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.
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.
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.
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