Monday, December 28, 2015


A new year is always refreshing and energizing. We think about starting with a blank canvas – what will the picture look like at the end of the year? We can use new colors and new images or go back to our favorites to improve and expand them.

At LIVING WELL, we love the colors and images that we already have on our canvas. In 2016, we want to add more details and enhance the colors!
We want YOU to be part of the big picture that LIVING WELL is painting! We always want our picture to look like Christ. We paint that picture with the family. Many years ago, God gave us the assignment to bring people into a close, personal relationship with Him as we minister to them at teachable moments in their lives – whether it is beginning a family, a stressful time in their family/marriage, or as they grow and develop in their marriage and as a person (especially in the case of poor, African children).

Will YOU join us?

How can YOU be part of our picture? 

YOU can:

  • DONATE to what we are doing to strengthen marriages/families, here and in Zambia. DONATE NOW
    • We cannot continue what we do without financial support.
  • PRAY for families/marriages specifically. 
    • Prayer moves hearts.
  • DEVELOP a marriage/family ministry in YOUR church. We can help YOU.
    • THE CHURCH can make tremendous impact in peoples’ lives – that’s our mission.
  • VOLUNTEER on our team as we develop marriage/family ministries. 
    • Marriage/family ministry teams take many workers in the body of Christ.
  • SPONSOR our Pastoral Family Enrichment training for pastors in Zambia. 
    • Zambian pastors have almost zero training/resources, which they desperately need. DONATE NOW to sponsor a pastor/couple. [cost is $125/couple]
  • GO with us to Zambia to work at WISDOM Community School.
    • YOU will be forever changed as YOU interact with these poor, African children. For more info....
Please continue to pray for our general budget and our mission trip to Zambia.

We still need $8,000 to fund the mission before we leave on January 13!
As this time, we do not yet have enough funds to cover the cost of our plane tickets. We will not be able to do the pastors conference unless we have all of the funds. The ministry cannot afford to fund the conference from our general budget. We also hope to provide school supplies and resources that they need at WCS.

While in Zambia, Ed will also meet with contractors about the kitchen building at WCS. We begin the construction as soon as the funding is complete – only $4,400 to go!!

Thank YOU for YOUR support and care for our mission and for us. Our love in Christ,

Donna and Ed Edwards
P.S. Please pray for our January trip to Zambia and support for the general budget of LIVING WELL.
The water that I will give him will become 
in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. 
John 4:14b 

LIVING WELL is a life source,  not a life style.

Monday, November 30, 2015


As we embark on the final month of the year, many thoughts flow through our minds – how thankful we are for YOU and YOUR support through the year, the events of the year, and what lies ahead. And, woven through all of that is the thankfulness we have for our Lord Jesus Christ!

Most people are open to the truths of the Christian faith, regardless of their level of belief. This season gives us an open door into many hearts. We can enjoy the season and walk through those doors to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We fervently seek your prayers for our mission and for us at this time. We don’t often share our financial struggles. But this year, our donations are about $30,000 less than last year (20% of our budget). We run a very “bare bones” operation, so there aren’t many areas to make cuts. We ask for your prayers for this situation!

What are our options if this deficit continues?

  1. Pray more.
  2. Take some time off from our counseling schedule to raise more support. [We have not had to do that since beginning LIVING WELL.]
  3. Start charging for our counseling; we would only see people who could pay. [Right now, people give according what the Lord leads them to give. We do not require anyone to give towards an appointment, although it is encouraged.]
  4. Start taking an administrative fee from donations to WISDOM Community School. [Right now, 100% of donations go directly to support the school; no administrative fees are taken out.]
We don’t mind praying more, but we would rather not have to take time off from counseling, that is our calling and our mission. We don’t want to start charging for our counseling, because we know that would eliminate some appointments with people who have real needs but do not have the funds to pay. We do not want to take an administrative fee from donations to WCS, so that all funds can go towards the support and development of that school.

YOUR prayers for us and with us about this situation are very important!

We have purchased tickets for our mission to Zambia in January. We still have $9,000 to raise before we leave. We will conduct a pastors’ conference and work with WISDOM Community School. [DONATE NOW]

Thank YOU for YOUR support and care for our mission and for us.

Our love in Christ,
Donna and Ed Edwards

P.S. Please pray for our January trip to Zambia and support for the general budget of LIVING WELL.
The water that I will give him will become 
in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. 
John 4:14b 

LIVING WELL is a life source,  not a life style.

Friday, October 02, 2015


Our family looks differently from your family. We have our family of origin, the family we grew up in. We have an immediate family and an extended family. YOU are part of our ministry family. We have a family of friends and a church family. Then, perhaps the most important family... The Family of God.

The Faces of A Family is the theme for our annual dinner this year on November 3rd. We THANK YOU for being part of our ministry family. Please plan to attend and hear what God is doing through LIVING WELL in the Family of God because of YOUR support! Invitations coming soon!

NEWS from WISDOM Community School – the water tank and water well conversion project (an electric pump) are complete! We are ready to proceed with the construction of a kitchen building as soon the Lord provides the remaining funds. We have $12,000 remaining to be able to start the kitchen building. We need YOU to pray with us for the remaining amount! After the kitchen building is complete, we can begin a school lunch program! [DONATE NOW]


1. BE TRANSFORMED – Donna is teaching this study at PCBC, September 27- November 22, 5:00-6:30 pm. Cost is $20 for the workbook. (You may still join the class on the 2nd week; it will be closed after the 2nd week.)

2. TALKING POINTS – Ed and Donna will be teaching a series on communication in marriage at PCBC, October 18 – November 8, 11:15-12:15. No cost for the class.

YOU are welcome to attend either of these classes, regardless of where YOU normally attend church. In the TALKING POINTS series, we will provide the Biblical principles, the practical skills, and some visual illustrations.

Thank YOU for YOUR support and care for our mission and us.

Our love in Christ,

Donna and Ed Edwards

P.S. Please pray for the funds for the Kitchen Building project at WCS and support for the general budget of LIVING WELL (we had our lowest summer of giving for our general budget in several years).

The water that I will give him will become 
in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. 
John 4:14b 

LIVING WELL is a life source,  not a life style.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015


And they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

We didn’t have a clue what that really meant when we got married. [Read Our Story]

Did you?

For the people that had a clue, they usually think it means that it is a sexual union only. 

How important can that one sentence be?
What difference does it make to a marriage? 

Everyone wants the “one flesh” or oneness that the verse references, but so few achieve it. That oneness is achieved in many ways and in many areas. 

Our spiritual oneness can be the glue that binds us together or it can be missing entirely. We recently wrote about ONENESS on our blog (Living Well in Marriage). READ more there!

At our annual dinner, we celebrate what God has done through LIVING WELL and we thank YOU for YOUR support all year. 

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, November 3rd. 

Food and water – basic necessities.

If you live in a slum outside a slum in Africa, you don’t have the necessities. We have provided the students at WISDOM Community School and the whole community with clean, year-round water. Now we want to provide food!

WISDOM Community School continues to grow and expand because of YOUR donations and YOUR prayers. We are about to issue contracts to install a water tank and electric pump for the well at WCS. That step is the last one to be able to build a kitchen. After the kitchen building is complete, we can begin a school lunch program!

The cost for the water tank, pump, and the kitchen building is $28,000. Supporters have donated $16,000 towards that project. We need $12,000 more to be able to start the kitchen building. Pray with us for the remaining amount! [DONATE NOW]

Thank YOU for YOUR support and care for our mission and us.

Our love in Christ,

Donna and Ed Edwards

P.S. Please pray for the funds for the Kitchen Building project at WCS.

The water that I will give him will become in him 
a well of water springing up to eternal life. 
John 4:14b 
LIVING WELL is a life source, not a life style.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Short term missions?

We don't  like "short-term missions."

You may think that is odd for someone who takes one or two mission trips a year and takes others with them for 2 or 3 weeks at a time.

As followers of Christ, we believe that He has called us to all be missionaries - all day, every day. He said that we should serve locally and "to the ends of the earth."

So, why do mission trips if you don't like "short-term missions?"

We do mission trips to serve the body of Christ in Africa according to the calling God put on our lives. But our overwhelming passion is for long-term relationships in the areas that we serve. There is nothing "short-term" about it.

We have seen many people go into an area for a week or two and never come back. They never see those people again and the people there know that those "missionaries" are on a trip and aren't really engaged in their lives or situations. Can you see why they might be skeptical or try to make the most of those exposures?

We have made a commitment to go back to the people we serve and follow-up - whether it is teaching a conference for pastors and spouses or going back to develop a community school in a slum.

When we started supporting Wisdom Community School, three and a half years ago, God made it clear to us that He was calling us to a long term commitment - a mission. How long? We don't know. But we are committed to continue that mission as long as He tells us to go.

So, what should we call these short mission trips?

Relevant magazine recently suggested these ideas:

  1. Vision (or Exposure) Trips. A focused, intentional time where we ask God to open our hearts to the plight of the poor.

    What the eye has not seen, the heart cannot grieve over. So it's natural that when people find themselves face to face with poverty for the first time, something significant happens. The rest of our lives are irrevocably shaped by what we have witnessed. We gain vision.

  2. Learning Exchanges. Times when our theology and understanding of the world is rocked to the core and deconstructed.

    When we travel as learners, eager to have our minds expanded and preconceptions challenged, we will not be disappointed. This category includes those who travel as part of their vocation—as a builder, surgeon or dentist, for example—but are open to learning from God while they are passing on expertise to others in another country.
  3. Discernment Retreats. Where we discern our vocation more deeply on the margins.

    To pursue a vocation in any field without the perspective of the world's poor (where God's heart and good news is centered) is folly. How can we be a banker for God if we don’t know how the financial services industry affects the poor? How can we be an architect or planner for God, if we don’t know how the design of cities affects the homeless? How can we be a teacher, if we don’t bring the reality of the world's poorest to our students?

    These trips could spark a new vocation—or even be a partial outworking of our current vocation (e.g., who serves overseas from time to time).
But let's not call them "short-term missions."

Monday, August 03, 2015


Several years ago, a local news station was interviewing me about marriage while I (Donna) was at the courthouse delivering gift baskets to couples getting married on Valentine’s Day. The reporter called me a “marriage activist.”

That was an interesting nomenclature, not one that I would use. When I think of an activist, I think of someone who is engaged in protesting something that they see wrong in our culture. We consider ourselves “advocates” more than “activists.”

In our culture, support is more easily acquired by being against something than by being for something. We could dedicate our ministry to being against divorce, cohabitation, or same-sex marriage. We could raise more money and gain more attention by picking one of those causes. We choose to be FOR strong marriages, FOR the well-being of children, and FOR healthy families that honor God and demonstrate His love.

YOU are part of the advocacy team. With YOUR support, we can continue to strengthen marriages, prepare couples for marriage, protect children against the dissolution of their families, and work with churches to build marriage/family ministries. (Donate Now)

Many Christians are disheartened by the role of our government and leaders in marriage issues. We want to encourage YOU to use this time as an opportunity to let the light of Christ shine. God admonishes us NOT to trust in our government but to trust in Him. Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation…. How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God. (Psalm 146:3,5)

As part of our ministry to YOU, we include a marriage/family strengthening teaching with most of our monthly letters. We are doing a series that focuses on a particular problem and its solution. Most topics apply to any kind of relationship.

This month’s topic is about apologizing. On the national scene, we see politicians insulting each other and being unwilling to apologize for their attacks. In our homes, we see parents screaming at their children and being unwilling to apologize for their outbursts. We see husbands and wives saying hurtful words and not apologizing for the hurt they caused. Pride stands between apologies and healing. [link to blog "Apologize or not?", link to blog Defiance, Pride, and Humility]

Our Mission Zambia team will share at a mission night at our church* on Wednesday, August 12. The evening will start at 6:00 with pizza and salad. Two other teams will report before us. Our part should start around 7:00. YOU are welcome to attend any or all of it. We will also share about our trip this fall at our annual dinner.

Thank YOU for YOUR support and care for our mission and us.

Our love in Christ,
Donna and Ed Edwards

P.S. Please pray for the general budget support for LIVING WELL during the slow summer months and for our mission report on August 12.

*Putnam City Baptist Church, 11401 N Rockwell Ave

The water that I will give him will become in him 
a well of water springing up to eternal life. 
John 4:14b 
LIVING WELL is a life source, not a life style.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.  (Matthew 18:5 NLT)

What a blessing to welcome 350 children in Christ’s name on our mission to Zambia!

YOUR support through prayers and giving sent us and provided for us. Our desire is to share those blessings with YOU as part of our team.

One of our goals and challenges this year was to allow all 350 children of WISDOM Community School to attend Camp Wisdom. With only 10 workers, we knew that chaos could easily prevail! But the Lord supplied the wisdom and mature workers to provide a meaningful experience for all the kids! Delight sprang from the eyes of all the children.

Walking through the neighborhood surrounding the school, the “National Geographic” scenes always strike us. We have all seen them. Poor children in Africa – barefoot, tattered clothes, and bewilderment in their eyes, walking along the crude dirt roads and emerging from meager homes. 

These aren’t scenes in a magazine. These are real kids with real lives. They follow us on our walk. They touch our white skin. They look into our eyes. They throw joyful smiles and laughter our way. The crowd grows the farther we walk.

Invariably, someone voices the same thought we all have, “I could have been born here.” We become even more thankful for God’s grace.

God gives us the grace of living in the land of prosperity and freedom, not for selfish indulgence, but to give to those who in need. Those children were born into extreme poverty.
They have no control over their circumstances.

Without even sacrificing our comfort and security, most of us can give enough to make a purposeful impact in the lives of these children. 

Please consider giving to the development of the school. WCS needs more buildings, supplies, teachers, and desks. God continues to amaze us with what He has accomplished at WCS in the last three years! His provision is beyond any of our expectations!

The school is starting to look like a real campus! The security wall is complete. The construction team installed ceilings in the newest classroom building. They painted the new classroom building inside and out. And the school now has lights!

Pray for us as we seek Him about the future of WISDOM Community School and as we continue our work here to strengthen marriages.

Thank YOU for YOUR support and care for our mission and us.

Our love in Christ,

Donna and Ed Edwards
P.S. Please pray for the general budget support for LIVING WELL, and the children of WISDOM Community School.

The water that I will give him will become in him 
a well of water springing up to eternal life.
John 4:14b

LIVING WELL is a life source, not a life style.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

JUNE 2015 Letter - LIVING WELL

What would YOU do in this situation?

Someone shows YOU a school full of poor children in a slum and says, “This school will close at the end of the month, because we don’t have the money to keep it open. These kids won’t be able to go to school at all if the school closes.”
Wisdom Community School, January 2012

YOU would probably do what we did. We prayed. God answered, “I will supply. YOU are the ones I want to use to reach these children.”

We came home told everyone we knew about WISDOM Community School and the great need for the children in that slum in Zambia. Our Bible study class started supporting the school.
Class at Wisdom Community School in 2012

We went back and took friends. Our friends and their friends started supporting the school.

We went back and took more friends…. and again …. and again …. and now it’s time to go again.

We can’t do it alone! We need YOU!

We need YOUR prayers and YOUR support!

Latrine for students with stick privacy fence, 2012
YOUR support will pay for teachers. YOUR support will buy desks. YOUR support will bring electricity to the classrooms. YOUR support will buy books and supplies for the classrooms.

YOUR prayers will give us peace and joy as God works in our lives. YOUR prayers will touch the hearts of the children as they hear His Word. YOUR prayers will give us strength and wisdom.

We leave May 27th and will be in Zambia May 29 – June 7.

Wisdom Community School, June 2014
Since we first visited the school in 2012, the school has grown from 140 children to 350+.

At that time, the school had 4 employees. We now employ 10 people. The school had two classrooms; it now has 5 classrooms. The school’s only water was a hand-dug well with dirty water part of the year and no water the rest of the time. We now have a mechanically drilled well with clear, clean, plentiful water all year round.
Security Wall around campus, 2015

When you give to WISDOM Community School, the 100% of the money goes directly to the school. We do not take any administrative fees out of that money. (Donate to WCS by mail at our address or online at We need YOUR support as well so that we can continue the work in Zambia and the marriage work that we do here. YOU may give to us at our website or through the mail. (See info on the sidebar of the page.)

What is different about this year’s mission trip? With 10 workers, we are doing Camp Wisdom for 350+ children (grades 1-7, ages 6-16)! The idea of that many kids is a little overwhelming – definitely a God-size vision. We cannot do this on our own; it’s only possible through the Holy Spirit at work through us and in us!

Thank YOU for YOUR support and care for us and our mission.
Our love in Christ,

Donna and Ed Edwards
P.S. Please pray for our general budget support for LIVING WELL, and the mission to WISDOM Community School.

The water that I will give him will become in him 
a well of water springing up to eternal life. 
John 4:14b 

LIVING WELL is a life source, not a life style.

Monday, May 04, 2015

MAY 2015 Letter - LIVING WELL

Some of YOU may be thinking –
     What do you spend your days doing,
     besides making plans for your next trip to Africa?

We are seeking:
  • to prevent children from going through the heartache of growing up with their parents divorced or a home with both parents, who have lots of conflict.
  • to guide couples into stronger, healthier, and more godly marriages.
Now, you may be thinking – 
     How do you do that?

We do that by:
  • Meeting with a couple in our office, teaching them God’s heart about marriage/relationships and practical skills on communication, money management, etc.
  • Teaching classes, seminars 
  • Working with churches to develop effective marriage ministries
  • Making our time available to people regardless of their ability to pay
We can’t do it alone! We need YOU!

We believe that God has called us to this mission. To continue, we need:
  • YOUR prayers! A prayer that YOU can pray for us: We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. Colossians 1:9b
  • YOUR giving! We can make our time available, regardless of ability to pay, because YOU and others believe in what we are doing and give to LIVING WELL as an act of worship and obedience to the LORD. Right now, our donations are several thousand dollars behind what they were at this time last year and what we need to continue to minister. [DONATE HERE]
  • TIME for prayer and study! We know that only God can give us time. However, if we have to take time out to raise support, we won’t be able to see as many people or have time for the ongoing Bible study and reading that we need to do. [Please read our blog on marriage about marriage problems and solutions.]
Share our joy in a recent testimony from a couple, to whom we minister:
     Wife: We were in a very broken place when we first started at Living Well. My husband wasn’t sure if he still wanted to be in this marriage, he had recently had an affair, and I was desperately trying to hold it all together… learn how to forgive and move past the pain and hurt that was controlling my life.… The biggest thing that changed was my husband giving his life over to God…. our family started to heal…. God helped me move past my anger, hurt and bitterness…. Through Living Well, we learned some MUCH needed communication skills. Issues and grievances are no longer being swept under the rug and left to linger until they build up and explode. Disagreements are being resolved.… I truly, honestly feel that our marriage is better than it’s ever been.

      Husband: Most importantly, I hit rock bottom.… I knew God, but never fully gave my life to Him. Living Well really helped me to recognize what I was doing wrong and how to fix it… the tools being based on God’s principals were everything I needed to establish my role as a Godly husband my wife has always wanted.

Thank YOU for caring about us and what God is doing through us.

Our love in Christ,

Donna and Ed Edwards
P.S. Please pray for our general budget support, the remaining amount for our Zambia mission, and for our team preparations.

The water that I will give him will become in him 
a well of water springing up to eternal life. 
John 4:14b 

LIVING WELL is a life source,  not a life style.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Shame, Guilt, Honor, Glory

We all know that feeling - the one that overwhelms me sometimes when I know I have messed up - it's the feeling of shame. When my mistake affects a whole group - whether it is my team, my class at school, my family, the Body of Christ - I feel even worse. I want to crawl in a hole and not come out! I have not only disgraced myself, I have disgraced others.

Sometimes my self-talk goes beyond "I messed up" to "I am a mess." It takes down a path of thinking "I can't get it right. I give up."


The cross is the remedy for my shame and my guilt. 

MY GUILT comes from knowing that I have done something wrong or bad. 

SHAME comes from feeling that I am a bad person. Bad (sinful) actions require punishment. Christ took that punishment and offered us forgiveness, so that we are not punished.

Shame implies dishonor and humiliation in the public arena. Shame disconnects me from others. Shame excludes me from community. Shame says that I am unlovable and unworthy. The Psalmist cried out to God, Let me not be put to shame, Lord, for I have cried out to you. (Psalm 31:17)

Before they met the serpent, Adam and Eve were in the garden and they did not experience shame. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. (Genesis 2:25)

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they immediately felt ashamed, guilty, and fearful; they were afraid of God. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked…. ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’ (Genesis 3:7,10)

HONOR . . . . 

The remedy for shame is not becoming famous. It is not even being affirmed. It is being incorporated into a community with new, different, and better standards for honor.   Andy Crouch 

Even though shame is becoming more prevalent and more recognized in our culture, we fall short in offering solutions.

A public person can say something that he thinks is private, but it is secretly recorded and broadcast publicly. His career may end over that one incidence because he has been publicly shamed.

An ordinary person can be captured in an embarrassing situation and be humiliated among his peers on social media. A teenager who desperately desires inclusion can be publicly derided and face despised exclusion.

But for many of us, we heap shame on ourselves from our daily failures. As a Christian, I see Christ’s sacrifice as the redemption for my sin but fail to recognize that the cross offers me hope for my shame. 

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us…. But we do not have to feel ashamed, because of our hope who is Christ! (Romans 5:5, 9:33a)

The opposite of Western shame is self-esteem—I feel good about myself,” American missionary Jayson Georges (a pseudonym) “The opposite of Eastern shame is honorothers thinking highly of me.” The Bible was written in the Eastern culture thinking. It’s a community where honor-seeking and “boasting” of all kinds are repudiated; where servants are raised up to sit at the table with those they once served; where even the ultimate dishonor of the cross is transformed into glory, the ultimate participation in honor. The gospel offers adoption—a new status as “sons,” to both men and women, now members of the family of the firstborn Son."

You have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15b)

GLORY . . . . 

God created man in His image - bestowing great honor and His glory upon him. When he sinned, he lost the glory of God shining through his life and was separated from God, feeling great shame

Romans describes the descent into depravity. For all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) God offers me a chance to restore His glory in my life. I can reclaim that glory through a relationship with Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are riches of the glory of His inheritance in, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. (Ephesians 1: 18-19b) 

There is nothing that I can do to restore that glory, but it is His Spirit that lives in me. Because I am a part of the family of God, I have an inheritance from Him. 

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory,being transformed into His image ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:18) 

As I honor and glorify the Lord, I become more like Him. For I consider that the of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18) 

Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

How am I . . . . 
  • Experiencing shame right now? Is it because of a past experience? Or a past behavior? Is it because of the actions on another?
  • What do I feel guilty about? Do I feel guilty because of sin? Do I feel guilty because I have not met up to my own standards or those of my peer or professional group?
  • How does Jesus identify with me and bear my guilt and my shame?
  • How did the cross wipe away my guilt?
  • How did the cross restore my honor?
SEE our previous blogs on this topic:

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


Thank YOU for YOUR continued support for the Lord’s work through LIVING WELL.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. (Philippians 1:3-5)

As Christians, we celebrate Easter everyday. We rejoice in the sacrifice Christ made for each of us. The Easter holiday gives you a chance to think more deeply on the meaning of the cross and the resurrection. You can illustrate to those you know what Jesus Christ means to you.

Jesus Christ not only endured the pain of the cross but also the shame of the cross. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

The cross is the remedy for our shame and our guilt. Christ took that punishment and offered us forgiveness, so that we are not punished for our guilt. Christ endured shame and offers us His glory. We do not have to feel ashamed, because of our hope – Christ! The one who believes in Him will never be put to shame. (Romans 9:33) Read more on this topic here.

As you pray for us, we have several areas of ministry running simultaneously right now.

See our enclosed prayer card and pray for us as we minister at:

  • Church
    • Marriage and Family team in serving the church during the Year of the Family – we are leading the team as we plan and facilitate an emphasis on marriage and parenting throughout our church during 2015.
    • Teaching on marriage to four departments in a combined Bible study time.
    • Giving guidance to many couples right now, including several premarital couples.
    • Ongoing fund-raising and the financial management of donations
    • Writing on topics relevant to the needs of our constituents (including all of the electronic communication that goes with writing and fund-raising).
    • Planning/organizing all teaching/activities/materials for Camp Wisdom and construction projects
    • Training the team, making all logistics arrangements – 10 others are on the ream with us, five are new.
    • Fund-raising – need is $10,000 (we are responsible for raising $16,000)
  • WISDOM Community School – we raise 100% of the funds needed to operate the school and develop the campus and staff.
  • Marriage ministry – Focus on the Family has asked us for info about training churches and marriage ministry reach in the church (personal stories) to include in an ebook for pastors.
  • Family – Donna’s dad and Ed’s mom are both going through a transition time, since they can no longer live alone in their homes.

Thank YOU for caring about us and what God is doing through us.

Our love in Christ,

Donna and Ed Edwards

P.S. Please pray for our team preparations and the $10,000 remaining for Mission Zambia 2015.

The water that I will give him will 
become in him a well of water
springing up to eternal life.
John 4:14b

LIVING WELL is a life source, not a life style.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Shame of Easter

On Facebook, others’ perceptions of us are both public and relatively permanent. People tag you, people talk about you. And if no one comments, that can be just as much a source of shame. Kara Powell, Fuller Youth Institute
Social media and the internet have made it possible for you to live in fame or infamy indefinitely. If something exceptional happens, a picture or video of it can go viral. You can become famous instantly.

Likewise, embarrassing or humiliating moments can be broadcast to all of the world before you ever know it.

Your failures become your identity and your shame.

Our solution to shame is to seek fame. Fame is fleeting. God’s solution to our shame is to bestow His honor and glory on our lives.

Christ endured the shame of the cross and offers us His glory. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one. (John 17:22)

We often think of the pain Jesus went through to pay for our sins on the cross. Jesus could have died a lot of different ways. But God chose for Him to die on a cross.

The cross was not only painful but this form of capital punishment was a public humiliation. The cross was designed to maximize a victim’s shame - being whipped along the way to the place of the cross, stripped of every article of clothing, exposure to the elements while hanging naked on the cross, and the mocking of others.

Jesus Christ not only endured the pain of the cross but also the shame of the cross.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Jesus Christ went through the shame of the cross, so that we won't have to.

The one who believes in Him will never be put to shame. (Romans 9:33) 

[More on this topic in future posts.]

Friday, March 20, 2015

Call to WISDOM

WISDOM called out. Twelve heard her call and answered!

The CHILDREN of WISDOM are waiting for us!

We can hardly wait to see them again . . . . . . . all 350 of them!

We have a team for MISSION ZAMBIA 2015. [click on this link for more details]

We are excited to have several returning team members and to also have several who have not been with us before.

We need your help! We need people who will pray for us as we prepare and as we go. We need people who will give, so that we can go. You may not be able to go with us, but we ask you to send us! Please pray for our mission and ask our Lord how He may want you to be involved in sending us.

LIVING WELL has to raise $16,500 for this mission. [to donate] We raise all the money for the supplies and building materials (see this page for additional info), plus the expenses for the two of us. Each team member is responsible for their own expenses.

Our mission to WISDOM Community School includes:

Construction projects

    • Install ceilings in 3 classrooms
    • Painting
    • Landscaping
    • Repairs and maintenance
    • 350 Children, grades 1-7
    • Bible lessons
    • Music
    • Games
    • Crafts
    • Puppets
    • HUGS!
  • Community Open House
    • On Saturday after CAMP WISDOM, we have an open house for the children, their guardians, and the community.
  • Resources
    • Buying any supplies that the school needs

What characterizes our mission trips?
  • We go back to the same place each time. We know the kids/community. They know us. They know we are committed to the support and development of WCS. 
  • We train all of our team members. They know what their tasks will be and are prepared, as much as possible. They learn about the culture and study materials to prepare them to meet God on their journey and share Him with others.
  • We make all of the arrangements for flights, lodging, food, & ground transportation. We have relationships with locals that build stability and good will as we go.
  • We work hard. We do allow our team members some rest time, especially when we arrive. We have comfortable lodging (basic but adequate), so that we can get enough rest. We have roles for everyone and seek to use their gifts and talents. We have fun together as we fulfill God’s mission for us.
  • We have times to experience local worship and culture. One of the most important aspects of the mission trip is to get a bigger vision of Christ’s bride, the Church, and His work in different cultures and places.
Thank you for your continued support. Our love in Christ,

Donna and Ed Edwards

For more info:
Phone: (405) 924-3574

Friday, February 27, 2015


We want to thank YOU again for your support of the ministry at LIVING WELL through prayer and giving. Our commitment to YOU is that we will be faithful stewards of YOUR trust and YOUR giving to the work of the LORD. We are committed to following the LORD with all of our hearts. We ask YOU to continue to pray for us and support LIVING WELL, so that we can continue our the ministry that He has called us to do.

How would YOU describe following the LORD wholeheartedly?

The Lord talks about following and serving Him with our whole heart.

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.
Deuteronomy 6:5-6 (NLT)

But my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. 
 Joshua 14:8-9 (NIV)

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.
Ephesians 6:7 (NIV)

Moses tells us to follow the LORD with all our heart, to commit ourselves wholeheartedly. The LORD gave Joshua an inheritance in the promised land because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly. Joshua contrasts his wholehearted devotion to the fear of the others. The inference is that following the LORD wholeheartedly can overcome fear. Paul says that we serve others wholeheartedly, as if we were serving the LORD.

What does wholehearted mean?

The dictionary defines wholehearted as “done, acted, given, etc, with total sincerity, enthusiasm, or commitment.” In the Bible, some translations use the words “fully” or “completely” or “perfectly” or “with enthusiasm.”

The idea is that we are fully committed with all of our being to enthusiastically following the Lord, being in a sacred relationship with Him, and expressing His love and care to others in a personal way.

Is that what you want for your life - to live wholeheartedly in all that you do? How would wholehearted living affect your marriage and other relationships? [See more on our next post.]

We have our Zambia team together! We have started planning how to do Camp Wisdom for 350 children. The security wall around the school is going up. Because of YOUR support, we are teaching 350 children in a slum, who would not otherwise be able to go to school.

Thank YOU for your faithfulness to support the work of the Lord through LIVING WELL.

Donna and Ed Edwards
P.S. Please join us in praying for Mission Zambia 2015 and the remaining $13,400 that we have to raise for the mission. [to donate]

The water that I will give him will 
become in him a well of water 
springing up to eternal life. 
John 4:14b

Living Well is a life source, not a life style. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015


We are in the final days of putting our Mission Zambia 2015 team together for this summer. Will YOU join us? If YOU are interested, contact us immediately! [more info]

We know so many people that tell us that they would really like to go to Zambia to minister but that they don’t have the money. Yes, it does take money to go to Africa.

But God owns it all! The lack of money to go on mission trips points to some important beliefs about money among American Christians.

Materialism and unbelief are the great wars fought in the mind of American Christians today.
  • How much is enough?
  • If I give my tithe, isn’t that what counts to God and the church?
  • Does God care how I spend my money?
  • Is He really my Provider or is it my money because I worked for it?
  • Can I really make a difference when I have so little to give?
  • I believe in bringing Christ to all people, but how do I keep up with the bills for my family? 

The first root issue goes back to our answers to the questions - “How much do I love Jesus?” and “How much do I love people?” - the two great commandments.

A friend told us that she was a teenager before she heard the gospel and believed. She thought it was the greatest news that she had ever heard! She marveled at grace; she couldn’t believe that it wasn’t on the six o’clock news every night. Am I so overwhelmed with the good news of Jesus Christ that I want to share it with everyone - even to the ends of the earth? 

The second root issue is whether we believe that God will provide and equip us for what He calls us to do. We answer His call and follow His leadership in all areas of our lives, including how we spend our money and our time. He will provide us with everything we need to follow Him. 

John Piper said, But does not the Old Testament promise that God will prosper the faithful? Indeed! God increases our yield so that by giving we can prove that our yield is not our God. God does not prosper a man’s business so that man can move from a Buick to a BMW. God prospers a business so that hundreds of unreached peoples can be reached with the gospel. 

For many of us, George Mueller is a hero of the faith. We all know that stories about how he operated an orphanage as a result of the call of God and operated it “by faith.” He prayed; God provided. What most people don’t know is that the orphanage itself wasn’t his passion. He wrote: The first and primary object of the work was (and still is:) That God might be magnified by the fact, that the orphans under my care are provided with all they need, only by prayer and faith … whereby it may be seen, that God is faithful still, and hears prayer still. 

Join us in our on-going work to educate, feed, and share the gospel with the children in a slum in Africa. Go - Give - Pray! 

Thank YOU for your faithfulness to support the work of the Lord through LIVING WELL. 

Donna and Ed Edwards 
P.S. Please join us in praying for the team God is raising up for Mission Zambia 2015 and for His provision for 2015!

The water that I will give him will become in him
a well of water 
springing up to eternal life.
John 4:14b 
Living Well is a life source, not a life style. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Barriers to Connection - Shame

One of our biggest barriers to the intimate connection is shame. Shame was not originally part of the human DNA.

And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:25) 

After Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit, the first thing they did was cover themselves. 

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (Genesis 3:7) 

They immediately had a deep sense of shame.

Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. (Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

Shame brings a fear of disconnection. That intimate connection that I long for is not available. 

We all experience shame! 

No one wants to talk about shame. But if we don’t talk about it, shame will continue to have power over us. 

When God called out to Adam and asked where he was, Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Adam was already disconnecting himself from God because of his shame. He was afraid that God would condemn, reject, and punish him. God pursued connection with Adam and Eve because of His love for them, not because of what they had done or failed to do.

Shame and fear are not from God! They are tools of the enemy to keep us separated from God and destroy that intimate connection. Ultimately, we are unable to glorify God because of our shame and fear - the goal of Satan. 

My own personal sense of shame will color every relationship and communication with have with others. I will interpret how people respond and what they say through that lens. 

Blame ....

The most common reaction to shame is blame!

Going back to Adam, Eve, and God in the garden shows the beginning of the pattern:

When God asked Adam if he had eaten from the fruit, Adam replied, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 

Adam blames Eve for giving him the fruit and blames God for giving him Eve. Blame is not from God and does not build healthy relationships. It really has no place in the Christian life, in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

When I blame someone else, I do not take responsibility for any wrong doing on my part. I
am saying, “it’s not my fault, it’s your fault.”

What does that look like? It’s easy to see it in our kids when confronted with something that happened. "I didn't do it. Not me!" When I ask my child about a bad grade, the child blames the teacher. "It's my teacher's fault that I didn't do well on the test."

In marriage, I might ask my husband about forgetting to take out the trash. Instead of saying that he forgot, he could blame me by saying, “If you didn’t make so much trash, I wouldn’t have to take it out.” or “You should try taking out the trash sometime.” That response becomes “It’s not my fault; it’s yours.” 

Often, I heap blame on myself, leading to more shame. 

And the cycle goes on.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Intimate Connection

We search and search for what will make us happy and fulfilled. We are more successful at some times than others in finding those things. But we are all searching for the same thing - intimacy. I think it is painful to admit that we need intimacy so much, it makes us feel dependent on others. Or we come to a place of realizing that we have never really been successful at connecting with someone else at that intimate level or to face the fact that every time we become intimate with someone they hurt us.

We were made for intimate connection.  

Our deepest needs are for intimacy, intimacy with God and with other people.

To have an intimate relationship with someone means that they know what’s inside of me and still love and accept me. They are not critical or condemning when I reveal my innermost thoughts or desires.

Intimacy requires vulnerability on my part and acceptance on the part of the other person.

Real intimacy makes us feel alive like we've been found, as if someone finally took the time to peer into the depths of our soul and really see us there. Until then, until we experience true intimacy, we will feel passed over and ignored, like someone is looking right through us. Erwin McManus

I start out life with that affinity towards intimacy - the longing for connection, acceptance, and love from another human being.

Inevitably, I have moments of disappointment. I live in an imperfect world with imperfect people who hurt or disappoint me.

While I travel the road looking for connection and acceptance, I experience affirmation for: 
  • how I look or 
  • what I do or 
  • what I have or 
  • what I have achieved ……

That affirmation feels good, even if it isn't the intimacy that I long for and pursue. So, whatever I did (my looks, my grades, my achievements, my money, etc.), I do more of it.

The areas where I find affirmation on my journey towards finding intimacy become my goal. 

I realize that vulnerability can cause hurt, so I shut that down in my life.

I have made a cheap substitution for my deepest longing, without realizing that what I crave the most can be found in an intimate, personal, connection with a holy God. I can be open and vulnerable with Him because He already knows the deepest parts of my heart and still loves me.


I have come that they might have life and have it to the full. (John 10:10b)

God Himself is the abundant life. The Greek word for “life” is zoe and means: "life, referring to the principle of life in the spirit and the soul. All the highest and best that Christ is, which He gives to the Saints."

He wants us to experience this life with Him. And we experience that life through knowing Him. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)

We know God through His Word and through prayer. We listen to Him. We speak to Him in prayer. The more we know Him as He truly is, the more intimate we become in our relationship.

He is the ONLY one who knows us completely and accepts us just as we are. Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. (Romans 15:7)

He loves and accepts us as we are - no shame or condemnation!

Therefore there is now 
no condemnation 
for those who are in Christ Jesus. 
(Romans 8:1)