OMS Outreach Online May-August 2022 - Page 4

Boldly We Obey

By Jeff Edwards , Executive Director of Global Ministries
Everyone experiences transitions . Some are instant , while others are gradual . Take travel , for example . When my parents , Max and Dixie Edwards , and my family moved to Brazil as OMS missionaries in 1970 , it took us 12 days on the ocean liner Leonardo da Vinci to transition to Brazil . Today , new missionaries leave their home countries and enter unfamiliar lands in a matter of hours .
I witnessed my parents modeling bold obedience through life-altering transitions when I was young , and this helped set the pattern in my own life … to boldly obey the Lord in all my decisions .
Before my wife Laura and I went to Brazil as career missionaries with OMS , we stepped into parenthood , a massive transition in any couple ’ s life . Then , as we served for 22 years there , we experienced other ministry transitions as we pastored , taught at the OMS Bible college , mentored , served on boards or in administrative roles , counseled , preached , discipled , planted a daughter church , and led couples retreats . In each of these roles , one consideration was always at the forefront of our decisions — to boldly obey God .
We raised our two girls , Katie and Kendra , in Brazil . They now have their own families , and we are blessed with five grandchildren .
In 2008 , when Laura and I returned to the U . S . from Brazil , we went through a period of loss . We left one newly married daughter in Brazil . Our other daughter was starting college , so we were adjusting to an empty nest . We left an entire life of ministry in Londrina , and we lost our comfortable context of friends and a known environment . OMS asked us to serve as regional directors for Latin America / Caribbean , but we were still praying about accepting that role . I was a “ practitioner ,” not an “ administrator .” However , by the spring of 2009 , we accepted this role , confident that God would grow us into his calling if we would boldly obey . Around this time , Laura started her own transition toward a ministry to students in the academic world .
Two years ago , OMS asked me to move into the role of executive director