Update 4-25

Good afternoon, morning, evening, or whenever you are reading this!  I want to let you all know that seriously I praise and thank God every time that I think of you because of the partnership we share in the Gospel (I know this is borrowed from Paul but it is applicable).   Seriously, our family is so thankful for each and every one of you!

I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and she mentioned that Amy and I hadn’t really said what we are going to be doing in Belize!  (oops!).  So I will send out in each of the next (3) updates an aspect of our “job function” while in Belize.

What does Praying Pelican Missions do?

I don’t know who said it first but I use it often

The local church is the hope of the world.”

I truly believe that and it is a true blessing to be able to work for an organization that believes that as well.  Praying Pelican Missions exists to encourage and serve the local pastors and churches in the countries where we operate.  The primary means of this encouragement is creating partnerships via short-term mission trips between churches in the US and elsewhere with a local church in Belize (and other countries where Praying Pelican Missions serves).  Through this partnership, we submit to the authority and vision of the local church and pastor.  By respecting and honoring their leadership, we ensure that our mission teams are ministering within the spiritual vision for the country, as determined by those local pastors who know it best (www.prayingpelicanmissions.org).

What we will do?

  • Local pastor encouragement/follow-up: As full-time missionaries, Amy and I will work to encourage, help, and support the local churches and pastors. I will meet with partnering local pastors to follow-up on ministries started by teams, to indentify new areas of ministry and in general to offer support, encouragement and love in whatever capacity I can.
  • Potential new ministry partners: I will work to not only indentify new local pastors to potentially partner with but also to identify new ministry opportunities in local villages.  We strive to partner our mission teams skills and desires with the exact needs God can use their skills to meet in the local village.  For example if a local pastor identifies a strong need for a dental clinic in his area, we will work to get a team full of dentists, dental hygienists, etc. down to meet that need.
  • Short-term mission trip leading: I will also be responsible for serving as Praying Pelican Missions staff on several of the Belize mission trips throughout our time in Belize.  Just this summer we have over 1700 missionaries traveling to Belize on short-term mission trips to help encourage and support the local church!  Praise God!
  • Mission Trip Logistics: Along with all the teams we have throughout the year, there are several logistical pieces that must come together.  I will be working ahead of and behind teams to ensure all logistics are in place for a successful trip!

Amy and I hope this gives you a better picture of at least some of what we will be doing.  I can’t wait to share with you next week another area where the Lord will use our family in Belize.

Prayer Requests

  • Belize: Recently (just over the last weekend and into this week), there has been heightened violence in Belize City.  This is most likely (according to news sources) associated with rival gang factions.  Please pray for the safety of Belizeans in and around this area.  Pray for the police to quell this violence and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
  • Financial support raising: We are currently at 26% of our $2500/month goal!  Praise God.  However, new pledges, commitments have slowed over this past week.  If you are considering partnering with us financially, please contact me (joshua.m.edmonds@gmail.com) or 919.306.7667.  Amy or I would love to share with you how you can partner with us in ministry.  We are targeting being fully-funded by June 15th.
  • Josh Travel: I am traveling to Minnesota for a staff meeting.  Pray that it will be a great time of fellowship and encouragement for the entire Praying Pelican team.
  • Amy Medical: Amy is getting a wisdom tooth removed next Friday.  She plans to do this without anesthesia. BEAST!!!  Pray for her please!

Seriously, we love you all very much and look forward to where God is leading us.  We know that without your prayers, encouragement, and support our family’s path would not be possible! Praise God for each of you!

Since it decided to be cold again Joseph was able to wear his basketball outfit  (size 18 months and he is 5.5 months old).  So I had to take a picture with his NC State basketball.

Madeline enjoying her burrito.  She LOVES mexican food which is good since we will be eating it a lot when we move.

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Strawberries and Chicken Legs

This week we have been outside all the time.  Joseph likes to sit in his bumbo seat and try to eat a plastic chicken leg, while watching Madeline playing in her house.

What would you like to eat?

Yummy Chicken Leg

Today we planted some veggies in some pots that we can take to Winston and put them in the garden in June.  We also went strawberry picking.  Josh had never gone and it was the first time I took Madeline when she could run, so it was quite an experience.  By the end she understood that we were picking the strawberries instead of eating every red berry she saw.

Edmonds Update 4-18

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and encouragement.  It means more than we possibly could put into words.  As we move into the next “phase” of our Edmonds’ family adventure.  We are asking specifically for prayers of perseverance and confidence we are following God’s plan.

Our vision for our work with Praying Pelican Missions is uniting, loving, and equipping the people of Belize for the purpose of God.  With everything that we have coming up in Belize (the move, the house, etc).  The next phase of our preparation is financial support raising (cue scary music).
We have a monthly goal amount of $2500/mo.  This would cover living expenses (insurance, food, gas, etc.) and travel to and from US.  We are targeting being full-funded by June 2012 with a 13-month commitment (June 2012 – July 2013).  Note: we are currently at 23% funded for the 13-months!  Praise God
People can give a one-time gift, or a monthly gift, or something in between.  For specifics on how to give, please see the attached document.  In the next 8 weeks, Amy and I will be setting appointments and meeting with people individually or in groups to discuss the potential of financial partnership.
If you are interested in partnering with us financially, please contact us. Amy and I would love to tell you more about it any time.  One of us, or both of us could meet up and talk and share what God has laid on our hearts to do in Belize.
If you give, we ask for communication to our family as well as we are tracking our progress towards June’s goal.  If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to email Josh.
Know that we are thankful for you even considering partnering with us in ministry.  Thank you for your prayers (they are very much appreciated) and I look forward to sharing with you what God has done through us in Belize.
Here are some recent pics:
Josh reading to the kids the morning after he got back from Belize.
Madeline searching for eggs on Easter
Madeline was generously given our neighbors playhouse.  She would not leave if we let her.

Edmonds Update

What’s Happening?

Greetings from back in the USA! 15 days in Belize has come and gone and while I missed my family, I am ready to return.  The last night in country, I was talking with some members of the mission team asking them how to answer “How was your trip?”  Many of you may want to or have asked me the same question.  Too many experiences to summarize into an all encompassing statement.  Just know that it was so encouraging to work with an organization supporting local pastors in Belize revolutionize the country.  I am so humbled that God introduced me to and has allowed me to develop friendships with local pastors like:

Pastor Ed – who is literally changing the way the children are ministered to in Belize through his church!  The activites, teaching, games, and dramas are of superior quality compared to similar things in the US, and children’s lives are being transformed through the proclamation of the Gospel.  Pastor Ed is actively seeking ways for God to use him to expand His Kingdom in Belize

Pastor Transito – A church planter who has planted 4 churches in villages north of Orangewalk Town.  Pastor Transito wakes up at 1AM to go cut sugarcane until about 10AM to provide for his family.  Once home, he showers, eats, and rests for about an hour, and then heads out to do ministry.  He told me specifically to pray for a pastor for his fourth church because the Lord has laid it on his heart to plant another in a neighboring village.  He really does believe the local church is the hope of the world.

 

There are so many more stories, faces, images, experiences.  These past two trips were definitely life-changing.  How was my trip?  My only response to you has to be come on a trip and experience it for yourself.

What’s God Teaching?

Prayer.  God is teaching me Prayer!!.  I am reading a book Fresh Wind Fresh Fire based on a recommendation from a good friend and the Lord has since opened my eyes to the necessity of prayer.  I am currently praying without ceasing, thanking God every time I think of you, and responding not with fixing things but lifting them up in prayer instead.  Like David running to the giant I am literally running toward the Lord in prayer!  “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

Praises/Prayer Requests:

Praise:

-Lives were changed while in Belize.  Many individuals surrendered their lives to Christ!

Prayers:

-For continued encouragement for the local Belizean’s pastors we just left.  Pastor Ed for an explosion in his church’s children ministry.  Pastor Transito for a pastor for the Buena Vista church and clarity on God’s plan for the next church plant.  Pastor Russell and his continued bold vision and relentless pursuit of reaching unchurched in Guinea Grass

-For boldness in our families prayer life and discipline in our prayers

Interested in Partnering with us?

–          If you are interested in learning the different ways to partner with the Edmonds family (through prayer, financial support, or mission trip participation) please email us at joshua.m.edmonds@gmail.com.

Josh playing with the kids

Pastor Ed’s Church

Happy Birthday Madeline!

Today Madeline Grace Edmonds turned 2.  She has been such a blessing in our lives from the beginning.  She has taught me even more patience (I thought I had a lot after teaching 7th graders for 5 years), love, kindness, and strength that I can do anything.  For those of you who don’t know the story of Madeline see below.  Both of children have been gifts from God but Madeline was especially special because of the circumstances.

Story of Madeline:

Josh and I tried to get pregnant as soon as we got back from Belize in 2007.  May of 2008 we found we were pregnant and our first ultrasound found out we had a miscarriage.  This allowed me to go back to Belize and there we both decided that we should look into adoption.  We tried to adopt from Belize but they don’t let non-Belizans adopt their children.  So we went through the adoption process here in the United States.  All the while continuing to try to get pregnant.  First week of July 2009 we met a birth mother who wanted us to have her little boy.  We were sooooo excited to finally have a child of our own and start our family.  We found out he was born on a Monday and that they were going to the hospital to get the paperwork filled out.  I told my principal that I would go on maternity leave the next week and not be returning (this was the first week of school mind you).  Tuesday night while our life group was at our house the adoption agency called and said the birth mother had receded her consent.  Obviously we were very upset that it fell through.  Wednesday morning I asked for my job back.  Friday morning I found out I was pregnant with Madeline.  This is one of millions of ways God has shown us how his plans are perfect  even if we don’t understand them.

Madeline not even 1 month old

Madeline reading to her babies about worms


Madeline’s Current Favorite Things:

-saying hi to everyone she meets, she is the most friendly kid I know (God has big plans for that part of her personality)

-bugs, she loves to look at and talk about bugs and spiders

-reading, loves to have books read to her and asks for her Bible to be read every night

-baby dolls, she loves swaddling them and shush patting them (something we did with Joseph to calm him down when he was little)

-cooking, as soon as she sees me starting to make anything she wants to push a chair up and help make it.  She also loves to pretend to make soup and eggs in her play kitchen.

-playing outside, she would stay outside all day if I let her

-dress up, she loves to wear heels and put all kinds of jewelry on

-Little Mermaid, we would watch it everyday if I let her.  She loves daddy’s rendition of Look at This Stuff (not sure if that is the name of the song but that is what she calls it)

 

Plans

In case you didn’t know I am a bit of a planner.  I planned out my life since I was in high school.  Obviously those plans have changed quite a bit. God always knows the best plans for us.  Madeline since the beginning has taught me more than anything that my plans are not his way.  The most recent is potty training.  The plan was to wait until Josh got home and do a weekend where all we did was focus on potty training.  Well Madeline found her underwear with cupcakes on it and all that changed (she is currently obsessed with cake because of birthday this week).  So far potty training is going pretty well.  With all this said God knows our plans.  One of the verses that I had posted above my desk since sophomore year of college is

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Whenever I think things should be a certain way I go back to this verse.  God ALWAYS knows the plan and if we lean on him then it is usually a lot easier.  Potty training is not earth shattering and people have done it for a few years but God has used it to remind me to go to him with my plans to make sure they are his plans.  So lean on him this week and not on yourself.

Here are a few pictures from this week.

Madeline LOVES pudding

Joseph is a very happy boy!