Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nairobi, Kenya

We are now in Nairobi. We are staying a nice place here with hot water and a cool breeze! I think I took my longest shower ever! And they have a great internet connection.

Our conference finished well. It is by far the best conference we have ever had in Africa. The people were very responsive and very thankful for our teaching. We wish we could have had longer with them. We had many good discussions. It is amazing our similar the problems are, no matter where in the world you go.

When they gave testimonies, several pastors confessed that they had thought of their wives the same as household goods. And that they ignored their children. Women are treatly very badly here. The women were especially excited about the teaching. We were amazed how much the pastors would share about their failings.

They continued to comment about how biblical our teaching is and how deep. When we talked about Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. They admitted that one of the reasons that they treated women poorly was because of the failure of Eve. They were amazed at the silence of Adam and his accountability to God. It changed their perspective greatly.

They also commented about how we bring biblical teaching not American teaching. And how we would sit and eat with them, not having separate food or separate places to sit. On the first day, we invited them to sit with us if they could speak English or could bring someone with them that spoke English. We had an opportunity to speak personally with several people.

Several of the pastors go out into the smaller villages to plant churches and to preach. You can see such a passionate heart to reach people with the gospel and teach them.

We will take a few days in Kenya to rest and talk to the ALARM staff and then we will return to Dar es Salaam on Thursday. We will go to Bagamoyo on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. We will do a workshop on Tuesday (23rd) about building a marriage ministry. Then follow up all week with individual churches. We will return to Dar the next weekend, then meet with pastors in that area and do a workshop there on that Tuesday (30th).

I think we will be staying in a different place when we return to Bagamoyo. I think they are putting us somewhere with a more consistent water supply, including hot water, I hope. The place we are staying in Dar is very basic but very clean and the food is good. We will have a/c there but no hot water. They are not even plumbed for hot water, doesn't seem to be an issue for them.

We are having a dining experience tonight, not just dinner!

More later.
Ed Edwards
Donna Edwards
"Giving Life to Marriages"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

All is Well in Bagamoyo

Tomorrow is our final day of the conference. We have had a great group this week! We have had somewhere between 80 & 100 people each day. We have had mostly couples,with a few pastors coming alone, and a few women leaders coming alone. We have had some very good discussion times between our teaching times.

The children's VBS has been very busy!! We were told to expect about 50, but we have had between 90-100 everyday. The Bates were very well prepared and have had a great time with the kids. I am sure we could have had many more but I think our African hosts cut it off. We didn't have enough translator/helpers for more. Lucy and Millie have taught the kids some new songs, fun jingles with motions, and the kids picked up right away and love it. Alvin taught them "Alvin says" and they picked it up right away and love it too. Most have never seen crayons, glue, or glitter and have had so much fun making things that relate to their lessons. The Bates will share the gospel tomorrow on their last day.

We will be teaching on physical oneness tomorrow morning, a very hot topic here. They have already brought it up. Ed is teaching on guarding your heart after that. We also be doing a renewing the vows ceremony in the morning. After lunch we wil have our final ceremonies, those times are very important to them. Then we will head back to Dar es Salaam in the late afternoon.

We have been very well received and have lots of interest in the follow-up workshop. We will spend part of the time in Dar es Salaam and part in Bagamoyo, because the participants are from both places.

We are all staying well. The food has been good. We did get air-conditioning when we got here to Bagamoyo. But we have had a lot of trouble with water here. The pump for their water went out - twice. I have had one warm shower since we left. And that time it didn't last long enough to wash my hair. So, we are learning to shower and wash our hair in cold water. We have had some times when there was no water at all, so they woud bring us water in 5 gallon buckets.

I think they are putting us in a different place when we return.

Thanks for your continued prayers!

Ed Edwards
Donna Edwards
"Giving Life to Marriages"

Sunday, June 07, 2009

In Dar es Salaam

We made it to Dar es Salaam, and have all of our luggage!
It's Sunday morning now. We are waiting for everyone in our group to assemble, then we will go to church. Ed is preaching and we will each give our testimony this morning. We are going to a church that our host, Justin, started in a Muslim community. It is still a small church but in a very important area.

It is warm and humid here. We just rested yesterday morning. After lunch, we went to the market. It was the only chance that Bates would have to shop here for local crafts. Dar is a big city and the traffic matches it. In the evening we went to a nice restaurant right on the Indian Ocean. Dar has the busiest port in east Africa, we could see the big ships out in the bay. We had some great, grilled red snapper for dinner. African food is always fresh. We also saw a big wedding reception they were having outdoors where we were eating. It was fun to see their customs and decorations, etc.

We are all doing well. Ed and I both woke up at 1:00 am this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. We will sleep better tonight. After church we will go to Bagamoyo where we will spend the rest of the week. We are excited about seeing that historic community and meeting the people at the conference. Appreciate all your prayers! Keep praying!