What would you say, you do here?

We moved.  We are here.  We are living.  And people, groups, even relatives constantly ask “what do you do there?”  This question is not ever I mean never directed towards me.  After all, I am the man; I do the work.  People ALWAYS ask Amy.  What do you do there?

It is literally like she is sitting in an interview with the Bobs from Office Space (if you are younger than 25, check out this link for the reference http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SoWNMNKNeM)

This post is dedicated solely to try and put into words what Amy is doing here in Belize (when she is not busy flipping cars, quite literally not fixing them and selling them).  It will be written entirely from first person by me (Josh) but based on feelings, thoughts, conversations (Amy’s) and my (Josh) observations of her (Amy).  Also, this is not meant to come down on anyone who doesn’t do what I (we) do.  It literally is meant to answer the question on how I (Amy) spend my time.  Here we go…

What is it I say, I do here?  Great question I’m glad you asked.  Let’s say that what I do here in Belize can be broken down into a few categories.

Moving here / Managing House:

Starting in about January of 2012, I begin getting everything ready to move our family of 2 adults, (1) 1.5 year old, and (1) infant to Belize.  I spear-headed getting quotes from movers for an international move, working with the real-estate agent and stager, and keeping the kids from destroying the house.  I also packed and tried to determine what we could “live without” both forever to sell / give away and temporary (what would get put into the container and in storage until we moved to Belize).  Then one day, as movers packed up my house, I packed my car with the kids and we left our first home.

Enter getting to Belize, and quickly I find out that things are different.  Those differences have graced this blog before but to do a quick recap most everything in Belize from a house-work perspective takes longer than it did in the states or there is more of it.

Here is a short list of typical chores: open air windows = dirt everywhere all the time = sweeping 3 – 4 times a day plus vacuuming furniture, no dishwasher = doing dishes after every meal or snack, no prepackaged things to eat = making everything from scratch, no dryer (for some time) = hanging laundry outside to dry in the middle of rainy season = wet, clean clothes, battling ants, driving our trash to the dump because there is no pick up, 30 ,minutes one-way drive to the grocery store, battling the constant and raging battle against the variety of animals or bugs that inhabit our house (centipedes, geckos, ants, noseeums, mosquitoes, tarantulas, etc).

Now let me get this straight.  I, in no way, intend for this to be a feel sorry for me time.  Where all readers sit there and mourn for Poor little Amy (third person).  I only want to highlight that house work in Belize takes far longer than I had imagined and understood when I was in the states.  I do realize that I took way way way too many things for granted in the states and am so thankful the Lord is showing me that now!

Incubation for 7368 hours +/- 24 hours:

Then there was the whole issue of incubation.  See sometime in October of this past year (2012), I (we) got pregnant and in turn I was in incubation mode for 10 months and 7 days.  For you women that know and men that think you know, pregnancy is tiring.  Imagine being pregnant when your house feels 95 degrees F at night and you sweat, like you look like you just got out of the shower or swimming pool sweat, for 24 hours in a day.  There were days…many many many days that I sat in front of all the fans in the house and tried to sleep / cool down.

For most of our first year I was pregnant and hot!  But that was the means to get to the end of having Elijah, the next in a line of mighty men of God from the Edmonds family.

Parenting the three best kids on Earth ….well most of the time.

Madeline (3), Jojo (almost 2), and Elijah (1 month) are the biggest joys and balls of love, friendship, energy and destruction that I have ever had the pleasure of being around.  I am totally and completely bias but they are the best kids on earth, most of the time.  I recognize that as these children are young one of my largest priorities is to continue to raise them in conjunction with Josh in a loving Christian environment.  To fulfill my mandate from the Lord of Deut 4:9 and Deut 6:4-9, take a significant amount of time here.  In addition, we don’t have activities to attend that were a welcome break from the monotony of home.  More times than I can remember when kids were sick or cranky we’d pile up and head to Target to walk around or Walmart, which was 3 miles down the road.  Now in desperation we may go to Benny’s, the two-story hardware store, to ride the escalator.  However, this simpler life does lend to more time of making things (like play-dough and bubbles), and lots and lots and lots of creative play.  We sing a lot and have dance parties of which Jojos dance moves are a mix between contemporary and hip-hop (he was inspired by Twitch from So You Think You can Dance).  We also build and have pretend play where animals “go to VBS” or play “worship” or “baptizing.” (poor missionary kids).

Side note: Josh frequently talks about how his head was full of hip-hop lyrics from about 1991 – 2004.  He says he fights to suppress them because they are full of trash (yet quite catchy!).  Anyway, so we play worship music a lot. The other day Madeline was singing Mighty to Save except instead of the real lyrics she was saying “My God is NOT Mighty to Save.”  OOOOH I don’t like original sin or the enemy.

Seriously, Josh and I could write a separate blog on parenting (note: we feel we are relying on God 100% and praying that we are getting through to these young ones). The reality is teaching these kids to LOVE and LISTEN to GOD and OBEY HIM no matter what is challenging for any parent and it is a challenge I do not take lightly, therefore spending quite a bit of time on it!

Living Out Ephesians 5

In Ephesians Paul provides instruction on marriage.  He commands Josh to love me as Christ loves me and commands me to respect Josh.  I try to do this on a daily basis.  Some days are harder than others for sure (when I am tired, kids are yelling, and Josh is doing something ridiculous).  But for the most part, I try to live out our marriage with respect.  This is NOT, let me say, lay down myself and follow Josh blindly for example to Belize respect.  No anyone who knows me, knows that I am not that passive.  Respect for Josh is deeper.  It means listening to him, even when he is telling me something extremely nerdy or talking about basketball. It means submitting to him leading our family spiritually.  It means knowing the power of my tongue (James 3) and not criticizing, or being snippy, etc (most importantly never criticizing him in public).

Also, I am Josh’s biggest fan and wisest critic.  Always, when he is struggling with an issue or has an idea, he tells me first.  We refine these together, whether it is a question on staffing, a new location, or a new idea.  He takes the feedback makes necessary augmentations (sometimes) and ultimately a better “product” is born!

Finally, I sharpen Josh and point him towards holiness.  In Sacred Marriage, it says “I never knew how selfish I was until I got married.”  This is true of all of us, myself most definitely included.  I am the one balancing Josh out.  When he is answering texts during dinner.  Or working during our family time, then I am the one to gently and sometimes less gently let him know.  My job as his wife is to help point Josh to Jesus and that means being willing to have tough conversations!

Ministry 1 – Participating in the Local Church

We attend Hattieville Baptist church every week and most weeks more than 1 time a week.  There was a time that I was teaching the youth Sunday School class each Sunday. This lasted for about 4 months, until Deon, a local Belizean older youth who was my apprentice felt comfortable enough to teach.

I also spend the time at church listening to the local women and specifically trying to get them to open up more to each other.  Belize culture is very reserved and “hidden” really. They are afraid of judgement to show their “true selves”  I am praying and desiring this barrier to be broken down so we can begin to see sharing of each other’s burdens in the local church (Acts 2).

Local Church Future Ministry 1 – In the very near future (next month), we will be starting a small group with Pastor Mark and Shari, a concept not tried here in our village or really much of Belize.  We are praying that this ministry breaks down the barrier to the gospel for men and that entire families to come know the Lord!

Local Church Future Ministry 2 – Children’s ministry is near and dear to our hearts.  We have three children and we LOVE, I repeat LOVE Belizean children.  There are throngs and throngs of kids in Hattieville.  Josh would say TNTC, which means something nerdy that I didn’t listen to him about (oops!).  Anyway, a lot of kids!  I have been feeling for some time that we should be doing something for the kids here and then Pastor Mark called Josh and says that he wants to start doing something for the kids in Hattieville (ding…Answered Prayer God).  So we have been finding curriculum and discussing with Pastor Mark our logistics.  We hope to start to get the word out and launch the children’s ministry on Saturday afternoons the first weekend in October!  Pray for 100 kids the first Saturday!!

Madeline’s School

This year I am planning to volunteer at Madeline’s preschool once per week.  This is not really about doing some activity at her school but more about ministering to the other parents that are hanging out at the school.  Also, I recognize that with the kids at home Madeline and I don’t get many special girl-time moments.  I am hoping this school volunteerism is a great way to connect with her on our own special level.

Praying Pelican Mission Trips

While I am not leading trips like Josh, I do travel to every trip that he leads with kids in tow.  It is a great blessing to encourage our Belizean staff.  Meet pastors and encourage them in their ministry, gleaning information to apply here in Hattieville.  It is also fun to talk to people all over the country, most on their first mission trip.  I thoroughly enjoy telling the story of how a short-term mission trip, changed our families life.  AND it is a welcome break to have someone else play with the kids for a long while!

This list doesn’t include trying to take care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually and any hobbies that I would like to step out in (most specifically gardening).  SO that’s my answer to what do you say, you do?  I hope this helps!

Prayer Requests (Specifically for Amy):

  • Small Group – Pray for 10 couples at our first meeting
  • Josh preaching – Josh is preaching this weekend at church.  Please be lifting him up.
  • Madeline – is starting school on Monday.  Pray for smooth adjustment for her and pray for me with the boys at home.  Pray for Jojo dealing with his best buddy Madeline heading off to school.
  • Kid’s Ministry – Pray for the right volunteers from our church AND for 100 kids the first Saturday
  • Church Growth – Pray for 100 people to be regularly attending Hattieville Baptist Church by the end of the year
Our beautiful girl!

Our beautiful girl!

helping daddy with work!

helping daddy with work!

Our growing up Elijah!

Our growing up Elijah!

Daddy and Jojo "watching" Jeopardy

Daddy and Jojo “watching” Jeopardy

gardening with mommy!

gardening with mommy!

The Story of Us

So I realized the other day that many of you all read our updates and may not know our story.  More specifically, how on Earth did Josh get so lucky to marry Amy?  (Aside from God’s amazing mercy and providence….I have no idea).  Then a couple of things happened to nudge me to write this update…. 1. Our friend and co-worker at Praying Pelican Missions got married last weekend 2. Amy’s birthday was this past Friday (30 years old), and 3.  I re-read our wedding vows that I wrote (a thing I do from time to time to see if I am living what I told Amy I would live out).

So anyway a story of us.  Complete with many pictures really….

Amy and I met my senior year and her junior year as she joined the same co-ed honor’s fraternity (NERD ALERT) that I was in.   She came in and I thought (YOU ARE FINE!!).  The first night we actually met, my friend Cortney and I jumped into a swimming pool with all of our clothes on when it was 55 degrees outside.

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I proceeded to flirt mercilessly with her that included but was not limited to hitting her on the bottom with one of my folders from school (smooth).  We went camping with our Nerd group and I tried to put my mack on.  At this time in my life, I was dating a long time girlfriend again (against the advice of my all-knowing roommate – Andy).  Amy was dating someone as well.  Our first conversation we talked about the plus / deltas of Bojangles and Biscuitville, ultimately settling that Biscuitville has the better actual biscuit but Bojangles better chicken biscuit.  AND that we were both going to marry those individuals we were dating.

Camping trip mentioned.  The day we left I came broke my ankle playing bball

Camping trip mentioned. The day we left I came broke my ankle playing bball

Time passed…mostly for me in blur due to my lack of Jesus leading my life during that season.  For Amy time passed observing me acting like an idiot….All of it culminated to one long long long weekend in Roanoke.  Details of that weekend are left to all the people that were around for the three day party but should not grace this blog.  Amy and I did take our first picture together then.  (unfortunately, surrounding scenery in the picture is not appropriate and therefore not going to be posted).

 

Fast forward to New Years / post Christmas that same semester.  I had returned early to Raleigh in plans with my roommate (yep same one….we lived together a long long time) to go to the beach and have a big New Year’s party.   I spent the days leading up to the New Year’s bash planning it and flirting with Amy mercilessly through AOL instant messenger (for those under 30…this was before Facebook) and listening to Eamon “I don’t want you back” (do yourself a favor and don’t listen to that).  For reasons that I still don’t understand, Amy due to her surgery at that time was always around on IM (cool slang I know) and I convinced her and she convinced her mom to go to this party, which by the time she was coming, the beach had fallen through and we were partying in Raleigh.

Me and Andy before New Year's Party

Me and Andy before New Year’s Party

Fast-forward again to New Years Day 2004 and I asked Amy in some sort of moment of clarity “Do you think Jesus has an Afro”.  Our conversation went something like this….

Amy: “Say what you know Jesus?”

Josh: “Yep, why?”

Amy: “You sure don’t act like it.”

Me: <silence>, “you wanna go out?”

Amy: “I’m going to church, you can come with me if you want.”

Ultimately, Amy and I ended up deciding to go to Hope Community Church.  I can’t really recall what was first, our first date to Macaroni Grill or going to church but in some order those things happened.  And it was at Hope Community Church that the Lord got a hold of me <Almost all of you know my testimony.>

This is us when I met her family for the first time.

This is us when I met her family for the first time.

We started to date which really meant we hung out all the time.  We even got a cute little nickname like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie did.  They were Brangelina.  We were Jamy.  Great!  Here are some pictures from that time.

We had some epic halloween costumes in our day.  Including a failed attempt at Mr. T and Daisy Duke

We had some epic halloween costumes in our day. Including a failed attempt at Mr. T and Daisy Duke

Amy's B-day

Amy’s B-day

At semiformal.  Me formal, Amy - semi

At semiformal. Me formal, Amy – semi

Now our relationship was and is by no means perfect. In fact it was and is far from it.  We struggled then with selfishness, inherent sin, and loving each other as God loves us.  But we were making progress.  We knew early on that we loved each other and told each other so, relatively early.  It was probably so early that if Madeline were to repeat that same behavior in a relationship, I would scoff at the idea.  And in December 2004, we went to church, our favorite eatery (518 West) and Pullen Park where we got engaged on the swings.

 

And our life has been one whirlwind ever since…

2005 - Married my best friend - December 17th, 2005

2005 – Married my best friend – December 17th, 2005, notice the cake on our faces!!

2007 - First mission trip August to Belize

2007 – First mission trip August to Belize

 

2008 - miscarriage, 2nd mission trip to Belize, pursue domestic adoption

2008 – miscarriage, 2nd mission trip to Belize, pursue domestic adoption

2009 - Birth mom rescinds her consent, pregnant with Madeline, and enter into vocational ministry as children's director for The Point Church

2009 – Birth mom rescinds her consent, pregnant with Madeline, and enter into vocational ministry as children’s director for The Point Church

2010 - Madeline's born in April.  Here she is at one month

2010 – Madeline’s born in April. Here she is at one month

2011 - November Jojo arrives.  Here he is at one month.

2011 – November Jojo arrives. Here he is at one month.

2012 – Move to Belize 2012 – see previous posts for those early day pictures

2013 - Elijah is born in July. Here he is at 1 month

2013 – Elijah is born in July. Here he is at 1 month

We are not perfect and don’t pretend we are.  We struggle for sure.  There are times when I am standing in front of the sink doing the dishes now and I think to myself “I am so sick of serving her this way.” The Lord nudges me and says “Do you think I was sick of serving you when I was on the cross?” I get the message loud and clear.

Our story is filled with ups and downs like anyone else’s.  We strive to make Jesus the center of our house.  Simple ways by playing praise and worship music when cooking or praying before meals.  And more complicated ways like teaching the kids about the resurrection or moving to Belize to be missionaries.

Why did I write this for you all….

See, I have been reading Exodus through Joshua and I was struck by how many times the Lord says “When you go to the land that I will give you.”  The Lord stated that it was a matter of fact, which of course it was.

Exodus 33:1-2 “The Lord said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’  I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.”

Look at those words, “I will.”  There is no doubt.  There is no if.  The thing about the Lord is that he doesn’t say “I promise or I really really meant it, or I swear.”  The Lord just says and it will be.  He spoke with supreme confidence because he is the same Lord that spoke the world into being.  He spoke with supreme confidence and asked Israel to step out because of His word.  And look at how Joshua ends.

Joshua 24: 16-18 “Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods,for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. And the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”

The Lord delivered just as He stated.  The Lord has delivered time and time again in our life.  That’s the beauty of our story.  The Bible is full of statements of fact from the Lord.  Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 14:12 to name a few.

 

Before we had our story, we had my story and her story.  Two people in different relationships with God going through life.  God took the muddiness of that and began to knit together our story.  Now here we are believing God’s Word that He desires greater for our life, that He came so that we can have full life, that He will make our paths straight.  Two imperfect people putting God first and letting Him shape The Story of Us.

We hope you have enjoyed the trip down our memory lane.  We wanted to ask What’s your story? And are you ready to rely on God’s promises, put him first and watch him knit together the rest.  He WILL blow your mind.

Prayer Requests:

  1. Financial Support – We are in the process of examining our financial support going into next year.  We are in a good spot right now.  However, we will be contacting some new individuals in the coming weeks.  Please be in prayer for open hearts and generosity.
    • If you are interested in contributing a one time gift or monthly gift visit http://www.prayingpelicanmissions.org/donate scroll to find our name and click either “Donate” (For a one time gift) or “subscribe” (for a monthly gift)
  2. Village Involvement – Amy and I have been praying for some time to get “more involved” in the village.  We feel God calling us to start a small group and launch a children’s ministry (of which the village has none) on Saturdays.  We are excited to have lunch with Pastor Mark’s family within the week to talk about these opportunities.
  3. School’s starting – School is getting ready to start for Madeline.  Pray for her to be able to listen and obey, play well with others and adjust to a more scheduled day!

Praises:

  1. Amy had a great 30th birthday!
  2. We found a store that is almost like Target back home (as close as we are going to get here).  And we found hummus, quinoa, arrborio rice, and polenta at the store the same day we went to Belize Target!!!
  3. I had a great lunch with some friends from Holly Springs who were passing through on a cruise.  Thank you Karen and Chris!  And if any of you are passing through on a cruise, let me know if you want to get up.
  4. The Lord is up to great things here in Belize!  Praise God for a great summer and the excitement in the local church here and the teams that have returned back home and are deciding to come back to Belize and continue on the relationships they started!

Just a little patience….

So first of all, summer is over.  Well, mostly….we have two teams leaving this weekend and our final team of the summer season starts Saturday.

All US staff have left.

Elijah has been born.

Mom and Dad have visited and left.

Life is starting to come back to normal…

Now the next couple of updates may be a mandatory personal update, answering all the questions about Elijah, the kids, etc.  And a review of the summer.  And probably a year in review (it has been almost a year that we have been in Belize!)

This summer we saw…

  • 50 groups
  • 1300 participants
  • 30+ staff
  • 400 decisions for Christ
  • Over 20 Baptisms!

God was so good this summer.  Please take a moment and celebrate what HE did.  I am personally still processing what happened and praying through how this positions us for later this year (follow-up) and next year (sustainability).  I can’t wait to hear personal stories from our local pastors on how they were touched and encouraged this summer in ministry.

Anyway….Patience…..just a little patience….(insert Axl Rose groan or extended “yeah” note: not Lil John YEAH.)

How God is teaching me?

Patience, almost impossible for us.  One of the things that has shaped us this year and me personally has been patience.  One of my favorite things about Belize is that you can go anywhere and someone will say “I’ll get that RIGHT NOW!” and “RIGHT NOW” means 30 minutes (minimum).  Patience.

Our whole married life we have tried to control and not have patience.

  • We wanted to hurry up and get pregnant – 2 years later we are pregnant with Madeline – patience.
  • We wanted to hurry up and have Elijah – 1 week after his due date he comes.
  • We want to hurry up and go somewhere and Madeline wants to pick flowers, Jojo wants to sing a song – Patience.

This week I had two awesome lessons on patience.

  • Lesson 1 – Went to pay the internet bill and locked my keys in the IGNITION!  No big deal except in Belize there aren’t any locksmiths!  There was only one and he lived in Belize City and couldn’t get to where I was.  4 hours later, I got in the car and headed home.  Not without a healthy dose of patience!!
  • Lesson 2 – I went to go pick up Elijah’s birth certificate.  We registered him at the hospital but I had to go to the department of Vital Statistics and pick it up.  The process was turn in my receipt and they go find the certificate and give it to me.  A couple of unfortunate problems…I was there with 200 other people, and there was NO PROCESS.  I am talking stacks and stacks of receipts turned in to get copies of certificates and birth certificates EVERY WHERE!  They were NOT in alphabetical order or by date or really organized at ALL!!  4 hours later, I was handed back my receipt and told they couldn’t find the birth certificate and to come back tomorrow!  just a little patience….

I bet each one of y’all could think of a situation that happened yesterday that required just a little patience.  Our lives are full of them.

Our lives as Christians are no different.  We are always wanting God to move immediately.  When we share the gospel, we want a decision immediately.  When we pray for something, we want an answer immediately.  Many times our demands, fits, etc are met with a lesson in patience.  God answered me this week in two stories and it reminded me that all I need is some faith, obedience and just a little patience.

  • Story 1:  Amy and I have shared in this space that community is our BIGGEST challenge.  We have struggled getting to know people and have a specific burden for men to come to the church.  After speaking with pastors in the fall of last year, we felt that a home cell group was the way to reach these men.  We have been praying since for the opportunity and support from our local church.  10 months later, just yesterday Pastor Mark and I sat in my car and he shared with me how he wanted to start a home cell group!  I almost started weeping!!!  God you are so good!  Timing so wonderful!  Just a little patience!
  • Story 2: Last summer I led a trip to Pastor Ed’s church.  I wrote about a block party that we did where a Hindu man from Ed’s village came to his house for the party because he liked the hip-hop (Lecrae) that Ed was playing.  He asked Ed for that CD and Pastor Ed of course gave him that.  Over the course of the year, the man’s daughter started to come to Pastor Ed’s Saturday children’s ministry.  Pastor continued to run into the man, prayed for him to come to church, but there seemed no traction.  The girl earlier this summer asked Pastor Ed when all of his services were.  He shared with her about their Sunday service.  Well two Sunday’s ago, Pastor Ed called me to tell me that the little girl and her whole family have been coming for over a month, including her dad who was Hindu!  Praise God!  Just a little patience….

As we finished the summer strong, it is my desire to push ahead for greater, bigger, more.  I do pray for those things for sure.  I pray for the launch into Guatemala.  I pray for how the Lord is going to move in us and through us.  But the Lord is teaching me to like Elijah when he waited for God in the stillness of a gentle breeze, to be patience.  I am currently praying for more awareness of his calling, his prompting, his Spirit. I am praying for moments to “Be still and know that [He] is God”  Just a little patience.

Prayer Requests

  • New routine – we are going to start figuring out what our new routine is with me at work.  Pleas pray for us during this time of transition.  Pray for patience with each other and the children!
  • Direction – Pray for professional direction for me.  Fall is a time for me where I have the opportunity to work on a couple of different projects.  Pray for wisdom and discernment as I move forward with a couple of those.
  • Guatemala – Praying Pelican Missions may have the opportunity to launch into Guatemala next year. I have been working feverishly with Pastor Ed to get some information from potential ministry partners.  Pray for doors to fling open wide!
  • Cell Group – Pray for this cell group to take off.  Pray for me and Pastor Mark to sit down and plan everything out by the end of the month!
Grandma and Pepa

Grandma and Pepa

Playing under the Tent

Playing under the Tent

Jojo at VBS.  He loved dancing to the Cupid shuffle

Jojo at VBS. He loved dancing to the Cupid shuffle

reading

reading

IMG_3579

watching tangled with pepa

watching tangled with pepa

Locked out of the car

Locked out of the car

These are "organized" birth certificates

These are “organized” birth certificates

The team this week brought cereal.  Here is my combo bowl:" Fruity pebbles and Reese Puffs"

The team this week brought cereal. Here is my combo bowl:” Fruity pebbles and Reese Puffs”

Madeline and her friend Destiny

Madeline and her friend Destiny

Right tool for the job

Tools are used for a variety of things.  I remember when I was a senior in high school, I was dating this girl and her dad had EVERY tool known to man!  It was AMAZING (and frightening at the same time).  One evening one of our friends was having a problem with her car and my girlfriend’s dad went into her house and returned with a steering column ripper (what is that??).  Our conversation was like this…

Me: Why on earth do you have one of those?

GF Dad: Because I needed it once, so I bought it.

Me: Ummmm…ok.

Later in life when Andy (best friend, college roommate, tinkerer …for you new followers) got some money he would step out into a project and the first stop would be Lowes where he would get the “right tools” that he “needed.”

Tools are a funny thing…we need a variety of tools for a variety of tasks.  I was watching Newspring Church’s most recent sermon from the series Redneck (newspring.cc)…That’s right the series is titled Redneck.  The illustration was the Rednecks tool box….you have all heard this before:

WD-40 – use: if is doesn’t move and it should

Duct tape – use: if it moves and it shouldn’t

And since living here I would add the following:

Machete – use: everything here in Belize

Our Christian tool box is similar to my high school girlfriend’s dad’s tool box.   We have a tool for every job.  The reading the Bible tool, the going to church tool, the accountability tool, the memorizing scripture tool, the worship tool, the prayer tool.  A lot of tools for a lot of different things.  All of our tools are good but maybe there is one tool….that is the right tool for the job.

It seems in the Bible when anyone was faced with uncertainty, challenges, burdens, blessings, encouragement, etc they always reached for the same multi-purpose tool….PRAYER.

Prayer is the right tool for the job….really any job. Don’t believe look at some stories…

  • Sun Stand Still – Joshua 10
  • David and Bathsheba and the death of their son – 2 Samuel 12
  • Elijah calls down rain – 1 Kings 18
  • Jesus prays for this cup to be taken from him – Gospels
  • My goodness….read about the amazing things done through PRAYER in the first church in Acts – Acts

Now I know I have written about prayer OFTEN (sorry).  But here is another example of the power of prayer

The birth….

SO we asked you all to pray last week for

  1. Fast / Pain Free Labor
  2. Healthy Baby
  3. Low Anxiety

Amy and I were nervous about her being induced and she was dreading the pain of contractions and delivery.  We had planned to be induced on Thursday morning last week.  Well, 3:30AM Amy wakes up with contractions and we leave to go to hospital after showers and breakfast by 5:30AM.  ANSWERED PRAYER – NO INDUCTION.

We were admitted and started the process.  Contractions were on and off for some time, even allowing for some hilarious pictures of LABOR (see below).

Around 8:30 the pain picked up and was intense.  Amy was struggling with the frequency and intensity of the contractions with her asking for an epidural at 845.  All the while, you all are PRAYING….FAST / PAIN FREE, I am praying FAST / PAIN FREE.  I am thinking come on God answer….

Doc comes in, checks her 6cm (halfway there). He suggests we progress forward with breaking her water.  It’s now 8:55.  He leaves; Amy’s in pain and she says “my water broke.”  By this point, there is no chance for an epidural.  We are going to go at this without any pain meds.  Fast / pain free…..

10 minutes later we are holding Elijah.  Seriously it was that fast.  The time from water breaking to baby was literally 10 minutes.  Fast for sure….and the delivery…..Amy says was PAIN FREE!

THANK YOU JESUS!  ANSWERED PRAYER!

Now we are home with Elijah, brother and sister are doing well with the new one in the family, and Amy is 100% recovered!

This is NOT possible without Prayer….without your prayers.

The Right Tool…..

We have seen God do AMAZING things through prayer this summer, the story of Elijah’s birth included.  Through Prayer…

  • We have seen 250 kids out on one day to a VBS in an area that is known for drugs and gang activity
  • We have seen 323 respond to the Gospel this summer in Belize.  We are on our way to 500 with two weeks to go!
  • We have seen 12 people take their next step and follow Christ in Baptism!
  • We have seen vision cast, vision caught, and vision implemented all over this country spurring one another on to spark a revolution for Jesus in this country (slogan borrowed from Revo Church in W/S, NC)

All of this through prayer! We tell Madeline that you can pray to God ANYTIME, about ANYTHING, ANYWHERE.  Often she prays for Jellyfish, popcorn, and bunk beds…but she gets the picture.

Our Lord WANTS to hear our prayers!  He wants to KNOW what’s going on!  I want to encourage you all to pray BOLDLY, SPECIFICALLY, and EXPECTANTLY, anywhere, anytime, about anything.  And get others to pray with you and for you.

The revolution in Belize this summer is simply not possible without your prayers! Thank you for praying.  Continue to pray.  And we, together, will continue to celebrate what the Lord is doing here!

Lastly, we desire to pray for you all.  Please let us know, specifically how we can be in prayer with and for each and everyone of you all!

Standing in the gap with you all,

Edmonds Family

hanging out in hospital. He slept the whole night (when he slept) in my arms

hanging out in hospital. He slept the whole night (when he slept) in my arms

Amy PRETENDING to be in labor

Amy PRETENDING to be in labor

Brothers!

Brothers!

so sweet!

so sweet!

IMG_3559

Sweet Madeline!

Sweet Madeline!

Going home!

Going home!