Wednesday, August 04, 2010

LIVING WELL, August Letter

Back-to-school clothes and supplies cover the advertisements all around us. What style of backpack? What color of notebook? What fashion of clothes? Choices abound. We spend hours shopping for items that suit our tastes and express our personalities. A consumer mentality pervades our thinking.

Cultural and faith analysts began writing about “consumer religion” several years ago; the way Americans shop for a church, similar to shopping for a new outfit. Consumerism now describes Americans attitudes towards marriage - “consumer marriage.” We “shop” for a spouse and our marriages are evaluated as a consumer. This attitude joins with our desire to live the good life. How does this union line up with our faith? Our future? Our culture? Read the enclosure for an expansion of our thoughts on the subject.

Not only are the kids going back to school, but fall is a time for many adults to go “back to school” in learning about life. We have three classes starting in September - one for those thinking of or beginning marriage, one for the ones who are already well into their marriage, and one for people wanting to develop or sharpen their money management skills.

We have a wonderful new opportunity which makes it possible to schedule these classes. Since we moved into our current office space two years ago, we have been praying about an empty room next door/adjoining our office. The space is one room about 15’ x 22’ - a great size for a class! Recently, our landlord, (a great Christian guy) agreed to let us use the room without charge - unless someone wants to lease it (it has been vacant at least two years). If someone offers to lease it, we will have first option on leasing it ourselves. We have moved into the space believing that God will continue to provide it free or that He will raise up the funds if we should need them.

Experience tells us that we are able to reach a wider range of people - church or unchurched, different denominations - when we are able to conduct the class in a venue other than a church. Our desire is to see more people grow in the area of marriage and money. We are unable to meet with everyone who requests an evening appointment. A classroom setting enables us to multiply our efforts rather than only meeting with individuals or couples.

You are our strongest supporters and best advertising media! If you have never taken one of our marriage or money classes, we invite you to participate.

This opportunity also presents us with a challenge - we need chairs for people attending the classes (16 chairs at $371). We are thankful that we already have a projector and screen to show slides/videos for the classes. All of the teaching, training, and writing that we do requires many hours on a computer. Right now Donna is in great need of a newer computer (she could do twice as much work!). We seek your prayers to our Father in providing for this need in our ministry.

Donna has fully recovered from the African bug she brought back. We are gradually putting more pictures and information on our blog about the trip. We are thankful for the technology, which allows us share more pictures and testimonies than we can with paper and printing!

Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. Our love in Christ,
Donna and Ed Edwards

P.S. Please pray for the provision of chairs and a computer.