JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—By most standards Mike and Marty Edwards were living the American dream. She worked as a licensed marriage and family therapist at the Trinity Rescue Mission in downtown Jacksonville. He owned an air conditioning and heating business begun by his father. With a strong marriage, three daughters, and a home in Northeast Florida’s Nassau County—the faithful members of First Baptist Church in Callahan gave off an air of completeness.
But in 2003, after hearing their pastor D. Lynn Hyatt share his vision about their church become more missions oriented, the Edwards began to consider where their hearts were.
A year later, Marty signed up to go on a mission trip. Mike prayed about going.
Within months the Edwards went on their first mission trip to Honduras. “I thought I’d offer prayer support,” Marty said with a chuckle.
Flying to Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, and then riding on a bus for ten hours not only caused frustration and tears, it left the Edwards exhausted.
“My idea of a mission trip was staying in the Holiday Inn instead of the Marriott,” Marty said. Lack of water, flying bats, and no electricity for ten days changed her perspective. But instead of throwing in the towel, what they saw strengthened their resolve to be more open to what God might be showing them.
“We knew our lives were changed forever when we saw the need on the streets. God showed us a different life,” Mike said.
The couple returned to Honduras in 2005. While there, they noticed a change in themselves. Honduras felt like home rather than Florida. The couple wondered if God was calling them into missions.
Meanwhile back home, Mike’s heating and air conditioning business doubled, causing him to question God’s call. The couple traveled to Honduras three more times, but in the summer of 2006, they knew. When their travel plans were delayed, they parked themselves on their knees at the foot of their hotel bed. Tears and an unwavering knowledge of God’s call on their lives followed.
Unsure about telling his four siblings he wanted to sell their father’s business and become a missionary, Mike was surprised they supported selling the company.
In 2007 the Edwards attended language school in Costa Rica, and in 2009 they began full-time missions work in Honduras.
Baptist Medical & Dental Mission International
Since last year Mike has served as Director of Missions for Baptist Medical & Dental Mission International. Marty oversees more than 100 children at the Good Shepherd Children’s Home where she works as a counselor. In addition, they’ve started a Bible institute which trains men and women for leadership roles in churches.
“I lived and breathed my business,” Mike said, “but when God led me, I left it. I argued with God about why he called me, but now working as a director, it all goes back to business,” he added.
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