Wednesday, May 23, 2012

June 2012 Letter - LIVING WELL

Just a few days left until we leave for Zambia!

Thank you so much for your prayers for our preparation and support! We are almost finishing preparing and God has provided the funds! We just received the remaining amount needed! We value your prayers while we are gone! Our mission dates are May 30-June16.

What do we do to prepare a team for a mission such as this one?

First, we pray that God will raise up the people that He wants to go with us. Once someone has indicated an interest in the mission, we share some of the basic information about the time and financial costs. If they are still interested, we meet with them to share more details about what the mission would entail. Then, they pray and we pray.

Once the team has been finalized, we begin meeting with them as a group. We do the best we can to prepare them for what God is going to do spiritually in them, in the group, and in the people we will meet. We pray for love and unity within the team. We believe that God does more in each of us than the people to whom we minister .

We pray and decide what part each of us will have in teaching, leading, and work. We ask them to read materials about international missions and the objectives of short-term missions. They prepare a testimony to share. We develop VBS materials appropriate for their culture.

We spend a lot of time going over logistics - long flights, airports, how to dress, weather, packing, varying weight limits on airlines, food, water, money exchange, medical preparations (shots, medicines to take), hotels, and schedules.

A large part of our training is to prepare people for the culture. We give them materials to read about Zambia in particular. As we show them pictures of previous missions, we try to communicate some of our experiences. We hope to help them understand aspects of the African culture that are different but also to see it isn’t wrong or bad.

We pray together and have prayer requests during the days leading up to the mission.

We do all that we can to prepare them for the mission. BUT …. Through all of the preparations, we tell them, “There are some parts that we cannot prepare you for, you will just have to experience them.” For us, one of our greatest joys of the mission is seeing new people experience Africa and her people for the first time. As some tell us who have gone with us more than once, it is really hard to internalize and enjoy it all the first time. They really get the full experience the second time. The sights, sounds, and smells can be overwhelming.

Our mission teammates have always returned with a new heart in their own walk with the Lord, a new vision of what the Body of Christ looks like, a love for the African people, and a shift in their thinking about wealth and possessions.

We were very excited to learn from our contact in Zambia that we already have the maximum number of pastor couples signed up to attend the pastor’s conference. The plastering is finished at the school and waiting to be painted. The 160 children and teachers are ready for us to come. All of the Bibles, books, and materials, which we shipped, have arrived.

Please pray with us for this mission. As we prepare to leave, pray that we get all of the remaining materials in our luggage and have some room left to take our clothes! Pray for the hearts and health of our team and those we will meet!

We will post updates on this blog as we are able to get internet access.

Our love in Christ,
Donna and Ed Edwards

Previous post on mission trip, read here....
Read mission details here.....