Dear Ministry Partners,
It hardly seems possible that it is already November and another trip to the Asia Pacific is already in the history books. We do want to thank you so much for your prayers for Jeanne and our parents as they held down the fort, and for me also as I was gone for over 6 weeks traveling and visiting different churches on our beloved island there.
It was another encouraging trip and we thank the Lord that we were able to accomplish the goals that we had set out to do. It was good to be “back home” again in the little village of Padalempe. Of course one of our main goals was to do the final check of the Old Testament Scripture verses which we use in our chronological teaching. Genesis had already previously been checked, but about 750 verses remained out of Exodus and various other books through the Old Testament. The check took us 10 days and went very smoothly for which we were thankful. One of favorites of the translation helpers was Jonah. They are still talking about Jonah and what the Lord is teaching them – you know they can all relate to that guy Jonah! What a blessing it is to translate the Scriptures and see how God is using them in their lives to shape and mold them into His servants. Another added blessing was to see how the whole church worked together to make this check happen. They took care of our noon and supper meals our whole time there! What a blessing it was to not have to cook and to be able to totally focus on the work at hand.
After the translation check it was time to get ready for the Wana Bible conference. We studied through the book of 2 Timothy for this conference. One of the things we have been trying to help them with is to learn how to draw out of Scripture what the Lord might be wanting to teach them. Was it ever interesting on the second day when we were studying out of 2 Tim. 2:20 and talking about vessels of gold and silver, and wood and clay. The Wana are very quick to pick up on metaphors and as we were teaching this verse two of our pastors spontaneously got up, excused themselves and asked if they could talk about this with the group. They then proceeded to point out how our lives are liked to those two kinds of vessels, and then asking what kind of vessel are we? It was also neat to hear them talk about this for days afterward – again the Lord had used His word to speak to their hearts.
While in Padalempe we were also able to attend a baptismal in our church which was held in a little fish pond up behind our house. Wherever there is water you can be baptized right! During the month of August and September a total of 38 people identified themselves with our Lord and Savior and His Church through believer’s baptism. What a blessing to see how He continues to add to His church in Wana!
After the Bible conference several of us traveled down the Wana village of Wo’o nTowu for a three-day weekend to attend the memorial service of little Kelvin who passed away in August. It has been a hard time for the family to say goodbye to this little fellow, but it was neat to see how the believers have gathered around this family to offer comfort in their time of need.
Jeanne and I want to take this opportunity to thank you so much for your prayers for our ministry with the Wana Tribal people. Again the Wana people continue to remind us to tell you a big “THANKS” for sending someone to share the gospel with them – they are very very grateful to have received the gift of salvation.
Ed & Jeanne Casteel