Greetings from Central Florida. We here have been extremely blessed. The news reported that Florida is the only one of the 50 states, including Hawaii, that presently has no snow. Even Georgia as far south as it is, was recently shut down because of snow and ice. Thousands of airplane flights have been cancelled. Many sports fans who came to New Jersey to observe the super bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos enjoyed the game in fairly nice weather conditions but missed flights home because of the storm that followed. Some of our nights have been cool, but we’ve recently had daytime temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s.
Tom leading singing
We retired New Tribes Missionaries are also rejoicing in being here in NTM’s retirement center, NTM Homes. The facilities are lovely, also the grounds, and the staff are very loving, caring, and helpful. Monday through Fridays from 8:00 to 8:30 AM we meet in the chapel for fellowship and prayer. Attendance is optional except that on Tuesdays one person from each home is expected to attend in order to hear the updates on news and events at the Homes. Each week one man is appointed to lead the singing, and this week is Tom’s turn to lead. Then a resident or a staff person shares for 15 minutes. Tom spoke Wednesday morning. After the speaker two men take microphones to those who raise their hands in order to share their prayer requests. Then the chaplain prays for the requests. If there is no time remaining to pray for them, he puts the requests in an email for us all.
Corinne in front of the new chapel
Tuesday evenings there is a meeting in the chapel, when we hear special speakers or singing groups. When we returned from PNG all the Tuesday evenings were already booked up so the chaplain gave Tom three morning chapel meetings to share and show pictures of our trip to PNG. Many have asked Tom to show more pictures. Five missionaries attended the day of the Hamtai NT dedication and took pictures and shared them with Tom. So he has loads of good pictures but still needs to spend time organizing them.
Tom turned 80 on January 7th. We had a celebration the night before with some former PNG co-workers from way back.
At some stage some folk prefer to leave here and stay with family elsewhere, or their families prefer that. For example, our friend Joyce Wilhelmson moved to Missouri to be with her daughter. Her husband, Bob, succumbed to cancer a couple years ago. Tom was best man in their wedding in 1952. Bob kept telling us to hurry and get here, but he passed away shortly before we arrived. Joyce found it hard to leave here, but she since wrote that she is happy to be with her family and in the accommodation that they prepared for her.
Another person we miss was promoted to glory last week. Helen Goddard, 96, had a stroke. Tom said the Goddards were a blessing to him when he was a student in NTM “boot camp” in Fouts Springs, CA in 1951. Her son Dean and family live across the street from us. They also are retired missionaries from Paraguay. Her family will have a memorial service for her this Friday afternoon in our new chapel here.
The new chapel is a real answer to prayer. It is larger than the former one and has been in the building stage for several years. Last week the fire department and other officials finally gave approval for occupancy. So we had our first chapel meeting there Friday morning.
Now that the chapel has moved, the workmen are beginning to remodel the former area into six rooms for new occupants in the Assisted Living Facility. Presently about 13 people are on the waiting list for a room. Pray that the plans will be accepted for building codes, etc., and that funds will be provided for the implementing of them.
We are both reasonably well and are awaiting the results of our recent medical exams and lab tests.
Tom is trying to get good hours in on his editing of the Hamtai Old Testament portions. Progress has been slow due to the amazingly busy life here.
I, Corinne, am behind in correspondence and other paper work, and am trying to catch up before the container with our things from PNG arrives. Among those things are the Hamtai Bible stories that I will be typing up to get ready for printing.
The order to print 4,000 more copies of the Hamtai New Testament will soon be lodged. The remaining funds in the NT Revision Account might cover it, but we are not sure.
Tom and Corinne Palmer