Family Update 7/25

Greetings from Above.  Literally, I am writing this on my flight back from Atlanta to Greensboro.  I am so excited to see my family and a little saddened to be leaving Belize this time!  Although I know that in 40 days that the Edmonds family is wheels up to Belize!  Thank you so much for your prayers; without them we would not be in the position to leave in 40 days!

Last week in Belize!

Since I last wrote an update, I just finished up leading a team in Sarteneja Belize.  It’s a small fishing village about 5 hours north of the airport…and about 3 of those hours are down the worst, most bumpy, pot-hole filled road you can imagine.  Despite the travel difficulties, the week was a blast.  We AVERAGED 150 kids / day at VBS!  At the youth service night, there were over 50 youth in attendance.  And Sunday School in the morning had over 70 children there!  What a blessing it was at every opportunity to proclaim Christ’s love for the children and youth.

Highlight of the week:  I had two highlights….well three if you count finally figuring out how to video chat with Amy and the kids! (praise God)

  • Pastor Mario Mora’s testimony:  This man of God was literally running from the Lord’s call to be a pastor.  He refused!  He wanted to do something else.  He was a Christian but running from the Lord…almost like Jonah running from his call to go to Nineveh.  Well just like Jonah (and I am not making this up), Pastor was out on the sea with his family and his boat capsized in a bad storm.  He had to float without a life vest holding onto to his 2 year old grandson for 24 hours before he was rescued.  As he was telling us this story and tearing up, he said that the only thing keeping him alive, the only thing giving him strength was Jesus Christ.  When he was hungry, he sang.  When he was thirsty, he prayed.  When he was tired, he praised!  What faith!  Obviously, he came out of that situation and surrendered his everything to the Lord, which included being a pastor!  I was so encouraged by his calm, peace and reliance on the Lord in that circumstance.  I pray that as things are trying in our next few months that we have that type of reliance on the Lord!
  • Salvation! – As the team was sharing the last night in Belize, the highlights started to pour in of child after child, youth after youth, adult after adult accepting Christ.  The team was worried earlier in the week about a language barrier with the village speaking primarily Spanish but the Lord’s message was heard and approximately 10 people responded to Christ’s love for them by surrendering their lives to Christ!  Praise God.

Belize Logistics Update

  • Flights – We fly out September 3rd.  Praise God for a date but pray for smooth flights especially with the kids.  Also, if you want to see us, schedule it through Amy before September 3rd!
  • Shipping of Goods – I met with a Customs Broker in Belize.  This meeting was interesting to say the least.  I literally sat on his veranda as this OLD OLD man told me stories about Belize in the 1950s and 1970s! EEEK.  I was hoping for an office visit or something, but this is Belize.  The Lord is in control.  Pray that our stuff reaches Belize shortly after we do (<1 week).  While we wait on our stuff, we are sleeping on air mattresses and that DOES NOT MAKE AMY HAPPY!
  • Odd and Ends – We have someone working on a work permit for me, utilities for the house, and getting our car situation sorted.  The details are coming together and coming together quickly.  Pray for these details to be finalized.

On the home front:

I have been gone but from what I can tell….

  • Madeline is being Madeline which is a ball of love and emotion.  She is by far the sweetest and biggest daddy’s girl on the planet and I love it!  She is starting to express a love and knowledge of the Lord saying “help me to always do what is right, like Noah”
  • Joseph is babbling A LOT, eating with his hands, and crawling and pulling up!  Can’t wait to hold this guy!
  • Amy is holding down all things home related. I am seriously amazed at this woman.  She is inspiring with the amount of drive and execution she has.  She loved visiting with old friends this past weekend (thanks to Andy and Andra for Hillary’s party) and LOVES her small group and church in Winston (thank you Revo family!)
  • Yard sale – we are having a yard sale at my parent’s house this weekend.  Amy and my folks have been working hard at it!  Should be a blast….hopefully financially rewarding too!!

Praise / Prayer Requests:

Belize

  • We had 10 people accept Christ in Sarteneja.  Pray for continued perseverance of faith as the team has left.
  • Pray for the two teams that I led, that the trip was not the pinnacle of the walk with Jesus but rather that their lives would be renewed and transformed.
  • Pray for protection over these teams from the enemy as he works to make them busy and forget how the Lord moved in Belize!

Yard Sale

  • Pray for the yard sale this weekend.  Pray that we raise $1000 towards support!

MOVE

  • Pray specifically that the work permit, utilities and automobile things would be sorted before we fly out on September 3rd.

Vacation

  •  We are going to the beach in about a week with my parents, Christian, and Grandma and Grandpa.  Pray for a restful time of fun and fellowship.  Pray that it is refreshing, especially for my parents.

Financial Support

  • For those that don’t know.  Amy and I are not paid by Praying Pelican Missions.  We are required to fundraise our salary to do ministry.  We have been fundraising since January of this year and we are at 100% supported for the first year.  Thank you to all of our supporters.
  • We ARE CURRENTLY LIVING OFF SUPPORT so if you haven’t started to give, now is the time to start please!
  • Also, we are fundraising for next year already. If you haven’t financially supported us yet and would like to, it is never too late. Message me for details!  Also, see the attached document on specifics of how to give.

Thank you friends and family for all that you do.  We love you all so much.  Your encouragement nourishes us and your prayers are cherished.  If we can support, love on, pray for you all in anyway, please let us know.  We thank God every time we think of you!

Because they haven’t heard,

Your Story

So the other day one of my old neighbors wrote a post onto Facebook that said,” Have you ever thought about how your life story would read?”  This made me think about the years that I never shared my story with people.  God doesn’t want us to keep our story to ourselves.  Josh and I are very transparent people.  We will openly share that we have a great marriage but we fight or share various struggles that we have in our life.  We do so to show Gods goodness in all things.  We try to do this to show that no one is perfect and we are FAR from perfect.

I have had the opportunity to share my story with near a thousand people now, the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all.  I grew up in a house where telling the bad and ugly with people was going to cause others to use it against you.  That was satan saying, hey don’t share how you got through that stuff so he can bring others down and others will let it drag them down.  God will be glorified through all things if you let him. (Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

So share your story with others.  People that love God, like God, and especially those who don’t even know him.  You will be surprised with how God will use your story to bring people closer to him.

 

 

Adventure Update 7/14

Tardes from Belize!

(Means “afternoon”).  I am sitting here in Belize and just thinking through what an amazing week it has been and how incredibly blessed Amy and I are to be part of such a dynamic and outstanding organization like Praying Pelican Missions.  I just can’t imagine the scope of the organization until I sit around and realize that we have so many moving parts and arms like an Octopus, reaching throughout Belize and all the countries we are in, desiring to see the local church built up so God can be glorified.
This past week there were so many oops moments (or some may say learning opportunities) and so many God moments that I just had to send the update with them.
Learning Opportunities:
  • Getting a flat tire on the backroads in Palmar Village…oops!
  • Not having any credit on my phone or money when I got to Belize and having to hitchhike from the airport to where I was staying…oops!
  • Getting lost who knows how many times…oops
  • Mixing up which bus driver’s company we were using for transportation during the week and calling the wrong bus driver asking for his competitor…oops!
  • Buying ammonia instead of bathroom cleaner to clean the bathrooms….oops!
Oops moments are both funny and frustrating but patience comes from God and Him alone.  I was not born with it.  This past week has taught me that God or my own oopsies will provide plenty of opportunity to gain patience.  Good thing I am enjoying to laugh at myself!
God Moments:
  • Worship service in Guinea Grass – Picture about 400 Belizeans and about 50 Americans worshiping with all the “american” worship songs but simultaneously in TWO langugages.  We were literally being led by the worship team simultaneously in Spanish and English. I just closed my eyes and imagined being around His throne crying out Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty with all the brothers and sisters across the world in our native tongues.  What a beautiful glimpse of Heaven the Lord allowed me to drink in!
  • Gospel Penetrating Homes – We held a block party at Pastor Ed’s house.   The same one that you all had been praying for…We were praying for a “fishes and loaves kind of night”  We spent the budget on what we thought would be just enough food and it turns out that everyone ate and we still had food leftover!  Fishes and loaves indeed.  Also, a budhist man came by and was digging the Christian Rap that Pastor was playing.  When he was leaving he asked pastor for the CD.  Of course Pastor gave him that CD and now the gospel through that CD has entered that man’s house because we grilled hotdogs and roasted marshmellows in Belize.  Life Transformation!
  • Relationships with Local Pastors: Sitting around and eating Tacos or Garnaches with Pastor Ed and hearing his heart, vision and care for Belize.  Pastor’s idea is to change Belize one child at a time.  It is not by accident that God has our family coming down to Belize.  We were chosen by God, like Esther, for such a time as this to come alongside Pastor and other mighty men of God to encourage, support, and develop life-changing ministries through the local Belizean church!
  • Playing with kids, hearing the joy of laughter, the silly-faces, the hugs.  All these things, the Belizean kids don’t usually get. Hugs are NOT every day life.  A kiss on the cheek is NOT every day life.  Joy is NOT every day life.  This week God blessed me to help teams love on children who receive no love.  This week the kids was smart, was beautiful and was important.  Praise God!
Update on the Home Front:

Amy is at home in Winston-Salem with my parents and the kids. Just today the Lord gave me some discernment or wisdom and we figured out a way to video chat with the IPAD.  That was a HUGE blessing to be able to both see and talk to Amy and the kids!  What a way to end a great week!  Amy and the kids are fine, ready for me to come home but they are fine!

Praises / Prayer Requests
  • Belize 
    • Just finished a great week in Belize at Pastor Ed’s church.  Pray for Pastor Ed that he would continue to be strong and bold for the Lord.  He is in my opinion on par with David and could be described as a man after God’s own heart.  Pray for the next 2 VBS programs that pastor and his teachers are putting on!
    • For all the teams down here right now.  Pray for open hearts and for the Word to fall on fertile soil.  Pray that lives would be changed and that Belizeans would come to know the Lord!
    • Pastor Mario and Life Ministries who we are partnering with this coming week.  Pray for life-change for the village of Sarteneja and for Him to receive all the glory!
  • Financial Support
    • Praise God we are over 100% supported!  Thank you to all of our supporters.
    • We ARE CURRENTLY LIVING OFF SUPPORT so if you haven’t started to give, now is the time to start please!
    • Also, we are fundraising for next year already. If you haven’t financially supported us yet and would like to, it is never too late. Message me for details!  
  • Personal 
    • Praise God – We FOUND AND SIGNED A LEASE ON A HOUSE IN BELIZE
    • Praise God – Tickets to Belize will be purchased in the next week!  Is this really happening??!!!??
    • Pray for Amy and her patience while I am away.  She is an amazing woman of God and I am incapable of doing ministry without her support and love.  Pray for her patience with me away.
    • Pray for Amy, Madeline and Joseph as I am gone in Belize.  Pray for Amy to pace herself and get some rest when the kids rest and for the kids to adjust easily to me being in Belize!
Thank you for all that you do for us.  Your prayers and notes of encouragement are priceless to us!  Please write when you can, your encouragement is nourishment to our souls!
Because they haven’t heard,
Edmonds Family!

Prayer Update 7-2-2012

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

I hope everyone is going to enjoy the day off on Wednesday and spend time cooking out, with family, shooting fireworks, but BE CAREFUL!  I know I know, it’s the parent in me!  I am sure that our family will take some unnecessary risks for the thrill of the BOOM this week too!
This past week has been GREAT!  Just really getting into the groove and grinding out a schedule of when to work, when to play, when to pray, etc.  I think we are really getting into it though, so that is AWESOME!  Also, Amy and I had a GREAT getaway to the Hemlock Inn in Bryson City this past Friday.  It was quiet, relaxing, beautiful, and we even got to take a NAP!  Praise God for our family for taking care of the kids and for the ability to get away and rest!
We had a family reunion the following day at my great-grandmothers, Mama Rachel’s, homeplace!  A great weekend and week all around.
How God has been teaching us!
Amy is reading through Joshua in her Lifegroup with Revo Church.  So I thought it would be great to read it with her.  As we were reading through the first 8 chapters of Joshua, I noticed all the “normal stuff” The miracles, “be strong and courageous, the walls, Rahab, etc.  But I wanted to share three things that popped out at me for the first time.
  1. I was AMAZED at the number of times the following exchange happened.  “The Lord said to Joshua” and then….Joshua either said or did.  Joshua listened carefully to the word of God and then without questioning just acted on it!  This whole process of moving to Belize has been EXACTLY like that.  For the first time in our lives, I we don’t have our own plans, notions or ideas; just like Joshua, we are listening carefully to the word of God and acting.  On this adventure, we don’t know of anything else to do, and honestly, it’s the most at peace we have ever been!
  2. Joshua took every leadership assignment seriously!  No matter the task and whether or not he thought it was “important”, Joshua took God’s words seriously and completed each task, whether leading the people across the Jordan, leading a battle like Jericho or Ai or what he did in Joshua 4 (check it out…EEEK!).  My prayer is that I don’t put my own “importance” on my “tasks” from God but that I approach and complete them with the zeal and obedience of Joshua.
  3. Joshua arose early in the morning.  Not sure what this means but if that Joshua could wake up early to prepare for battle, I should be able to wake up early to prepare myself for the day.  Pray that I am able to drag my butt out of bed before the kids get up at 6AM!
Quick God story
  • At the Hemlock Inn, they serve breakfast at large round tables with all the food on lazy Susans and you sit with the other guests of the Inn, total strangers.  So Amy and I were eating some breakfast and just sharing where we were from and what we are going to be doing in Belize. Two women were very interested in our story got our contact information, wanted to be added to our prayer updates, and even provided some financial support!  Amy and I left breakfast that morning just blown away how God has His hands on us every where and will provide in the most unlikely places!  Praise God!
Praises / Prayer Requests
  • Belize 
    • Great reports are coming in from a VERY BUSY last week in Belize for Praying Pelican Missions.  Continue to pray for God to use the Praying Pelican Mission teams to radically impact Belize for God’s Kingdom.  Pray specifically for boldness among team members in sharing the Gospel and for 1000 Belizeans to surrender their lives to Christ this summer!
    • I fly out on Thursday for Belize.  Pray for me and that I would be in step with the Holy Spirit, moving when He moves and staying when He stays.
    • Pray for Pastor Ed that we are partnering with next week.  Pray for 500 kids to attend the vacation bible school and pray for 1000 people to attend a block party at his church.  Pastor Ed is a friend of mine and I am honored, humbled, and overwhelmed to serve his church this week!
  • Financial Support
    • Praise God we are over 100% supported!  Thank you to all of our supporters.
    • We ARE CURRENTLY LIVING OFF SUPPORT so if you haven’t started to give, now is the time to start please!
    • Also, we are fundraising for next year already. If you haven’t financially supported us yet and would like to, it is never too late. Message me for details!  
  • Personal 
    • Praise God – Amy loved her lifegroup on Tuesday.  She was able to really enjoy the community, had a lot in common with the women and enjoyed drinking from God’s word with these women!  Pray that as I am in Belize, this group is a source of encouragement and community for Amy.
    • Praise God – our getaway was FANTASTIC.  We had a great time of rest and relaxation before I head off to Belize!  Thank you for the prayers!
    • Madeline was very sick Friday and Saturday.  Pray that this was a passing virus.  Continue to pray for immediate healing for our little girl.  Update JoJo seems to be doing fine!
    • Pray for Amy, Madeline and Joseph as I am gone in Belize.  Pray for Amy to pace herself and get some rest when the kids rest and for the kids to adjust easily to me being in Belize!
Thank you for all that you do for us.  Your prayers and notes of encouragement are priceless to us!  Please write when you can, your encouragement is nourishment to our souls!
Because they haven’t heard,
Edmonds Family!