The ground was all white as we looked out the window this morning. So, November 1 marks our first snow of the season. I jokingly told some of our Wana folks that we had “manna” on the ground. I held my computer up to the window and they enjoyed seeing the snow on the lawn and on the trees behind. They have always lived in the tropics so can only try and imagine the cold and snow.
First, we want to thank you for your prayers for our kids, Geoff & Tina, over the past two months as they went to Florida to be with Tina’s parents who were both hospitalized with Covid-19. Tina’s dad passed away on September 11 and her mom on September 12. It still feels like a bad dream to all of us. Jeanne and I went down for the memorial service which was held on September 23. Following the memorial service, Geoff & Tina along with Tina’s sister and her husband spent a few weeks going through the house and getting things set in place for both an estate sale and the sale of the house. Geoff and Tina were then able to return home on October 20.
Asia Pacific News: Our team is really excited about a new outreach that is starting to come together in a distant Wana village called “Watusongu” (Lone Rock). In Asia Pacific, all churches come under the “department of religion.” Because of the fact these folks had previously been members of another church group, the department of religion had to be involved in order for our church to be able to obtain permission to work there. We are thankful to the Lord that things have worked out to where permission has been granted, so it looks hopeful that we will soon be able to begin teaching in this village.
Two weeks ago, we held a church-wide Bible conference in the Wana village where we have our houses and call home. The trails are very rugged getting to this village so we were thankful we could utilize the helicopter to get folks from the other villages to attend. The study was on Philippians Chapter 3, and everyone came away feeling very blessed to be a part of the study and all the great fellowship! I was supposed to be present at this Bible Conference but due to Covid travel restrictions had to postpone once again. On the positive side of things, Covid-19 cases have really gone down over the past month. The government is slowly opening things back up so I am very hopeful to be able to resume my travels in March and be in attendance of the next Bible conference where we will be studying Philippians 4.
We are also grateful for the progress in the translation. Besides working on some revisions, I have also been enjoying doing some rough translation and lessons in 1 Kings and am up to 1 Kings 18. I have had real burden to introduce the Wana people to more of the Old Testament not only for the background it provides for the New Testament but also for the examples it provides of how God worked in the lives of people. The Wana people can really relate to those Old Testament characters and the many life challenges they faced. Yesterday as I was teaching a group of pastors, we read 1 Kings 16 and talked about the importance of teaching our kids and grandkids. Realizing that if we don’t then little by little, we will fall away from the Lord just like these Israelite Kings. They thanked me for sharing this chapter with them and then told us thanks for bringing them the gospel. Such encouraging words for us to hear.
We too want to take this time to thank you so much for your prayers for us and our ministry with the Wana people.. Thank you for your special part on our team.
May God Bless,
Ed n Jeanne Casteel