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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
6429 NW 6th Drive, Des Moines IA 50313
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