Put your mind to it go for it….

Get down and break a sweat.  Rock and a roll you aint seen nothin’ yet.

Alright friends to what I am referring to?  Quick anyone….

Give up??

If you guessed Saved by the Bell, then you are correct!  I know I am dating myself (it is my 32nd birthday tomorrow).

Anyway, in that episode Zack is managing the girls who are part of singing group that is making it big.  Eventually Jessie freaks out because she is having a hard time managing all the things that she is working on.  She ends up taking prescription meds to try and stay awake….she eventually cries to Zack..

“There’s no time. There’s never any time…”

Let me squash your thoughts right now….I am not doing any meds to stay awake like Jessie.  But I do identify where she was coming from, right now I am feeling like there is no time!!!!

There’s no time

Here we are on the eve of the summer (our busiest time).  I have been working slam hard meeting with pastors, preparing for training, preparing for trips, crossing our logistical t’s and dotting the i’s.  While Amy is being pregnant and we even moved Jojo into Madeline’s room to prepare for Elijah.

Frequently this week I have told Amy or my boss or anyone that there isn’t enough time and they simply say yes there is Josh, breath, you can’t solve everything, trust others, trust the Lord.  Yeah Yeah I thought.  I got this.

The Lord literally told me through my quiet time this week that there is enough time.  As I prayed for the Lord to give me peace, I read Philippians 3.

Philippians 3 where Paul says that he had every reason to be confident is his flesh.  It hit me that I was placing all the weight of everything that we have to do in me and on my flesh.  I realized that I wasn’t giving ANYTHING to God and I hadn’t even prayed.  I laughed about it, prayed through it, and then the next day went right on freaking out.  In fact I just re-read the Scripture and got mad at myself because I am not relying or turning to God.  I am trying to do everything myself!  Thickheaded!!!!

 

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray that I realize that my flesh is NOTHING and that God is everything.  I know it in my heart.  Now I am need to believe it in my head!
  • Kids – both have medium or medium to high fevers.  Join us in praying for healing!
  • Amy – we are 7 weeks away from the due date.  Continue praying for Pain Free Labor!!
  • Work – Pray that ALL of the logistics to come together.  Specifically CARS!!!
  • Work – We are on the eve of a summer of 50 mission trips here in Belize.  Pray for protection, pray for encouragement, Pray for life change. Join us in praying for 100 people to come to know the Lord through these trips this summer!

Short update.  Sorry.  Here are some pics of the past week as rainy season started and we moved rooms.  Also, if you scroll past the pictures then there is a HILARIOUS car story about me this past weekend!

the shared closet now!

the shared closet now!

Dinosaurs for Jojo.

Dinosaurs for Jojo.

Elijah's room

Elijah’s room

Listening to music after rainy play time

Listening to music after rainy play time

Needlepoints for the children that Amy made.  Poor Elijah's is slow going

Needlepoints for the children that Amy made. Poor Elijah’s is slow going

Madeline LOVES the puddles

Madeline LOVES the puddles

Rainy season Play time!

Rainy season Play time!

 

But wait there’s more – A story about a man and a car….(it’s long but worth it / oh and everything is fine now)
I have an email exchange with a good friend of mine, Jason, who I worked with at Wyeth / Pfizer and Merck.  Anyway, below is an exert / paraphrase from an email I sent him earlier this week.
We have (praying pelican) 4 cars in the country.
Columbus – white Ford explorer 1991 (I think) that is our family’s primary car
Nigel – Nissan truck – mid 1990s
Chuck Norris – Red Ford Ranger – mid 1990s
And Ol’ Bessie – probably the very first Toyota Tacoma ever made.
Anyway these cars have problems….like all cars.  For example, last summer if you recall Park didn’t work in the White explorer so I would park and then run around the car putting cinderblocks underneath before it would roll away.
Now the white explorer rocks like a water bed when driving above 50mph.  Like literally it feels as if you are in a skiff in the middle of a hurricane with how much it rocks back and forth….
Anyway, so we had Bessie at the house because Columbus was getting worked on and she wouldn’t start, I thought to myself that’s strange.  So then I figure probably just need a jump.  Well we don’t have jumper cables in Belize.  So I take the spare battery out from the bed of the truck turn the iginition and flip the battery (spare) to touch the battery (in the car) so the terminals are touching and jump the car that way.  It worked…only downside was the spare battery had a leak and battery acid got on me.  Unreal!
So it runs for a couple of days and then does the same thing when I am stopped at Pastor Mark’s house right up the road.  I am on my way running errands so I am a little frustrated.  Anyway, pastor mark and I clean the terminals, redo some of the wiring to the battery and then we get it started by him crawling underneath the car me turning the ignition and him banging around underneath with a hammer on the starter…just picture banging around like you would on a triangle or cowbell to call someone in for dinner.
Anyway, I had several stops to make but decided the first place to stop on my errands should be my friend Eustace’s house in case anything happens to the car he can at least do the hammer thing and get me going.
Well as you can imagine when leaving the car did the same thing and we tried the wire thing, the battery thing, and the hammer thing….NOTHING.  So Eustace goes to get a mechanic which I am all in favor of and he says it’s a problem with the electrical and the wiring between the ignition and starter.  SO this is where the story gets great.
He splices a wire laying around at Eustaces….has one end touching the starter and the other end is open wire that I literally touch to the battery with the ignition on.  It then takes the signal from the ignition and current from the battery.
So to turn on the car this is what I do, turn the iginition, pop the hood, with the iginition on touch the wire to the battery until the starter turns over the motor and the car starts….
BUT WAIT THERE”S MORE
So now I can start the car but it doesn’t shift at all.  Like the column is locked.  And I notice that I have no electrical working in the car at all (no AC, no lights, no gauges, nothing).  Perplexed I summon mechanic guy who is enjoying a refreshing banana….and he looks flummoxed.  So he tinkers under the hood again, careful of the wire he just put in mind you.  And it turns out that he has NO IDEA what’s going on.  So his solution is to have me shift the car manually (note this is an automatic car, so what he means by that is he shows me underneath the car RIGHT BESIDE THE WHEEL, how to move this lever that controls the gear the car is in.  Forward all the way = park, then reverse, then neutral, then drive.  So this is what happens…..
I start the car with the wire trick that he installed, then crawl underneath the car (with the parking brake on that may or may not work on) and place my whole body directly beside the front wheel, like my side and the wheel are literally beside each other touching … spooning even, move this lever into reverse so I can move.  crawl back into the car, reverse it and then put on parking break again so I can put in drive.
So now I am on the phone with Burton who is at a mechanic to have him look at the car.  Anyway, I am driving into the city it is pushing dark time, I have no lights, I am planning out the route in my head (taking into account recalling road construction, etc because I know I am heading into an area of the town I don’t know that well and don’t plan to get out of the car to reverse because of a road closed).  So anyway, we get to the mechanic and they are closed.  I am borderline exploding at this point and then we go back place ol’ bessie at Burt’s church and then I get a ride home…the next day Bessie gets looked at and it takes the mechanic two minutes to fix it!
Turns out it was a couple of loose wires….huh who knew?  Learn something new every day!

 

We’re not Christian Robots!

You’re a missionary?!!  Followed by an extreme look of admiration, surprise, pity, and then we are promptly in that person’s mind onto a Christian pedestal.

That conversation / reaction happens a lot!

To us it is simple we felt God move and we responded to it.  We then like to use this blog, our prayer updates, etc to be an encouragement to people.

But as I was speaking with some people at Revo Church during our trip to the States, I really wanted to communicate that Amy and I are just regular people.  We are NOT seminary graduates.  We HAVE not read EVERY christian book on missions.  Actually I haven’t even read “When Helping Hurts….” something that Christian’s may have a heart attack about.  (It is on my reading list though..probably will read after I finish Phil Jackson’s new book).

In short and in the words of Chris Rock “we going to keep it real.”  WE ARE NOT CHRISTIAN ROBOTS!

There are SOOO many things that we LOVE about Belize.  And the annuls of this blog have highlighted or will highlight those as they show themselves.  However, after going back to the states for the week there are some things that we miss separately about the States….and to show that we are NOT CHRISTIAN ROBOTS…I will use this space to expand on them.

THE LIST – AMY:

Now mine and Amy’s lists are different.  SO I will start with Amy’s list first.  I will start with Amy’s first.

  1. Air Conditioning – Amy REALLY misses air conditioning.  It is SO HILARIOUS to me.  Amy literally sweats ALL DAY.  When Amy and I started dating she was telling me stories about her dad and how he literally sat in front of a fan with a towel around his neck and had to “cool down” after a cold shower.  Well enter Amy now about 10 years later (and to her credit….VERY PREGNANT).  But she literally sits in front of a fan with a towel around her neck and STILL SWEATS!!!  Needless to say…when we were in the States, SHE LOVED THE AC!
  2. BUGS – Amy CANNOT STAND ANY BUG!  She literally hates (now now parents..I know you are saying to yourself, don’t use that word, well I am using it and in fact it is NOT strong enough to clearly convey Amy’s opinion about bugs) them!  Amy enjoyed sitting on her couch and laying in her bed WITHOUT getting bit by sandflies or mosquitoes.  And if you mention chiggers to you, she gets a twitch in her eye and literally you can see blood boil!
  3. Grocery store Variety – Amy walked into Harris Teeter the other day and literally almost cried. She was so happy at the VARIETY.  We LOVE Belize food, especially the fruit.  BUT Amy LOVED being able to see and get almost anything (milk, we drank almost 3 gallons in one week, lunch meat, flavored coffee, etc).  It made shopping fun and overwhelming at the same time!

THE LIST – JOSH

  1. THE RADIO – I love hip-hop music.  Seriously I love it.  I love listening to the radio when I am in the car.  I thought when I was in the car by myself with no children and no Amy that I was going to lose my mind when Nelly came on the radio!  Seriously!  Anyway, the radio in Belize is TERRIBLE!  Really really really really really bad.  Like bad Spanish talk radio and then bad words in fast Caribbean music, and then Belizean Christian Music.   I spend A LOT of time in the car.  Today I spent about 6 hours in the car!  I really would like to listen to some good hip hop or even country….not here in Belize!  So I miss that!
  2. HOUSE WORK – It takes a long time to do anything in Belize around the house.  Cooking = washing dishes, sweeping the floor, and either mopping the floor or wiping it down to make sure no ants come.  Those are things that we probably should have done in the states but we didn’t HAVE TO.  So now that Amy is pregnant, I do MOST of the dished (no applause because about 75% of the time my attitude is bad about this….pray for me to serve my wife joyfully…..seriously).   Anyway, there are days when I want to put the kids to bed and NOT to ANY housework.  That was nice back in the states!
  3. THE YMCA – I played A LOT of basketball and worked out a TON at the YMCA when I was growing up.  I went there 3 times this past week when we were back in the states…and it was AWESOME!  I missed indoor basketball, weight rooms, additional cardio equipment, etc.  Man I do miss that!

THE VISIT

We had a GREAT AMAZING WONDERFUL time with all of our friends and family.  Here are SHORT HIGHLIGHTS: surprise baby shower, seeing family, great sandwiches, Greek yogurt, YMCA, air conditioning, dinner with friends, surprise cook outs, kids playing with friends, great travel, great doctor’s appointments for kids, getting all of the old baby clothes for Elijah, date night, being without kids for a day, fishing with Pepa, sitting down with Matthew / Jeremy, talking missions with Revo Church, and sleeping IN!

Prayer Requests – Personal

  • Amy’s pregnancy – continue to pray for NO MORE EARLY labor!  Start praying for an easy pain-free child birth
  • Community – Pray for us to continue to build community in our bible studies!
  • Family – Pray for us to be INTENTIONAL in our time together.  Amy and I desire to TEACH MORE of the Bible to Madeline and for Amy and myself to be INTENTIONAL in spending QUALITY time together before Elijah comes.
  • Support Raising – We are about 2K away from being 100% funded for 2013-2014.  If you are interested in helping us close this Gap please visit http://www.prayingpelicanmissions.org/donate and scroll to find Josh and Amy Edmonds, follow one of the links to Paypal and you can set up everything from there!

Prayer Requests – Belize

  • We are getting ready to start our summer season.  Please be in prayer for our teams, smooth logistics, and warm hearts here in Belize
  • Praise Report – Pastor Ed (leader of dynamic children’s ministry) held a children’s ministry workers training a couple of weekends ago.  His team trained or equipped 170 teachers from 60 different churches representing 7000 children hearing Jesus on their level across this country.  Praying Pelican Missions is BLESSED to partner in ministry with such an equipper!
  • Work Load – I have a large workload as we move into summer, please pray for me to be able to be effective in work and GET EVERYTHING DONE!

I am in the book of Ephesians reading right now and I look forward to sharing what the Lord is teaching me through Ephesians but until then….

Jesus intentionally chose the equivalent of high school drop outs to be the leaders of his ministry.  They were simple men.  Amy and I are not some know-it-all Christians….we are simple Christians simply obeying God.  WE ARE NOT CHRISTIAN ROBOTS!

Seriously, we love you all dearly.  Thank you for those who were around for our visit and thank you for those who are LOVING and PRAYING for us!  We LOVE sharing with you how the Lord is moving in Belize!

casting

Miami airport for 6 hours = get Madeline Disney Jr.

Miami airport for 6 hours = get Madeline Disney Jr.

Amy got a dryer for mother's day!  She was VERY happy!

Amy got a dryer for mother’s day! She was VERY happy!

Jojo LOVED driving

Jojo LOVED driving

Caught a fish with Pepa!

Caught a fish with Pepa!

Tea Party with Grandma Jane

Tea Party with Grandma Jane

I’m in a glass case of emotion

In honor of the possibility of Anchor Man 2 and a new Vince Vaughn / Owen Wilson movie (don’t judge), I titled this blog “I’m in a glass case of emotion.”  For context on the title, visit the scene from Anchor Man here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwXD0hCvtX4

These past two weeks have been filled with HIGHs and LOWs.

HIGH –  visiting Minneapolis for Praying Pelican Missions spring conference and seeing A LOT of friends (old and new).

LOW – Being away from Amy and the kids for week 3 in a row

LOW – NOT being able to get Milk in the Miami Airport during travel (first world problem I know)

HIGH – playing ping pong at staff training in Minneapolis.

LOW – Struggling to carry the burden of community in Belize for Amy

HIGH – Planning for the amazing summer that God is preparing across all 9 countries Praying Pelican Missions is serving in!

LOW – hearing Amy was in labor on Tuesday and I was in Minnesota.

Some explaining on that one!

That’s where the glass case of emotion comes in.  I literally had been moping in all honesty, missing my family, feeling ill, and wondering about community for Amy in Belize.  I couldn’t get a hold of her all day (turns out internet was down at our house) and my mind started to spin out of control.  Then we are going to dinner I call Amy on Tony’s phone using Rob’s calling card (thank you guys), and I hear Amy tell me on the other end that she was in LABOR ALL DAY!!!  No No, not Braxton Hicks contractions but serious contractions that make you stop and cry a little and they were coming fast.  She was home by herself, with the two kids, and on bed rest!!.

I was in a glass case of emotion.  I literally stood outside of Buffalo Wild Wings, suffering from a bit of culture shock (1st time back in the States in 6 months), cold (there was 10″ of snow on the ground), and motionless.  I didn’t even have the energy to cry.

SO a glass case of emotion for sure.  Thoughts immediately started “how soon can I get home?, does this mean that we have to move back?, is amy ok? how can i get her help.

For some reason I thought of Hebrews 12:1-2 “Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” (more on that in a separate post).  I got back from dinner and sent out an email.  I got back and started Facebook stalking / emailing / calling Belizeans to care for the house.

I went to bed in a LOW…freaking out….glass case of emotion.  Tired.

Woke up to over 35 responses in my inbox of people petitioning God for us.  Woke up and the entire Praying Pelican staff prayed over me and for Amy and the baby. I woke up and was surrounded by the cloud.

I left the morning on a HIGH…eyes fixed on Jesus….continuing the race that Christ has set out for us…

Well things improved, Contractions stopped, Amy got some help until I came back and now I am back at home for a little bit.

What else happened this past week…..

  • Answered Prayer for Community – On Thursday we attended a missionary fellowship meeting in Belmopan where missionaries from different organizations meet to encourage one another, share resources, and worship Jesus for the work that HE is doing in Belize.  We left that meeting and Amy and I were invited to a men’s and women’s (separate) bible study!  Amy left that meeting crying she was soooo happy!  Can’t wait to update more on that after this week!
  • Fun times with the kids – We had a GREAT TIME with the kids since I got back.  We went to Bacab (large water park), played in the sand, AND went to the Belize Agriculture and Trade Show (think Texas Fair only without all the Deep Fried Butter, Oreo’s etc….although there is probably a market for that stuff in Belize!).  IT was SOOO refreshing to spend time with the kids and Amy and just do some fun things!!!
  • Doctor’s appointment – Amy did have a check up for Baby E and he is doing great.  Doc said that all looks good and there isn’t much to worry about from contractions.  He did tell Amy to DRINK MORE WATER.  So readers….be sure to hold her accountable!
  • Spanish Lessons – So I know a fair bit of Spanish…but I desire to be fluent by the end of 2013 (lofty for sure).  In addition to spending time with Spanish-speakers in Belize, I also started taking Spanish lessons online!  I am 5 lessons in so far!!!

Doesn’t seem like much now that I listed it out but MAN….it was awesome!

Prayer Requests:

  • Sickness – The sickness that I had is making the rounds and is now in Jojo.  Pray for him to heal.  He has a terrible rattling in the chest right now!
  • Community – Amy and I will each go to our gender specific bible studies with our new missionary friends this week.  Pray that these opportunities continue to the welcome answer to our prayers!
  • Support Raising – We are pressing toward the finish line with support raising.  We need about $6K USD to be fully-funded from June 2013 – June 2014.  We know the Lord WILL provide!  Pray for me to carve out some time to make headway.  Also, pray for generosity among those we contact.

Glass case of emotion…..definitely defined my last week.  Thank you for loving us.  Thank you for praying for us and with us.  Thank you for sending us notes, facebook posts, tweets, etc.  We love any and all contact we get from our cloud!

We love you and look forward to sharing with you all how God moved this week in Belize!!

Our mango tree has about 25 mango like these on it!

Our mango tree has about 25 mango like these on it!

Pastor Mark and Shari are feeding Jojo cotton candy at the FAIR.  I was NOT happy!

Pastor Mark and Shari are feeding Jojo cotton candy at the FAIR. I was NOT happy!

Madeline driving her racecar at the fair!

Madeline driving her racecar at the fair!

Fair

Playing during the missionary meeting!

Playing during the missionary meeting!

At Bacab, playing in the pool!

At Bacab, playing in the pool!