Ministry Updates

On this page we tell you of our ministry. You can come to this section for news and prayer requests. Effort will be given to keep this page up to date on recent ministries, current ministries and upcoming events and ministries.

Term 5

Douglas Dispatch 30 March 2017

There is joy in serving Jesus . . .

God is good all the time...all the time, God is good! Through the good times and the bad times, God is good! We give Him praise for His goodness to us!

Thank you all for your prayers for us as we serve with ABWE in Australia.

This year has gotten off to a good start. Barb expected to have around 30 Kindergarten students in her Scripture classes. But it turned out she has 44! Praise the Lord! One term is already nearly done. With Easter coming, the death and resurrection of Jesus is the focus over these recent weeks. FOCUS has started well. Matt so enjoys sharing with international students, many of whom are hearing about Christianity for the first time. Matt has had great opportunities for pastoral ministry to residents and staff at the nursing home. There is some upheaval going on there with a new building opening up and residents having to move rooms–Matt can be there as a positive influence during this transition.

We enjoyed our Japanese exchange student, Saya. She was with us for a month, taking classes from the University and going on many excursions with her group. Unfortunately we had rain most of the days she was here, but she seemed to enjoy herself. She is eager to come back to Australia some day. We had the opportunity to show her what a Christian home is like, and talk to her about the Lord. She had no previous experience with Christianity, but she was open to hearing about it. We trust that we have planted some seeds and that the Lord will continue to work in her heart.

Exchange Student

Thank you for praying about the approval to build a garage. We now have the approval, but the rains have prevented any work from beginning.

Luke in Corban University play

Barb was thrilled to be able to make a quick trip back to Salem to see Luke perform in Corban University’s play–Robin Hood. We were blessed with some extra Christmas gifts, so she was able to make the trip. It was a complete surprise to Luke, as she showed up one evening at the backstage door about an hour before curtain time. We are also thrilled that Luke will be coming home for his summer break. Pray that he will be able to find a political internship here (he must have 250 more hours for his graduation requirements). A part time paid job would be great too!

Thanks for praying for Amy’s job situation. The Lord has provided a new job! She is no longer working for Starbucks, and is now in training to be a telephone customer service representative for a health insurance company. She’s happy for more and better hours.

Luke in Corban University play

Easter is coming soon, and as this is also the school holidays here, we’re going to have a three-day Holiday Kids Club (VBS). A sister church is sending a team of young people to help with the club–their church did the same program in January. They’re loaning us the decorations, materials and manpower to be able to run it. Please pray that we will have a good attendance–that our advertising will bring many along. We’re trusting that this will give us many new contacts for the church.

Pray for Matt’s upcoming trip to Japan and Russia to do some survey work for SEE. He will be gone for two weeks in May. Pray that he will make the contacts he needs to in preparation for the World Cup in 2018 and the Summer Olympics in 2020.

Thanks so much for your continued partnership with this ministry, through prayer and/or finances.

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia   &
Sports Event Evangelism

January 2017
Pressing toward our upward calling

Dear friends and partners,

As we begin a new year, we are looking forward with anticipation to what God has in store for us here at Living Hope Baptist Church as well as with the Sports Event Evangelism ministry. We are privileged to serve with ABWE in these ministries and trust that you will continue in your prayers for us.

It’s summer time here in Australia. We’ve had a heat wave here, while most of you are digging out from the snow, ice, rain, and floods. Summer here means time to rest and prepare for the new school/ministry year ahead. We’ve taken these “less busy” weeks to prepare some required reports, (find our 2016 ministry video report here) do some required study, and plan for what’s ahead. Matt has also been working on his application to the local government for approval to build a garage/carport on our property. We’re almost there, but have had to jump through several more expensive hoops just to get the approval.

We’ve seen a few visitors at church through the past couple of months, some for a one-off vacation visit; some family members of regular attenders here for an extended visit; some more long-term attenders who we trust will continue coming. Of course, there has been the usual “hit and miss” of regulars who are away on holiday or unwell.

After a month of Christmas focus, we have picked up our study again of Hebrews in our Sunday morning messages. Jesus is indeed BETTER! Our Tuesday evening study has been a challenging one on showing mercy–something we all need to be reminded of. Not only does God show us His great mercy, but we also need to show it to others–to “love mercy.”

We’ve been pursuing the SEE ministry with looking toward application for 501c3 status with the IRS, and working on a logo for the ministry. We’re close to nailing down what we want.

We had a quiet Christmas. There were no university students needing a place to go this year, so after our Christmas Day service we had Christmas dinner just the two of us (yes, we’re missing our children!). We went to a friend’s house for a visit later in the afternoon. For New Year, we watched the 9 pm fireworks display from Sydney on TV. Barb went to bed early. Matt stayed up to watch the midnight show on TV. I guess we’re starting to show our age!

Next week school will start up again, which means ministries will soon be ramping up for the year. Barb looks forward to Scripture teaching, probably the Kindergarteners again. Matt is looking forward to getting back to FOCUS and having opportunity to share the gospel with international uni students. Our nursing home ministry, which gives us a break in January, will begin again as Matt will go weekly to minister to residents, and we will hold our monthly chapel service for them. Barb is looking to take more of a role in her Sweet Adelines Chorus by participating in a Music Leaders course. Pray that all these ministries will give more opportunities to be intentional in our evangelism.

Late next month we are going to host a Japanese university exchange student for one month. We are looking forward to the opportunity to have an impact on one who likely has no religious beliefs. It is also a good opportunity to learn some Japanese for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!

Our children are doing well. Amy and Casey are persevering with their jobs and paying off college bills. Pray for Amy as she looks for a different job that will pay better and give her better hours. Luke is trying to juggle schoolwork, play practice (he has the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham for Corban’s Spring play “Robin Hood”–if any of you are in the Salem area in early March, check it out!), girlfriend and job. He was not happy with all the snow and ice this winter in Salem! After all, he grew up in Australia!

Thanks so much for your continued partnership with us, through prayer and/or finances.

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia   &
Sports Event Evangelism

At church

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Douglas Dispatch - June 2016

Dear friends and partners:

God is good, all the time; all the time, God is good! We are praising the Lord for His protection a couple of weeks ago when a severe storm hit the east coast of Australia. It started north, and barrelled down the coast, with driving rain, high winds, and "king tides" which devastated many areas, brought flooding and erosion, and made life particularly difficult for a few days. We still had church Sunday morning, but our attendance was down due to power outages and general unwillingness to come out on such a stormy day. But God IS good, and He is in control of the wind and the waves.

We did take advantage of the high seas on Monday, and visited a nearby coastal "blowhole," where the water was gushing and churning through the rocks. It was amazing to see this display God's power.

We are praising the Lord for a new lady at our church, Living Hope Baptist. Pray for Carol, as she is fairly new to the area, has a lot of questions, and seems to be happy to join with us. She even came to our Bible study last week, where we are now studying Revelation.

We are praising the Lord for the opportunity to acknowledge those in the medical field and "unsung heroes" at our recent National Day of Thanks. We produced some certificates to present to people and they were all received with gratitude and amazement. Many here don't even know Australia has a National Day of Thanks, and so it's fun to explain it to them and to thank them for their contribution to our community. It gives us an opportunity to share God's love with them. Each year there is a different focus, and it was fun to have so many in our small congregation that work in the medical field! And also to be able to go to our various medical practitioners and thank them for their work.

Most of the ladies at our church attended a day of the annual AFBC ladies retreat.  It is good to have the ladies of our church enjoy the fellowship of ladies from like minded churches around the country.  Since it is held only 20 minutes up the coastal road from our church, the ladies have easy access to a good spiritual challenge and encouragement.

We have had the opportunity as a church to come to the aid of some who were in need of temporary housing. The "cottage" at our church has been well used over the past couple of months. What a blessing to help out a Chinese couple, with a newborn, as they waited for passport/visa for their new daughter. The father had to return to China, while mom and baby stayed behind to wait. The paperwork has now come through, and the family is reunited in China.

Just as they moved out, an ABWE family en route to Papua New Guinea had to make an unexpected layover in Sydney. This family of 5 plus a father-in-law was able to stay in the cottage while they waited for their next flight on to PNG.

God has blessed us with this cottage to help out in times of need. Pray that in January, when we are expecting a work crew to come and help, we can get a wall rebuilt and remodel the kitchen and laundry.

We have one month before we head back to the states for a three-month "mini-furlough," which also includes going to the Rio 16 Outreach. It will be good to catch up with a few of our church and individual partners, as well as Amy and Luke and other family. Pray that all our preparations will go smoothly. There is a lot to do before we leave.

We will be in the USA from July 10 2016 till Sept. 29 2016. We will be visiting our Michigan churches as well as those in Oregon and Washington. Here's a glimpse of our schedule:

10 July, Attend San Francisco Bible Church AM service
Amtrak across the USA
13 July - 15 July with Matt’s parents
15 July - 16 July, with Brian and Stephanie Cannon
17 July, AM, Mammoth Baptist Church, Pastor Curtis Wilson
17 July, PM travel by car to Wexford, PA,
18 July - 21 July, travel to McLean, VA,
attend ABWE’s Missionary Enrichment Conference,
22 July, ABWE Headquarters & Golf Scramble
22-23 July, return by car to MI,
24 July, Hastings Baptist Church, Nashville Baptist Church
Amtrak to Albuquerque, 30 July 3:55 PM
30 July - 6 August, with Casey & Amy Cundall
7 August - 17 August, Rio 16 Outreach
18 August - 19 September, stay in Salem, Oregon, (location unknown at this time)
28 August, First Baptist Church, Tumwater, WA
11 September, First Baptist Church, Gold Beach, OR
12 September, Baptist Network Northwest Pastors & Wives Retreat, Cannon Beach, OR
19 September, travel to Windsor, CA (accommodation unknown at this time)
Sending church, First Baptist Church, Windsor, CA
Fly from San Francisco, 28 September, 11:25PM, to Sydney, 30 September, 7:00AM

Amy and Casey were able to make a trip to Idaho for Casey's sister's wedding. We were invited to view the wedding on-line, which worked well, and we were even able to get a glimpse of Amy and Casey during the ceremony.

Luke is plugging away on his own in Salem for the summer. He has worked for a political candidate, getting some work experience for college credit (not paid). And he has a job at Wendy's near where he is staying, but they have not yet given him any hours! He also has a possible paid position with another political candidate.

Thanks for your prayers!

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia   &
Sports Event Evangelism

From the lookout by our home

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Douglas Update
21 Jan 2016
Our Hot Summer Is Here!


Dear friends and partners,

Thank you so much for your prayers. We have had some ups and downs over the past month or so. Keep praying!

It was great having Luke here for a couple of weeks over Christmas. The time went all too quickly, though, and he is already well in to the Spring semester at Corban. We had some good times together. It was nice just having him around the house again!

Amy and Casey are doing well. We're praising the Lord that Casey got a new job with a private company working with background/security checks, which would mean working from home. This would be fantastic for them after a year of night shift. Amy is still working at Starbucks. They're taking next week off before the new job starts and traveling to Casey's family in Idaho. Pray for their safety on wintery roads!

Church is going well. Two of our members are really growing spiritually and we are so thankful for their input and contribution to the life of our church. We continue to have visitors, but only two who are "sticking around" for more than one week. God is growing our church slowly. We have one new person coming along to our mid-week Bible study.

In December, we interviewed a couple to come and help us in an internship/assistant pastor role, with the hope that they might stay as pastor. Unfortunately, they chose not to come. We're trusting the Lord to bring just the right person to lead Living Hope Baptist Church into the future.

We enjoyed our Christmas day service, and then had three from church spend the day with us (one of our members, an Indonesian woman and a Chinese man). We had a great meal, and good fun and fellowship.

Our summer outreach at Living Hope Baptist was a special speaker that addressed the Christian Heritage of Australia.  While we were not founded for Christian freedom as the USA was, we have had godly people who have made a big difference throughout our history.  As missionaries to this great country, we learned so much.  It was a blessing to the small group of people who came.

Matt is anticipating a study through the Book of Joshua in the new year. We are thrilled that our co-workers, the Webers, have arrived back in Australia. It is nice to have our ministry partners back again! Pray for our planning of events and activities throughout the year that will be good for outreach and evangelism in our community.

Matt has been struggling with some health issues related to heliobactor pyrea, and bad reactions to some medication he was taking for that ailment. Please pray that he will get back to normal soon!

Thanks again for all your prayers!

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

  & S.E.E.

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DOUGLAS UPDATE
23 Oct 2015
Springing into ministry

Dear friends and partners,

God is so good! We have much to praise Him for!

* We had wonderful helpers for the past six weeks. Many projects were completed on the church property.
* We have a new member! Ainslie has been coming to church for two+ years, and has made a commitment to join our church officially. She has grown so much, and is eager to serve!
* Our mid-week Bible study, viewing the Truth Project DVD series, has caused our people to really consider a Biblical worldview and change their attitudes toward how we relate to the world and to one another.
* The family that has been struggling through a dark time has seen much good come out of their trial.
* People of our church have invited others to come to an activity this weekend.
* People of our church have been generous in helping a family out financially.

God is so good!

Thank you for your prayers and partnership with us. While we will be short-handed over our summer months (a family must be gone for the next three months), we are looking forward to the Christmas season. Pray that we'll have an impact in our community, and will have opportunities to proclaim Christ and His salvation.

We have been struggling through the last Seminary class we must take to be eligible for our Master's Degrees. Pray that we will persevere. Less than two months before we must complete the class.

Only five more teaching weeks for Scripture classes this year, and then there will be an end-of-year program. Pray that Barb will choose carefully the lessons to teach and the children will listen well. Pray for children's hearts to be changed.

FOCUS ministry is winding down for the year as well with our last night set for November 19. We had a unsaved visitor from FOCUS on Sunday. Pray that he was able to understand the gospel as it was presented, and that Matt and others will have a chance to follow up with him.

Thanks for praying!

In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas
ABWE Australia and SEE



27 May 2015

Dear friends and partners:

Thank you so much for your partnership in prayer with us! We are needing special grace as we deal with two separate heartbreaking tragedies. We can't go into detail, but two of our church attenders have been severely tested recently. We know we can count on your prayers for us and them.

Barb was away mid-May for her Sweet Adelines convention/competition in Hobart, Tasmania. Then the day after she returned, Matt traveled to the Central Coast (about three hours north) to attend a 3-day church planting conference. We are happy to be back together again!

Continue to pray for the growth of our church - Living Hope Baptist Church. We are welcoming a short-term ministry helper from the States today. We are eager to give him opportunities to help in outreach, maintenance, and however else the Lord leads. He will be staying 3-4 months.

Barb has taken two more Scripture classes--four Kindergarten classes in all now. One class has a couple of autistic students. Pray that she will be able to meet the extra challenge that that brings. Pray that these precious children will understand God's love for them.

Barb's health continues to be good; sometime next month she'll go back to the doctor for an ultrasound to see if the blood clot in her leg has dissolved.  Matt has had an ear infection for a month and then came down with the local cold that has been making the rounds, but he is on the mend now.

Most of the ladies at our church will be attending the annual ladies retreat on May 30 (just for the day). Sunday the 31st is Australia's National Day of Thanksgiving, where we have the opportunity to say thank you to a designated sector of the population. This year the theme is people who work in finance and accounting. We are inviting bankers and accountants with whom we have worked.

Please pray for the Sports Event Evangelism ministry. Registration is underway for the Rio 16 Outreach. The "earlybird" registration closes on June 1 (next week!). Close to 50 have already signed up! Continue also to pray for the funding of the material we will be handing out. The booklet is finalized and now being prepped for printing in 10 languages. Check out the website: gofundme.com/rio16outreach.

God has been good in providing our needs. We know that He is always good.

Thanks for your prayers!

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia   &
Sports Event Evangelism



22 April 2015


G'day all!

Thank you for your continued prayers for us. We are amazed at how good our God is! We are enjoying being back in Australia, back in our home, and back in our church. We've had some encouragement that there are people we've been in touch with who are interested in attending church. Our recent visitor, John, has been absent for a few weeks, but is looking forward to coming back, and he is active in inviting others as well. Pray for Chris, an accountant from China who just moved into the area and was looking for a Baptist church. He's taking his CPA exam this week.  A newlywed named Sam has promised to visit soon and another lady named Bev is excited about visiting soon.

At our Annual General Meeting last week, we discussed the remaining items that need to be tackled as far as repair, renovation and maintenance at the church. We have been busy getting quotes and learning just what it will take to complete these jobs. It all takes money, time, tools and manpower. Pray for all these. We are looking for teams to come help us.

Coming up this week: A church planting conference in Sydney on Monday, Scripture classes starting up again after the two-week autumn break, FOCUS at the University, ANZAC Day (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) service on Saturday at the rest home (this is a big holiday here honoring those who fought at Gallipoli, and celebrates its 100th year this week), and Matt will be preaching again on Sunday from Ephesians 3.

Thanks to those of you who have contributed towards Barb's medical expenses. God has moved the hearts of several to make a massive difference.  We rejoice in God's supply once again!  

Luke is busy finishing up the semester at Corban University. He's planning to go back to Matt's parents' house in Michigan for summer break. Pray that he'll be able to find work for the summer. Amy and Casey are doing well, we think. We don't hear much from them because they don't have internet at home (what in the world did we ever do without internet?). Amy is involved with a local theater production as an understudy and backstage help, which she is really enjoying.

Thanks for your prayers. We appreciate them very much.

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia   &
Sports Event Evangelism




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Term 4


21 January 2015

Psalm 9.1 says “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”

God is Wonderful and all He does is Wonderful! We know that from His Word and from experience. Throughout this year we have had the opportunity to travel extensively and tell thousands of people of the wonderful things God has been doing in our ABWE church planting ministry in Australia. There is no way we could share everything. In heaven we can have more opportunity for that.

Throughout this year we have also seen the Wonders of God. To date we have literally traveled 63,000 miles in our car PLUS about 10,000 in rented/borrowed cars. Add to that we have had around 30 flights of various lengths. In all this we have been seen God's grace and protection. While that much travel probably contributed to Barb's DVT and PE, we have had no accidents and only had 3 car repairs. God is so good!

Now we are trying to wrap up furlough and get back to the field. As we type this update we need $191.83 per month before we can get financial clearance to buy our plane tickets. We have arrived at this point through God working in the hearts of many new individual partners and a few churches. Please pray if God would have you partner with us for a portion of this shortfall. Pray also about the possibility of God directing you to suggest a friend to us who may be interested in hearing of this church planting ministry.

We can't stress enough that we need to raise that $191.83 per month to be able to return. We have cut our personal budget way back to keep this figure as low as possible. We will be living by faith at this low budget amount. We need prayer that the exchange rate does not rise, the interest rate on our mortgage does not rise, and that we do not have things break or wear out over the next couple of years.

We have also had to completely pull out the Sports Event Evangelism budget from our support. If we only get the $191.83 before we leave we will have no money set aside to see this great ministry go forward. The plan had been to raise $400 per month to cover our costs of making this ministry happen. We will be depending on one time gifts or God prompting people to support this ministry while we are on the field. While this is not wise, we seem to have no other choice at this time. We trust a wonderful God to supply, as He has in the past, for this great ministry.

Next Thursday, January 29th, Matt will travel with four others to visit Rio Brazil. This trip is to prepare for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. We will organize food, lodging, transport, and even witnessing sights/locations. It would be impossible to take the 100-150 people with us in 2016 for this ministry without this trip. Pray with us that all will go well and that we will accomplish our long list of things on the “to-do” list.

If we can't get the support raised, we can't return to Australia. $191.83 is not that much. We believe God can bring this in this week before Matt has to fly to Brazil and place his focus elsewhere. We ask that you pray with us for God's wonderful supply. 19 people @ $10 each; 8 families @ $25 each; 4 families at $50 each – These are real possibilities. Our average individual/family partner gives $70 per month.

In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas
ABWE Australia
&
Sports Event Evangelism



Jan 9 2015
Health update

Dear friends and partners,

We've had quite a roller coaster ride over the past month. Some of you may already know, but here's an update on Barb's health:

On December 17 Barb was diagnosed with a blood clot (DVT) in her left lower leg. She was immediately put on a newer blood thinning medication, and given the ok to travel as long as we took breaks every 1-2 hours. On the 21st we began our (Matt, Barb & Luke) journey by car to Albuquerque New Mexico to visit with our daughter Amy and son-in-law Casey, who had just moved there from Ohio. We really enjoyed Christmas together as a family, and were able to help Amy and Casey move into an apartment on the 30th. Over that week, Barb was troubled by some unusual symptoms, and we went to an Urgent Care Clinic. She was seen much quicker than we anticipated (the line was very long), and they immediately arranged for her to be transported by ambulance to the hospital. After a CT scan, two more clots were discovered, one in each lung! After two days in the hospital, and a change in medication, we were encouraged to make it back to California where she could settle and get care from a "regular" doctor. (On furlough, nothing is "regular"!)

We are now back in Windsor, CA, and Barb is getting more rest and care. She is on Warfarin (Coumadin). This requires regular blood testing to see if the blood is appropriately thin enough to prevent further clots, and the body will eventually take care of the existing clots.

What does this mean for our return to Australia? We are trusting that the doctor here will give us the okay to continue with our plans to return early February. A long flight means getting up and walking up and down the aisle and stretching regularly. We are looking forward to getting back to Australia where Barb can see her regular doctor there!

Pray with us that this will resolve quickly.

Praise the Lord that we have now completed reporting to our supporting churches and don't anticipate any other travel before our return to the field.

Our time this month will be spent in partnership development. Our support is still far short of what we need to live and minister in Australia. Please pray that God would supply the financial partnerships we need to return fully supported. If you are interested in talking with us about partnering, or know of someone who would like to learn more about our ministry, please let us know! Or you can contact ABWE:

WEB: abwe.org/give (our account number is 0110321)

PHONE: 1-800-901-2293 (donor services)

EMAIL: donorhelp@abwe.org

ADDRESS: PO Box 8585, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8585

Thank you for faithfully praying for us. We give glory to God for His love, care and provision for us.

Matt & Barb
ABWE Australia

17 Oct. 2014

Further Furlough Travels

Hello everyone,

Thank you for being so patient with us as we have been traveling around the past several weeks. We have neglected to keep in touch to let you know what God is doing. So sorry! Our time in Alaska was a blessing. We stayed with some great people and enjoyed telling churches and individuals about the ministry. Thanks to Calvary Baptist in Kenai for increasing our support, and for some new individual partners from Homer!

After Alaska, we spent time with Matt's family in Michigan, and with our daughter and son-in-law in Ohio. That was a wonderful time. Amy was Aunt March in the university's production of Little Women. What a delight to see her acting! Amy is close to finishing her degree, and she and Casey will be moving to Albequerque NM just before Christmas.

Luke seems to be doing well in his first semester at Corban University. We don't hear much from him, so he must be keeping busy.

We have been asked to head up a new ministry: SEE (Sports Event Evangelism). This will be the Summer Olympic Games outreach that has previously been sponsored by Answers in Genesis under the direction of Dr. David Crandall. He would like to retire, and we have been excited about this ministry since the 2000 Sydney Games. As you know, Matt has also been going to the FIFA Soccer World Cup events since 2006. We are still church planting in Australia, and will be able to direct this new ministry from there. We have seen such great results from each event since 2000, and we are eager to take on this new role.

Below is our schedule for the rest of the year. We would ask you to pray for continued safety as we travel, and also that God would supply new partners in church planting in Australia and SEE. Our support needs have increased this year with the new ministry and the rise in insurance and housing costs. Please pray about whether you or someone you know might be able to partner with us so we can return to the field by mid-January.

October 19: Highland Baptist Church, Hayward, CA
October 26: Calvary Baptist Church, Paradise, CA
November 2: Orchard Ave Baptist Church, Vacaville, CA
November 9: San Francisco Bible Church
November 10-15, Salem, OR, attend Corban University fall production of Camelot (Luke is in the play!)
November 16: Sunrise Valley Baptist Church, San Jose, CA
Fly to Michigan
November 19: Nashville Baptist Church, Nashville, MI
November 21: Attend Amy's Senior Theatre Project at Cedarville, OH
Thanksgiving with Matt's family
Fly to California

Thanks for praying!

Matt & Barb
ABWE Australia




AlaskanHike

18 Sept 2014

Autumn Ministries and Travel

Dear friends and partners,

We thought we'd send you an update of our upcoming meetings and travel.

Tuesday, September 16, travel from Salem, OR to Roseville, CA.
September 19, fly from Sacramento, CA to Kenai, Alaska
September 21-24, Calvary Baptist Church, Kenai, AK
September 28, Berean Baptist Church, Kodiak, AK
October 5, Glacierview Baptist Church, Homer, AK (Also our 29th anniv.)
October 6, fly to Sacramento, CA
October 8, fly from Sacramento, CA to Grand Rapids, MI, visit with family and partners in the area
October 10, attend Cedarville University fall production of Little Women
(Amy is in the play!)
Saturday-Monday, visit with family and partners in MI
October 14, fly from Grand Rapids, MI to Sacramento, CA
October 19: Highland Baptist Church, Hayward, CA
October 26: Calvary Baptist Church, Paradise, CA
November 9: San Francisco Bible Church
November 10-15, Salem, OR, attend Corban University fall production of Camelot (Luke is in the play!)
November 16: Sunrise Valley Baptist Church, San Jose, CA
Fly to Michigan
November 19: Nashville Baptist Church, Nashville, MI
Thanksgiving with Matt's family
Fly to California
November 30: Vacaville, CA

There's a lot of traveling going on for us in the next few months.
Please pray for our safety!

We have heard of some blessings resulting from Matt's time at the Soccer
World Cup in Brazil: To date we are watching as followup is underway, or completed, with around 75 + people who have come to Christ.  God did a wonderful work!!!  Let me share just a few of the most recent results.  These are all direct results of our sharing the gospel with people and or giving them a tract.

* Pastor Benitez from Paraguay, recently sent news that 2 families have professed salvation in Jesus Christ! He is praising God that we reached out to these families during their travels to Brazil.  They are attending faithfully.

* In San Juan, Paraguay 5 people are saved and now connected with the local church.

* A pastor in Atibaia, Brasil has seen a marked difference in interest and involvement because of the number of people saved during the FIFA World Cup. He continues to disciple each to strengthen them in the faith.

* A pastor and missionary serving in Ivoti/Porto Alegre, Brasil said, “We are doing really well and everyone continues the spirit of reaching out to others that you ignited while you were here. We had 48 teenagers show up on Tuesday at our “Soccer Ministry.” Before the World Cup the youth group was just a handful.

* In Asuncion, Paraguay, Brother Michael Meiers says, “We already have 5-6 people wanting to go out as missionaries because they have seen the results of the outreach to the FIFA World Cup.”

We are so thrilled to watch God work.  We hope you feel intimately connected with these results.  God is changing lives for eternity, and you have been a great part of making that happen.

Pray with us that God would fill our weeks with opportunities to share with potential new partners. We desire to continue in ministry and our partners are a very important part of helping us serve!

Thanks for praying!

Matt & Barb
ABWE Australia

Furlough is half over; ministry continues

July 2014

Hello friends and supporters:

Well, the Soccer World Cup outreach has come and gone.  What a whirlwind of activity and travel for the opportunity to share Christ our Redeemer with people from all over the world!  Matt had a fabulous time.  There were many memorable experiences, like: I was on the streets of Curitiba Brazil the day of the Nigeria VS Argentina match in the local stadium.  I remember one person I handed a tract to, but because I could not speak Spanish I was unable to talk with him.  About a half hour later I noticed he was having a conversation with a co-corker who has a little comprehention of Spanish.  It was great that the man I had handed the tract to sat down and read it.  Being convicted of the need to look further into matters of eternal life, he sought out someone else that was also passing out tracts that could speak his language.  We pray that God will continue to do a work in this man's life as He draws this man through the power of the Holy Spirit into a saving relationship.

Two days later, we were in another city witnessing.  I came across two Korean individuals that could not speak the local language and had very little English skills.  When I gave them a tract in Korean they became very excited.  I communicated that it was a great idea to have a read of the booklet, and they were thrilled to go over to the curb and sit there and read.  As I continued to pass out tracts, I would glance their direction from time to time.  As they read it, they began pointing out to each other things that they were interested in.  Both men teared up as they discussed the booklet together.  After some time they came up to me and asked if I had more information on "these things."  Oh how I wished I could speak Korean!  I pointed out the main points of sin, redemption and forgiveness.  They nodded their heads in agreement, and yet wanted to know more.  As they left with tearful smiles on their faces, I prayed to God to save their souls, and give them a wonderful church to grow in as they return to their home country.

Lastly, on the last day we were able to pass out tracts, I made a mistake of handing a tract to a FIFA official.  That caused us to be ejected from the area we had been witnessing in.  We did not worry about this as God had already opened up so many doors that day that we were running very low on tracts.  As my coworker and I walked out of the restricted area and around the corner I noticed a group of school children on the opera house steps.  We handed out a few more tracts and eventually I spotted the teacher of this school excursion group.  I approached her with an offer to give each child a wordless bracelet and a tract that explained it.  The teacher was suprised.  She asked if I had enough to do that.  As I assured her that I had plenty, she told me that the group was actually a small Baptist day school that was made up of mostly unsaved street children.  She was thrilled with the opportunity to talk with the children about the meaning of each of the colors.  It would give her an official "excuse" to talk in detail about the gospel with the children and make sure they understood it.  The children were very grateful to get a free gift.  The teacher was ecstatic to have an opportunity to visibly share the love of Christ.

Christ our Redeemer

Thank you for praying.  Matt had to leave two days later than planned because of Brazilian Visa issues.  He traveled 50+ hours by bus to get from one venue to another, usually at night.  His wallet was stolen out of his pocket, and he was twice caught in the pepper spray used to control the crowds near Copacabana Beach in Rio. (Someone said he should stay out of the crowds--but that's where the people are who need to hear the gospel!!)

Our furlough is half over.  We've had several Sundays free this summer, so we've enjoyed fellowshipping with our home church in Windsor, CA.  Please be in prayer, however, about our support.  We are still severely short--we need over $1300 per month.  If you feel God leading you to support us on a monthly basis (or increase support), please contact us and we will give you the details how you might do that.  Or write to ABWE, PO Box 8585, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8585, and indicate your intention to support Matt & Barb Douglas, account number 11032.  We also need one-time gifts to be able to replace a car and broken appliances when we return to the field.  Thanks for your prayers in this matter.  It is still our desire to return to Australia by the end of the year.

God is so good!  The ministry at Living Hope Baptist in Corrimal is continuing in our absence.  Pray that there would be continued growth in the lives of the people, and that there would be some numerical growth as well. We heard that they did have a visitor last Sunday that is interested in bringing his family back with him next time.

Amy and Casey are doing well, with 3 part-time jobs between the two of them for the summer (only amounting to about 40 hours a week), they are keeping busy.  Luke is preparing to begin Corban University this August and has been putting in some good hours at Walmart.

We will be relocating to the Salem, Oregon area for August and part of September.  We hope to see many of our friends from that area, along with ministering in our supporting churches in Oregon and Washington.

Thank you for your continued prayers for us.  Pray that God would direct our way back to Australia.


In His service.
Matt & Barb Douglas


ABWE Australia

 

Matt in Brazil


June 9 2014

Traveling On And On

Hello friends,

We have returned from our very long road trip back east and up into Montana.  We have covered many miles, met many wonderful people, renewed acquaintances, and ministered in a number of churches.  God has been so good in protecting us over these thousands of miles.

It was a joy to see our daughter, Amy, graduate from Cedarville University and then a week later be married to her man, Casey. It was a beautiful wedding.

Our son, Luke, who just celebrated his 19th birthday, has fared very well on his own while we've been away.  He flew out for Amy's graduation and wedding, but then flew back to continue working at Walmart to save some money for college.  He will be attending Corban University in Salem, Oregon in the fall (we graduated from there when it was known as Western Baptist College).

We have been encouraged by some churches who have increased our support, and some new individual supporters.  We are still at about 84%.  We will need around $1400 per month to return to the field. Please pray that the Lord will continue to raise up this needed support.

We were also encouraged to be at our ABWE headquarters, and to take part in a "Mobilizers Summit."  We were challenged to encourage others to consider missions, either as short-term helpers, or long-term co-workers in the harvest fields around the world.  There are so many opportunities everywhere in the world!

Some of you know we had car problems in both directions across country. The first repair in Denver was expensive, and the repair in Kalispell MT was not an expensive part, just costly labour and a worrying time delay. It all makes getting back to our place in California all the more comforting.

Barb had the opportunity to visit the town in Iowa where her mother was raised.  We found the property where she would have grown up, and we found the cemetery plot where Barb's grandparents and great-grandparents are buried, as well as grave markers of three of her mom's siblings who did not survive childhood.  It was very interesting.

We are amazed at God's provision.  Matt was just about ready to give up on the idea of going to the Soccer World Cup in Brazil.  We just didn't have the funds.  On that very morning, we got a call from an individual who offered to pay for the trip!  We are so thankful for this provision.  Matt will be in Brazil from June 19 to July 1. Pray that all the logistics will fall into place, as time is short to make all the necessary arrangements and to have tracts printed. The big thing he needs at this time is a Visa to enter Brazil. God needs to guide all his paperwork through as it is scheduled to arrive back the day before the flights.

Thank you all for your prayers.  Not only is God keeping us safe, but we have seen His supply of our needs throughout our many journeys. We have seen the beauty of His creation and enjoyed the comfort of family. God is amazing!!

In His service.
Matt & Barb Douglas


ABWE Australia

 

FamilyPicture

April 23 2014

He has Risen!

We trust that you all had a great Resurrection Sunday! We enjoyed the day with Matt's family, and Amy and Casey came up from Cedarville.

Thank you for praying for us while we are traveling around the states on furlough. We have already put lots of miles on our car, and we had some car problems on our way to Michigan, but God is good and we were able to keep to our travel schedule with only a few hours' delay to get the repair work done. Of course we have a bill for around $730 as well, but we are safe and it could have been worse.

Our meetings are going well. We appreciate all the support and encouragement we've received. We've been blessed with many good supporting churches and individuals, and have seen a slight increase in our support. We still estimate we need Thank you all for your partnership in the ministry in Australia.

The next big thing for us is of course Amy and Casey's graduation from Cedarville University on May 3, and their wedding on May 10. Please pray that all the preparations will go smoothly and that it will be a glorious day of celebration! We are very happy for them.

Pray for Luke as he is on his own in California, working for Wal-Mart. He will join us in Ohio on May 2 for the graduation and wedding.

We have been having a problem with our email. It should be working again now, but if you sent something since Palm Sunday (April 13), we likely did not receive it. Can you please resend it?

 


In His service.
Matt & Barb Douglas

April 4 2014

G'day to our faithful prayer supporters:

Thank you for supporting us with your prayers.  We have been blessed with great meetings so far on this furlough.  We have been excited by the response of the people in our supporting churches toward our ministry.  Keep praying that we would continue to enjoy the opportunity to reconnect with our churches.

We are praising the Lord that Luke has been hired by Walmart.  He's been working for over a week now, mostly in training and orientation, but it looks like he'll be working as a cashier.  It is our hope that when he goes to Corban University in Salem, Oregon, he will be able to transfer to one of the Walmart's there.

We are gearing up for our big trip back east to spend time with Matt's family in Michigan, report to our two supporting churches there, and to attend Amy's graduation at Cedarville University on May 3.  Of course, we'll also be busy helping with preparations for Amy and Casey's wedding on May 10.   For our full schedule check out the "furlough" tab at:  www.abwedouglas.net

God has been good in providing us with a comfortable place to live for these few months, and a supportive sending church who is eager to help with our needs.  For example, Barb needed to have a laptop computer to use (it was getting difficult for us to share one laptop while doing a seminary class on Hebrews), and someone in the church gave us one to use!

Please pray for our support to increase.  If each of our supporters raised us just $30 per month, we would have 100% of our support.  To date only one church as talked with us about raising our support.  We know God will provide in His perfect timing.

Thanks again for your prayers.

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

March 24 2014

Hello all,
We are enjoying our furlough.  So far the travel has been pleasant and the drives have not been so long that we can't stand our car.  Sure we get tired of that much time on the road, but we find the views of the redwoods, the herds of elk and the rolling green hills quite nice to look at.

Our meetings have gone very well.  We are enjoying seeing our supporting churches once again and catching up with the people who have been faithfully praying for us over the years.  Many of these first church we are reporting to have been supporting us for over 20 years!

Our upcoming schedule is:

March 30    Clearlake Baptist Church, Lakeport, CA
April 7        Grace Baptist Church, Redding, CA
Week of April 7    CARBC meetings, Grace Baptist Church
April 13        Vina Community Church, Vina, CA
Week of April 13    Travel to Michigan/Ohio
April 27    First Baptist Church, Hastings, MI
May 3        Graduation Ceremony, Cedarville University
May 10        Wedding - Amy and Casey Cundall

We were thrilled recently to have Amy and her fiancee here with us during their spring break.  We enjoyed some family time, and had an opportunity to do some wedding planning.  Amy helped Barb pick out a dress for the wedding.

Luke had chosen to go to Corban University in Salem, Oregon.  He just landed a job at Walmart here in Rohnert Park to help with college expenses.  Pray that he would also be able to find some extra scholarship/grant money.  College is very expensive!!

Our car seems to be holding out all right so far, although there are indications that there may be an electrical problem, which could be an expensive repair.  Pray that we won't have any major problems, as we are going to be putting a lot of miles on it this year.

We are getting good reports from the Webers who are filling in for us at Living Hope Baptist Church in Corrimal.  A new middle aged man has started attending.  They have slotted in well to the ministry and are praying about new ideas for ministry and outreach.  Pray that the church will grow.

Thanks so much for your prayers!

In His service,

Matt & Barb

 

March 10 2014

We appreciate all those who pray for our ministry and want to follow what the Lord is doing in and through our lives.  You may know we are on furlough throughout 2014.  We had a problem transfering our email address books to the laptop for furlough.  We found out after it was too late to do anything about it that our address book files are a jumbled mess or missing altogether.

We are needing to ask all our prayer supporters, and those who want to be, to reply to the following.  Without it you will not receive any emails from us during 2014.  Please copy the following and reply to sender (NOT TO ALL)

"Send me email:

____ Bi monthly

____ Monthly

____ Quarterly

____ Please delete me from all lists"



Thanks for helping us through this difficulty.  We appreciate your prayer very much.

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas
ABWE
Australia

Feb 27 2014

Furlough has begun!

Hello friends,

It has been a long while since we have sent out an update. Let us fill you in on what's been happening.

From Christmas until we left Australia on January 14, we packed and cleaned our house, tied up ministry at the church, and shipped two barrels back to America (since Luke is going to college in the states, he wanted to take most of his personal belongings—which includes lots of books. We also needed to have a way to ship extra clothes for our year in America).

On January 14 we left Sydney and travelled to Wellington New Zealand, where we spent three days vacationing. It was a very relaxing and very enjoyable three days.

We arrived in San Francisco on January 17, and began the process of settling in to American culture again. The first two weeks were spent traveling. We went to Salem Oregon the first week so Luke could see the campus at Corban University, for us to begin the process of getting expired drivers licenses renewed, and to purchase a vehicle. The Lord provided a 2007 Chrysler Sebring that had low mileage. So far it seems to be working out well for us. It was also nice to touch base with a few friends there. The second week Matt and Luke flew to Houston Texas, where Luke could see the campus at Houston Baptist University. He has since chosen Corban University to attend this fall.

We have been blessed by our sending church, First Baptist Church of Windsor, CA. They have helped us find and move into an apartment in Santa Rosa, CA. They have provided some of the things we needed to set up housekeeping (we have a trailer full of household goods we have had in storage during our time in Australia, but we are lacking in some necessary items). They have been a great encouragement to us in welcoming us as part of the body.

We have begun traveling each weekend reporting to supporting churches. We are in Northern California until Easter. The furlough page in our web site has a list of our schedule. It has been a blessing to reconnect with friends at these churches, some of whom have been supporting us for over 20 years!

Luke has been trying to find a job so he can have some savings before he starts college. So far he hasn't found anything. Please pray that he will.

Amy and her fiancee, Casey, will be flying to California for their Spring Break this weekend. We are so looking forward to seeing them, and being able to spend some time helping them in wedding planning. Pray that the weather will cooperate as there are storms forecast for both the Midwest and San Francisco.

Thanks for your prayers. We'll try to do better at keeping you updated through this furlough year!


In His service.
Matt & Barb Douglas

13 Oct 2013

Towards years end


Dear friends,

Our holiday is over and we're trying to settle back into the next few months of preparing for furlough.  There are lots of details to work out, projects to finish and arrangements to make.  Please pray that we'll work wisely and efficiently.

We were blessed to have Matt's family here with us for a few weeks. It will probably be the last time his parents will visit with us here due to age and finances.  Matt's sister and brother-in-law were fun to have around, and we got to know two of his cousins as they spent time with us as well.  We all went to our national capital, Canberra, for a day; made a few trips into Sydney, including seeing a play at the Opera House; and spent five days in Cairns, including a trip to an island to see some of the Great Barrier Reef.  Fun memories.

Family on Spring Holiday

The church is going well.  We just had another opportunity to provide a meal for the FOCUS Bible study group at the University. This is a great way to bring our people together for a common purpose, and it worked out beautifully.

Coming up in November we're going to be showing some DVDs on Sunday evenings to try to bring some people from the community into the church.  We'll also have our biannual Barbecue Birthday Bash where we celebrate birthdays from the last half of the year.

Please pray for Luke as he begins his "HSC" exams on Monday.  Over the next four weeks he'll have seven different exams which will give him his placement in university here in Australia.  He'll be going to college in the US for at least one year, but it will give him the option of returning to Australia to finish up his degree.  Pray that he will study effectively.

Luke also is looking for a job--he had an interview on Wednesday. If he secures a good job, he'll probably stay in Australia for the beginning of our furlough and join us in April in time to get to Amy's graduation and wedding.

The spring school holidays are over now, so Barb has begun her final term of teaching Scripture classes.  This week was a focused presentation of the gospel using the "wordless book."  Pray that the students will understand their need to make a choice to trust Jesus.

Thanks for your prayers for us.

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

11 Sept 2013

We serve a great God!


Dear friends,

We have a great God who encourages and strengthens us.  We are continually blessed by His great love for us!

Sunday the 8th was the annual community festival, Spring Into Corrimal.  The activities began at 10 am and continued until 4 pm.  Since our church borders the boundary for the downtown festival, we used the opportunity for the third year in a row to "give a cup of cold water" to those who passed by.  We gave away almost 500 bottles of water, and cooked up and served almost 200 "sausage sandwiches" (an Aussie favourite).  The weather was perfect--overcast and not too hot, but no rain.  There seemed to be a greater number of people out this year, and there were many opportunities to talk to them.  This year, many more seemed to ask about our church service times.  One of the church's neighbours, Kelly, came again and confessed that she is an agnostic with lots of problems.  She "loves us" as her neighbours, but is not willing to come to church.  A family who attends the Salvation Army church inquired about a Bible study--their church's study is not held at a convenient time for them.  Please pray that there would be fruit from this huge outreach event.

Our new tenants living in the church house seem to be settling in all right.  However, a big plumbing problem has been discovered, and we will have to be spending what we get in rent to get it repaired. Pray that this won't be too expensive!

We are looking forward to a two-week vacation beginning next week while Matt's family is visiting.  It will be good to spend time with them; we're traveling north to Cairns for four days during their time here.

Luke is graduating a week from Thursday (19th).  Pray for direction for his future (and a good job would be nice!)

Amy and Casey celebrated their 21st birthdays (yes, their birthdays are on the same day!).  It sounds like they had a nice day together, and threw a party at the school.  Casey has begun a paid internship in his field of study.

Scripture classes wind down next week for the two-week spring school holidays.  This week is Lazarus, and next week we cover the resurrection of Jesus.

Matt is still involved with the FOCUS Bible studies each Thursday evening, with many opportunities to talk with international students.

We appreciate your prayers for us.

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia


15 Aug 2013


Dear friends and supporters:

We have an amazing God.  We are constantly reminded of His power and beauty as we marvel at His creation.  And we are so blessed to have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe!

We're praising God for a new person in our church!  She's a single lady who just recently moved into the area.  Matt and I actually knew her from when we first arrived in Australia, but haven't seen her for many years.  She seems eager to be a part of our fellowship, and we are happy to have her!  Please pray that we can minister to Ainslie.

Next month is our Spring Into Corrimal Festival outreach. Even though money has been very tight, the church voted to fund the outreach again this year. We are grateful that the church takes seriously their need to be in the community and inviting people to "give God another look with us." Pray not only for our preperations but also for a great impact on Sept 8th.

We want to let you know that our computer was hacked recently, and so if you receive emails from us that are inappropriate or spam, we do sincerely apologize.  We are taking measures to tighten security, so we trust that we will have no further problems.  If you see something that you wonder about, please let us know.  Thanks!

Pray for our furlough plans. We need to get the churches booked over there AND also cover our ministry here for the time we will be away. Luke is unsure of his role in our furlough next year, whether he will travel with us some, or not at all.  He'll start college in the fall next year, and getting a job would certainly help out!

Pray for Amy as she begins her fall semester at Cedarville next week.

Pray for Matt's parents as they move into a new house starting this weekend.  They will be visiting us in September. We look forward to some vacation time with them!

Luke begins final exams next week, with more exams to come in October.

The church has secured a tenant for the house.  They will be moving in around the 23rd. Pray for a good relationship with them, and that they might be interested in attending the church.

Thanks for your prayers,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

29 July 2013

A slower pace after a fast winter start


Hello,
God is faithful and He is always at work.  We may not always see how He's working, but we can be assured that His is! We tend to believe that we are often looking where we want to see Him work, rather than having our eyes on Him and therefore seeing all He is doing. We do have some praise and prayer requests for you as you are "watchful in prayer" with us.

We are grateful that after all the work the teams were able to accomplish God gave us a couple of weeks to slow down and only work at about a 50% level. It really helps these aging bodies to get teh extra rest and let the stress of ministry slide off for a while.

We are thankful that the Australian dollar has weakened so our paychecks are coming to us a bit fatter than they have been over the past year. Being as under supported as we are (over $1100 per month), this exchange rate movement back towards "normal" helps a lot.

We are thankful for our home and our neighbors.  Praise the Lord that the other Christian family in our neighborhood invited our neighbors to their church to witness their baby dedication, and they all came!!  During the week many had quick private conversations with Matt about what to expect at a "Baptist" church. It was good fun to witness to them in their anticipation. Of course, since Matt was preaching at our church, we couldn't be there, but we joined them for lunch afterward. Pray with us that God would use us to reach our unsaved neighbors.

We are thankful for our children.  Amy is now visiting with Matt's family in Michigan up until she starts school again in late August. Matt's parents will be moving during this time, so Amy will be able to help with that.  Luke is in the midst of some major assessments and study for "trials"--like final exams.  He's feeling the stress. He's also doing more research on Christian universities.  Pray that he'll make a wise decision.

We haven't seen any more numerical growth in our church, but we are thankful for the spiritual growth we've seen in some of our people. We have a quarterly business meeting this Sunday, 4th of August.  Pray for unity and a good outcome.  The "parsonage" at the church is being advertised for rent.  Pray for a good tenant who will care for the property and pay their bills.

Matt is still enjoying FOCUS--the international student Bible study at the University of Wollongong.  He and our church member, Mehdi, had a chance to talk with a Muslim last week.

Barb will be teaching this week on John 3--what it means to be born again--to her Scripture classes at the public schools.

Please pray as we prepare for furlough.  We will probably be leaving here shortly after Christmas.  There is much to do, from preparing the church with a "relief" pastor/missionary, to preparing our home with a renter and packing up and storing our belongings, to scheduling meetings.  It's a big job.  Please pray for a smooth transition. If you are wanting to see us during 2014, please email and find out when we can make it to your area.

We're looking forward to Matt's family visiting in September.  Luke will be graduating on the 19th and they'll be here for that. We will be taking some vacation time to enjoy them while they are here.

Thank you for praying for us.  We are both experiencing some physical ailments--just nuisance things that tell us we're getting older!

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

1 July 2013


G'day all,

It has been a hectic couple of months, but very rewarding.  We're now done with two ministry teams that came from the US to help us with some renovation projects at the church.  The work completed is such a huge blessing to our people here!  Thank you to the Cedarville and First Baptist Windsor teams!  We really appreciate you and the sacrifices you made to help us here.

Now life can get back to "normal."  It's nice that there's a two-week school break, so ministries can slow down and we'll have a chance to catch our breath.

It was nice to chat "face-to-face" with Amy the other day over Skype and catch up with her.  (Isn't technology wonderful--when it works?!)  She and Casey are having fun with wedding plans.  She's taking three classes this summer, so she keeps pretty busy with that.  Pray that she may be able to pick up some work as well.

Luke is happy to have a three-week break from school.  He hopes to do a lot of school work, though, over the break, in preparation for his final term of high school, which will involve lots of exams and assessments.  After the break, there will be nine weeks left until graduation!  Pray that he will do well on his exams, and that the Lord would give him direction for his future.

This week is our once-a-month ministry at the local retirement home.  We so enjoy ministering to these dear ones.  Pray that we will be an encouragement to them.

Please pray that our church would see some new people come through the door.  We sometimes wonder what God is doing in keeping our group so small, and yet we know that He is working.  Our people are growing spiritually.  We are preparing one of the houses on the property to rent because the small church still can't pay the annual insurance bill--pray that that goes smoothly.

We are beginning to plan for furlough next year.  Our thoughts are gearing up for scheduling meetings, finding good air fares, where to live and what to drive. We want to connect with as many people as possible during 2014. This month we start making contacts for meetings and making other arraignments as the Lord leads.  Please be in prayer for God's direction, and if you or your church can help with any of the above, please let us know.

Thanks for praying for us.  We are so blessed by your support and prayers.

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

CUteam

FBC Windsor Ministry Team - June 2013

 

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8 June 2013

G'day all,

Well, May has come and gone and the cooler weather has set in.  Before the month of May began, we were wondering how we were going to manage all that was expected to happen during that month, but God is our great Source of strength. We had a wonderful time with the team from Cedarville University. They rebuilt our stage, refinished the front wall paneling in the church, began painting one of the church houses to prepare it for renting out, and helped with some finishing touches to the church kitchen!  What a blessing!

We both enjoyed a weekend getaway to Perth for Barb's Sweet Adelines convention.  Their chorus came in 3rd in their division and 5th overall in the country.

Barb also enjoyed the annual ladies' retreat.  One of our other ladies from the church also went for the first time.  It was a great weekend.

Thank you for your prayers about our house.  We have finally received approval from the local council to occupy our house, which is a good thing since we've lived in it now for over 6 months! lol We are only waiting now for some final paperwork.

We are pleased to announce the engagement of our daughter, Amy, to Casey Cundall, also a student at Cedarville.  He was part of the team, and while he and Amy were here, he asked Matt if he could ask her to marry him.  He did, and she said yes!  The plan at this stage is to have a wedding next May.

Luke is busy with school work in this last year of high school.  He is also taking the SAT and ACT exams for entrance into US universities if that's where God is directing him.  He will graduate on September 19, and be finished with his exams here on November 4. (Yes, that seems backwards, but here university entrance exams happen AFTER graduation).

Our next ministry team, from our sending church in Windsor, CA, arrives Wednesday evening the 12th of June.  We're looking forward to work being done in our church Sunday School classroom, nursery and office areas.

The FOCUS ministry to overseas students on the University campus is going very well. Each week we are making a difference as we help make the gospel clear to people with limited English skills. Though the whole purpose is to explain Christianity and what Christians believe, we have been running around 70 to 80 each week with about 2/3rds unsaved.

Our ministry to the Diggers Retirement Centre has also been a blessing. It is a joy to see hearts moved as they sing the old hymns and listen intently to the Word being taught. Matt has been teaching them a condensed sermon on the 1 Peter series that He is preaching at the church on Sunday mornings.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

CUteam

 

Cederville University Ministry Team - May 2013

16 May 2013 update

8 April 2013 update

25 March 2013

G'day to our faithful prayer warriors,

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for us and for Living Hope Baptist Church.  This past week was another Chamber of Commerce Market Day in the park.  Again, we bought space to set up a stall. It was a beautiful autumn day, and we gave away over 300 bottles of water.  We also had a table set up for children (pre-school age) to be able to decorate and take away a "hat" for their Easter Hat Parade during the morning festivities.  It was a hit, with many children wearing their crowns for the parade.  We had some great conversations with people from the area.  There seemed to be a greater interest in our church this time, with several saying they would come to visit.

This week is Easter, and as we have the past two years, we're going to have an "Easter Hymn Sing" on Good Friday evening.  We've sent out invitations to three sister churches, as well as to the community.  Pray that we would see visitors, and also have a good attendance for Easter Sunday.

Barb was just diagnosed with strep throat (!).  She's had a sore throat for nearly a week, and finally went to get it checked out. She's begun a course of antibiotics.  This is a busy time, so pray that this will be cleared up quickly.

Plans are underway for our next ministry team, coming in May.  This will be a team from Cedarville University Theatre Department--not to put on a performance, but to rebuild our stage in the multi-purpose building and rework the panel on the front wall of the church building.  The exciting part of this is that Amy will be part of this team.  She's actually coming a few days earlier than the team and, depending on whether she gets a job there for the summer, she'll stay a few days after they leave.  If she doesn't get a job at Cedarville, she may stay with us for her summer break.  We do pray that she can get a job there, because there would be slim to no chance of getting a job back here in Australia for those months. Pray for her as she anticipates taking two or three classes on-line over the summer.

Luke performed well on his mid-term exams for year 12.  He's got just over two more terms of formal education left, graduating in September.  Then beginning in October are the HSC (Higher School Certificate) exams, which are a gauge for university placement here.  He still isn't sure what he'll do yet, but will most likely go to college for at least a year in the States.

Matt is continuing to attend the FOCUS Bible studies on Thursday evenings, and has had a number of opportunities to talk to international university students about the Bible and Christianity. Three students from 10/40 window countries have accepted Christ through the FOCUS outreach in March alone. We would love to see some more of these students attend our church.

Thanks again for your prayers.  We would ask you to pray for our support situation.  We are truly grateful that there has been a slight increase in support, as well as some generous individual one-time gifts.  However, our overall support picture is well in the red.  As we anticipate furlough in 2014, please be in prayer about what you might be able to do to raise our support, or to begin supporting the ministry here in Australia.

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

MarketTable

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9 March 2013

G'day all,


We have something special for you this week. Every year we are required to submit a video report for some of our supporters. We gladly do this as it is a great way to see and hear what the Lord is doing in this place. This year we have completed the video and made it viewable to those whom we wish to see it. Due to the sensitive nature and ongoing persecution of some people seen in the video we have had to limit the viewing to avoid escalating the persecution of some in the middle east as well as students in our church here.

Even though it is a simple video update, we ask that no one post this on their personal or church website or share it on their Facebook/twitter or other public site.  To access the video you will need a password.  Please email me to get the link and password.

Our supporting churches have permission to download the video to show for missions updates, morning services, Sunday school, prayer meeting, home Bible studies, etc.

Thank you again for your prayers and support!  God bless and enjoy the video!

In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas


ABWE Australia

26 Feb 2013

Hello friends,


Thank you for praying for us.  Please continue in your prayers for the growth of our church.  While we don't focus on numbers, this little church needs committed members and attenders to keep going. We are so thankful for the 16-20 we are seeing regularly now, but many are retired, on fixed incomes, or out of work, and cannot help the church along financially. Their age is also slowing them down physically.  There are three, possibly four work teams coming out to help us this year, which is always a challenge and an expense. We are trusting the Lord that these teams will be able to do the necessary work on the property at little expense.

Pray for Barb as she teaches four Scripture classes, and one of our other church members who teaches three classes.  What a blessing to go into the classroom in a public school and proclaim the truths of Scripture to these students, and to the classroom teacher.  Pray that Barb and Fiona will learn the names of their students, and will be clear in presenting God's word.

Matt has begun attending the FOCUS Bible studies at the University again.  Pray that he will have many opportunities to clarify the gospel to many overseas students this year, and that we may see some trust the Lord and come to our church. The biggest attendance of the year is usually the last week of Feb or the frist week of March!

We have a huge list of "to do's" around the house and around the church.  Pray that our priorities would be where they should be. Matt is beginning a series in the book of 1 Peter on Sunday mornings.  We are studying through the book The Story of Hope on Tuesday evenings, with a view to sharpening our discipleship skills.

Matt is really enjoying his discipleship with Masoud on Sunday afternoons.  Please pray for Masoud as he experiences persecution from Muslim family members, and needs either work in his engineering field, or to get a scholarship to continue his studies at the University.

Thanks again for your prayers.


In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas


ABWE Australia

 

PS. By next week we will have a video report online for supporters, churches and friends. It covers a bit of what God is doing here in a nice short 3:33 segment. This can be viewed from any computer and/or be downloaded for your church or small group.

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30 Jan 13

Hello friends,

Thank you so much for your support.  We not only value the financial support that some of you send regularly, we especially value the pray support from all of you who pray for us.

Here in Australia we've recently seen a great contrast:  Bushfires have ravaged our countryside in many areas.  At one stage there were 139 fires burning throughout our state alone!  Cyclones drenched the far northeast, bringing torrential rain and flooding.  In our local area, we've had some very hot temperatures, and now we're getting drenching rains, effects of the cyclone up north. He have been spared from the worst of it all.

In addition, we hear of freezing/below-freezing temperatures in the midwestern and northeastern parts of the US.  (Poor Amy is not enjoying this one bit!)

Even through all the contrasts, all the changes, all the difficulties, God is in control!  He knows what we're going through wherever we are and whatever we're doing.  And He is always good!

We are so thankful for His care for us and the part we can play in His work in the world.  We have had extra witnessing opportunities with our neighbors because of the severity of the weather this week. We are encouraged by the growth and enthusiasm of Masoud--only four more books to read in the New Testament, and then on the the Old Testament!  He "feels he's so far behind and wants to catch up."  Please continue to pray for him; and pray for Mehdi, his friend, who has been bogged down with university work and his employment and doesn't have as much time for Bible study and discipleship.

January is always full of reports, planning, and extra time in relationship building. As you would expect, some things are easier to do than others. The challenge has been to keep the focuse that "whatever you do - do it as unto the Lord!"

We will soon be having our annual business meeting at church.  Pray that we will see a spirit of unity and cooperation among our people as we discuss a slight constitutional change that is needed. It represents a departure in attitude from where the church has been in the past.

Also pray for the upcoming "Market Day," February 14, where we will have another chance to be in the community. One of our hopes for this ooutreach is to do a small community survey. We have an android tablet. If you know of a good yet cheap survey app we would love to hear from you! We would also like to hear from anyone who has done community surveys.

Again, thank you for your prayers.

God is good!

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

 

PS. We want to say thanks to those who have responded to our last letters request for help! There is still time if you would like to help also. any extra gift can be sent to ABWE. Please make a note with your gift that it is for our church planting account.

12 Jan 2013


Greetings to our faithful supporters,

Our apologies for the lack of communication over the past several weeks! With Christmas and New Years and just moving into our new home . . . well, enough of excuses.

We did have a lovely Christmas. It was nice being in our new home. We invited Masoud and Mehdi for Christmas dinner, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. It was all very new to them. They had never had a “traditional” turkey dinner, and they had lots of questions about Christian Christmas traditions. They are so keen and eager to learn. Matt has had a fantastic time discipling them.

Luke has been away at Camp Toukley this week as a cabin leader. He’s texted occasionally through the week, telling us of at least three salvations in his cabin alone! We’ll get the full report today when we pick him up.

Amy has begun a new semester at Cedarville. We are so proud of her good grades for last semester (straight As!). She spent Christmas in Boise, Idaho with a friend, and New Years with Matt’s family in Michigan. We missed having her here with us.

As we look ahead to the next year of ministry, we have several things that need to be completed, some of which will take some extra finances. Please look at the list below, and see if there are any projects you would be willing to help with. We need to wrap up some of these loose end this year, as 2014 will be another furlough year for us.

Support shortfall: $1036 per month

We have done the walls, cupboards, flooring and more.  We now need the following for the church kitchen: 

  • Oven                $500
  • Stovetop          $400
  • Sink                  $150
  • Tap                    $75
  • Plumber           $250
  • Electrician        $250
  • Cart                   $100
  • Fridge               $200

               TOTAL        $1925


January is typically slow month for ministry, but this year we are not feeling slow at all. It is school holidays, and many people are away. It’s a good chance to evaluate goals for the coming year, and to enjoy the beach. We are trying to get settled into our new home. There are still many small (and some big) jobs that need to be done.

Thank you so much for your prayers for us. We greatly value your input into the ministry here in Australia.

In His service.

Matt & Barb Douglas


ABWE Australia

BaptismPic1

Christmas service attenders 2012. A long way up from 3 people just 2 years ago!

BaptismPic2

Christmas dinner guests. Faces blurred for safety.



27/11/12

What a great weekend it has been!

On Saturday we had a work day on the gardens at the church.  There is still much to do, but we did make a dent in it.

On Saturday evening we took part in the FOCUS (Fellowship of Overseas Christian University Students) carols night at the University.  (Yes, it's a bit early for it, but the University has just finished for the year, and they wanted to do it before many of the students left the area).  We both were asked to lead the singing for the English-speaking portion of the program.  There was also singing in Korean, Chinese and Indonesian.  It was a great evening, with a sausage sizzle dinner included.  A few of our church members also came along and enjoyed the evening.

We are praising the Lord for the first baptism our church has seen in countless years.  Our two new believers, Med___ and Mas____, were gloriously baptized on Sunday afternoon.  They were so thrilled to be taking this positive step of obedience after receiving Christ three weeks ago.  They both gave solid testimonies of their faith in Jesus alone to save them from their sin.  We are thrilled to have two young new believers as part of our church!

After the baptism we enjoyed spending time getting to know our new friends, the Lesters, who are considering coming alongside to help us here at Living Hope.  We played some games and watched a rivalry football game (Michigan vs Ohio State) via the internet.  (Isn't technology amazing!)

Luke starts work on Saturday!  He did get the job at Jamberoo--the local water park--working in food and beverage.  We trust that he can get some good hours, especially when school finishes up the second week of December.

Amy has just enjoyed Thanksgiving break with Matt's family in Michigan.  It was good to catch up with her on the phone the other day.  Pray that she'll persevere through this semester, and through the cold, snowy winter months.  She's been feeling discouraged lately.

In His service.

Matt & Barb Douglas


ABWE Australia

 

BaptismPic1

Fist pump of excitement!

 

BaptismPic2

Faces blurred for safety.

11/11/12

Hello to our faithful prayer supporters,

We’ve had an interesting time over the past few weeks. With a robbery and stolen credit cards and valuables, our time has been consumed with replacing the cards, changing PINs and passwords, and pursuing an insurance claim for the valuables. It is certainly a time-consumer.

We were thrilled and blessed to have two middle-eastern university students receive Jesus as their Savior! They are so excited about their new faith–they say it is so much easier than trying to live up to the demands of the Koran. They are attending our services regularly. We have had many wonderful "talks" about what it is to live as a Christian.

In church we had 2 first time visitors today. They are people Matt knows through his contacts at the University. Last night (Nov. 10th) we had a social event and had the Buckley family back (the young family who used to attend and then decided to look around at other churches for a while). We also had as visitors an unsaved couple - neighbors of one of our members, and another family that the next paragraph talks about.

We may have a co-worker to come alongside us to help! Pray for Pastor Gary and his family and for us as we pray about their making the move to help us here at Living Hope Baptist. They are from North America, but have dual Aussie citizenship like us. Their family recently moved back here to Australia and is looking for an opportunity for ministry.

Luke has been offered a job at Jamberoo, a theme park (mostly water-based) nearby! He is thrilled, as are we. Tuesday is a full day of orientation–I suppose he’ll just have to miss school that day. Aw shucks!

Amy is struggling with the weather getting colder there at Cedarville, as well as feeling kinda blue. Please pray that she will not lose heart and will keep up with her studies. She is also waiting to hear about a new, better job on campus starting next semester.

Thanks for praying,

Matt & Barb


ABWE Australia

 

 

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31 Oct. 2012 AD

The GOOD and the bad!


Well, in one day (Sunday) we had so many emotional ups and downs our heads are still spinning!

We were contacted by a young Muslim international student who had questions about Christianity.  He saw our church sign (Living Hope) and he thought that sounded good--something his religion doesn't provide.  He and a friend had read the Book of John, had lots of questions, and wanted to meet with Matt. They arranged to come at 3:00 on Sunday afternoon.

During church that morning, our house (the parsonage right next to the church) was broken into and we were burglarized.  Talk about spiritual warfare!!!  The thief took our wallets (with of course all our ID, credit cards, and some cash), Matt's camera and laptop, Luke's waist pack with his Epipen medication (for his peanut allergy), driver's license and bank card, Luke's PSP and game, and Barb's jewelry, and even one of our checkbooks!  Sounds like someone's trying to steal our identity!  Well, between church and 3:00, we were on the phone to credit card companies and banks, and the police (who came and took a report and fingerprinted).

At 3:10 our Muslim friends came, and Matt and another friend witnessed to them for 2+ hours!  At the end, they both gladly, excitedly received Christ as their Savior!!!

We received a lovely email from one of the young men, who is excited to come to our church (after university exams), and also is very keen to be baptized!!  Here is a quote from his email:  "I am now proud of myself to say I am a Christian because it is a religion of peace . . . Today was a reminiscent day in my life, and I wanted to tell you after our discussion we were ready to baptize wholeheartedly . . . I will try to participate in your weekly holy rituals after the exam duration and learn and grow my knowledge more about my new religion to be qualified to justify and encourage some of my other friends who I trust them to this religion . . ."

Wow!  We are "over the moon," as they say here!  Praise the Lord!

We are also excited about the progress on our new house.  Matt is in the middle of laying the timber flooring, carpet will be installed in the bedrooms on Saturday.  The electrical work is all done (we now have lights, etc, so we can work on it in the evening!) Plumbing should be completed this week.  It's looking very beautiful and inviting (especially since we've just been broken into here at the church!)

Also, we have a potential co-worker/associate!  More details next time . . .

Thanks so much for your prayers,

Matt & Barb

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

Join us in prayer:
  • Please pray for our new baby converts!
  • Please pray that the thief will be caught and some of our belongings returned
  • Please pray that our house will be ready to move into soon
  • Please pray for Luke who has a second job interview on Thursday at a nearby amusement park
  • Please pray that the potential associate will work out according to God's plan


16 Oct. 2012

 


G'day everyone,


With ups and downs in the weather (a typical spring), we've had storms with thunder, lightening, wind and rain, as well as gentle breezes, clear skies and warm sunshine.  Our life can tend to be like that, too.  We are so grateful for the God of Creation who brings both storms and sunshine into our lives to teach us how to be more like Him.  He knows what we need and when we need it!

We were blessed by a visiting parent of a fellow missionary who was excited about the work we've done and yet needs to be done at Living Hope Baptist Church.  He is a handyman, and is now considering bringing a work crew out next year.

We are saddened that Luke and Hayley have decided to look further at other area churches before deciding where to attend.  We've missed them.  Pray that God would direct them.

We are so thankful that work is progressing on our house.  We may be able to move in by the end of the month!

We are saddened by the lack of interest and great amount of apathy in our community toward spiritual things.  We are seeking God's wisdom in how to reach out and bring the gospel to this place.

We are thankful that Matt has begun a Chaplaincy course which will bring greater opportunity to minister.

We are concerned for Living Hope Baptist Church as we anticipate our furlough in 2014.  That seems a long way off, but it will be here before we know it, and our desire is to have a pastor in place for them, or at least an interim to fill in during our absence.

We are encouraged by the good spirit among our members here.

God is good!

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

 

Interesting bits from the local news/trivia:

  • The Sydney area is now the second most expensive city in the world.
  • Matt assists at a Thursday evening outreach Bible study at the University of Wollongong.  This university ranks 38th best in the world.
  • Education is now our area's number one industry replacing steel at the top of the list for the first time ever.

 













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26 Sept. 2012 AD


G'day everyone,

Thank you so much for your prayers.  We could easily "grow weary in well doing" were it not for your continued prayers and support. Please pray for our church to grow!  We are struggling with the Lord about how to reach the people of our community!  There is such apathy toward the things of God, such lack of conviction and commitment!  Our small flock could easily become discouraged.  Pray for revival and zeal among our members.  Pray for God's direction and blessing!

This Sunday we'll be having a church planning meeting in which we will set out goals for the coming few months.  Pray for unity and a positive spirit.

We have been in contact with some in the States who want to come for a ministry trip next year.  Pray for these early days of planning for them. If you, or your church, were interested in a trip to visit before our next furlough (likely 2014) please be in contact SOON!

School holidays this week and next gives a break from Scripture classes for Barb, but pray that the next 8 weeks (the last term of the school year) will be fruitful in presenting the opportunity for the students to make a decision for Christ.  The FOCUS Bible study Matt attends at the University also has a break, but continue to pray for opportunities to lead these international students into a relationship with Christ. Our Diggers Rest Home ministry was canceled last time as they went into "lockdown" over all the cold and flue that was going around. It just opened back up and we learned that at least 5 have died - one was a godly encouraging lady.

Next week we celebrate 27 wonderful years of marriage!  We have been so blessed to have had so many great years together!  Barb also celebrates her (?)th birthday.

God is good.  Thank you for your partnership with us in the ministry here in Australia.

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia




19 Sept. 2012 AD

 

Hello to our faithful supporters,

We've settled back into somewhat of a routine since all our travels and ministry during the Olympics.  Matt's eyeglasses were broken (literally scattered down the aisle of the airplane!) on his last flight, so we were blessed when, after ordering new ones, they came in 3 business days instead of 10!  Matt was having trouble seeing with an older prescription.

Matt has also been suffering with allergies this past week.  He saw the doctor this morning and got a prescription which should help. We both recently had blood tests (because we're of an age where it's just a good idea to get everything checked out), and we're both healthy.  God is good!

Our Spring into Corrimal outreach last Sunday was great.  We didn't see as many out as last year, but we still ministered to our community with bottles of water and sausage sandwiches.  Many of our church people were sick that day, but we had enough help throughout the day, and ended with a worship service at 4 pm.  So far we haven't seen any visitors from this outreach, but those who received water bottles received our web address.  We're trusting that God will stir the hearts of people to contact us.

SpringIntoCorrimal


We would ask you to pray for Luke and Hayley (the new couple that has been coming to our church).  They've recently moved into the area, away from family and friends, and are hungry for friends their age.  Unfortunately our church can't offer them those kinds of friendships (we just don't have other young families as yet).  They are torn because they really like the church and the teaching from the Word of God; however, they may start looking elsewhere to find a church that meets their social needs as well.  We know God is sovereign, and He will build His church.

Our Luke is in his last week of Year 11.  These past two days he's been taking a first aid course that the school offered.  He's looking forward to two weeks of school holidays.

Barb has given her scripture classes an invitation to trust Jesus on Wednesday morning (your Tuesday evening).  Pray that this impacts those who listen, and there would be no hindrances to decisions which may be made!

Praise the Lord our house is looking more and more like a home all the time!  We should be able to move by the end of October, barring any unforeseen obstacles.  God is good!

Thanks so much for praying,

Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

Coming Events

  • SRE (Scripture classes in public schools) gospel presentation (19 Sept.)
  • FOCUS Bible Study at university (20 Sept.)
  • Spring School Break (24 Sept. - 5 Oct.)
  • Next FOCUS Bible Study at university (27 Sept.)
  • Preaching from end of Romans 15 (23-30 Sept.)
  • Diggers Rest Home Outreach (2 Oct.)

7 Sept 2012 AD

Back at it!


Hello,
Thank you everyone for all your prayers for us as we were traveling, first to London for the Olympic outreach with Answers in Genesis, and then for Matt as he traveled to the States for his nephew's wedding and some meetings with supporters.  Matt has returned to Australia safe and sound, and we're gearing up for what's ahead here.
SpringCorrimal
This Sunday please be in prayer for our Spring Into Corrimal outreach.  We will postpone our service time because the community passes by our door from 10 am to 4 pm.  We will offer free barbecued sausage sandwiches and water bottles again this year, and have the opportunity to talk with those who pass by. At 4 PM we will have our church service for the day. Last year this outreach really lifted our profile in the community. Pray we make an impact!

Matt was encouraged by his time back in the States.  We have some great supporting churches, and individual supporters.  Thank you for all your support both financially and in prayer.

On the home front, we are missing Amy now that she's back at Cedarville, but she's enjoying it.  Luke has finished his final exams for Year 11, and is waiting for the results.  Two more weeks of classes, and then in October he'll begin his studies for the Higher School Certificate (Year 12).  We were pleased that he handled being on his own responsibly while we were both away.  In other words, he didn't burn the house down or smash the car!

Our house is underway again.  Interior walls, doors and trim are up, and exterior rendering (a stucco-type finish) is being applied.  We are thrilled that it is moving ahead once again.  We are praying that we can be in by Matt's birthday in December.

God is good, and He is faithful to us!  We are trusting Him for great things ahead here at Living Hope Baptist Church!

In His service
Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

 

 

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18 July 2012

Australians would say we are "Flat out!"


Dear friends and supporters,

Thank you for praying for us.  We are counting down to a number of things right now:

Luke will take his driving test on Tuesday (24th)--please pray that he passes the on the first try!

Amy leaves for the US on Wednesday (25th)--please pray for her safety!

We leave on the 31st to go to London via Seoul Korea and Paris--please pray for our safety!

We meet with the Answers in Genesis group on the 3rd of August to begin outreach to the London Olympics--please pray for safety, good health and great opportunities for witness!

We arrive back in Sydney on the 17th of August--please pray for safe travel

Matt leaves Sydney on the 18th of August to travel to the US for meetings and the wedding of his nephew--please pray for safety, good meetings, and an increase in support. There have been 3 supporters dropping over $600 per month recently.

Matt arrives back in Sydney on the 6th of September--please pray for safe travel.

Corrimal's annual Spring into Corrimal Festival is on the 9th of September--please pray for another good outreach into our community on that day!

Whew!

We were thrilled to see our visitors, Luke and Hayley, return on Sunday morning!  They seem interested.  Please pray that they will choose Living Hope Baptist as their new church home!  We also had another couple visit who were just passing through the area.

We actually signed further mortgage papers so we're thinking the bank will finally be releasing money to continue work on our house! Please pray that this will indeed be the case and that work will proceed!  Nothing has been done, except for a few minor incidentals, since before Easter!!!

Barb starts another term of Scripture teaching today.  Please pray that it will be a fruitful term.

Thank you so much for your prayers.  We are blessed to have such faithful prayer warriors!

In His service
Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

 

Coming Events

  • Next FOCUS Bible study (19 July)
  • Luke's first attempt at his driving test (24 July)
  • Amy back to USA for another year at Cedarville University (25 July)
  • FOCUS Bible study (26 July)
  • Matt & Barb to London games outreach (31 July - 17 Aug.)
  • Matt to USA to report to supporters (Aug. 18 - 4 Sept.)
  • Corrimal Festival Outreach (9 Sept.)

 

9 July 2012


G'day everyone,

Well, another week has come and gone.  We've said goodbye to our ministry team.  Their work for us was invaluable.  They began the process of remodeling the church kitchen, and did some major painting and cleaning up in the multipurpose building.  The new kitchen floor and cabinets are stunning!  Now please pray that the funds will be available to finish the job (countertops and appliances).  We have a colleague sewing a new curtain for the stage which will also bring a great transformation to the room. There is still a great need for more teams / visitors to help refurbish this place. Go to: ABWE Australia Construction Project

Now we press on toward our departure for the London Olympics. During this week, while Luke is off of school, we will be supervising his final hours of practice driving with the intention for him to get his provisional driver's license next week.  Please pray that he will pass the driving test!  It would be good for him to have the license before we leave him on his own for 17 days.  He has bus transport to and from school, but just in case there's an emergency.

All the airline tickets are booked for both Amy and ourselves.  Amy leaves here on the 25th to fly back to Michigan.  She'll then meet us in London on the 3rd of August with the Answers in Genesis group.  We are excited to be able to work with this group.  They have 97 coming along to witness and hand out booklets from the 3rd to the 12th of August. For more info: Answers in Genesis outreach to the London Games.

The day after we arrive back in Sydney (17th), Matt departs for the US primarily to perform his nephew's wedding, but he will be reporting to several of our churches and supporters during his 2-1/2 week stay there, both in California and in Michigan.  Please pray for us as we do all this traveling!!

Matt has been attending a Bible study led by an organization called FOCUS on the University of Wollongong campus. This is an evangelistic Bible study that reaches out to overseas students. Last Thursday night, there were two fellows at his table who had lots of questions and Matt was able to share the truth of God's Word and the gospel with them.  They did not make decisions for Christ at that time.  Please pray for"Joe" and "Alan."  One other gentleman "Alex" did receive Christ while talking to another attendee. All three students are here from mainland China.

A very big praise:  We had a young family visit our church yesterday, Sunday 7th.  They are new to the area and looking for a church.  They have visited several.  They are a bit discouraged that so many of the churches here are so small.  They really want to be able to connect and make new friends with other young families.  He has been listening to Matt's sermons on the church website and enjoyed them. LHBC   Please pray for Luke, Hayley and their two little ones as they make this important decision.  Of course, we would love them to be part of our church!

Also, please pray that a substitute Scripture teacher will be found for Barb's 2 Scripture classes for the three weeks we'll be away in August.

In His service
Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia


 

 

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27 June 2012

Serving a great God!


Hello everyone,

Sorry we've not sent any updates in a few weeks.  We've had plenty on our plate!

The first thing to report is the Creation Ministries International meeting we had at our church on June 16.  What a blessing to see the room crowded!  We had around 50 people in attendance.  With one of our members a science teacher, and our church as a whole concerned about the doctrine of evolution that is being upheld on our world, it was a great evening of information and encouragement.  There was at least one family who was looking for a new church home--their current church is becoming "high church"--more like Catholic.  Pray that we will see them visit on a Sunday sometime!

We are currently hosting another ministry team from the States.  The 6 of them are busily remodeling our church kitchen and doing some much-needed cleaning and painting in the multi-purpose building. What a difference it will make!

Luke is on school holidays for three weeks.  We hope to get him to complete his learner driving hours so he can try for his license.

Amy's time with us is going so quickly.  In less than a month she'll be flying back to the States, and then meeting up with us in London for the Answers in Genesis evangelistic outreach at the Olympics. Then she'll be heading back to Cedarville for her sophomore year.

On the home construction front, the bank is still dragging its feet in releasing any more money to us.  We have been given verbal assurance that the loan is going through, but SHOW US THE MONEY!  So construction is still pretty much at a stand still until this can be resolved.

We are in the depths of winter here, which means temperatures in the 50s.  It's not so bad, but homes here are not well insulated, and it's often colder inside the house than outside!  We're looking forward to spring!

Thank you for your prayers!  God is indeed good to us!

In His service
Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

 

HallPaintingTrimPainting

 

 

 

 

 

6 June 2012

In The Lord's Service

To our wonderful supporters in prayer:

Thank you all so much for praying for us!  We know we couldn't be here or do what we do without the faithful prayer support of people like you!

Since our last update, we enjoyed traveling up to one of our sister churches--one of the oldest ABWE works here in Australia.  They were celebrating the dedication of a debt-free new building.  It was a great time giving glory to God for all He's done in the life of that church.  We also enjoyed seeing many people we haven't seen in awhile.

Our Australian Thanksgiving Day service was as much about educating our people to the existence of Thanksgiving Day here in Australia as it was celebrating.  We didn't have any visitors, but Matt gave an informational power point describing some of the chaplaincy ministries, including Scripture Teachers, in our area.  We are praying about getting involved in the University of Wollongong's FOCUS group to international students.

Luke completed his mid-term exams with decent results, and celebrated his 17th birthday the end of May!

Amy is helping her dad work on our house--doing some external trim painting right now. She is also off enjoying friends from high school when she can.

Continue praying for a job for both Amy and Luke.

Please also continue praying for the mortgage situation with our house--the bank is being ridiculous.  Now they are refusing to pay for building supplies, yet they expect the builder to keep working. Does anyone there want to loan us a significant amount of money at around 5% interest? We would love to talk about a winning situation for you and us.

Also, pray for the funding of our trip to the London Olympics, for purchasing plane tickets for Amy to return to the States, and for Matt's trip to the States to perform his nephew's wedding (immediately after we return from London!).  A big thank you to those of you who have helped with these financial needs!

Matt is enjoying doing small jobs around the construction site. It is a relaxing distraction from the pressures of ministry. We have had some very serious issues in the lives of the people of our church and a lot of time has been spent in loving pastoral care.

Barb is enjoying singing once again with the Sweet Adelines group here in our area.  She had quit for about 5 years, but has found the Wollongong Harmony Chorus here, and is enjoying getting to know the ladies and building friendships.

This weekend we will attend the wedding of a fellow missionary's daughter. We look forward to that! Next weekend we have a special Creation Ministries International meeting at our church. We are trying to advertize this far and wide with the hopes that God will build His church and encourage His people.

In His service
Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

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23 May 2012 AD

Australian National Day of Thanksgiving

G'day Friends,

This weekend is Thanksgiving! Of course it is much different here than in the USA. While we always celebrate it about this time of the year, in Australia our government recommends a particular focus that they encourage everyone to be thankful for. We have chosen the government's focus on chaplains this year. We will celebrate chaplains in schools, universities, hospitals, clubs and more. Pray with us that our congregation would be thankful and that we would praise God properly for these servants.

Many in our congregation are going through some difficult circumstances right now.  Please pray for the people of Living Hope Baptist Church.  Pray that we will see growth in numbers as we reach out to our community.

Feeling the pinch! While it is nice to have the Australian dollar heading back in a direction that will help us on payday we are also keenly aware of our needs. Supporters may have been late in sending in support to ABWE, or something, but we have fallen into the red for the first time since before last furlough. Add to this the fact that our projector blew up last weekend (we had several elements we wanted to use it for during our Thanksgiving service this Sunday) and we are still around $3200 short for our London Olympic needs. We do not enjoy these financial pressures, but we trust God to show Himself Mighty. Pray with us about these matters. If God lays it on your heart a few extra dollars sent our way right now would be a BIG blessing.

We are excited to report that our house is finally at "lock-up" stage.  That means we need a key to get inside the doors!  There is still much to do, and the bank continues to give us grief about our mortgage, but we'll get there.

We are so blessed to have Amy with us for a couple of months.  The time will go all too quickly!  She's getting some hours in working at our new house, but still no other job to speak of.  Luke needs a job as well.  Please pray!

Thank you for your prayers for us.  We have been feeling the stress of the ministry, as well as stress involved with building our home.  Pray that we will place all things in the Lord's hands and let Him work through each situation.


In His service
Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

 

16 May 2012 AD

Ministry that touches people

G'day Friends,


We had a great time of fellowship at our semi-annual barbecue birthday bash!  We had a small group, but we also had some visitors-neighbors of one of our members.  Please pray for Tony and Dianne.  Here's what they had to say to our member after the evening:

If the gathering hadn't been in a church you wouldn't have known the people were religious.
They are just ordinary down-to-earth people.
It was a great night out
We really enjoyed that game, where did they get it?
and this from Tony "I told Dianne on the way home, if we ever decide to get religious then that's where we will be going."

We are praying that they will be back.  Our member had this to say:

I wanted to thank you again for coming to Corrimal to work with us.  I know I have been kicking and screaming a bit along the way but I am excited at what we are becoming. 
[Tony and Dianne]  were a bit put out that I didn't tell them people were bringing food so that they could contribute.  Had to explain that we as a group decide in advance who brings what so we can provide what is needed and we always have a little extra to invite friends. I think they will be back!!  Thank you for helping us become somewhere that I can invite people and know that they will be welcomed without the old fashioned "Bible Bashing" that went on in the past.

Please pray for Tony and Dianne!

We have also experienced hard issues in ministry. We have dealt with marital unfaithfulness, a family of the church had a step son die, and our deacon's extended family has had major health issues.

Barb had an opportunity to share the gospel clearly in one of her scripture classes last week.  The students were so very quiet and attentive!  Pray that there will be fruit from these classes!

Saturday the 26th is Australia's Thanksgiving day.  It's not focused so much on thanking God, but on thanking different groups of people-this year it's chaplains.  We'll have a special service on the Sunday to recognize chaplains (of course, WE will be thanking the Lord for their service to Him).

There are a few other things coming up in June:  AFBC Ladies Retreat, the wedding of one of our coworker's daughters, Creation Ministries International is holding one of their seminars at our church on the 16th, and we're hosting another ministry team from the states (23 June - 7 July).  Please pray for all these.

On the "home" front, our house will be at "lock-up" stage this week.  Then all the interior work will need to be done.  It's looking good.

Amy arrived back home on Thursday-it sure is good to have her around again!  Luke is especially glad to have his sister back-someone he can talk to besides just mom and dad!

Pray for Luke as he has mid-term exams next week, the last one on his birthday (25th) (he'll be 17 this year!).

We appreciate all your prayers for us and the work here in Australia.

In His service
Matt & Barb Douglas

ABWE Australia

 

1 May 2012 AD

Hello everyone,

I saw a window sticker on a car this morning:  "Surfing is my religion."
What a sad commentary on our world.  For most in our society there are so many things, activities, and relationships that are way more important our God.  I'm thankful I don't practice a religion, but that I have an ongoing relationship with the Creator and Savior of the world!

The past couple of weeks have been full of study.  We are trying to finish up our papers and reading for our Ancient Church History class we're doing through Asia Baptist Theological Seminary.  May 15 is the deadline for everything, but we hope to be done before that!

Amy is coming home!  She'll be landing on the 10th and we'll be able to enjoy her company until the end of July.  Pray that she can find work here.  Luke needs a job as well.

We're having our bi-annual Barbecue Birthday Bash this Friday.  It's a chance to celebrate all the birthdays that have happened over the first half of the year.  It's a great time of fellowship and "body-building" for our church.

Progress on our home is slow but sure.  The roof should finished by mid-week, and the siding will be delivered on Saturday.

Please continue to pray for our funding for the London Olympics.  Thank you to those who have contributed.

We are so blessed by those who faithfully support our ministry on a monthly basis.  Thank you everyone!

In His service

Matt & Barb Douglas
ABWE Australia

 

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17 April 2012

It's been a crazy couple of weeks.

We've had beautiful weather, until today, so much progress has been made on the building of our house--subfloor, frames and trusses are done, but now that the rain has started, we'll have to wait to get our roof and siding on!

But the good weather allowed our work crew from the states to get a lot of work done on our church building!  They reworked, renovated and improved on every window in the church, plus replacing an emergency door which was unopenable, and taking care of many small tasks that have just been left undone.  We are so thankful for our friends from the Woodland area who have helped so diligently on this project.

With Easter comes a lot of extra preparation and services.  We enjoyed our Easter Hymn Sing on Good Friday evening.  It was a wonderful time of worship. Our service at the retirement home was also well attended and enjoyed because of the good ministry.

Resurrection Sunday service was poorly attended.  Many of our regular attendees were out of town that weekend.  We still enjoyed celebrating our Savior's death and resurrection.

A few more have given towards our evangelism outreach in London.  We appreciate all that has come in.  It's not too late to give toward this ministry.  Please send your gifts to our Evangelism and Church Planting account (006).

On the family front:
Amy is still deciding whether she'll come back to Australia for her summer break.  We would surely love to see her, but she's weighing up job options and what's going to be the most cost-effective. Luke would also love to get a part time job. Pray for God's provision.

Matt is taking a couple of weeks off from preaching.  We're needing to get our seminary class wrapped up--we're taking our final exam this Saturday, and then there's some extra reading and a major paper due by May 15.

Thanks so much for your prayers.  Pray that we can see fruit from all the events which we have had over the past month.  Our little church is still little!  We would love to see a full building!

In His service

Matt & Barb Douglas
ABWE Australia

 

 

Click on a date to see the update:

3 April 2012 AD

28 March 2012 AD

21 March 2012 AD

15 March 2012 AD

20 Feb 2012 AD

 

G'day Friends,

Our new church name has officially been recognized by the New South Wales government!  We are now LIVING HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH.  We now have the amazing task of changing our sign, letterhead, advertising and look.  Thanks for praying with us for this!  We have submitted our constitution for review by the government as well, and expect to hear within a week or two whether it's all up-to-date and legal.  We are looking toward sometime within the next two months having a new "opening" service to announce the new name to the community and to officially "restart."

Our block of land has taken on a new look.  We had an excavator on site to do some digging and reshaping, and it looks like we can actually put a house on the block now!  However, please pray for the rains to stop!!!  After a heavy downpour last night, some of the excavation work was ruined!   SadFace And as we type this email, it looks as though it will start raining again soon.  SadFaceRain  We need dry weather for the next steps in the process of building our home!  Please pray.

We have one of our colleagues preaching for Matt this week, so that gives Matt some needed time off to regroup and work on other much-needed items.

We are awaiting our first exam for our Ancient Church History class to arrive so we can carry on with our class.  Pray for us as we prepare for it and take it.

Please pray for Matt as he prioritizes his time this week.
Please pray for Barb as she ministers in Scripture classes and builds relationships at the gym and chorus.
Please pray for Luke as he gets more experience in driving, and for his studies.
Please pray for Amy as she studies at Cedarville.

Thanks for praying,

Matt & Barb Douglas


ABWE Australia

 

13 Feb 2012 AD

Hello,
What a week it's been!  The highlight of the week was yesterday's annual meeting at church.  We voted to change our name from Illawarra Berean Baptist Church to Living Hope Baptist Church.  And we voted to accept all the amendments to our constitution that we have discussed over the past year.  These are big things for a tiny church that has been in existence for some 30 years.  We have seen such growth in the people, and believe God has great things for the coming year!  We now have to submit our revised constitution for approval by the New South Wales government.  We trust that it will be merely routine and that they will sign off on it with no problems, since we've had an attorney go through it with us already.  And we must request for the name change to be registered as well.  We trust that they will approve of the name (the only hitch would be if there was another entity with the same nameand we don't believe there is because we have already purchased the web domain name).

Since we got permission to build our house, the weather has not been cooperative.  We've had a very wet month so far.  This makes it difficult to even get on the block to do the excavation and layout of the house and drilling of holes for the piers (foundation).  We trust that we'll be getting some dryer weather ahead!  We have made selections for our bathroom fixtures and tiles, and today we go to do the same for the kitchen.

We are enjoying our seminary course, The Ancient Church.  This week we'll be taking an exam, and then we'll continue with lectures and writing papers!  It is time consuming, though.  Pray that we will make wise use of our time!

Barb begins teaching scripture in the public schools again this week.  She'll have two classes (4th grade) at two different schools, one of which is just across the street from us!  We trust that this will give opportunity to bring some new people into our church through contacts with the children and their families.

Thanks for praying for us.  We're feeling quite weary with all that is on our plate, but God is our strength!

In His service,

Matt & Barb


7 Feb 2012 AD

Hello everyone,


Well, if you haven't heard through Facebook or otherwise, we finally got permission from the local government to build a house on our block of land!  We are excited about that, and thankful that it didn't take as long as it could have--only three months, rather than up to 18 months!  Now comes the part where we have to get it built! We need it to stop raining so we can do the earth works and foundations. Forcast is for rain almost every day for the next 21 days. We've ordered a "kit" home, but we're having a builder build it for us.  He's a Christian gentleman who was associated with our church in the past.  Matt will of course be helping where he can to make it cheaper on us.

Luke has started school again for his 11th grade year.  He seems pleased with his schedule and the classes he has.  Here in 11th and 12th, you're allowed all elective classes except English, and he's chosen to take Extension English above the normal English class!  He's also taking Ancient and Modern History, Business Studies, Math and Drama.  As the school year has started up, we're trying to get him to drive to school to get him more practice with us in the car.  Pray that he becomes more confident, and that we won't be so nervous riding with him!!

The church is doing well.  People are growing and learning.  Sunday will be our Annual Meeting, where we will vote on all the constitutional changes we've worked on throughout the year.  If it passes (which it most likely will, since we've discussed it as we've gone along), we then must submit it to the government for approval, since we're incorporated as a non-profit association.  With all this will come the change of our name to Living Hope Baptist Church!  Pray that all goes through smoothly.

We're looking forward to another work team coming from the States to help with some of the renovations on the property.  They'll be here late March-early April.

Thanks for praying for us!

In His service,

Matt & Barb

 

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28 Jan 2012 AD

Dear friends and supporters,

It has been an eventful week.  With Luke gone to Camp Toukley for the week (more on this later), we caught up on some things, as well as spent some quality time just the two of us.

We spent a great deal of time working on the church constitution, including meeting with a Christian attorney to go through his suggestions to make the document legally accurate.  Meeting with our church people on Sunday, we were able to get approval for some necessary changes.  We're well on our way to finalizing the constitution, which we will vote on at our annual meeting in February.  Then, as an incorporated body, we must submit it to the government authorities for approval.

We are trying to spend one day a week on our seminary studies.  We have to be diligent to keep up with the lectures and reading--we can't afford to fall behind as we must complete the course by mid-May.

We have received verbal approval from the local council to build on our property!  It also shows on the government web site that approval is granted. This is a great relief to us.  We must wait for the official paperwork to come through, but we can start thinking about and planning for the actual building process.  We have hired a Christian builder in the area to do the construction.

Luke spent the week at Camp Toukley, a Christian camp which ministers to mostly DOCS (Department of Children's Services) kids from around the state.  It was their biggest camp to date--150 3rd-6th grade children.  Luke and 2 others were leaders over 15 boys.  Thursday 101 children and 3 leaders from Mission Australia trusted Jesus as their Savior!  God is amazing!  Luke came home encouraged, wanting to go back in April during our autumn school holidays!

School starts up again for Luke next Wednesday--11th grade this year!  He never got a summer job--oh well.

Thanks for your faithful prayers for us.  Pray that we will not grow weary in well doing!

In His service,

Matt & Barb

18 Jan 2012 AD

G'day,

It's been a good week.

During the week we enjoyed a visit from friends and coworkers for a couple of days.  We always have a great time playing games and visiting new places with them.

Saturday we drove Luke to Camp Toukley--a Christian kids camp about 3 hours north of us.  He'll be spending the week there as a leader for primary-aged kids.  Pray that it will be a fruitful week--growth for himself, and salvation for the children.

We had a missionary speaker on Sunday morning.  He shared their ministry in Vanuatu, and was very encouraging to our people.  On Sunday afternoon we viewed the second of two DVDs by Louie Giglio (Indescribable! and How Great is Our God) which was also a great encouragement to us.  We have such a big God!

Amy is not really enjoying the snow in Ohio, but she is enjoying her new semester of classes at Cedarville.  She will be in their production of The Crucible at the end of the month, so she is full on with rehearsals and preparation for that.

We're still waiting for approval to build our house.  Everything slows down in January and people are away on vacation, so approval takes longer.  Pray that we will hear something this week!

Our annual business meeting is coming up in February.  We have many proposed changes to the constitution that need to be implemented, mostly to meet the government regulations for non-profit corporations.  Pray that we will make wise decisions.

Thanks as always for your prayers for us!

In His service,

Matt & Barb

 

 

10 Jan 2012 AD

Enjoying our summer


Hello friends,
Well, another year has come and gone.  A new year stretches out before us, with all of its challenges, opportunities, ministry and blessings.  We are excited and eager to see what God has in store for us this year.

We live in a beautiful part of the world.  On New Years Eve we drove about 5 minutes away and walked out to North Beach and enjoyed the 9:30 fireworks over the Wollongong Lighthouse & Harbour.  What a beautiful evening.  And then we were awake long enough to watch the midnight fireworks over Sydney on the TV.

Life in Australia slows down to almost a complete halt over the Christmas/New Years period.  It's a good time to start thinking about goals and plans for the coming year, and to catch up on reading.

Pray for us as we embark on an extension seminary class over the next four months.  We were taking classes locally through Asia Baptist Theological Seminary, but they had to shut down the seminar classes here in Sydney (due to Australian government restrictions).  Fortunately, we have enough credit hours to complete the remaining classes by extension.  This is much harder, and we need prayer to be disciplined and have the time to complete the work.  The class we are taking right now is Ancient Church History.

Our Amy is leaving Michigan to return to Cedarville for her second semester.  She's looking forward to the new classes and seeing her friends there again.  She'll be very involved and busy with the upcoming school production she's in at the end of this month.  She's really enjoying the opportunities to be involved in theater.

Thank you for your continued prayers.  Please pray that we would see the opportunities to reach out into the community here in Corrimal.  While we've seen much spiritual growth in the church in the past year, we are praying for some numerical growth this year.

In His service,

Matt & Barb

 

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beach view

 

28 Dec 2011 AD

Have a wonderfully blessed new year!


G'day,
Well, Christmas has come and gone.  Today in Australia (the 26th) is Boxing Day (another day for Aussies to take off work!)  Traditionally it's when you were supposed to box up your gifts and share them with the poor.

On Christmas Eve, we continued our Australian family tradition and went to the beach in the late afternoon.  The weather was perfect, there wasn't too much of a crowd, and the water was nice!  We enjoyed strolling along the beach, and then a seafood takeaway dinner from a great fish n chips shop.  We watched "It's a Wonderful Life" that evening.

Sunday we had our service earlier, at 9 am.  We did not have any visitors, but we enjoyed a great time of worship and celebration of Jesus' birth.

We did miss Amy being with us this year.  We talked to her on our Christmas day, and on the US Christmas day, both.

Matt has been sick with a bad cough for the past month.  It's been determined that it's NOT whooping cough, and he'll go in for a chest x-ray Wednesday to try to help determine the cause.  It could just be allergies.  He has been feeling quite a bit better over the past few days.  He still struggles with singing and preaching at times.

For New Years Day we will have our regular service with a focus on what the Bible says about goals and plans. The church has been through a lot of changes over the last year. Pray with us that this year will see us build on the spiritual growth of last year with a greater spiritual and numeric outcome!

Thank you for your faithful prayers for us.  Please continue to pray that this coming year we will see the Lord building His church in Corrimal!

In His service,

Matt & Barb

 

Dec 20 2011 AD

Merry Christmas!

Hello friends,

Our sausage sizzle and singalong was a fun evening.  We had some good food and fellowship, and an evening of singing carols, focusing on the reason for the season.  We had most of our regular group, plus the Weber family (another ABWE missionary family) and five visitors.  These five were from a small home church that is considering disbanding and joining with us.  We invited them along so they could see a bit of what we're like.  And it was good for us to get to know a bit of what they're like!

Sunday evening our church traveled to a sister church 45 minutes away for their carols service.  We enjoyed fellowshipping with them.

We are missing our summer!  It just hasn't happened yet!  Most days have been cold, rainy, windy, cloudy--nothing like summer here should be!  Everyone is commenting on how this "global warming" is really affecting us!

We are missing Amy as Christmas draws near.  She is with friends and family back in the States.

Luke is having a relaxing school break so far.  He hasn't found a job yet, but is gearing up to go once again to Camp Toukley, a kid's camp which ministers to many needy and abused children.  He will be a cabin leader again this year.

Our construction certificate and development approval for the home we want to have built is close to being approved.  We may even hear some good news today!  The council employee in charge of our application has been told he must clear off his desk before Christmas break--so this may mean we'll get the rubber stamp of approval this week.  Praise the Lord!

Our church people will be going to the rest home on Thursday morning to sing some Christmas carols for the residents there.  This is the same place where we have a monthly chapel service.  We are praying that our singing will not only cheer the folks there up, but also be a witness to the staff.

Pray for us as we minister to our community this Christmastime.

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas
ABWE-Australia

 

7 Dec 2011 AD

December, can you believe it?

Last week Luke graduated year 10.  (Here in Australia students have not had to go beyond year 10 and were in fact only recommended to go on to years 11 & 12 if there grades were good enough.  Otherwise it was recommended that they go out into the workforce and get an apprenticeship.) Well, Luke’s grades are good and he will be going on to finish the last two years of high school.  The day of his formal dinner we were able to snap the following picture.

family picture

Monday this week we met with some folks from Canada who are candidating at a church about an hour away from us.  They used to live in Australia and want to return here to minister in a church.  We were impressed with their desire to return and get involved in ministry here.  We are so keen for someone to come and work with us here in Corrimal.  If you know of anyone with a desire to work in ministry cross-culturally, please let us know.

Matt has come down sick--a bad cough, congestion and extra tired.  He was not able to go to the retirement home ministry on Tuesday.  I went and played some Christmas carols, and they enjoyed the singing, and our deacon (who always faithfully serves with us in this ministry) read Matt's notes and gave a message on Emmanuel--God With Us.  Attendance was good, and the people (residents and staff alike) are always appreciative of our monthly visits.  We will be returning on the 22nd to do some Christmas caroling for them.

Our theme for December is God's Greatest Gift.  We are starting to decorate the church a bit in relation to this theme.
Christmas2011Add
Summer began here a week ago, but it feels more like winter still!  We're looking forward to warmer days ahead!

We so appreciate your prayers for us.  Please pray that we will be effective in talking to people in our community throughout this month.  They need to know about God's greatest gift to them--eternal life through His Son!

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

 

 

 

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29 Nov 2011 AD 


It's been an eventful week.

The church enjoyed the ministry of Friends of Israel on Sunday.  We met Sunday afternoon to plan for the upcoming Sausage Sizzle and Christmas Singalong, and to discuss other items of business.

Last week Luke stayed with a friend in Sydney while doing a work experience with a pastor at a fellowshipping church.  It was a good chance for him to see what a pastor (other than his dad) does in a week.  He said he enjoyed it, and of course enjoyed staying with one of his best mates and also seeing other friends at his old school's year 10 graduation.  Last night was his own year 10 graduation and formal dinner.  We are proud of his accomplishments at his new school this year.  He received his report, and his grades are very good.  He's now off for two months of summer holidays.

Amy was able to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend with Matt's parents in Michigan.  It was good for her to be able to see family and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving--something we don't do here.  She only has three weeks left of the semester!  My how time has flown.

The weather is warming up here, but we've had the wettest November on record.

Continue to pray for our paperwork to go through the local council so we can get started with building our house early in the new year.

Thanks for all your prayers,

Matt & Barb Douglas

 

 

22 Nov 2011 AD

G'day,

We are looking forward to Sunday when we will have a guest speaker from the Friends of Israel share with us. Our congregation prays regularly for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. Matt is catching up on some other work since he does not have to prepare a message for this week.

Please continue to pray for Angela, the daughter of one of our members. She continues to struggle with custody issues with her ex husband and their two small children. There has been abuse in the home. Two court hearings will be held in the next three weeks.

We look forward to the Christmas season here. While this week is Thanksgiving, we do not celebrate Thanksgiving as a holiday in November (Australia's is in May). Barb did buy a turkey, but won't be able to fix it for this Thursday. We thought we'd have it on Saturday, however our new neighbors-to-be at our property (a small cul-de-sac) invited us to a Christmas barbecue get together on Saturday. What an opportunity to meet the neighbors! We can't pass that one up!

This Sunday we have a special speaker from Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry Australia Inc. Having recently preached through Romans 9-11 it was a good opportunity to bring in an expert. Pray our people will really warm to this fine ministry (FOI have never come here before) and that we will have some visitors who will come and have a look.

We're starting to publicize our Christmas Sausage Sizzle and Singalong on the 17th of December. We've also been invited to sing carols at the retirement home we have a ministry in once a month. That will be on the 22nd. Pray for good outreach during this holiday season!

In His Service,

Matt & Barb

 

 

16 Nov 2011 AD

G’day supporters,

It's a beautiful spring day here in Corrimal.  The sky is blue, and the ocean breeze is keeping the temperature and humidity pleasant.  We know where you are the temperatures are getting colder; we've even heard of snow on the ground.  We know that God controls the times and the seasons, and we are so thankful that He gives us variety in climate.

We have been considering how God has supplied us with so much, and yet there are needs which we feel we must share with you.  Some supporters are interested in the end-of-year needs to know how to direct tax deductable gifts:

  • Financial gifts to help with the cost of the renovation work on the old church buildings here
  • Gifts toward our ministry to the 2012 London Olympics - we will be working once again with Answers in Genesis in this outstanding event ministry.  Airline tickets have already been purchased.  August 2-12 are the dates.

There are also non-financial things we are beseeching God to supply:

  • Visitors/work crews to help with the restoration and renovation of our church property (volunteers are needed from all skill levels)
  • A coworker:  someone to come and help in the work of evangelism and outreach, who would even be willing to pastor this church


Your notes of encouragement via email are always a great blessing.  We are encouraged to know that you are praying for us. 

  • Please continue to pray for the ministry here.  We are discovering the hardness of hearts here in this community.  People so desperately need to know God, and yet there is very little interest. 
  • Please continue to pray that our building permit application will be approved soon--before Christmas. 
  • With the US dollar so weak against the Aussie dollar, our monthly support doesn't go very far.  Pray that we will be wise stewards with the finances God gives us.


In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

 

 

7 November 2011 AD

Hello prayer supporters!

God is so good, and He's in control, even though we did not see the results we would have liked at our movie night on the 27th of October. We had all our regulars, plus an extra ABWE family, plus 3 visitors from another church. We were hoping to see at least a dozen come from the community. They all did seem to enjoy the film, and enjoyed the fellowship. We're learning what works and what doesn't as far as publicity and what we are offering. Our next outreach will be for Christmas. It's an Australian tradition to gather at Christmas time at a park or school or church and sing carols together, interspersed with special numbers. So we'll have a sausage sizzle (equivalent to an American hot dog roast) and singalong. We'll try some different advertising techniques and trust that the Lord will bring some people out.

Luke is in the middle of his School Certificate exams. This is the last year this particular type of testing will be done in Australia, so I suppose this is a historic event. In years past, you couldn't continue with years 11 and 12 if you didn't pass these exams, but it's more like year 10 final exams now, and students aren't allowed to leave school until they're 17 now. Luke will have an official "graduation" from year 10 on the 29th of November.

While your weather stateside is cooling off, we're warming up. It has been noticeable warmer and more humid over the past few days.
Just a reminder, if anyone is interested in coming to Australia to help with renovations on our church property, please let us know!

In His service,

The Douglases

 

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25 Oct 2011 AD

 It's been a good week. Matt had an excellent time with 11 other men at a Men's Retreat. He was one of three speakers. The topic was leadership. He came home very encouraged about the quality of the men and their desire to be strong Christian leaders. Few retreats end with the attenders begging for more practical application - this one did!

Luke had over 2 hours of driving time last weekend. He drove himself (and mom) up to a friend's birthday party in Western Sydney on Friday, and then back again on Saturday. He's starting to feel more confident. It just takes practice, practice, practice! Luke finished his exams and was confident that he did pretty well. There are only three more weeks of classes for him, and then a week of "School Certificate" exams, and then a week of work experience, and then he will "graduate" from Year 10. Of course he will go on to Years 11 and 12, but this is a milestone for students here in Australia.

We are preparing for our movie night outreach on Saturday night. Posters have gone up around town. Leaflets have been put in letterboxes. Free tickets have been handed out. We are praying for many visitors on the night and that the film will be relevant to our community--it's a story of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please pray!

Please continue to pray for the submission of our paperwork to council for building on our block of land. There are still some details to work out before we can submit it.

We've been asking you to pray for Angela, one of our member's daughter, who has moved to Brisbane recently. She has settled in and seems to be doing well. We're praying that she'll go to the church that's across the road from her--she's gone one Sunday, and found there were people there who were eager to help her. Pray that all the legal issues with her ex-husband still pending will be resolved.

We are enjoying some much warmer weather right now, as the northern hemisphere prepares for chillier temperatures. Amy complained the other day that it frosted overnight--oh, it's only just the beginning of her winter at Cedarville! Pray that she will adjust to the cold! Otherwise, she seems to be doing well. Thanks for your prayers and support,

The Douglases

 

12 Oct 2011AD

Hello friends,

Our trip to Brisbane was successful last week.  It was a long time in the car, but God gave us safety and very little rain.  Pray for Angela as she gets settled into her new place and deals with some legal issues.  Luke did not end up going with us because he could not legally drive towing a trailer, so he stayed home and held down the fort.  It was an opportunity for us to celebrate our 26th anniversary and Barb's birthday away from home.

On the 21-22nd Matt will be speaking at a men’s retreat on leadership.  Our church and our closest sister church will be getting together for this event.  His sessions will be about lessons in leadership from the life of Samuel.  Pray with us that we would have many men there with hearts ready for all that God wants to accomplish.

On October 29 we are having a movie night.  Invitations and posters are starting to go out today.  Pray that this will be another chance to show our community that we care, and that visitors will be challenged with the gospel.

Our house building plans have hit some major snags.  We are praying about what will be the best way to proceed--either pay a large sum of money for someone to push the documentation through the local government authorities, or take the time to do it ourselves (still will cost us some money, but a lot less).  We're also evaluating the cost of hiring a builder or doing some of the construction ourselves.

Barb is fighting with a case of bronchitis.  Pray that she will feel better soon! Luke has exams starting Monday the 17th.  Pray that he does well. 

Thanks for your prayers,

The Douglas family

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20 Sept 2011 AD

The Spring into Corrimal Festival was on Sunday the 11th, and our people took an active part. Yes, it all happens on a Sunday, but we postponed our service to serve the community. From our church's own front lawn, we gave away around 250 barbecued sausage sandwiches (an Aussie favorite), and around 400 bottles of water, along with invitations to church! It was all for free, and the people we served were taken aback at our generosity. We were encouraged by the participation and enthusiasm of our people. They seemed to really enjoy it. It gave us an opportunity to become much more visible in the community. After three years of much inactivity on our property, people are seeing that there is actually something going on here! Our service on that day was at 4 pm. No visitors because of the festival, but yesterday we had one lady visit who seemed very interested. She may come to our Spring Barbecue Birthday Bash this Saturday (a biannual event to celebrate birthdays in our church family), and sounded like she would visit church again. This morning a man stopped by to let us know he was sorry he missed the service yesterday, but was definitely coming next week!

Pray for fruit from this important outreach.
Pray for some of our people who are going through some very difficult circumstances.
Pray for our continued outreach and witness in our community.
Pray for Amy at Cedarville University.
Pray for Luke as he learns to drive.
In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas
ABWE Australia  

1 Sept 2011 AD

G'day to our faithful supporters!

It’s been awhile since we’ve been in touch, so here’s an update:

Spring is here in Corrimal! The weather is “fining up” and flowers are starting to bloom. This Sunday is the annual “Spring into Corrimal” community festival. We have convinced our small congregation to postpone our service and offer free water and Aussie sausages from 9am till we run out of food. Our service will be at 4pm that day. Everyone seems keen to take part, and we’ll also have some help from an ABWE family from Sydney. We’ll be cooking sausages from early that morning and handing out tracts with the water. We hope to talk to many people about the Lord that day, inviting them to our services. The parade which begins at 10am starts just a few yards from our church driveway. We trust there will be a lot of people walking past throughout the day.

One of the things that make this a great outreach is that we have just had a ministry team out to help us paint the exterior of the church. Thanks to the Rose family, we now have new color on the church. Also, the roofing contractor finally finished his work, so the roof is also freshly repaired and painted. What an amazing facelift. While the work was progressing, many people who walked past craned their necks and commented on the work being done. You can see photos on Matt’s Facebook page.

We have chosen a new name for our church: Living Hope Baptist Church. We have yet to change the sign, and it won’t be official until we vote on constitutional changes at our Annual General Meeting in February. We are so excited about the changes taking place!

Amy is a college student now at Cedarville University in Ohio. We’re all getting used to the change. She seems to be going well, with much communication going back and forth on Facebook, Skype and emails.

Luke is doing very well in school this year. We’re attempting to teach him to drive. Pray for us!

In July we enjoyed a last family holiday with all four of us. It was good to get away.

There are some members of our congregation here who are going through some very difficult challenges. Please pray that God will be glorified through every situation.

Thank you so much for your faithful support. We have seen a decrease in our support level because of raises in cost of living and health insurance, and some of our supporters have needed to make adjustments. Please pray that God will continue to supply our needs. The US dollar is very weak right now, which means we only get about $.90-.95 on every US $1.00.

In His service,

The Douglases 

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July 1 2011 AD

Mid summer update

We hope you are enjoying your North American summer.  We have fond memories of summers with many of you.  On our cold winter days here we often wish we had some of your summer heat.  HA!

We wanted to give you a short bullet list of important things to take before the Lord this summer.  Please understand that we are not trying to cut communications short.  We are most interested in keeping you informed in your prayer and praise.

Prayer requests:
Ministry:

  • A co-worker in the ministry here.  We want the next pastor for this church replant along side us SOON.
  • Our church remodelling projects.  We have much to do and not a lot of money.  Some is getting quite urgent for safety and preservation of the buildings themselves (like urgent roof repairs).
  • Ministry work teams to come to help with building maintenance.  More can be viewed on ABWE.ORG or you can ask for more details.  We need people to come over and help!
  • Outreach!  While we have had visitors, we need to reach people for more than a single Sunday morning.
  •  Unity with our co-workers.  We don't have any details, just want to continue to love working with our other missionaries down here.
  • Matt was asked to submit a letter to the board of the local golf course to be the official club chaplain.  There is no pay for this, but it could be a good outreach opportunity.  If nothing else it would get exposure to people of the community as we know very few people in this new location.

Personal:

  • We are on family vacation from July 12-22.  Pray for rest and restoration.
  • Amy leaves us for Cedarville University in Ohio in mid August.  She needs prayer and we will have many family adjustments.
  • We are wanting to build a house.  We have bought property and are likely to buy a "kit home" so that we can save money.  We will hire people to build it or have work teams from the USA come to help build it. (The kit comes with everything numbered and easy to put together.)  We also have to decide what house to build, and who should build it. (We are too busy in ministry and do not feel God wants us to do it ourselves.)

Praises to thank God for!

  • Our church is making good progress on a new constitution, name, ministry goals.
  • We have had 20 visitors in the last 6 weeks.
  • ABWE is organizing people who would like to come down to work on the property.  They hope to get people from all over the USA to sign up and come at their convenience.  The goal is to have a team once a month from Aug till the work is done.
  • We just celebrated 17 years in Australia.  God is so good and we have seen Him do amazing things!

Here is a short story you may enjoy that falls under the category “Answers to prayer:”

The Lord has been good to us.  We see it in many ways.
Recently we celebrated Australia's National Day of Thanksgiving.  We wanted to take a lead in the community as thankful people.  The church came up with the idea of inviting all the tradesmen who have worked on the property and all our suppliers to come to our service on thanksgiving weekend.  On the Sunday we had 10 visitors, none of whom presently belong to a church.  We gave each a certificate saying thanks for your help. 
    Those who did not make it to our service were sent a letter saying we were sorry they did not make it and we wanted to mail them their certificate anyway.  One business owner called me saying he almost fired his secretary for not giving him the original letter invite.  Shocked at this, we assured him that she should keep her job.  It was something new we were trying to restore an attitude of thanksgiving.  The boss went on for half an hour saying how surprised he was that we would be concerned, how delighted he was that we cared, how much he longed to be connected with a group of people who were so respectful and thankful, and that he was going to talk his wife into giving church a try one more time.  He was looking forward to meeting the group of people who would care so much and go out of their way to say thanks.
    He still has not visited, but pray with us that God would continue to draw this business owner and his wife to himself.  Pray that they would visit us soon.  Pray that we would be a people ready to receive them and reach out to them with hope and compassion.

Thanks again for your prayers. 

In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas

 

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26 May 2011AD

Thanks for your prayers!  God is doing some good things and we are seeing the advancement of the work here.

This weekend is Australia’s National Day of Thanksgiving.  The government asks Australians to take either Saturday or Sunday to “thank God and thank others.”  Our church has turned this into an outreach event as we have invited all the people who have helped here in the last six months (plumbers, roofers, electrical contractors, painters, tree fallers, and more) to a special service.  We will say thanks to God for our salvation and thanks to all these people and businesses.  We have a potential of having 10 times our normal group if each contractor or business sends two people.  We know that many are not saved and the opportunity to preach a gospel message is irresistible.  We even finally completed the installation of our industrial automatic coffee machine (a gift to the church).  The fellowship after the service should be a buzz at least. (Ha!)

Please pray with us that God would bring people out.  Pray that our people would respond well to all visitors.  Pray that we would have an impact on the unsaved and unchurched visitors. 

We know our God is working all things together for good.  We are asking Him to see fit to bless our humble efforts and build His church.

In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas
ABWE Australia

 

10 May 2011AD

Make sure you read our latest Douglas Dispatch. A new one went out today, and is posted on page 2 of this web site.

God bless, Matt

 

25 April 2011 AD

The resurrected Lord “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” Luke 24.45-47

Hallelujah!  He has risen!

We pray that this wonderful resurrection Sunday morning will bless your hearts as you glorify God, and that the repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached around the world!

It is a wonderful time of the year.  Opportunities to share what Christ has done are plentiful.  We had a special Good Friday evening sing-along in our new church replant.  We invited so many people, but we only had one visitor from the community come.  We have been praying for by name for several weeks.  It was a blessing to see her actually come.  We also had a couple come from sister churches that we had invited to come join us in the outreach.  It will help them to know better how to pray for the ministry here.

Resurrection Sunday morning was low in attendance as we had many away on holiday (vacation) with extended family.  We did however have a sporadic visitor back and Joy (who came to Friday night’s sing-along) came and brought her single adult daughter.  Three visitors from the community in one service – not bad!  The message was from the Romans 6 and how Christ was raised to the glory of the Father and we too, as pictured in baptism, are dead to sin and alive to God.  It was received well – maybe because it was the shortest message I have preached in months at just about 33 minutes.

We would like to spend some family time together for the next couple of days.  Australian’s have a 5 day weekend with Good Friday through ANZAC day all off.  While the ministry necessitates work during that time we are going to take a couple of “comp” days and enjoy being a family before Luke has to get back to school.

We pray that your weekend of celebration is wonderful and your worship of our Risen Saviour is “lifechangingly” sweet.

In His service,
Matt, Barb, Amy, & Luke Douglas

ABWE - Australia

 

5 April 2011AD

Wow!  Does time ever pass quickly when you are over-busy.  We have seen many blessings of God over the last month.  We would like to update you on a few.

The church is making forward momentum.  We have solidified our group and have been seeing 12 locals plus our family most every week. (Remember we had just 3 members who called us here to do this replant.)  We have also made great progress in the focus and plans for the church.  We have enjoyed our Sunday afternoon planning sessions.  Our new purpose statement reads: Living
in the assurance of Christ’s salvation, we glorify God by sharing the truth of God’s Word and serving
one another with hope and compassion.  It is one thing to state it, but they are beginning to see how life changes as they live it out. Our Sunday morning services have been focusing on the “One Another” passages of the Bible and we are now moving back to our exegetical study of Romans picking up where we left off in chapter five.

Our church has also seen forward momentum around the property.  We have been blessed with a visit from a couple from SW Michigan who has helped tremendously.  In the last month we have fixed and restored the manse (parsonage) roof, replaced the bad parts of the church building roof, Painted the entry, fellowship area and sanctuary part of our church building, pressure washed the drive, ground out ten stumps that stuck up around the property, sanded some of the wood floors in the cottage building, built a sign frame to hold the posters under our church sign out front, and more!  With each thing that we do to restore our church property we make the place more inviting for visitors and more enjoyable for ourselves.  We have no intentions of having a Solomon’s temple style building, but to be dumpy dishonours God.  The church has saved up a good bit of money for these projects, but we are going through it faster than any of us would like.  If you are interested in helping the church with a gift to repaint the outside of our building, refurbish the fellowship hall to a usable level or any other project you can send a gift to ABWE or contact us for details of how to make a tax deductable gift really count in this local ministry.

Some of you received our video report in recent weeks.  For everyone else we would like to offer you the opportunity to see what God is doing in this place.  You can view it online at: http://www.abwedouglas.net/page5.html   Feel free to make copies and have everyone interested see it.  We are willing to send supporters a disk.  Please email if you need one.

The family is doing well.  Amy is working at a camp and making pizza on the side.  While she would rather have a good paying job she is willing to work two jobs if that is what it takes.  Luke is very interested in getting a job for extra spending money.  Pray that in the Easter school holidays he will be able to find a good one.  He is making friends faster than the rest of us as school is giving him an added advantage.  He is also reminding us that he turns 16 next month.  You can guess what that all means!

Barb and I have been busy in both ministry here and finishing off all the lingering details of selling our last house and looking for the next place God would bless us with.  Pray with us that the sale of our home in Blacktown would soon be completed so that we can focus down here.  It has been a pain to have to travel 1.5 hours each way to check the property, mow the lawn, and do maintenance each week.

Thanks once again for your prayers and support!  We appreciate it more than we can ever express in words!!
Matt & Barb Douglas

 

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1 March 2011AD

Continue to pray for us in the following areas:

1. Aussie co-worker to eventually take over the ministry in Corrimal

2. Continued progress on our purpose, plan and goals as a church

3. Making friends in the area for fellowship and evangelism

4. Wisdom to accomplish what needs to be done in the best order (without working way too much)

5. Children - Luke adjusting to to Illawarra Christian School and Amy plans to attend Cedarville in August (working on financial aid now.)

6. Sale of our Blacktown house and eventual purchase here in our area of ministry.

Thanks for your prayers!

Matt & Barb

 

 

16 Feb 2011AD

G’day

It is a wonderful thing to serve the Lord.  His mercy and compassion is beyond our understanding.  It is marvellous how he works through us in changing lives (all the while changing ours as well)!

The ministry here in the Corrimal (pronounced: Car-rim-al) area is going well.  The summer schedule has delayed some things, and has been a blessing in other ways.  While we have seen many of our people away visiting family, the summer has also brought us a visitor named Wade.  He came a couple weeks in a row as we looked into the biblical purpose of the church – why do we exist in God’s plan.  The nice weather we have been having (we would not want to rub it in or anything!) has also allowed us to get a lot of work done around the place.  We have been dashing from job to job all the while trying to figure out the best order to accomplish the massive amount of work to be done.  This is a rare thing to plant a church with a set of old buildings fully owned and a small group of people who make up the core of the church.  While locally we are calling this a replant, it for all practical purposes is a plant much like any other as far as our authority, guidance and responsibilities.  The things we have less say on are style, location, and the makeup of the group.  We have mentioned before that we would love to have some people come from the USA to help with the building remodelling.  There is a lot to do!  We still have openings! Want to come see the ministry and enjoy a nice part of Australia?  Just email us and let us know what your interests and thoughts are and we will see how it all fits together.

Luke started year 10 the last week of January.  It is a big adjustment for him in a new school, but he is a good student.  He is attending Illawarra Christian School.  It is a school of about 500 students that is located 15-20 minutes drive south of our church and present home. Pray for him as he makes new friends and finds his place in the new school.

Amy is done with school for now (she is applying to Christian universities in the USA for September enrolment) and needs to get a job.  She is trying, but nothing has been offered yet.  Pray with us for God’s best.

Barb and I have been adjusting to the extra duties of pastoral care and shepherding.  The world is a very messed up place and so often the people in the church have had to deal with the same issues and the same problems.  It is amazing to see how much God has grown our hearts in love for these people and this area.  Continue to pray with us as we seek to shepherd as God would have us.

Just 2 months in and we have already changed things. J  We have not only done a lot of cleaning but we have had a tree removed, tore down 2 walls to make a bigger area for fellowship (we call it our “morning tea and coffee room”) and even changed some carpet.  We are working on a new color scheme for the inside and out.  We have had big printed signs hanging out front since we arrived, we have refocused their purpose statement and much, much more.  There is no doubt about it.  We have been very hard at work.  I know it can be bad for a new pastor to change things right away, but they called us here for that very purpose.  They were just holding on and were not sure how much longer they could survive without something happening.  How are they handling it all?  Well, one is accepting everything, one wants to change nothing –but likes the look of things once they are done, and the rest are someplace in between.  We had only 3 members who could vote to call us here, and now we are running 13 with a high of 15.  How many of your churches have grown 500%? We know, the comparison isn’t fare but it makes our work sound real good, HA.  We do want to reach more people.  Keep praying with us!

In His service,
Matt, Barb, Amy & Luke Douglas
ABWE Australia

 

 

16 Jan 2011

G’day

All is well in our part of Australia.  You may have heard of the devastating floods up north.  That is over a day’s drive away and can’t affect us.  We do however truly pray for the churches and people of that area!

The church replant is going well so far.  Christmas was a bit of a wash with the move and getting settled in.  We tried to invite people from the area to the Christmas services, but most already had plans.  Most people need more than a week’s notice.  We had an enjoyable time in our new house all morning and then drove out of the area to be with other ABWE missionaries for Christmas dinner.  It was a very good day.

We have had a high of 13 in a service.  Considering we came with only 3 members that sounds good.  That’s what – 400% growth plus. However, then consider 4 are from our family 3 had attended before and the reality looks more normal.

Sunday the 16th we start talking about strategic planning.  The church has had no idea about its purpose or a plan to grow for some time.  They figured if they kept doing what they had done, God might bring someone their way.  Well that is a possibility, but that is not what we do as church planters.  We work to plans that are based on Scripture and carefully prayed over.  We desire to be a part of what God is doing in this world as we actively reach out to the people around us all the while bringing/giving glory to God.  We are sure to learn much about how the ministry here will look as we meet with the congregation each Sunday at 4pm for the foreseeable future. We covet your prayers!

We have also restarted prayer meeting.  If you have known us long you know we are passionate about prayer.  We want to see this church become a place of prayer.

In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas

 

11 Jan 2011

We finally have internet and phone service again. We spent about a month without it after the move. Sorry we missed all the opportunities to comment on Christmas and new years. Hope yours was wonderful, and you find your walk with the Lord better for the holidays!

In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

 

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15 Dec 2010

We are moving!  On Friday morning our time we have a moving truck arrive to move us to the new ministry in Corrimal.  Pray with us that the move would be fast and that there would be little breakage or damage.  The trip is about 1.5 hours each way.

The new ministry is going well so far.  Matt has preached the last 2 Sundays.  The small group is so grateful that we are coming.  We have also spent a lot of time cleaning and getting the buildings ready to use again.  Things have just been mostly shut up for the last three years. (Shock horror, we learned that the BBQ had not been used in over 4 years!)   The first week we had a small business meeting to cover some details and get information.  The second weekend we had Thanksgiving Service for all those who had helped the church in the past.  We had most of the people who had preached over the last 3 years there and the previous pastor.  We forgot to count but think there were around 40-45 people there.  The church was thrilled with the turnout.  We even had a couple of people from the community come to that service – they heard there was going to be free food.

We are constantly in prayer about the balance of our time.  There is LOTS of work to be done on the buildings.  There is the necessity of being in the community and inviting people to the church.  There is the need to get new documents like a constitution and purpose and plans and goals drawn up and approved.  There is also the need to spend time with my family – especially during the Christmas season.  I have found myself working 90-hour weeks and then wondered why I was not feeling much like Christmas is upon us.  Ha!

Please note the changes in our address as listed on our web page.

We may be out of communication until just before Christmas as there was a snag in getting the internet and phone reconnected to the house we will be living in.  We should be back on line soon, but this time of year things easily get put off till the second week of the New Year.  We will still have our mobile/cell phones in the new location with the same numbers.

If we do not get another chance to say so, have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful start to the New Year.

In His Service,
Matt, Barb, Amy & Luke Douglas

 

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11 Nov 2010
We are pleased to announce that we have clear direction from the Lord for our next church plant! We will be restarting a church in Corrimal (pronounced Car-rim-al) NSW. We will have some advantages in this church plant and some extra challenges. We will write about the lot soon.

Pray with us that we will be able to find some one to work with now who will stay as pastor when it is our time to leave in a few years. Pray that those we will be working with will be ready for all the changes ahead. Pray that we will reach many new people in the community. Pray that our kids will adjust well (this is huge).

In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas & children

21 October 2010AD

“The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans11.29) We praise God for this truth found in His Word. It starts with his gift of salvation and extends to everything we “need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His glory and virtue.” (2 Peter 1.3) AMEN! The opportunity to live our lives in service of our God is wonderful! Thank you so much for making our service for the Lord possible through your prayers and support.

We have delayed a prayer update hoping we would have big news. While God is showing us many things (some we like and others hurt) we still have not made the decision on where we will be planting the next church. While we have lowered the list from 14 to 3, we have to decide among all good options. We are at the level that the “who” will be involved is the tipping point. To be honest, most of the 14 places we have researched need a church. All the top 3 are great opportunities. We really covet your prayers as we make our decision in the next couple of weeks and get involved in the chosen community before Christmas.

Ministry continues to thrive. We shared the gospel to people 55 times in the last quarter. Some of our discipleship is seeing people get back on their feet after hard times. Other people we have encouraged to walk worthy of the calling they have received. Our labour in the Lord has not been in vain.

The family is enjoying the warmer spring days. It is great to see the grass growing, the flowers blooming and people getting outside. We have been able to do some gardening and are enjoying the green grass we have planted in the back yard’s bare spots.

In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas 

 

10/10/10

Pray for us today.  Last week we eliminated one of the possible church plant sights from the top 4 and this week we have a meeting with people in the town at the top of out list.  We could know where we will be working next very soon.  It really all depends on if we feel God is leading us this way or telling us to stay away.  We recently had a team from Woodland CA help us with some work in this town and they fell in love with the opportunities there.  While we like the potential, we also know that there are a few people who could make it a very long hard ministry.  With all the wonderful opportunities around we would rather not get “stuck in the mud.”

Today’s meeting will be our family and another ABWE Australia family setting down and talking with the people about how much they want to grow and the necessary change that will bring.  We are excited, and we are also aware that some in the area are very reluctant to trust American church planters and pastors.  If we can win their trust we can launch forward quickly.  Pray that they will trust, and that they will not obstruct, or join in only to drag things along slowly.

Family is doing well.  Amy just finished school and two weeks ago officially graduated from year 12.  She still has “placement” type tests in every subject over the next few weeks.  Pray that she will be motivated to do a good job on each test as it comes along. Luke is enjoying spring.  He has one more ten week term of year 9.  We have already told him that he will be changing schools next year as we get into a new church plant.  He is not excited about that at all.  Barb had a birthday last week, and we had our 25th anniversary.  We also had my parents down from Michigan over the last three weeks.  It was good to spend time with them.  We celebrated their 51st Anniversary last Sunday.

Thanks for all your support.  Your prayers are more valuable than we could ever express!
In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas & family

 

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6 Sept 2010AD

Gal. 5:5-6 “through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”
Life in Christ is fabulous.  Sure things can be hard some times, and sometimes we are unsure what way God is directing.  However, life with God is fabulous. 
Our life is changing.  Our daughter Amy now has her driver's licence, she turns 18 this week and graduates from high school the end of this month.  WOW!  We are excited for her, and staggered by the changes in life all at the same time.  (We are sure some of you can relate.)  She is a good girl.  We had some good fun last night helping her pick a favourite picture of herself aged under 5 years old.  Sure does not seem that long ago.  It helped us put many things in perspective.
Luke is doing well at his year 9 studies.  He goes to camp this week.  Like any boy that age he looks forward most to having no homework and being able to be with his friends all day and night.  Physically he is getting tall and is now within about an inch of overtaking his father; that is definitely one of his goals in life.  We see him a changed young man for having gone on the Soccer World Cup witnessing trip.  It was a life-shaping experience.
Our husband and wife relationship is so strong.  Many of you know we just celebrated 25 years of marriage (though the official date of that is Oct. 5 we needed to take our trip when it would fit the schedule.)  We so enjoy serving God side by side, and yea the rest of life is quite wonderful too.  We know changes are coming to our lives, but we are eager to watch the Lord do His work in us and through us!
Ministry is progressing.  Barb has had some wonderful results from scripture classes (including helping a teacher get a Bible of her own) and Matt's ESL classes are progressing the work of ministering the Word while meeting a need within the life of the students.  Our ministry to others, our ministry to the local fellowshipping churches, and our research towards the next church plant are also worthy of the calling we have received. Next week Matt will be filling in for another missionary who has to return to the USA for a funeral.  This is likely to include his ESL classes and his Scripture classes in Glenwood Public High School.  One of the fun parts of this ministry is the time we get to encourage and challenge individuals in their walk with God.  Again this week Matt is meeting with a couple of men one of whom needs to consider the step up to full time ministry, and one who needs to be restored after leaving the ministry and church.
We appreciate all your prayers for direction on church planting!  We are as eager as anyone to know where God will station us for the next church plant!  We are trying not to be so eager we get ahead of God, but … the waiting is getting hard.  We have been working at this more and more.  We are trying to definitively “rank” the known opportunities, potential, and the known & unknown complications for each of the top four or five areas.  Yes, we depend on the Spirit.  Yes, it is Christ who said, “I will build my church...” And yes there is always risk involved, but the reason the last church plant was done in half the “normal” time is because we first took note of where God was leading and working, and then we got ourselves involved in church planting there.  We hope to have more exciting news for you on this front by November this year.

Matt Douglas & Family

 

 

15 Aug 2010AD

We appreciate your prayers and support for the ministry here. Our God is a wonder working God.  His sovereignty is truly amazing to watch.  He is doing so much in and through lives.  It is our simple pleasure to be a mouthpiece, a small part, of what He is doing.
 
Barb’s Scripture classes in the public school system are going well.  She continues to see small steps of progress.  This stretch through the middle of the year can be hard; so we covet your prayers that lives would be changed.  It was a privilege to have some visitors from one of our California churches help in this ministry during their recent visit.  Three of the team taught a total of six of the classes.  They were blessed and Barb was encouraged.
 
Matt’s English as a Second Language classes have been low this term.  One student did not come back from China, one took a job, one is now pregnant and therefore often morning sick.  These things hurt attendance.  God knows.  I have one very faithful student who knows Christ as her Saviour and is very desirous to learn.  Pray for wisdom on the best use of time.
 
Church planting research is going forward.  The recent ministry team visit helped a lot.  We were able to get some introduction work done, some more church research done (it is amazing what some churches say they believe) and now we are gaining in confidence on the top four possibilities.  Of those top four we are not in control of the pace in two.  There may come a time when we have to say “Sorry – we are no longer able to continue considering your area as we have been directed by God in a different direction.”  We can’t communicate on paper how much our hearts burn to be about the work of a new church plant.  What we are doing is GOOD ministry!  Many of these things we will continue to do during a church plant.  However, at that point we will be doing it to focus people in to the church we are planting. (Web only note: Today we had a visitor come to church as a direct result of the recent high school ministry teams work with us. She is unsaved, but we are praying for God to do His work in her life!)
 
I sent off a package yesterday of material to a new believer in South Africa.  Sports Impact and the FIFA World Cup Outreach have borne eternal fruit.  The thrill of seeing response cards marked “I have prayed the suggested prayer to accept Christ as my Saviour” is encouraging beyond measure.  Much of the ministry Luke, I  and others had during the games was not conducive to long conversations.  It was winter, cold and dark.  We had to leave the results to the God and the follow-up stage.  Jesus Himself said, No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6.44.   God’s arm is not too short or powerless to save!  Pray with us that more response cards would come in the mail and over the web.
 
Barb and I will be taking a short holiday/vacation to celebrate our 25th anniversary over the next couple of weeks.  Our anniversary is not till October, but we will be way too busy with ministry during that time to get away.  God has supplied this time and we are going to take it.  Pray for our children as we leave them “home alone.”  They are very capable, but we have never given them this much responsibility before.  They will have to get themselves to school, work, church and still cook for themselves . . .  Most of us understand how much work that is.  They are about to learn.  (We do have friends who will be checking in on them.)  Pray also that Barb and I would have a wonderful relaxing time away celebrating our many years together.


In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas
ABWE Australia

 

15 Aug 2010AD

The high school youth group ministry team from Woodland California is doing a great job.  We are keeping them busy and they have been stepping up to each task we give them.  I think each of them has a greater appreciation for what God is doing here and what the possibilities are for the future.  We have them through this week.  Pray that they will continue to accomplish so much more than we could without them.  Pray also that God would use this trip in their lives for future missions ministry.

Our family is doing well.  Barb has a cold right now, but other than that we have all been healthy.  Amy starts her trial exams and tests August 2nd.  These are cumulative; so everything she has learned, or should have learned, in school is fair game for the exams.  When she completes these she graduates from year 12.  That will be in late September.  It is a stressful time for her and us.  Luke has a job now.  He works with his sister at a pizza place.  It will be nice for him to have spending money without always asking mum and dad for it!

In His service,
Matt Douglas & Family

 

 

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11 July 2010AD

Not sure if you were able to follow Matt's Facebook blog while he was in South Africa witnessing during the FIFA World Cup, but I thought I would post the report and insert a link to the Power Point presentation that you can download. It was a great ministry time! God worked in mighty ways. Luke and I were so privileged to be a part. Our prayer now is that people would reply to the response cards in the back of our tracts, and that God would give us the opportunity to help them start their spiritual walk and find a good local church.

Please understand that if you download something with pictures that the file will be large and I recommend only trying it with broadband.

Please click on your choice below and save you your computer for viewing.

Text only Document (small)

PDF file with text and pictures

Power Point presentation (16 meg iin size)

Thanks for your prayers and support!

In His service

Matt Douglas

 

 

14 June 2010AD

A small bit of a scare again this evening. The tracts are not in South Africa, and I do not know where they are. Please pray that they get there and taht they clear customes in what would have to be near record time. It would be assame to be there with no booklets to work with. We will still witness, but we will feel like we have lost a great tool.

Matt & Luke

9 June 2010AD

G’day!

God is a very good God!  His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  No one has ever been His counsellor, and no one has ever given a gift that He must repay!  We have a God who is, in every essence of the word, AWESOME!  Praise Him with us today.

Ministry in Australia is continuing to go forward at a good pace.  We are holding prayer meetings with co-workers about the next church plant.  We are working to clear some places off our list and tightening the criteria we use to evaluate the opportunities more and more.  Continue to pray with us that we will be led by God every step of the way in this ministry.

Scripture classes are going good.  Barb’s 4th grade class is becoming more and more inquisitive.  They are asking great questions, and plenty of silly ones.  “Did Solomon have 1000 rings on his fingers for all those wives?”  We never mind questions like these because we know the good questions will come.  If they aren’t listening enough to ask questions, we have a much harder time sharing the Scripture in a meaningful way.

Matt’s ESL (English as a Second Language) class is moving forward strongly.  It has been a joy to learn that one of my unsaved students had strong Christian grandparents before the Chinese revolution.  She even lived with them for a year and was able to pick up some of the “basics”.  Pray that we will see her and others move from a story level understanding of Christianity to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Last week we read the Book of Ruth.  The idea of a redeemer was really understood on a new level for most in the class.  I have just 2 more classes with them before I will miss a couple classes and then we have a 3-week break.  All up we will miss 6 weeks.  Pray that they turn to Christ before the break or that they come back next term to continue learning.

Last writing we mentioned a big need we had for the Sports Impact ministry.  Here too God has been very good.  We have seen many people and churches respond to the need and cut our shortfall in half!  We still need about $1800 to come in over the next month or so, but God has seen fit to bless us by blessing many others.  Matt and Luke leave Australia on the 15th of June and return on the 3rd of July.  Matt has been feeling the pressure of heading up such a large ministry, but the Lord never gives us a task to large for Him to work through us.  We long ago learned this lesson, and the ministries keep coming.  Pray with us for the rest of the needed funds to be given ($1800 USD), souls to be saved (we want to give out 40,000 tracts and talk through the gospel with 30 people a day), safety as we travel (South Africa is not a safe place), and for Barb and Amy as they carry on the life and ministry here in Australia.

In His service,
Matt Douglas & Family

2 June 2010 AD

Praise God with us for His working in power.  Just last night I mentioned that we had an urgent need for about $5100 US dollars.  We are happy to say that the need has now dropped to $3600.  That is still a lot of money!  Yet once again we are privileged to see how well prayer works.  We know God will continue to supply and we will be able to soon report to you of God's complete supply through His people!  If each of our supporters were able to assist with just $50 we would have this need covered.
In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas
ABWE Australia

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1 June 2010 AD

Time for an update!  We have been so busy with the Lord’s work that we have neglected this important ministry of emailing you.  We do want you to pray with us and praise God for what He has done.

First, we are enjoying ministry very much.  Matt has been preaching through Romans in several different churches.  (It is part of our ministry to fill in for fellow ministers when they have to be out of the pulpit.)  While the ministry of the Word has been good, we have also enjoyed the fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ.

We are progressing in our church planting research.  We have gone down from 14 to 6, and then added 2 more possibilities.  It is hard to say “not now” to places that are good opportunities, but seem to be missing advantages that other places have.  Please keep praying for us in this work of ministry.

Scripture Classes and English as a Second Language Classes are also going well.  We take the opportunity to teach from God’s Holy Word very seriously.  We always want to move people closer to Christ.  It does not matter if that is to children in school or adults trying to learn a second language.  As we open the Word we bring “good news.”

The ministry for the Soccer World Cup is coming along well.  Its name is Sports Impact (SportsImpact.net.au).  It is designed for evangelism at the FIFA Soccer World Cup, but more than that it is an evangelistic outreach that ABWE missionaries from different fields join together in.  Some fields will be bringing future missionaries to use the time in this year’s World Cup as a training time in Evangelism and dealing with life’s issues in a cross-cultural situation.  All up I believe we should have people from over a half dozen different mission fields training and working the harvest field known as the FIFA World Cup.  Please pray for Matt and Luke as they will be travelling from June 15 – July 3.  Matt has several major roles in planning for the event this year. 

Late breaking news and prayer request:  We were the ones to print the tracts for all those who would be ministering with Sports Impact around South Africa this year.  Matt wrote a tract that is purpose written for the event.  It is way behind schedule as translators and printers did not keep to deadlines.  We did not push hard enough to get the tracts finished very early.  Now the last boat has left and we will have to fly the 40,000 tracts to South Africa.  This is going to cost us thousands of dollars extra.  We are very disappointed, but we fully believe that we should have all 40,000 tracts shipped.  We fear that if we don’t we will run out of tracts to hand out.  The surest way to know we have all the tracts will now cost us an extra $6000AUD or about $5100 US dollars.  We are so sorry to have to bring this to you.  However, WE NEED your prayers!  Please cry out to God with us for this ministry.  Pray that God will move the hearts of people to give to make this ministry THRUST forward.  Gifts can be tax deductible if sent through our Evangelism account at ABWE (11032 – 006).  We need to hear from churches or individuals who can help with this ministry in the next few days (before the evening of June 7th).  It would be a shame to have printed tracts that we can’t use.  Please pray for God’s supply in this!

The winter season is on us in Australia.  We are dealing with the cold and flu season, and Amy has even missed some school.  Matt did finally get a clean bill of health from the doctor last week.  We are all relieved.   Pray that Luke and Matt stay healthy so that they can fly on the 15th. 
In other news, Amy is just hours away from getting off her learner’s permit and getting a driver’s license.  She is a good highway driver from all our travels last year.  Driving around town is still giving us gray hair though.

Thanks again for all your prayers!  They mean more to us than our words could ever express.
 
In His service,
The Douglas Family
ABWE Australia

 

 

6 May 2010 AD

We have been up and down recently. Through everything we declare that God is good.

Matt has had the opportunity to preach in several churches. Missionaries understand that when one of us needs a vacation the others will do their part and fill in the vacant pulpit. This really is enjoyable as we get to spend time with different congregations and see how God is blessing in different places. We have also continued helping a church north of Wollongong (about an hour and a half south of central Sydney). The church has a lot of problems and yet great potential.

The work towards the FIFA World Cup is in full swing. We are getting 20,000 tracts printed for local ministry here and for Matt & Luke's ministry in South Africa. This too is a good news / bad news situation. We have received great reviews of the tract and web site (www.SportsImpact.net.au). Matt's part in organizing this event evangelism opportunity has gone very well. He is on top of every area but one. It is great to watch the Lord work. We expect that we will be able to give you some great reports over the next few months. The problem seems to be finances for this ministry. Those whom had committed to supplying this ministry are unable to cover the costs. Many things are paid for, and we praise God for His supply. However we will have the following needs.


* Tract printing - At about 20 cents each we still need about $2000 (covering the printing, binding, and shipping)


* Vehicle rental and gas/diesel in South Africa $3900.


* Follow up materials and postage - estimated $1500 based on the 179 saved in Germany during the 2006 World Cup.

We understand that this sounds like a lot of money. We also understand that on a per-gospel-presentation basis, or going off previous sport event evangelism opportunities results, this is a great opportunity to see good results. Of the ministries we have personally been involved in there has been an average of 223 saved and followed up per event. We know God will supply for the work He wants done. If you want to be a part, just reply and we will tell you how.

Church planting research is moving forward. We have eliminated a couple more suburb possibilities. We are still working at drawing the net. Please continue to pray that God will supply also the Australians that we will be working along side.

In His service,


Matt Douglas & Family

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7 April 2010AD

Resurrection Sunday Ministries

We pray your celebration of the Risen Lord was deeply worshipful.  Ours was!  While it was easy to get caught up in the "things to do", God graciously gave us an opportunity to step back and thank the Lord for all He did to make our salvation possible.  Matt had the opportunity to preach from Romans 8.34 on Resurrection Sunday morning. Christ's resurrection is undeniable and His love for us is unquestionable!  Hallelujah and Amen!

We have had a good opportunity to share the good news of salvation with many.  Matt’s ESL classes have a few strong Christians, and a few who still need the Lord.  We have been doing some oral reading at the end of each class from the life of Christ.   While the narrative makes good reading practice, the opportunity to go deeper into the meaning of the text is “golden.”  When Matt presented the Gospel on the Thursday before Resurrection Sunday we were able to review the historical evidence they had read over the last few weeks.  The gospel almost presented itself as Matt simply reviewed the evidence that Jesus was not only God in human flesh, but the perfect sinless sacrifice that God required.  None accepted Christ during class that day. Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance when class resumes.  Matt wants to pick fruit, but wants to have God’s perfect timing so that the fruit will remain.

Barb's Scripture classes are going well.  All of them started at different times during the term, and are different levels (from Kindergarten to 4th grade), so the first term was spent "catching" the classes up with each other so this next term she can start off with most of the classes together on the same lesson.  She had the opportunity to present the gospel in each class before the Easter break.

Upcoming Ministry

Many of you have heard us talk about the upcoming ministry to the FIFA Soccer World Cup. We are excited about how the Lord is building this ministry even now. One of the ways is through a new organization (Sports Impact) that will allow several ABWE mission fields to work together better. Another way is through the development of our own tracts! We are excited about how well these have turned out. Now we just need to raise the money to print them. If you would be interested in helping with the cost of printing the tracts (about $8000) you can do so by a special gift to our Evangelism sub account at ABWE.  The other option is to contact us directly for details on making a non-tax deductible gift.   We need to go to print early in May.  We will print only what we can afford.  We have a deal with a local printer to get them printed at about $0.16 each.  Please pray about helping us with this ministry.

Thanks for all your prayers and support!

In His service,

Matt, Barb, Amy & Luke Douglas

ABWE Australia

 

 

21 March 2010 AD

Been a ruff week.  While there were some highlights that were outstanding, our health has really knocked us back.  We thank you for your prayers! 

Last Monday Barb and I spent a good bit of time looking at many of the suburbs that we are considering for the next church plant.  We drove around and spent some time looking to see what was already in the communities.  We enjoyed the time together.  We saw the huge need.  Our hearts yearned as we saw so much spiritual darkness and such a great need for a church to shine God’s light.  While some of the locations were better than others, none were a bad choice.  The prayer we keep praying is that God would show us the best next place, the place God is ready to do a mighty work.  We are not asking for it to be easy, but we also do not want it to be hard because of our poor choices.

Monday was also the day I went to the medical specialist about my digestive tract problem.  He was very concerned about the level of my problem.  This specialist is in the same office as the one I saw in 2007, so he is able to help with a better understanding of my history with the same problem.  He was concerned enough to have me “scoped” with biopsies on Wednesday.  There is no nice way to talk about those procedures.  They can make anyone’s week miserable.   The positive thing that has already come out of it is that the pulps that I had in 2007 are all gone. (Glad I did not undergo surgery then to have them removed, and that God took care of them for me.)  Please continue to pray that God would guide the doctors to a treatment that will completely restore my health.

Most of the rest of the week was spent recovering from Wednesday for me.  I am “coming good” but it takes time.  The thing I hate about taking sick days is the work I do not get done! Ha!

Barb has been enjoying the Scripture classes in the public schools.  She has six different classes.  It seams that God has given her some good classes this year.  Pray for her as she leads up to the importance and impact of Easter.  This is a very big time of the year to share the gospel. 

Matt continues to preach in churches that need help.  The next couple of weeks take us opposite directions on the map, but in a focused direction in the Scriptures.  We love the Easter season and the GREAT news of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.  There are so many opportunities to talk with people about what is eternally important.  “Pray that God would open the door to us to declare the Word, that we would make it manifest as we ought.” Col 4.3

 

In His service,

Matt Douglas & Family

 

1 March 2010AD

“The joy of the Lord is my strength!”  That is so much more than just a slogan to me.  I get it.  Without God there is nothing – nothing to live for and nothing worth doing.  When Nehemiah told the people that the “Joy of the Lord is your strength” (8.10) he was getting the people to look to God and be glad.  The reading of the Word of God had left them wanting to weep.  Nehemiah wanted them to have a very different reaction.  Often today we are convicted by the Word when we realise how poorly we reflect God to others.  The joy comes from the fact that God does not leave us in our weeping.  He wants us to get on with life and grow in our relationship with Him.  We praise Him for giving us all we need to accomplish all He wants done.

We had a wonderful Sunday.  We so enjoy working along side God’s people here.  While many times people think of serving on the mission field as a sacrifice, we clearly view it as a privilege and blessing that is not to be missed!  A Sunday morning service in the study of James chapter 1.2-8 led to a wonderful lunch together as a church when people began really expressing a changed view on life with God.  All we can say is “WOW, God is so awesome!”

Sunday evening we were in a different church and we were able to encourage them in unexpected ways as well.  Yes, their fellowship was an encouragement to us also.

Matt learned today that his health problems have not gone away.  While he has become “healthier” the doctor is still very concerned.  Most days are good, and it has rarely slowed him down.  Other days, well, at least at this point the other days are few and far between.  The next doctor appointment is for the 15th of March, when he will go back to the specialist who helped get him through this before (2007).  Pray that Matt will get through this, and be the witness God wants him to be during this trial.

In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas

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25 Feb 2010AD

Colossians 4.2 “Continue earnestly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

As our prayer supporters we want to give you another update so that you can be both earnest and thankful with us in prayer.  We view your prayer for us as the best gift any person alive could ever give.

On the Ministry front:  We have continued to pursue the next church-planting ministry God would have for us.  We are considering 12 or 13 possibilities with only a couple ruled out so far.  Of course we have our favourites, but we want what God wants more than anything else.  The harder part of church planting, having a pastor to carry on the work after we are finished, is proving to be difficult once again.  While we have ruled a couple of the potential people out, we have not drawn much closer to a solid, willing, and able leader.  Please continue to pray about this with us!

Many of the schools in Australia are undergoing building projects.  The Federal government here has thrown a lot of money at them to build new auditoriums, libraries, and classrooms.  While the investments are good, it has caused many problems.  For instance, the last two churches we have been involved with will lose, or have lost, access to the schools that they use for services on Sundays.  Glorious Hope Baptist Church is already meeting in other rented facilities in the next town over with no idea when they will be allowed to return to the school.  Pray that the church will grow in this transition, and thank God for providing the church with a place to meet now and a future better place at the school.

The other problem with all this is that many schools are in such disarray that they have not yet begun Scripture classes.  Some of the schools where Barb teaches will be three weeks behind before they even begin.  We are most hurt about this because it does not give us much of a lead up to Easter.  This is one of the best times of the year to present the gospel message, and this year we will not have time to lay good groundwork before the Easter presentation is made.  Pray for wisdom, and good soil in God’s harvest field.  Don’t forget to thank God that we even have this great opportunity to be in the public school teaching the scriptures!

Matt’s ESL class for adults is going well.  Of the six students only two are saved.  We have had some interesting discussions during our oral Bible reading section.  Pray that Matt will be a good, helpful teacher on the English side and that the students would hunger to know what the Bible is all about and would grow as we lead up to Easter.  Praise God with us that the students are all willing learners – in English and in spiritual matters.

The family is doing well.  Right now we are all healthy and enjoying the life God has for us here.  Many of the anxieties in life will go away as God shows us his direction for the next church plant.  The children are growing well.  They are maturing in spiritual things as much as they are maturing in life.  This really excites us as parents!

That’s all for now.  Know that we are praying for your church and many of you by name.  We covet the same.

In His service,
Matt, Barb, Amy & Luke Douglas
ABWE Australia

 

 

8 Feb 2010 AD

God is so good. We are delighted to be in his service. That would be so hard without you! We appreciate your prayers, concern and support.

We are now fully supported. God has supplied all our needs according to His riches in glory. Hallelujah!

Lots starting to happen here in ministry. I started teaching ESL classes again last week. Most of my class right now are not believers. We pray that will change as the year moves forward.

We have been helping a church that has shrunk to only 3. We are encouraging them to do a "replant". It is a possibility that we could even consider being that replanter. They have buildings and 2 houses all paid for. While the opportunity is great so are the challenges.

We are also continuing to research 13 other possible church plant possibilities. God knows where He wants to do a work. We want to be wise and spiritually discerning so as to be in the best spot to be His vessel.

Barb starts Scripture classes in the public school next week. That has always been a good ministry.

We are getting a lot of work done on a major outreach to the Soccer World Cup. I have been asked to coordinate both the Australian Live Sight outreach and the South African outreach. I have been writing a tract. It's a 16 page book with a good soccer integrated presentation of the gospel. Soon we start getting translators and then printing, and then distribution. I will also handle all the follow up for the people who get saved.

As you can see we "have plenty on our plate" as Australians would say. We love serving the Lord. Pray for these things. Pray also for time management on our part.

We think of you often and pray for your church regularly.

In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas

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25 Jan 2010 AD

God is so good.  His care in our loves is far beyond what we could ever ask, see, or imagine.  We are thrilled to be His servants.

Sorry that we have lost a couple of months of correspondence on the web site.  We have been in touch with our supporting churches, but not all emails get posted to the web page.

Christmas was great!  We were so happy to be back in Australia this year.  While last year’s white Christmas was a treat, we all like it warm!  God was once again good to us through the generous gifts of our supporters to make Christmas a bit extra in the gift department.

New Years Eve saw Barb and Amy fly to Orlando Florida for Amy to have a “career introduction” competition into the Christian acting profession.  She would like to be in Christian films as well as regular TV adds.  It is a great way to pay the college bills if you can get the work. J  She did well as she brought back a trophy for being in the top 4 in the competition (573 total contestants) for her age and category.  Both ladies returned with a bad cold.  Now we will see if she can get some work.

January is a slow month in many ways in Australia.  Everyone takes the summer off.  It can be a hard time to get with people you need to meet.  We have kept busy in the ministry and are seeing God’s blessing.  We continue our church planting research.  We are trying to spend time in the places on our list.  We are very observant, and deeply in prayer as we ask God to show us what steps to take next.

Matt has taken a preaching rotation in a former ABWE church plant that has fallen on hard times.  That gives him an opportunity to continue to deliver the Word of God and stay sharp.  He will be preaching through Romans.  There is plenty of “room” in our schedule for this important ministry and it will keep other churches from expecting us to be part of their ministries.  We want to be ready to move into the church planting opportunities as soon as the Lord opens the door.

We have enjoyed having our “boss” from ABWE here over the last week.  We have been able to get with him for both ministry opportunities and fun. (He is a keen golfer, and loves a good restaurant.)  We have been talking through things with him as we look ahead at 2010 and beyond.  It is also nice to know what is happening in the head office (since we did not get there at all during furlough.) 

Lastly, thanks all who were praying about Matt’s health.  It was nothing to be alarmed about, but it was important to get my extremely high helicobacter count in check.  The meds make you very sick, but not undergoing the treatment is worse.  Pray that he can find something to include in his diet that will help keep the problem away longer this time.  We all just had physicals and the docs say we are all healthy in all other ways.  (You can guess which 2 of us need to lose a few pounds. HA!)

In His service,

The Douglas family

 

Jan 6 2010

Just a quick email update.

I am going fine with my son here in greater Sydney, while Barb and Amy are in Orlando Florida.  We are eating good (I can cook) and keeping busy with times of enjoyment as father and son.  We hear good things from Amy about her auditions.

I go to the funeral of a good Australian friend this morning, Herald Lane.  He has helped in many ways (especially in housing visitors) over the years.  He will be missed, but lived a long full and godly life.

I am currently working on my 2010 years goals.  I am also writing a 16 page booklet to be used as a tract for the Soccer World Cup.  With deadlines for printing, translation, and shipping we have to get things done this month.

Lastly, I was at the doctor yesterday and while I my regular physical was good, I do have a health problem that has come back.  There is a bad bacteria that gives people ulcers.  When tested a count of 20 is "OK" 200 is bad - but I have a count of 1984.  The problem is I am allergic to the drugs that kill the bug.  Last time I had such a "count" I developed 35 intestinal ulcers and was very sick for about 6 months.  This time we caught things "early" and hopefully we will not go down so low.  Please pray with us.

In His service,
Matt Douglas

 

1 Jan 2010AD

Sydney has the best new years celebrations! We pray that God will give you a great, prosperous, and spiritually fulfilling new year!

The Douglas family


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25 November 2009 AD

An update is long overdue.  When a missionary returns to the field from a furlough there are so many things to do that often important things stay at the top of a “to do” list without getting done.  We know that the prayer support goes way up when we communicate.  This is the week of Thanksgiving in the USA and is a perfect time to ask you to praise & thank God with us.

We have moved back into our home and unpacked most boxes.  “Home” feels real good after traveling over 45,000 miles plus flights this year.  As we would expect there are some things that have gone very well and other things that have been expensive and time consuming. We still have boxes unpacked sitting around in the living room.  We also have yet to finish unpacking the garage.  We will get there.  Every day we get more and more tired of seeing how much is left and that motivates us all the more to get it done.  We are thanking God for wisdom in the many decisions and even grace to accomplish some things unbelievably quickly.

We are still waiting to hear from one more church that is considering joining our support team and one church that will be raising us.  We are confident of God's supply. Just this week we were notified of another church that has now voted and is supporting us!

Ministry is moving forward here.  We are spending a lot of time talking with people with a cup of coffee in hand.  We are talking with people who may be interested in helping, being part, or know of people who are interested.  We enjoy even these parts of the ministry.  However, we look longingly forward to a consistent local church-planting ministry.

We do thank God for your prayers.  As we do the research and try to form a team of willing and qualified people, we know how dependent we are on God's direction.  It is essential!  We are thankful that the Lord promises wisdom to those who ask Him for it.

Spring weather here has been up and down (105 one day with a top of 70 the next).  Spring can be like that here.  The flowers are in full bloom, and the garden is growing well. Every morning at breakfast our children are counting down the days left in this year of school.  Barb and I are not sure we are ready to have them with us 24/7 again after a full year of that but...    We love our kids and thank God for them.

In His service,
Matt & Barb Douglas & kids

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We have minimum support


Oct 25 2009

G'day!

It has been a good week. We now have full support (with a $7.50 margin)! We are praising God for all His wonderful works and great love for His people.
I will be declared First Baptist Church in Windsor CA our sending church this morning (Sunday Oct 25). We really feel that this would be good for the church and good for us.

It is my hopes that I can be traveling back to Australia at the end of this week.  I have a standby ticket for Thursday night. Pray that God gives me the strength to get everything done, finished, shipped and all goodbyes said.

Thanks so much for your prayers!!!

In His service,
Matt Douglas

ABWE Australia


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