Tomorrow is Joseph’s first birthday. Happy Birthday to Mr. Man! We are so excited about this past year; how much he has grown, and the true blessing that he is to our family. We pray for him every night, praying over him, that he would grow into a MIGHTY MAN of God. We pray that the Lord would give him an equal balance of boldness in proclaiming the gospel with all gentleness and love. Honestly we can’t wait to see the man that he becomes!
But that got us thinking…we officially sent our application to Praying Pelican Missions, the week Joseph was born, so one year ago this week. In a year, we have sold our house, quit my job at Merck, and moved to Belize. And we are here living, watching God work, and learning how to see Him. It’s been a CRAZY year! But what a year it has been. We are eager to see how God works in this next year!
Our days here are filled with a lot of books, outside time, basic family tasks (cleaning, laundry, cooking). Points of interest… Amy found an OUTSTANDING chicken nugget recipe. They are super healthy (seriously they are….no egg, no oil, just chicken and oatmeal and they are baked!) If you want the recipe, then Facebook or email Amy!
Other points of interest…our children LOVE music. Seriously they love it. We play songs from children’s ministry all the time and just tonight, we sang Mighty to Save and God is Able by Hillsong, along with some musical accompaniment. My dream when I got the guitar was to be able to lead our family in worshipping our King. Now I still can’t play anything on the guitar but I have a joyful noise and every night before we go to bed, our family is worshipping the Lord a capella or with Hillsong playing in the background!
On the Work Front…WARNING NERD ALERT!
So I have met with just shy of 40 pastors. After sitting with that many pastors and asking the same questions, I started to get a feel for what they were saying. But that was just a feeling….I started to ask myself “how can I take what these pastors are saying and put some “data” behind it. So I was “noodling” that around in my head and I got to thinking…What if I set up the data and created a pareto chart!” For those who don’t know the Pareto principle states that 80% of the problem comes from 20% of the causes. At Merck we used this principle to eliminate problems or defects. Tackle the thing that is causing 80% of the problems and then you will have reduced that many more defects….think of it as a “more bang for your buck analysis.” Well what if I did that for the needs of Belize. Everyone could argue that Belize is hurting the question now is after interviewing these pastors what causes 80% of the hurt….I think I have found some good insight. However, stay tuned…more analysis is required and this week I go South which is the last geographical region I need to visit. In the next few weeks, I should have an official “report” out on what are the biggest needs of Belize! How cool is that??!??!?
Ok I am a nerd! Sorry
In other news, I am going South for about 3 days next week, so be praying for open doors into new communities and safe travels for me and Burt!
How is God Teaching or Leading me?
So I have had this Garmin for some time and I never uploaded the data online. I just didn’t. The other day I went on a run and uploaded the data and BOOM. Total obsession…you might need to pray for me! (again I am a nerd!). Anyway, so I have gotten into running a little bit more consistent which is good because it leads to great sermon listening time. I am currently listening to Pastor Mark Driscoll just kill it in the book of Esther. And he mentioned something that really struck me about the book of Esther. He said, “Trust in the providence of God.” Nowhere in the book of Esther is God’s name mentioned. Nowhere does someone pray. Nowhere is there a great prophet speaking God’s word. Nowhere is there a miracle or even an angel. But God clearly is at work orchestrating the events of the entire book. Here is one example….Esther 6:1-3
“On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. 2 And it was found written how Mordecai had told about Bigthana[a] and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, and who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 3 And the king said, “What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?”
Now Mordecai was going to be killed in the very near future….and the night before Haman was coming to tell the King that he wanted to kill Mordecai, the King happened to not be able to sleep; he happened to choose to read the chronicles (boring by the way), and he happened to come across the story of how Mordecai saved his life. Things in this story didn’t just happen…the Lord was in control. He was orchestrating the events. His providence was what had to be trusted…So what.
Well for me….we are here in Belize. We haven’t seen God heal anyone. I haven’t had a prophetic dream. Heck someone hasn’t even given their life to Christ. I often can get discouraged, asking “God are you even here?” But just as in Esther, God is orchestrating something. Our family doesn’t just happen to be here in Belize, happen to be serving with Praying Pelican Missions, and happen to be interviewing pastors right now. The Lord is working up something for His plan, His purpose, and His timing. I will be obedient and trust in the Lord’s providence.
Look at your life this week…stop and think for a few moments. Are you waiting for God to show up miraculously…or are you trusting in His Providence!
Praises and Prayer Requests:
- Men in the church – I had a blessed opportunity to sit with a Pastor at a church in Belize with a great many men in it. I learned a great deal from him on how he reached the men of his village. Pray that I am able to communicate this to other pastors and pray that there is a revolution of men in the church.
- Pastoral Busyness – Many pastors stay busy. Most work bi-vocationally and take jobs on the weekend to make ends meet. This is in addition to the demands of church ministry. They are most definitely called but are squeezed for time, like all of us. Pray for protection over their health (some have suffered stress related illnesses including facial paralysis), and pray for their families. Pray for the pastors to rest
- Needs – As I get an opportunity to meet with pastors, pray that they would be honest about what the needs of their community / congregation are. Pray that my questions would be provoking enough to draw out the real answers and that the Lord would give me wisdom and discernment during this time.
- PRAISE – Many of you prayed for me as I led a trip to Pastor Transito’s church in Buena Vista. I was able to sit with Transito and his wife Carmita. They expressed that Buena Vista church is really growing and that they just baptized 10 new people. They said the new benches that we made this Spring are already full!
- Amy – Continue to be lifting up community for Amy. We are really enjoying getting together with Pastor Mark and his family. We ate dinner over there Thursday night, Amy hung out with Shari on Saturday night, and she just went over there tonight to take some pictures for the family and two hours later and she isn’t back! Community is developing. Continue to pray!
- Amy – Continue to pray for opportunities for Amy to do ministry. We still haven’t gotten over the hump so plugging in. We did learn that there is a teen girls center within stones throw (quite literally) of our house. This is the week. Pray for boldness and confidence. Pray for open doors for Amy.
- Joseph – Little man is growing up fast! He is a year old tomorrow. Praise God! Thank you Jesus for Jojo Edmonds! He is such a joy!
- Support Raising– We are seeking to get more monthly supporters, either on board now, or pledged to be a monthly financial partner next year. We are praying to have 60% of our financial support come from monthly gifts by the end of next month.
- If you are interested in giving please follow this link – https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ZZVK8FYCJXTS2
- If you cannot support now but want to pledge to be a monthly supporter next year, please email me directly at Joshua.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for taking the time to read. Please write when you can. We love hearing from each and everyone of you all!