, we are going to Wollongong, Wollongong." (It is where were are picking up the borrowed car.) 

So don't believe the rumours, we are not going to Hong Kong!

It may be cold in Sydney, but we are not slowing down: Answered Prayer and Financials

Well, it is the cold season in Australia, but things remain very 'hot' for ministry. I wanted to give you a quick update on various ministry opportunities and then our twice a year financial update. Most of our friends in the Northern Hemisphere are sweating through the summer, but we are pretty cold down under. That does not mean things slow down for ministry.

  • Youth Rally - It was an exciting night at the youth rally a few weeks ago. 80+ people came along and many non-believers. The talk was well received and the gospel was proclaimed.
  • Panels - Hot disucssion and new opporutnites in the city ministry. Religion & Extremism: Does Religion always lead to extremism? We had a Christian, a Muslim and Atheist discussion this topic.  You can watch the videos of the panel discussions. It was exciting and heated at times, but the best part was we had a whole new group of people that we were able to contact. Various backgrounds and our following series has seen a growth of people who are interested in engaging with the Bible.
  • Introducing God - We will be starting a new evangelistic event with the Introducing God series on Wednesday nights, starting 20 July. An 8 week series that gives an overview of the Bible for Genesis to Revelation. We had great attendance at the introductory night and we are asking for prayer for many Christians to bring along their workmates and friends to the upcoming series.
  • Helping Doubters with their Doubts Course - Russ just completed a 4 week course in helping Christians to get Jesus and God into conversation. We looked at the various aspects of the 'defeater beliefs' found in the Reason for God book by Tim Keller. Then the group went through and discussed the opportunities they have and could have in introducing the Bible into everyday discussion. The class went very well, but four weeks went too fast. We hope to do a follow-up course in the coming months.
  • FFC team - We are excited to have a team coming from First Family Church in Ankeny in October. Pray for the preparation and opportunities for ministry and experiencing the culture. Pray for the team as they are raising funds for the trip.
  • House and 'Rivo' - We have really enjoyed the transition to Riverstone NSW (Rivo as it is known). Small country feel, but right next to the city. We have enjoyed getting to know our neighbours and the community. The older girls are working at the local Subway and Josh is playing for the Quakers Hill Bombers (AFL team). Caroline is taking violin lessons and they all are enjoying their new school. Pray that we continue to reach people in this area for Christ.

 

Financials - We continue to commit to only communicate about our financial needs (except for emergencies) twice a year. We always want to keep the focus on the ministries and not continually on the finances. We find that most people will not read the rest of the newsletter if we constantly remind them of finances. But we do need to communicate our needs, this allows you all to be involved  and to see that you are partners in this ministry of the Gospel in Sydney.

  1. Support - The Lord has blessed and we have been able to maintain most of our support levels this year. We are currently $116 per month under-supported. The biggest challenge for our finances has been the exchange rate. The Australian dollar is the strongest they have seen. So, things are very tight financially,but the Lord continue to bless. Pray for improvement in the US dollar, too.
  2. Car- We want to thank all of the churches and the individuals for the quick response to our financial needs in regards to the van. When it broke down, it was challenging. The cost was not as much as originally thought, but we are still about $1411 in deficit for the repair of the van. Also, we are looking to purchase a smaller support vehicle for the ministry. The cost for a small used vehicle would be approximately $8000.
  3. How can you help? If you are able to assist with any of these needs we would appreciate your contribution. You can go to the ABWE website and either give one-off or become a monthly supporter. Also,  you can send cheques to ABWE or Saylorville Baptist Church for one-off gifts. If you would like to contribute to the vehicle, merely mark on your contribution O&P funds for Matthews vehicle.

Addresses of organisations:

Saylorville Baptist Church

6429 NW 6th Drive, Des Moines IA 50313

ABWE

PO Box 8585, Harrisburg, PA 17105

Thank you for your continued prayer and support. You are a part of this ministry an we are grateful for you all. 

The Adventure Continues...

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua & Caroline