Feb 162017
 

News from Mango!

This old photo is of a similar Fulani refugee camp that was set up behind the hospital in Mango several years ago.

Currently the team in Mango is helping with a sudden refugee crisis as late last week violence erupted between the Konkomba and Fulani people groups. Around eight Fulani people were murdered (from that number several were children) and many people’s homes were burned, their main livelihood Continue reading »

 Posted by on February 16, 2017
Feb 152017
 

“I could never do that.”
A common misconception others have when they find out Jonathan and I plan to go on the mission field in Africa is that we are somehow super-humans or super-Christians. However, this could not be farther from the truth.
Yes, Jonathan and I are preparing to move to a new continent.
We will learn a new language.
We will find ourselves in a vastly different culture and environment.
Our job atmospheres and roles will be different.
Difficulties will arise — some will be anticipated and some will be completely unexpected.
And we will struggle.
Because we are only humans and we like the comfort and routine of our first-world lives.
But when we struggle, and undoubtedly, become discouraged, and are sure we’ve failed, we will not respond by quitting simply because it is not easy or pleasant — because we can’t do it.
Instead, we will lean closer into Christ.
Because the one factor that definitely did not influence our decision was our ability.
Here’s the truth:
I, Bethany Edwards, in and of myself, cannot do missions.
– Before we present at churches and conferences, I get so nervous I shake and I wish I could be anywhere but right there about to be the center of attention. I am not a natural public speaker. Please put me in the back pew and I will sit contentedly and listen all day.
– I’m quite frankly afraid I will be awful at speaking French. I took Spanish in high school, but French sounds so complicated. (Why don’t they pronounce words like they’re spelled?)
– I struggle with so many doubts and feelings of inadequacies already and we’re not even officially on the field yet. Like, What if my nursing experience here in the States was not the right experience I need to care for patients at the Hospital of Hope? What if the culture switch is too overwhelming and I really miss family and I’m really bad at cooking from scratch all the time? Or even, What if the Mango sun is too much for my fair skin and I get skin cancer??
So, now you know: I am not extremely qualified or a spiritual giant. Jonathan would tell you the same about him (although his concerns are not quite so trivial as some of mine ;).
Hence, when we ask for support through prayer, we really do need it.
And when we ask you if you will consider partnering with us financially, please know that you are not giving to support Jonathan and Bethany and the great things they will do for Togo. If that were the case, your money would be wasted.
Instead, know that we are trusting God to be glorified through our weaknesses. Without Him, we would fail. But throughout history, He has specialized in using weak and unexpected people to accomplish his will and display his glory.
We are simply going because HE has called us to.
So in response to the statement,
“I could never do that,”
You’re absolutely right – you can’t.
And we can’t either.
But, with the help of the One who has called us and is faithful to provide for us, even in the smallest details, a random IT nerd and a nurse can be used by Him to accomplish what they never could on their own.
And so can you.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 Posted by on February 15, 2017

Praises & Changes

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Nov 052016
 

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“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! 379095_4896825743567_1124840372_n
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand….”

Psalm 95:1-7

Happy November! We hope you’re enjoying the autumn beauty around you as much as we are here in the Roanoke valley. We are thankful for our Lord’s blessings that are as abundant as those colorfully-changing leaves and His faithfulness to us in the transitions.

October was a busy month for us. Continue reading »

 Posted by on November 5, 2016

We Do – Now to Get There

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Aug 162016
 

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13880388_10154401672089680_4940740833350120925_n     Well, it happened just as planned. We were married just after 2:50pm on August 6th. Thank you all for being there in support of our union whether in person or in spirit and prayer.  We’re settling in to our new abode and discovering our new routines – as much as there is such a thing on this missionary journey.
Bethany was accepted as a missionary to ABWE (officially) just two weeks before. Praise the Lord for these good gifts in the whirlwind that was this past month.

13987591_1223452164341064_4956451533015085809_o So now what?  We are starting to build contacts with the churches in our general area of Virginia and North Carolina.  Our hope is to start language school in France in August 2017.  For us to meet that goal we need to be at 50% support by Oct 15th  and then 100% monthly + 100% setup costs by March 31st, 2017. This coincides with the training schedule needed for us to get onto the field.  Isn’t it exciting to think that in a year we could be learning French and just a few semesters away from ministering in Togo!  Please pray with us that we would be able to meet these goals and not need to delay ministering to the people of Togo.

From our family to yours,

Jonathan and Bethany Edwards

 

Why Mango? – Here are over 1.5 million reasons.

Mango has over 1.5 million unreached people coupled with almost nonexistent gospel access and churches served by too few and mostly poorly equipped leaders. Here are the top 5 unreached people groups within 100 miles of Mango.

Mango_top_5_unreached_chart

 

 

 

Unreached defined as evangelical population < 2% and little to no access to gospel. Statistics from joshuaproject.net, 15 Aug 2016

 

 Posted by on August 16, 2016

June 2016 Newsletter

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Jun 152016
 

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     In February I announced that I had asked Bethany to marry me and she accepted.  While we’re not married yet (as the name above might suggest)– that will come in early August – we are making preparations accordingly. What an exciting time!b+Jengaged_Print-163

Bethany will be I are planning to attend the training seminar together in July. (For those keeping track, this will be my 3rd time through training.)

Additional life transitions will see us be relocating to central Virginia where we will live and work until we are able to leave for language school.  We have started building contacts with church and family partners there and in the surrounding areas into North Carolina.  Pray that God would raise many partners from these areas. So… if you are in the Ohio-Michigan area and want to meet with us, please let us know soon because we won’t be able to visit nearly as often as before.

The ministry focus has not changed. I will continue to manage and build IT related ministries and Bethany, an RN, will minister at home and at the hospital.

We thank you for your continued prayers as we continue to seek partners for God’s work in Togo. We have increased our financial support by over 7% in the last few months to over 33% and at this rate hope to be ready to leave for language school before the beginning of 2018. Praise the Lord that He provides abundantly.

 Posted by on June 15, 2016
Mar 022016
 

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The month of February was has been nonstop presentations and seeking support. Some of the highlights are talking with many of the Mango team members who are in the USA on furlough or prefield, meeting a conspiracy theorist from Roswell, implying during a presentation that I wasn’t a Baptist, and2016-02-13 Continue reading »

 Posted by on March 2, 2016

A Year Full of Opportunities

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Jan 112016
 

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After a getting back to the US from a short trip to South East Asia advising another hospital about setting up a digital system I have settle in to the not so normal life of deputation.

The work at the hospitals is never far away. A few days ago I received news of a major problem at HBB, the southern hospital.  The server had experienced a hardware failure that brought the entire system down.  The medical staff scrambled to revert to a paper system while the IT techs worked out what was wrong. Many frantic emails and phone calls later the on-site techs were able to nurse the server back to a usable state (A failure of two physical drives, and probably part of the motherboard were the root cause.)

The situation was not over however even though the hospital systems were functioning again.  The system is running at limited, slowed capacity until replacement parts can be delivered and installed.  I am thankful for Tim, a short-term IT missionary, who could respond in this critical situation. Short-term people are vital to fill the gaps when long-term missionaries are away.

I have many upcoming events and prayers are appreciate as I travel throughout February and into the first week of March visiting supporters and speaking at churches. I leave at the begin of February to Seattle for a few days and then on to Boise for a multi church missions conference for the rest of the month to present at six (and maybe more) churches. Please pray that during this time individuals would also be burdened to help financially, materially, or by volunteering time. Also pray that God would use this to encourage and burden others toward becoming missionaries. Truly the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. (Luke 10:2)

I am excited to see what God has planned for this next year!

 Posted by on January 11, 2016

Technology Labs

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Sep 022015
 

In previous updates I had made brief reference to starting computer labs – called Mobile Educational Technology Labs. While I have been Stateside preparing and organizing, visiting and presenting, and raising partners the teams in Togo have been helping with a trial run of the first of these labs. This first lab has 14 laptop computers and was allocated to the Christian schools partnering with ABWE Togo.
First, a big thank you again to everyone who helped to make this possible.

Most of West Africa’s computer literacy is comparable or worse than that of Western countries during the late 80’s and early 90’s but it’s reliance on technology is quickly become as heavy as in any other place in the world. Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 2, 2015

Just getting started!

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Jun 082015
 

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“I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.” –Psalm 63

Dry season here lasts for eight months.  The wells go dry and the Oti River runs low.  The Hospital of Hope and city of Mango both depend on the river for water. As that source dries up water supply becomes an issue as has been the case several times already. We are searching for long-term solution for water problem. Recently the team tried drilling two more wells – both dry. We trust that God will provide despite our disappointment and frustration in diligently searching for a solution. Thank you to all who have been praying. Please continue to pray for a long-term answer.

This area is dry spiritually. Islam, Fetishism, and false Christianity are everywhere. The gospel message is like clean, cool, refreshing spring water. Continue reading »

 Posted by on June 8, 2015