Well we are now down to the last two weeks before departure date to Asia Pacific. We want to thank you all for your prayers as we have once again been getting me prepared to go. At this time my visa entry permit is in hand, all tickets have been purchased, hotel reservations made, new international drivers license, suitcases laying in the office and starting to pack. Even added another water filter since the last email . We stand in awe once again as we have seen God provide and how He has supplied for all the finances that I should need for this trip!
With this email we want to send you the testimony of another of our Wana missionary families, “Arman and Itje Garu”, who are working on a neighboring island. (See below). It has been a blessing to see God mature the Wana churches and to now see them sending out their own missionaries. It is also a tremendous blessing for us to be able to work along side these wonderful people. Needless to say I am looking forward to getting back over with them. Thanks so much for being a part.
Blessings to each of you,
Ed & Jeanne Casteel
P.S. The Wana often give each other nicknames. Arman’s nickname is “beard” as he has always worn a beard.
The Story of our lives and how it came about that we came to the island of Peleng.
From Arman Garu:
The first thing I want to explain is that I am not originally from the village of Paramba but rather from the village of Lijo. While at Lijo I was very poor and not only physically poor but spiritually as well, because I was likened to a person living in the pitch dark. But praise the Lord I made a plan to visit my family in the village of Paramba. While at Paramba I was happy to hear people teaching the word of God in the Taa language (my language). So as time went on, I decided not to return home to Lijo, so that I could continue to study God’s word while out farming in the fields. After some time it became clear to me that I was separated from God but just by believing in the Lord Jesus I could have fellowship with God. So because I believed in Christ that is why I was saved from eternal judgment.
I put my trust in Christ in 1999. So after that I wanted to make known that I had believed. Because I had put my faith in Christ, I wanted to follow the Lord’s plan in being baptized. When I was small I had been baptized, but that was before I had believed, so I wanted to make a sign to all that I believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. I continued in my faith and then in the year 2007 the Lord gave me the opportunity to serve in the church (as an elder). After that three years later, the Lord prepared some of his servants to go to the island of Peleng – that was Sidi and family, Doni and family, and Elke. I never thought that I would be one sent because I felt that I wouldn’t have the ability to do that job, plus I had never attented the PPMMP missionary training in Manado. So I felt I wouldn’t be able to study another language and culture because that would be a very difficult task. But then there came a day when all the churches in Wana met in the village of Padalempe. The Lord used those believers who met for that time in our lives to choose my wife and I to go. So I prayed and I told the Lord: “Lord it is clear that this is Your plan so it will have to be You who gives me the ability.”
So even though this is a difficult task which He has given us, I am happy to think that the Lord Jesus freed me from my sin on the cross. So it is also fitting if the Lord uses me along with my friends to bring the good news to another place, so these people can also be freed from their sins. So that is why no matter what I face, I still say to the Lord, “thanks”. There is no honor I will receive from this work other than the glory in heaven if there are people who put their trust in Christ from this tribe of “Sea-Sea” here on the island of Peleng.
So that is the end of what I want to tell you. Thank you in the Love of the Lord Jesus.
From Itje Garu:
I was born in 1972. It was only 8 days after I was born that I was baptised as in infant as at that time my family was a member of a protestant church which believed in baptism for salvation. Then just two years later my father passed away. So I lived with my mother and my grandparents for a year. When I was three years old my mother was remarried so I lived with my mother and step father. Then after a few years I began to attend grade school. When I was in grade school my step father started teaching me God’s word, and from that I started to understand God’s word. So I am very happy to praise Him because He already died on the cross for my sins. So all that happened in my heart was just the plan of God for my life. Because only by trusting in the blood of the Lord Jesus we can have eternal life.
At this time I have been sent by the Lord to another place. From the time He was on earth to the present time the Lord Jesus has told his disciples to go to the ends of the earth. So I know that all of this is the plan of the Lord God for my life, and it was He who sent me to tell the good news to others. So no matter what trials that I face, I know that the Lord is always with me. The Lord will never leave me in this life.
So that is all I have right now to share with you.