Dear Family and Friends,

Here we thought that retirement would mean lots and lots of time for visiting family (ours are far away), and time to rap with former fellow workers of Ethnos360. But it is surprising how full our lives can be with just, well, just living. Medical appointments, paper work of all sorts, local church life, etc. We are not complaining, because we have plenty to be thankful for. How good it is, to recall examples of God’s faithfulness this year and the promise of the same in 2019.

Thanksgiving Day brought to our remembrance that our walk with the Lord includes a spirit of thankfulness. We were able to spend the day on the east coast of Florida in Mims with my cousin, Mary and husband Dick, and some of their kids and grandkids. Three other cousins were elsewhere with their families.

For Christmas we have been invited to share the meal and day with good friends at Jean Sherwood’s daughter’s home. Jean is about 95 now and loves going to our church when someone can take her. My brother Ed, who lives near Palm Beach, FL, has decided not to come for Christmas, but to wait and come near my birthday in January, since he was here just recently.

God is faithful. He has taught us lessons about trusting Him for his provision of our daily needs. Because my tiny business ventures cost so much in time and money, and because of pressure from my family, I am quitting almost all tiny business ventures online. As I did so, God touched the hearts of many people to help us in this special time of need. We could use more monthly support, but we are so thankful for special gifts for this time from God’s special people. We are standing on His promises for all our needs great or small, trusting Him more. We have been able to pay off the balance of one of our credit cards, buy new tires for the car, and this week a new printer when our faithful 8-year-old Canon printer gave up the ghost, and enough to cover my knee replacement surgery next month.

My knees have grown worse and unbearable, so “better late than never,” and the Dr. is willing to do it on January 14th, one week after I turn 85. He doesn’t usually like do it for those 85 or older. However, he did Corinne’s hip when she was 86. We are blessed! Please pray for a safe operation and success as he uses his new robotic procedure!

Corinne’s right eye is still not right. At the appointment on Nov. 29 the specialist said her sight had improved since last time, about 3 weeks previously, but very slightly. She has no pain, but reading is very difficult. I am concerned that the shot that caused all this was not done properly. However, the specialist said he doesn’t know what happened, and it just takes time for the body to absorb all the junk that has gathered in that eye because of the inflammation or infection caused by that latest injection. Next appointment is on January 3rd.

Recently we experienced a couple of mishaps, one of which could have been a tragedy. One was a leak in our furnace in our bedroom closet. Corinne noticed that one of our belongings on the floor was wet and discovered the leak. Our maintenance men came and got it stopped and took up the carpet and put a big dehumidifier in the closet to dry everything out, opened all our windows because of the heat from that big machine. Three days took care of it.

One day, I was driving Corinne to her eye appointment in Lake Mary. A long semi-truck was staying in the fast lane, so I decided to move into the slow lane and pass him. We were right beside his cab when he, not seeing us, turned into the slow lane, ripping our rear fender apart. I kept steady and he corrected, so all turned out well. It could have been bad if I had moved over too much and hit the curb at 45 mph. The resulting damage from his front wheel studs or bolts reminded me of the movie, Ben Hur, where the blades added to wheels of one chariot could chew up wheels of any opposing chariot. The truck driver said he knew it was all his fault and called the police himself. He felt badly because for forty years he had driven without a mark against his record and he was to retire in two years. I tried to console him and witnessed to him. We cancelled the eye appointment. Fortunately, truck drivers have good insurance. His insurance paid for all the repairs and for a rental car while ours was being repaired. It’s all done now, and our twenty-year-old Buick looks beautiful again, and it is still a nice car. Though it has poor gas mileage, it hardly ever needs oil to be added between changes.

We had visitors this Fall which blessed our hearts immensely. First, our son Joel and his wife Ruthi came for a few days from their home in PA and were a great help: Joel on computer and other tech things and repairs, Ruthi doing house work like a house afire. We had a get-together, so they could visit with some of their many friends. Then later, my sister Sharon, John and John Jr. came from Winnemucca, NV, to visit and help us with the venture we are working on with them. My brother, Ed, joined us from South Florida; the first time all of us 3 siblings have been together in 12 years.

Thank you for praying for our Hamtai translation project – for me, as I relinquish some outside duties and focus on translation; for Jim Jora, our Hamtai mother-tongue translator in Lae, PNG, as he balances teaching with full time translation checking; and for Jerry Fitzgerald, our former partner, as she does a content check for us. Jim is going ahead on his own with some of the portions, until I can catch up to him with sending him my own editing. But he is also being requested for teaching in many of the Hamtai churches. Right now, he is wanting to finish up his present Bible study class in Wau in January. They have done an overview of all 4 phases of the Chronological outline called Building on Firm Foundations. He has asked me to write a note of congratulations to his students and an encouraging word from their former missionary. Please pray as I do so. I will urge them to keep studying. I also wrote a message to the Hamtai churches to be read at their Christmas conferences. Pray for the 3 Christmas conferences in different Hamtai host villages; for unity, good fellowship and good Bible teaching. How I wish I could attend one of them. No photos this time. Keep watching our web page and FaceBook.

Attendance at our local Sanford Bible Church is growing, gradually. We on the leadership team are moving on by faith to bring the church back somewhat to its original function. We now have added some very gifted board members, so I asked to be relieved of being chairman of the Deacon Board in order to focus on our Hamtai Bible translation. I still enjoy taking care of the music part of our worship. And Corinne and I enjoy ministering personally to our folk there, some of whom are older than we are.

We want to thank all of you for your Christian love, fellowship, gifts and prayers. May each of you rejoice in the knowledge of God’s greatest gift, that of His Son to take on a body like ours so that, by His sinless life, He could die in our place, paying the penalty for our sins. For all of us who have accepted God’s gift of His Son we know that we now are children of God and will spend eternity with Him. We are looking eagerly for His soon return, that “Blessed Hope.” Perhaps during 2019!

Tom and Corinne Palmer