This letter finds me heading back to Asia Pacific soon! It hardly seems possible that the summer months are now passed and the time to travel is here once again. Needless to say I am looking forward to getting back to the “land and water” in this region of the world.
Pray that I will be a blessing to all whom I come in contact with, and pray too for good health, strength, and stamina. Pray too for Jeanne as she holds the fort on this end and continues to look after her mom. We really miss having my parents with us during these times as they were always our backup. However we do have a wonderful Bible study group and they are always there to help and give support while I am away. I will do my best to keep in touch from time to time while away so you can follow my travels. Thanks so much for being a part of our team.
Some really exciting news we have to share in this update is that we have two airstrips in Wana that will be approved this month just in time for all the conferences we have coming up in one of our Wana villages! For one of the conferences we have church representatives from many different islands coming to attend. The logistics for getting folks to this event were looking to be a bit of a nightmare but the Kodiak airplane with its 10-seat capacity will help alleviate much of the travel challenges we were facing. The helicopter is also back in service after a major overhaul so it will be able to service the areas where the airplane cannot get into. We are thankful to all the Wana people who have worked so hard to get these airstrips repaired in up to the specs for the larger aircraft we are now using.
The very last day of the above conferences we will be having an Old Testament Scripture dedication. We have not completed the whole Old Testament but have completed all of the book of Genesis, and then all the Scriptures from Exodus on which correlate to our chronological teaching program. We have printed and bound this into a separate book and have them already shipped into the village where the dedication will be held. We will be able to distribute the Scriptures to each church at that time so they can take them home with them when they depart from the conference.
As we shared in our last letter we are suffering some growing pains with our “youth ministries” – this of course is a good problem to have, but it has been a challenge to find sufficient dorm space for all the children coming out to town to attend junior/senior high school and some going on into college. Some good news is that we are now in the final stages of purchasing a dorm in one city, and land in another which we can build on. A gift of $25,000 was recently given towards this project so hopefully we can start the building process soon. Up to this point we have been renting houses which we have converted into dormitories but it will be nice when the churches can have their own facilities with which to work with and develop.
Some exciting news in our family is that yesterday Jeanne’s mom, Thelma, celebrated her 100th birthday!! Needless to say we took the day off to celebrate with her. She thoroughly enjoyed the large balloon display we had made for her room and all the cards and gifts different ones sent. We were able to take her to one of her favorite restaraunts for lunch, went and visited a friend of hers in another care center, and went for a ride to a beautiful park and lake just outside of town. It was so much fun for us to see her enjoy her special day and get to be a part of it. Jeanne’s dad and mom entered their missionary career back in 1948 and served for 50 years. In all they served in Japan, Australia, United States, along with making countless consultant trips to numerous countries around the world.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you so much for prayers for us and our ministry with the Wana people. Thanks again for all you are doing to help reach the people of Asia Pacific with the gospel. You are very much appreciated!
God Bless you,
Ed n Jeanne Casteel