Just the other day...

(A good friend asked for a recent story from our ministry, I thought I would share it with all of you.)Inspiring people: We have been working with a new concept of outreach in the Sydney area. It is a panel discussion with key leaders in various fields in Sydney, who are Christian. The events were held at various locations throughout the city. The panel would draw a certain crowd due to their notoriety in specific fields of work.They would address life issues and how Jesus is key to their lives. How do they tackle life’s challenges and achieve results—from the boardroom to the sports field. This is an opportunity for people to hear a panel of some of Australia’s most inspiring people discuss their successes and failures, celebrations and difficulties, faith and doubts. It is called Inspiring People. The crowds have ranged from 40 to 160 people for the for the twelve events we have had in Sydney and we have three events left. Please pray for the upcoming events.

The amazing thing has been we have close to 150 people interested in an evangelistic course called 'Life of Jesus', a six week course to be run in the city. Great to be part of what the Lord is doing through this initiative. Pray for the coordination of all of these courses.

But that is not the full story...

It has been inspiring, but quite exhausting for our team. The other morning I started out in Parramatta at 6am with one event, then had a pastors meeting with the Glorious Hope Baptist team (which ran late--surprise) and after the meeting, I had to rush into the city (45 minute train ride) to lead a Bible Reading Group (A new evangelistic tool we are using in the city--I can send you the details). I was tired, late, hot, had to make all of the copies for the group, I wanted to postpone the class, and needless to say, I was not in the best mind set to lead anything, much less a Bible Reading Group.

It was a bit too late to cancel, so sweating and tired I came up to the building for the meeting. The group was small that day, but the faithful few came wandering into the room. Linda, who is a regular attendee and is very evangelistic minded, had brought a friend that day. Linda turns to me and says, "My friend Olivia is enquiring about Christianity. She is here to ask some key questions about Jesus and the Bible." With that statement, all of my frustrations, concerns and weariness seemed to fall to the side.

For the next hour we studied through 1 John 2. Olivia started in with all of her questions, " If I am to love God first, how about my family?" "Do we ever achieve perfection in this life?" "If I love God, can I still have my material possessions?" "What does it mean to love the world?" And the questions kept coming for the next hour.

What was encouraging about the morning, was not just to get to answer the questions for Olivia, but to see the people I have been working with over the past months in action. They assisted in handling the apologetic answers beautifully. Gently, but without compromise. Olivia went away from the group with solid answers to her questions. Also, she asked to come back next week. Please pray for her and that she would come to the saving knowledge that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

The rest of the day involved getting ready for another event with close to 100 people coming to hear another Inspiring People panel. I got home about 10pm that night.

It was a great day. To start off and finish the day with big events that proclaimed the Gospel to a large audience in Parramatta and in Sydney. But the thing that excited me most about the day was that dispite my attitude and weariness, I had the priviledge to sit down and share the Gospel and the finer points of the Bible with a young lady that I hope to see in a relationship with Christ one day. Me, a man from small town Iowa, sitting in a boardroom in the largest bank in Australia, sharing about Jesus.

That is what it is all about. Without sounding trite or cliched, it was not how good I was feeling that day that made the difference. Quite the contrary, despite me the Lord was able use this former businessman who had a stinking attitude to share the most amazing gift in the world, the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a young lady in Sydney, Australia. Figure that one out. It can only be with God.

This makes me thankful for all of you that support us. This is an amazing priviledge. God is utilising your financial giving and prayers in mighty ways. God is amazing! Thank you.

The adventure continues...

Russ Matthews