I pray that all is well. I literally thank my God each time I think of every one of you. Our partnership in the Gospel across the world is truly the most special thing our family has ever been a part of. We are truly blessed.
When Amy and I obeyed the Lord and moved to Belize, we knew that it was that simple. We would obey the Lord and his prompting no matter what.
Amy and I (and the kids) have been praying for some time about our time in Belize. The Lord began speaking to us clearly this fall and we have been seeking His face for some time regarding the time table in Belize.
As we sought Him, the answer became clearer and clearer. Therefore, our family will be relocating from residing in Belize back to residing in the United States, specifically North Carolina (sorry MN is just too cold) this year, 2015.
There are many factors, tears, screams, etc that have gone into this decision and one we have not taken lightly in the slightest. We are however at a total place of peace regarding this heavy decision.
- Community – The number one factor that has influenced this decision for our family is community. Those regular readers of these updates are no stranger to the strong need and desire for community, specifically for Amy. Unfortunately, that community has not come despite multiple efforts on multiple fronts. Amy for the most part has been doing life, except for Kimbell (occassionally) and Michelle and our staff coming in and out, she has been doing life alone for the last almost 3 years. That is unhealthy for anyone and needs to change.
- School – As you recall we had a TREMENDOUS struggle with schooling this past fall. We do feel the school in the village is not the best place for our kids’ education. However, we also feel that Amy cannot drive to take and/or pick up kids from school 3 separate times in one day….that’s 3 hours of driving. That’s not fair to Amy nor is it fair to Elijah.
- Family – I was speaking to a good pastor friend of mine and he said if you forsake your own family’s well-being for the ministry then you are in an adulterous relationship with ministry. I know that I know that this is the best decision for our family, one we have not taken lightly.
So what does this mean for our family?
- Work – I will continue to be employed by Praying Pelican Missions. I will continue to oversee Belize Operations as well as empower more of our fantastic Belizean staff to take on ownership of activities as well. I will asl advocate for our additional missionaries in the field and be responsible for some new country launches. I also will be resposible for a work category called “Rob’s projects”, which is basically anything Rob needs me to do that he didn’t ask me to do because we were living in Belize.
- When– Amy and the kids will relocate (with me) at the end of June 2015. I will then be back in Belize for 3 weeks in July and then back to the States before August. I will continue travelling to and from Belize leading great mission trips for Praying Pelican Missions and meeting with and encouraging our local ministry partners. Other opportunities for travel and ministry open up now which I am excited about, Those could include Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, Costa Rica…..Speaking of travel, all you who said we are welcome to come there any time….just wait Edmonds family tour of teams we have led, is coming to your back door!
- Where – We are going to relocate to Winston-Salem, NC. We prayerfully considered many places (Triangle peeps….we considered there too). But we felt called to be close to my family and to start “over” expand our network of ministry and continue ministering to those who are marginalized. Plus in all honesty, cost of living is cheaper in Winston than the Triangle.
- Why PPM – Two things. Jesus Christ is the Hope of the World – through the local church. Praying Pelican Missions exists exclusively to encourage and equip the local church. I believe in the mission / vision of our organization and I deeply desire to see His Bride prepared for the day of the Great Wedding. I guess that’s only one thing….good enough
- Prayer – We WILL NEED A LOT of prayers. We have been rolling this out to our family, work family, supporters, Belize Ministry partners, and outside world (in that order). Those conversations will be challenging, exciting, and nervous all at the same time. We need prayers. Prayers to be present in Belize and prayers to ease the transition and reentry.
- How we feel – We are excited! We are excited about this opportunity. We are called to be close to our family right now and are excited to help lead our siblings to the Lord.
So what does this mean for you?
- Financial Supporters – Friends who has sacrificed financially once or over the past few years regularly. Our family will live on Support until Sep. 2015. We will then be brought on to a full time salary with Praying Pelican Missions! Praise GOD! Therefore, we ask that you keep your financial support until Sep. 2015. If you have any specific questions about this, please reach out to me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please pray. Our family is different (in a good way) since being in Belize. Pray for community for Amy and our family. Much of our time in Belize has been spent doing life alone, community is the most challenging aspect of our life. Pray your hearts out for community for our family back in the States. We already have an awesome church family to plug into, etc. So the Lord is on the move.
The Lord has gone before us – a story….maybe 2
- Community– Amy and I were having dinner with one of the pastors at our church in Winston – Salem, REVO. I was talking with the pastor about community and the challenges associated with it. What I wanted to say was “will you be my friend?” What I wanted to say is man I would love to hang out with you the other pastors on staff and whoever, else you know. But they’re pastors. They’re in ministry. They’re busy. He noticed the hesitation in my voice and He looked me dead in the eye and said “that crap stops here. We will not allow you to do life alone. We are your community” I didn’t cry then but later that night after getting in the car with the family, I wiped tears from my eyes and thanked God for setting this up. Note: We started going to this church in June 2012 because a friend from when Amy was in elementary / middle school is on staff and she was sharing on Facebook about planting REVO in Winston. Anyway, Amy encourages her and shares our own church planting stories from helping start The Point in the Triangle. And we start attending, fall in love with the church and now that’s our church in NC!
- House – Amy and I were just messing around looking on the internet during the late fall. We scheduled an appointment with an agent to look at some areas. SO we go to this one house and Madeline says before we even go in “We are going to buy this house.” Anyway, we go inside and it is awesome. Just what we are looking for. Ranch with basement (so I can work from home). We leave and start praying. After some conversations with our agent, we put an offer on the house…seemingly low. Only the women accepts. Amy headed back in January and closed! Praise God! We have a place to live and don’t have to worry about that this summer!
- House – Continued – the story gets better. We cannot afford to take any of our furniture back to the States. So we are going to sell what we can here and then give away the rest. In fact we can only take back what we can fit in our suitcases. So no beds, no pillows, no anything (except clothes, toys, books, pictures). Anyway, so we ask the woman who is selling the house if she wants to leave anything in it she can. AND SHE LEAVES EVERYTHING. All the furniture we have to buy is our own bed and a dinning room table! God is sooooo amazing!!
- Community – an answered prayer – So we were sharing with Amy’s friend at REVO about the house…and SHE LIVES 4 HOUSES DOWN. You think the Lord isn’t moving ahead and making community for us! Praise God!
There is so much more to share and I am happy to do so. If you have questions, let me know. Our family continues to be anywhere ready, willing, and able to serve the Lord, to advance The Gospel, and spread God’s Kingdom. We are honored and blessed to do that with Praying Pelican Missions. We believe the Best is Yet to come.
Josh, Amy, Madeline, Jojo, Elijah Edmonds