It is hard to believe that we are already into the month of July! Since our last letter, we have had to say a difficult goodbye to our kids as they left back for Peru, South America on May 24. It was such a blessing to have them with us during their home assignment. They returned to a very dusty and neglected apartment and no electricity. Geoff had kept up paying the electric bill online while away but due to a recording error it was deemed that he was delinquent so they disconnected their electricity. Thankfully they were able to get it resolved quickly and the electric reconnected. Also, they were able to get the apartment thoroughly cleaned and are settled back into ministry now. Thanks so much for your prayers for them.
We also appreciate your continued prayers for the Wana outreach in a different village. This outreach has an interesting history as these people have previously been involved in what the government would consider a cult, which was basically a mixture of Christianity and old Wana culture.
The man who started this cult claimed to be having visions from the Lord as talked about in Acts 2:17. He had also read in the Bible about the anti-Christ and how that in the tribulation one would need the number 666 on their forehead in order to buy or sell. Being a Wana person he was also well acquainted with the Wana millenarian gathering of people where they flee their ordinary way of life to seek salvation.
Putting it all together he led a large number of people into the mountains where he felt they would be safe. There they would plant gardens and become self-sufficient, so when the time came they would be saved from the anti-Christ and his wrath. The leader’s name is “Papa Retek”. Due to a lot of circumstances, this group of people has asked to be taught the gospel by our church in their own heart language. Papa Retek is still struggling with this as he realizes he had a large following and if his group turns to Jesus they will no longer be following him but rather Jesus.
Last week the group started the lessons in the Life of Christ in which they will see how the promises they have been taught in the Old Testament start to unfold with the birth of Christ in the New Testament. Please be in prayer for Papa Retek and this large group of over 200 people as they are hearing the gospel for the very first time, and in their heart language which they totally understand. Pray that God’s Spirit will be at work in their hearts and preparing them to put their trust in the true Savior, Jesus Christ.
We are also in the midst of plans for our Wana church-wide Bible conference in September. My plans are to leave the USA mid-September. Our plans for this conference will be to teach on “inductive Bible Study” using the book of Joshua. Pray for my co-workers and me as we are working on a teaching draft of Joshua to have ready for this large conference. And pray that this conference will be a help to our believers as we try to help them to better study the Word of God and apply it to their lives.
We want to thank you so much for your prayers for our ministry with the Wana people. Thanks for being a part of our team as we join with what the Lord is doing in Wana and in Asia Pacific.
May God Bless,
Ed & Jeanne Casteel
Church Planting Asia Pacific