Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Zambia Team, Prayer Requests, and Itinerary

Ed, Donna, & Jacquelyn Edwards; Rhett, Megan (the wife), & Megan (the sister) O’Briant; Dannie & Diane Clarida

Mission: Travel to Zambia to teach a pastor’s & wives conference on marriage/ family, to speak to high school students on purity, & to speak to men’s group on purity

Prayer Requests:
Good health for all; logistics to go well.

Safety in travel and in Africa
That we will honor Our Lord in all that we say and do.

Lord will draw pastors and wives in Copperbelt area of Zambia to the conference, to draw men to breakfast on Guarding Your Heart/Sexual Purity.

Lord will speak to each heart about their own marriage and bring change in their lives; that they will be faithful to each other, sexually pure physically and in their minds.

Lord will give them hope, help to remain faithful to Him and what He wants.

Each pastor and wife will model Christ and the Church in their marriage.

Each pastor/wife will teach many people God’s design for oneness in marriage.

Jacque & Megan will speak to many high school students, that they will inspire the students to remain pure until marriage and to have a closer walk with the Lord.

A quick adjustment to time changes and restored strength after we get home.

Thurs, May 29, 11:00 am (OK time) Leave for Nairobi

Friday, May 30, 7:10 pm (11:10 am Friday, OK) Arrive Nairobi, sleep

Sat, May 31, 8:30 am (12:30 am OK) fly to Ndola, Zambia, arrive 2:45 pm (7:45 am OK) travel by car to Luanshya, will stay at guest house

Sun, June 1 attend local church, meet with pastor, organize for the week

Mon-Friday, June 2-6, 8am-5pm daily, conference site Masaita, app. 25 miles each way to conference site

Teach conference, (1am-10am OK time); Evenings for Q&A, discussion (Donna/Ed’s 35th wedding anniv., 6/2; Megan's birthday 6/4)

Saturday, June 7, drive back to Ndola, then fly to Nairobi, 9:30am (2:30 am OK), arrive 4:25 pm (8:25 am OK)

Sun-Tues, June 8-10 Relax and rest

Wed, June 11, 10:15 pm (2:15 pm OK) depart Nairobi for home

Thursday, June 12, 8:29 pm ARRIVE OKLAHOMA CITY!
(30 hours!)

Mission Info for Living Well in Zambia

    To partner with Africa Leadership and Reconciliation Ministry (ALARM) to teach and train pastors and their wives in Biblical principles of marriage and family, so that they can strengthen their own marriage, model a godly marriage, and train others in marriage and family. Five day conference, June 2-6.

    To teach high school students on purity, abstinence, and about God as their Father; to train others to teach on the same topics.

    To bring resources to strengthen and encourage pastors and their wives in their ministry and their marriage.

    The pastors and wives in Zambia, which is in south-central Africa. Zambia is a country the size of Texas. Zambia has a population of 10 million people. We will be in a community called Masaiti, near Ndola, where we were in 2006. The average life expectancy is 38 years old (men and women).

    The religious beliefs are estimated to be Christians (50-75%), Muslims (24-49%), and indigenous beliefs (animism, 1%).

    Unemployment is 50%, with an 86% poverty rate.

    The averange annual income is $921; the cost of the conference per couple equals almost 20% of their annual income. Because of their low income, we have to provide for the expenses of the conference, as well as our own expenses.

    Zambia has been heavily evangelized but the pastors have little or no training in any area, but especially the area of marriage and family.

    The rate of HIV/AIDS infection is very high, but the shame and misinformation related to infection is also high. The epidemic is spreading primarily through heterosexual contact. The fastest growing segment of infection is in young women. The need to give young women "right of refusal skills" is great. The need for pastors, church leaders, and their wives (that are HIVpositive) to talk to someone who will not condemn them is also great.

    Zambia is a Christian nation by constitution but has a growing Muslim population. Even among Christians leaders, they have difficulty integrating their faith with long-held cultural beliefs. The need for teaching and training in living out the life of a devoted follower of Christ is acute!

Ed and Donna Edwards return to Zambia

What can you advise a couple who found his partner in adultery?
Why do pastors divorce their wives?
How can the marriages be acquitted of traditions that are barriers?
Why do men fail to say “sorry and please forgive me,” especially to their spouses?
What can I do to make my marriage to be strong? …

These are a few of the questions we received when we went to Zambia in 2006. Zambians have unique challenges due to traditions, low incomes, and the scourge of AIDS, but they also have the same kind of problems we do.

We are returning to Zambia (the focus of our 2006 mission) in the same area as in 2006, but to a different community. We have included a fact sheet with this letter. We will teach the same type of conference as we have in previous years – a training and teaching on marriage and family for pastors and their wives. They will have the opportunity to enrich their own marriages, as well as being trained to teach others. The information they receive will be duplicated into hundreds of lives.

Our daughter, Jacquelyn, is also returning with us to Zambia. She will go into schools again and speak on purity and God as Father and Provider. We will also have a special time one evening to meet with the people who attended our 2006 conference. We are looking forward to seeing them and hearing firsthand how God has worked in their lives and in their churches since 2006.

After our trip to Burundi last year, the ALARM country director requested that we train more people to do what we do. As an end to that goal, we are taking two other couples and another young woman with us. We are looking forward to having a couple join the team, Diane and Dannie Clarida from Ponca City (also on our board of directors).

We are very also excited that another couple, Rhett and Megan O’Briant, have joined the team as well. They have been in our young married class for more than five years. Rhett’s younger sister is also on our team. She (also named Megan!) has previously been to Africa on a mission trip and had a great desire to return. She is the same age as our daughter and will be going with her into schools to speak.

We believe that God has called us and that He will provide for us. We are asking that you pray and follow God’s lead for this mission.