By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist
For the past couple of years, Barbara Kay Edwards has traveled with a team to Nicaragua, gotten set up under some trees and led a women’s Bible study.
Then, “when we would leave my heart would just be so burdened,” said Edwards, ministry assistant for Elmore Baptist Association. “Some of these places are so remote down these dirt roads. We would leave Bibles, but we would leave them mostly with the men of the family. I just felt like the women were left out.”
So she would come back to Alabama, and those women would stay on her heart.
“I was driving to work one day and I was just in tears. My heart was breaking for those people who hadn’t had the opportunity to be discipled,” Edwards said. “I felt God telling me I needed to use what I’d been taught to go teach others.”
So she decided to take some of the basic concepts God had taught her and put them in a 15-day devotional.
“I wrote them so that new Christians and women who have never heard the gospel before can understand,” Edwards said. “I used the passages and the basics that have helped me grow in my faith and wrote about those.”
Then she approached a friend with a printing company and told him that she didn’t know where to start.
“He told me if I could get them written and translated, he would take care of the rest,” Edwards said. “God really brought it all together.”
She finished writing the book and named it “Well Worn Paths,” a name she says represents the ruts we live our lives in and how God calls us to step out in faith to a new life.
Then Edwards asked a Brazilian friend with a ministry in the Amazon basin to translate it into Portuguese, and Zuly Lemus, the wife of Elmore Association Hispanic strategist Carlos Lemus, translated it into Spanish.
Zuly Lemus said it was meaningful for her that Edwards took the time to finish the project.
“Since I translated it, I had a lot of time to read over it and really think about it,” she said. “It really encouraged me to know God well and to really love Him through reading His word and praying. I pray it will encourage other women to do the same.”
In July a team took the books to the Amazon and used them to teach a women’s Bible study.
“They sent a picture of the women using it, and my heart almost jumped out of my chest,” Edwards said. “These are women who have never heard the gospel, can’t get Bibles and have never heard anything like this.”
Used by God
Ray McKenzie, director of missions for Elmore Association, said God is using Edwards’ books already in Brazil and Guatemala.
“God has used it to open the door for her to lead a pastors’ wives conference on the Amazon this October,” he said. “It is amazing to see the things God has done with this little book in just two months. I can only image how many women He is going to change through His word as they read these lessons in the years to come.”
More copies of the book are on their way to Guatemala soon, and others will be used in the local pregnancy resource center.