Saturday, July 04, 2009

prayer request

We had an interesting day at Zanzibar today. We saw the slave market where Africans were held, whipped, and sold on the slave block for a period of 200 years. A very moving place.

We will be speaking in a church tomorrow, the church of our translator, who is a pastor. Then eat with his family, met his friends, and then we will have dinner in the home of the couple who has been hosting us.

We leave Monday night about 11 pm our time (3 pm OK time). We are supposed to arrive in OKC late Tuesday afternoon. But we only have a 1 hour layover in Houston. We have to claim our bags, go through customs, and re-check our bags in that 1 hour.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Ed and Donna Edward meeting with churches

We had two very good meetings today with churches. The church this morning was a good size and very active. We had to ride down this very narrow "street" to get to the church. It is in the middle of a residential area and has reached very many people. The pastor of the church was very touched and excited by the weeklong conference and by the workshop. He has offered to pay for the "photocopies" of the lessons from the conference (about 90 pages) for the other churches who did not attend the conference but attended the one-day workshop on building a marriage ministry. He spent most of the day going to get the copies made.

Our meeting this afternoon was in the home of the pastor rather than in their church. We always like going to their homes and see more about how they live. One of the people in the meeting was a woman, who is the female leader of the elders there. She was very expressive and had some very good questions. She wanted to know more about our own testimony about why we were coming to Africa and how we got involved in marriage ministry. I told her that, if I could speak Swahili, she was the kind of person that I would like to have as a friend.

She also asked our interpreter a couple of questions about America and didn't want him to translate it to us. So, he spoke to her first, knowing a lot about us and our views before he told us about the conversation. She wanted to know if it was true that Obama supported abortion legislation. She also wanted to know if we supported that view or supported him. She also asked about divorce in America and the condition of the family. She said that Africa is learning from America. She communicated that what Africans see Americans doing, then they think it is right for them also. We were very clear about our support of Obama, because he is our president, but that he has some views that we do not agree with. It seemed to help them a lot to get a bigger picture of the culture of America.

Thanks for your continued prayers for us.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Workshop in Dar es Salaam

We had our workshop on Building a Comprehensive Marriage Ministry in Dar es Salaam today. We did one last Tuesday in Bagamoyo for half the group from our seminar. Today was for the half that live in this area. However, word got out about our teaching. Instead of having 40 people, we had about 95! Many came who had not attended our weeklong teaching conference, but heard about it and were urged to attend today. We taught for 3 hours straight, without a break, and they were all sitting on hard wooden benches. No one left and no one complained. The people in this area are much better educated and many of them have professional jobs.

We had many churches represented, I am not sure right now how many different churches were there. In our follow up time this week, priority was given to the churches who had also attended the week long conference. So, we will be meeting every morning and every afternoon this week with different churches. I think one of the times, we are meeting with three churches who are close together. We will also go to the church of our interpreter on Sunday and meet with some of from his church also.

The people here are so receptive and so appreciative of our teaching and our time with them.

We are very tired tonight. Please pray that we sleep well. Neither of us slept well last night.

Also, we stopped by a supermarket on our way back to the center this evening and bought some strawberry jam and some chocolate. The people here don't eat dessert very often, just fruit, and they don't eat chocolate. I brought some M&M's but Ed decided I needed something more substantial! Also, the breakfasts here at this center are very basic - a porridge that we won't eat, sliced bread or cold toast, and boiled eggs. So, the strawberry jam will add a wonderful treat to our breakfast - simple pleasures.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

Living Well and Dar es Salaam workshop

Building a Comprehensive Marriage Ministry Workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

About 95 attended this workshop.
This man is giving a testimony about what he learned at our weeklong conference. He is an evangelist and pastor. He talked about how much he had learned, that he had always put ministry before his wife. He now is spending more time with his wife. He also testified how important the lesson on money was and how he and his wife are now establishing a budget and they are much closer in their relationship.

This woman is giving a testimony about the conference and how the session on parenting had meant so much to her. She has 3 children and she learned that she is treat each one as individuals and not try to make them all the same, that she is to recognize their individual personalities and gifts.

Notice the name of the supermarket that Ed is entering.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday in Bagamoyo

We had a good Saturday. It was our free day and we spent some time exploring the city. Unfortunately, it rained part of the time and shortened our time. We went to a museum that explained the history of the area, the Arab slave traders, the Christian missionaries, the German colonization, the British colonization, and today. Because of the Arab slave traders, there is a long history of Muslim influence. Even the Swahili language is a derived from the Arab language.

The area is economically depressed. Because of the ocean, they have more tourists than if they were farther inland. But two resorts burned recently and left 400 people out of work (representing many, many more people). They used thatched roofs on a lot of buildings here. They are very traditional, great for cooling, but can easily catch fire in a dry season and high winds (sounds like wildfires in OK).

The "food court" of the local people was extremely interesting. They have long lines of little outdoor eating places. They have a roof, but all open air. They all cook on charcoal fires. They eat LOTS of fish, of all sizes. They use these huge pans, kind of curved sides, like a wok. They fry their fish in those. They eat sardines, shrimp, changu, kingfish, red snapper, and more. We wanted to take pictures but they said we had to pay them to take pictures. So, we didn't take any, but they would get angry, just because we were carrying a camera through there.

They have a lot of historical sites, some are being restored but most are in decay. They don't have a vision for preserving these buildings. One of the trademarks of the area are the carved doors, but it is hard to get pictures of them.

And Ed went hunting for shells by the ocean, he has quite a collection now. He puts them out on the table, if they fall off, that means that there is still a creature inside and we throw that one away.

Today is our last day here. We will be picked up tomorrow morning and go back to Dar es Salaam. We will miss the hot water and quiteness of this place.

How Great Thou Art in Swahili

Ed and Donna Edwards at Tanzania Assembly of God, Magic Coast

We attended the TAG Magic Coast of Bagamoyo, Tanzania, Pastor Ndosi. Ed preached and Donna shared about their family and ministry. It is the first Assembly of God church in this city and has been responsible for starting several more, even though they are small. They are now focused on starting churches in remote villages.

We found out that about 85% of the people in Bagamoyo are Muslim, higher than we had thought. They see a few come to Christ each year. Many are Muslim by tradition but not practicing.