Thursday, June 30, 2011


“We have already started enjoying the fruits of that Seminar. My wife and I, are already living in Paradise. May I report to you that our marriage is and has never been the same up to this point I am writing to you. Just after the Seminar, I had to immediately organize the married couples of our Church. On Sunday the 5th of June, 2011, we had a decisive and successful meeting. We resolved as a Church, to have a Marriage and Family enrichment program, starting from this June up to July, 2011. Once again, we thank you Ed and Donna for the material you gave us. We promise to make full use of it. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, Ed and Donna; Phil 4:23.”  Sostern Banda, pastor 

Joy to our hearts! And answers to your investment of prayers in this mission. Thank you!

We received this testimony upon our return along with the report from the ALARM - Zambia office. This mission endeavor exceeded our expectations! ALARM country director, Charles Mwila Mutambala, did an excellent job of planning and preparing for the conference. We planned for 50 couples, we had at least 53 couples. We asked for pastors and spouses to come together and they did, almost 100% attended with their spouse. They were consistent and attentive. They appreciated everything we taught and the gifts we brought. We bring small gifts for each of them, which we use as visual aids for them to remember teaching points. We also give them a 100 page notebook and study Bibles.  Charles added his response in the report:

“As ALARM-Zambia, we expect Living Well Ministries to have nationwide impact among the ministers in the Zambian Church. The Lord willing, there would be great need to take this important ministry to Zambia’s Capital city, Lusaka, during the same time, next year. If it were possible, we would suggest that the number of participants be increased from fifty married couples to about a hundred. Besides, we would further suggest that two mission trips per year, from Living Well ministries would impact the Zambian Church significantly.”
The pastors in Ndola speak English well, which made it more enjoyable to dialogue with them and facilitated more opportunity for feedback. We had them write down how God had changed their lives through the conference. (see some of their responses here) We also gave them an opportunity to write questions for us (anonymously). Men use blue cards, women use pink—so, all we know is their gender. Some of the questions are answered during our teachings, some are addressed separately, some will be addressed during a follow-up conference by the ALARM staff. You can read some of the questions they asked here; it also gives you a good view of the challenges faced there.

Ed preached at an international church (some Africans, some from India and other countries) on the Sunday before the conference started on Monday. Then we split the teaching times each day. By the end of the week, we were very tired!

Then, Ed had a one-day men’s conference scheduled for Saturday. What were we thinking??? The Lord enabled him to teach that Saturday in a condensed format. Rather than doing three, full, one-hour sessions over an all-day format (interspersed with worship and testimonies), he taught all three sessions straight through and was finished with his part by noon. The men stayed and discussed his points and shared their testimonies on overcoming sexual temptations and being godly husbands and fathers. The organizers came by to see us that evening and shared how meaningful the time was to 100+  men who were present.

Logistically, all went well—we made all flights connections, we had no lost bags, adequate accommodations and food. And we didn’t get sick! We took some time to rest before our return. After coming home, we had one day of recovery and back to work! Then we spent a week receiving training in Dallas.

You are an valuable part of our ministry here and in Africa. We love and appreciate you and your support of the work God is doing through Living Well!

Our love in Christ,
Donna and Ed Edwards

For more on the Zambian mission, see:

Anniversary Celebration

We had a wonderful day! June 2nd was our 38th anniversary and they had quite a celebration for us. At lunch, they had a beautiful flower arrangement. Then they had a procession of women as they all sang "Come and See."

They presented us with a cake, a bouquet of red roses, cards, and gifts. Then they had us stand and let everyone come by in a receiving line to shake our hands and give their greetings. They certainly know how to celebrate! They are very gracious.

At this hotel, they have their own band that plays, usually in the evening. When they heard about the size of our group at lunch, they started playing at lunch, for tips. On Wednesday, they sang and played  John Denver's "Country Road." Very interesting to hear it sung with an African accent! But we really enjoyed it. Our hosts saw our delight and made sure they sang it again for our anniversary celebration.

We had a pastor and his wife sit with us at lunch on our anniversary. They had both been married before but have been married to each other for 41 years. He confessed how he and his wife had argued and would say bad things to each other - even saying, "I know now why your first husband left you." They talked about how much our teaching had helped them.

For dinner, our hosts took us to an Indian restaurant, owned by one of their church members. We have not eaten Indian food very often. The owner made suggestions for us; they had too many options for us to choose. We enjoyed all of the dishes they served.

At dinner, we learned about our host, Rev. Charles Mwila - his time of study in the U.S. and his participation in writing a new constitution for Zambia. Very sharp guy! And a real man of God and gracious host.


For more on the Zambian mission, see:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ndola Pastors Express Appreciation



On behalf of my fellow conference participants, I would like to take this moment to sincerely thank Ed and Donna Edwards for the wonderful teachings.

We haven’t just gone through the teachings, but the teachings have gone through us as we have been admonished in the last Five (5) days.

As a result, the teachings will impact us greatly in two (2) ways:
1. In our Marriages: We will stop enduring our marriages, but we will start enjoying our marriages.
2. We will be more informed (Marriage) teachers and counselors in our churches

I would like to comment that the Clarity of speech, Conviction and Simplicity you exhibited was excellent to us.

Your accent as well was clear to us, bearing in mind that most former British Colonies like Zambia find it hard to understand American English. Also on this, Ed and Donna you have been excellent to us.

Many lessons have been learnt during this conference.

One of them, for me, includes: The fact that Eve was not the one to blame for what happened in the Garden of Eden. I have always thought and believed that Eve was the one to blame for eating the forbidden fruit which brought about sin, death and suffering in the whole world. But in this conference, I have learnt that “God spoke to Adam first that he should not eat the forbidden fruit even though it was Eve who was the first one to eat the fruit. Meaning that Adam was responsible for all that took place and the resulting consequences because Adam was a leader — who received God’s command." 

I will now stop blaming Eve, women & my lovely wife. This will also help us as participants to change the notion which has been in the minds of many people in Zambia. For example, a circular musician sung a song which said in part in one of our languages — ‘Bemba_' that: ”Wamona Eva, Naine wine cine nka fwa, iye wayo...” meaning; "You see now Eve, because of you, me too I will die one day...". Therefore as participants in this conference, we are more informed on matters like this one and will go and correct such wrong notions in our churches and communities.

The fellowship among Pastors and wives has been wonderful. I want to admit as Secretary of Ndola Christian Ministers’ Fellowship (NCMF) that we as NCMF have never brought Pastors with their wives for a long time in this manner. Let us clap for Ed & Donna and ALARM Zambia for the job well done.

The food here at Savoy hotel has been very good. We have not only enjoyed the fellowship, but the ‘swallowship’ as well.

On behalf of my fellow participants, I would Iike to THANK Ed & Donna for the Ball points (Pens), Arm Bands, Teaching Materials, Marriage & Attendance Certificates, Bibles, just to mention a few.

Ed & Donna, we have already started missing you. We have enjoyed your warm and sweet spirit. You are sincere, humble, and practical. It is sad for us that today is the last day, but all the more, we pray that the Lord shall continue to be with you even as you travel back to the USA.

I will also be failing in my duties if I forgot to acknowledge the good work of the host of this conference, i.e.; Rev Charles Mwila, His wife and together with the members of staff of ALARM Zambia. I want to admit that the organization of this conference has been excellent. Please, keep it up.

In closing, I want to mention one of our local language proverbs which says that “Do not thank the king too much with so many words, or else you will end up insulting him”

With this remark in mind, I end Vote of Thanks.

Thank you.

Presented on June 2011 at Savoy Hotel by:
Bernard H. Hanamwanza (Pastor)
Conference Participaht / NCMF Secretary


For more on the Zambian mission, see:

Their Words

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Since this group of Zambian pastors/spouses knew English, we ask them to write out for us how God had been at work in them during the week. They didn't have to sign their names. We are including pictures but they do not correspond to the testimonies.

God has changed my life in this way:
(spelling and wording are their own)

“Before this seminar started or was even announced to me, I was planning to leave my wife because things were hard. I was not getting along with my wife on daily basis. The situation changed when me and my wife attended the seminar. God has changed my life. My wife and I believe through His grace, I and my wife shall not be the same.”
 “My house is completely healed through this conference. I’ve learnt a lot of things which I never came across in my life. We need more again.”
 “God teaches me to be faithful to my wife. My marriage passed through hardship, I was not faithful to my wife but this time I sat down with my wife and I openly apologize to her for my behavior. Praise God I am a changed person.”
To me it is God fulfilled mission and touching the Father’s heart—absolutely a breakthrough—saved, delivered, restored and revived again. Almost lost my marriage due to being busy with the ministry and yet I was burning out and stress up. My life saved and my marriage refreshed. God bless you, Edwards. I never forget this glorious refreshing.”
“It can be difficult sometimes to strike a balance between our cultural beliefs and principles with Biblical principles. This conference has helped me know better because Ed and Donna made a Biblically sound presentation that was eye opening.
I also feel much conversant and well equipped to help other marriages teaching them what I have learnt and also making use of the written materials that have been used in this training.
I thank God, Donna and Ed, as well as all the Living Well partners and supporters for this great and rare privilege that has so blessed my heart. God bless you all, Thank you!”
I never used to have time for my wife and children. I tell you from now on I will be a good husband and a good father as well as a good pastor. Ed and Donna you are a bless, God has used you to change my life. I pray that He Almighty God will continue to shower His blessing on you and all the people supporting this precious ministry.”  -----
I built a very strong wall between my wife and I. Every time an argument arose I ran out of the house and came back after hours just to sleep. But now, that wall was broken the very day Ed and Donna spoke to me about the need to tackle arguments by allowing each person to express themselves.
I am more interested to hear my wife speak and I have learnt a lot from her. My marriage will never be the same again after going through the seminar.”

This seminar has exposed dark spots in my married life. Consequently, it has placed on me, the personal responsibility to take action, with the view of allowing God to effect corrections in my life.
This seminar has availed my wife and I, and open opportunity, to interact forthrightly, with truth regarding the hidden areas in our relationships, which we could never address or face up to, without a deep verbal or emotional confrontation.”

Praise God for the work He did in the hearts of the people!
For more on the Zambian mission, see:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Questions, Questions

Everyone, regardless of the culture, has questions about marriage. We learn the most from letting people ask questions.

Part of our approach, when teaching in Africa, is to give people at our conferences a chance to ask questions anonymously. We do ask the men to use blue index cards and the women to use pink ones, so that at least we know the gender of the person asking.

The problems in marriage are the basically the same everywhere in the world, but different cultures, even different groups in the culture, deal with different circumstances. We get a glimpse of what is on the mind of the participants through these questions.

Here is a sampling from this year's conference in Ndola, Zambia (all are pastors or their spouses):
From Women -
  • Divorce is a sin but some believers do it. Why?
  • When a man sees only problems in you, never a complement.
  • Talk about impotency which causes a lot of problems in marriage.
  • Is it good for a man of God [pastor] to use bad word telling the wife that you are a bondage to me?
  • Is it good for your husband to shout at you in the presence of his family?
  • What help can you give to a pastor who beats his wife and calls her a prostitute?
  • What advice can you give a pastor who leaves his family without food or money to feed on and goes to pray and fast for 40 days and expect God to provide them?
  • Why is that wives (some) don't show their payslips to their husbands and the money?
  • Why is it that wives find it difficult to tell the husband that they want sex?
From Men -
  • You are a pastor and your wife does not like going for church, what can you do?
  • When a couple (born-again) divorce after one of them back-slides, can the one who remains a believer remarry or not? If not, why shat one suffer for the sin of the other?
  • How do you help a wife who keeps on being poor with time keeping despite all your talk for years?
  • Is there any reason for divorce?
  • Is it advisable for a pastor’s wife to befriend a prostitute, can’t this send the wrong words to the public?
  • Are there things I should not tell my spouse (secrets)? Do I tell my spouse everything even those I know will hurt her?
  • If we do not agree, husband and wife, does the husband have the final say on a matter?
  • What is the great secret of a happy home?
  • Can I marry [as a pastor] a believer to a non-believer?
  • Is there any reason for divorce?
  • How can you know that I am marrying the right person?
  • What is the impact on public once they know the pastor's shortfalls at his own home?
  • How do you help those getting married to same sex, man to man, woman to woman?

When answering questions, especially in a different culture, we ask the participants to answer before we give any answer.

They need to know that they can learn from each other, that they have wisdom in their group, and that they do not have to look to white, westerners for the answers. If appropriate, we will give our view after they give their answers.