Summer has finally arrived! As we were working out in the yard on Saturday and shirts soaked with sweat we felt like we back in Asia Pacific! Having spent so much time in Asia Pacific we have come to enjoy the heat much more than the Nebraska “cold” – ha. With this letter we want to wish you a very “HAPPY 4th of JULY” as we celebrate 243 years of independence! We are certainly blessed with many freedoms in this country that other countries don’t enjoy.
Our Wana school kids are all back in their home villages right now enjoying a short summer break before school starts back up again next week. They and the dorm parents were all looking forward to a break from the rigors of school and dorm life. The past couple of years we have been putting a lot of time and effort establishing some dormitories for our junior and senior high school children as they seek to continue their education. For the most part they can only get grades 1-6 in the tribe and then have to seek junior and senior high school elsewhere. Parents quickly realized the needs for dorms as they realized their children could be sent off to town for school with no supervision and no spiritual teaching into their daily lives. We are currently struggling with lots of growing pains as we are getting more students than we have room for, and also in need of more folks from the tribe to come to town to be dorm parents. And along with that the financial support it takes for them to keep dorm parents in town. We currently have three dorms located in 2 different cities along with some students living in with some of our missionary families as well. All in all there are over 50 students with more wanting to sign up this coming school year.
Our Team has been busy working on Bible lessons. Our Wana tribal co-workers, Esron & Nita, and Miyanto & Ronae, have been working on corrections and revisions for the “Creation to Christ” lessons for new believers, while I have been working on lessons from 1 Samuel for mature believers. Our Bible study group here in Nebraska recently studied through the book of 1 Samuel so that has been a tremendous help as I have been preparing lessons from this book for the Wana people.
Other good news is that our pilot mechanic have finally been able to finish the inspections and repairs on the helicopter, so it should be back in regular service soon. We already have plans for sending a teaching team to the village of Paramba, sending missionaries to the village of Kaju Poli (Oak Tree), and last but not at all least distribution the Old Testament Scripture portions. Our team has already met and decided how the Scripture books need to be divided up and how many go to each village. Our goal is to get a Bible into the hands of each family in each of the villages we serve. Hopefully we can get even more printed in the future and more widely distributed amongst the Wana speakers on our island.
I am already making plans to head back to Asia Pacific departing the USA on September 16. Again we have a lot planned for this trip which include two large conferences in our Wana Tribe along with the Old Testament Scripture dedication. For this dedication they want us to come up with a slide presentation showing the work as it was from the beginning up to the present time. We are looking forward to this!
The two of us want to take this opportunity to thank you so much for prayers for us and our ministry with the Wana people. Thank you so much for being a vital part of our team as we seek to expand the reach of the gospel in Asia Pacific.
God Bless you,
Ed & Jeanne Casteel