February 25, 2013
Dear Ministry Partners,
We trust this letter finds you well. It is hard to believe that springtime is almost upon us even though we wouldn’t have known that by the big snow storm that just hit us this past week. We had even seen some geese starting to fly north but wondering if they turned around and went back. However we are starting to see some new baby calves out in the fields now and reminded of all the new life that is about the spring forth.
Besides continuing the work our Bible Curriculum development we have been busy this past month working on a comprehension check on the Genesis translation with our Wana co-workers. We have a 14-hour time difference right now so it means working both morning and evening hours – finding time on both ends of the clock when we are all still awake on both sides of the globe. Our “Skype” connections have been working very well and this has proved to be a very good way to do this as we “sit across the desk” (or should I say across Pacific) from one another for a couple of hours at a time. It is amazing as we do feel we are just sitting across the desk as we have opportunity to turn the Skype cameras on and view one another as well. We do appreciate your prayers that the end result will be a very clear and understandable translation for the Wana people.
Cultural differences are a hurdle we all face when working cross culturally. As we have helped a team of our Wana missionaries who work with another language group on another island I have been encouraged that it is not only us westerners that face the cultural challenge. One of our Wana families purchased what they thought was a plot of ground in which they could build their house, and proceeded to build. Sometime later they found out that what they had really purchased was just some old palm tree stumps which were still on the plot of land. In the culture of the island what is growing on the land can be the property of another thus both have to be purchased separately – yes even old dead tree stumps! The family that actually owns the land has assured them that there is no problem with them using the land so we trust that will continue to be the case.
As we had mentioned in a previous news letter it is not going to work out for me to travel next month as planned. I am feeling a whole lot better now from my spinal surgery and my swallowing is gradually returning more towards normal – probably 75-80%. However I still have more healing and rehab needing to take place before tackling the rigors of another trip so the doctor has recommended waiting till my next scheduled trip in September before doing extensive travel. This has been disappointing but as I have recently been translating lessons on Genesis and going through the story of Joseph I realize that the Lord is in complete control and that His way is perfect.
We want to thank you so much for your part in our ministry and for your prayers this past month. We are thankful for the great team the Lord has given us as we work together to spread the gospel to the people of Asia Pacific.
Ed n Jeanne Casteel