Thankful in 2009: Action and Waiting

Psalm 130:5-6I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.

“All that wait on the Lord, cheerfully stay themselves on him. This redemption is redemption from all sin. Jesus saves people from their sins… All that wait on God for mercy and grace, are sure to have peace.” –M. Henry

It would be hard to summarize this year, the closest we could find was in two words, action and waiting. These are not two words that normally come together, but they define the year. We have highlights and low-lights for the year, but they seem to fall within these categories. There have been many activities going on in Sydney and at church and we are still waiting on the Lord for the response of the people who were involved. This has been a building year for many ministries and it will be exciting to see what the Lord will do with the seeds that have been planted throughout the year. We want to thank you for being part of these events through your financial giving and prayers. We thought that giving a list of praises and continual prayer points would be a good way to round out the year. We will include a list of things to look forward to in 2010.

Action - Highlights & Praises: (Look through our updates in 2009 to get more in depth stories) • Inspiring People – over 1200 in attendance and 150+ involved in follow-up courses • An amazing programme of speakers at City Bible Forum • Russ giving the talk series on Lighten Your Load – Evangelistic series in November out of Matthew 11 • Visit from the Kevin and Jeanie Thomas (Saylorville Baptist) • Life of Jesus courses & Bible Reading Groups in the city • Urban Fight Club – Building year • Nehemiah series at Glorious Hope Baptist • Distance Education programme for the kids through Australian Christian College • Josh playing Australian Rules Football

Waiting - Prayer points: • The salvation of Olivia, Benji, Annie & others who continue to come to the various courses • Finances for city ministry and personal support needs • Health & weariness from this past year for ministry team & family • Decisions for church opportunities & planning for ministries throughout Sydney • Changing roles at City Bible Forum & Glorious Hope Baptist

What is coming in 2010: • Furlough (Appointments set w/ all churches and a supporters dinner in October) • Application for citizenship (February) • Working towards a church plant in the city in 2011 • Exciting programme at City Bible Forum (new speakers, new evangelistic outreaches, new courses) • Growth and planning for Urban Fight Club (Men’s ministry) • Girls getting their drivers license

This does not begin to encapsulate all that has happened this year, but we are amazed at God’s work in this land of Australia. If you would like more details about some of the above items, e-mail us or look through our website and we will get you the answers to your questions about our ministry opportunities. It is a slow, hard work, but we fall in love with the people of Australia and God more and more each day. We will admit that this year has been hardest in missing family and friends in the US, but we are thankful for how the Lord has provided “family” and friends here through the many people we have come to love and serve here. Also, we have grown more in our relationship with God, it has been great to look forward to sharing the message of the Gospel with the anyone who will give it a listen. We have seen the Lord provide in mighty ways this year and we look forward to what He has planned for us in 2010.

We will keep you posted on our movements in the US in 2010. Please pray for our preparations and traveling, it will be hard to be away from home (Australia), but we are looking forward to seeing all of you. Thanks for being part of this year through your giving and prayers, even through the tough economic times. We are grateful for your faithfulness to support the Lord’s work in Australia.

The adventure continues… Russ & Cathy Matthews