Dear Fellow Co-workers,
Wow, it hardly seems possible we are already into a new year! We trust you had a great Christmas and that the year 2013 has gotten off to a good start. We enjoyed celebrating Christmas together with Jeanne’s mom, my folks, and also my sister and husband who came up from Texas. New Years Eve Jeanne and I stayed up to watch the big ball drop in New York City, which was 11:00 p.m. our time, and figured that was close enough so went to bed. We did reminisce back to the New Year 2000. At that time we had just arrived back to Asia Pacific and were staying in a hotel awaiting our flight up to the province. The national TV station was broadcasting the New Year as it hit each of the 24 time zones in major cities of each zone. Of course we couldn’t see them all but it was fun to tune in every so often and see the celebrations in many cities around the world. It might interest you to know that out of the 24 time zones Asia Pacific is fourth in line to celebrate the New Year, with Fiji and New Zealand being the first.
We want to thank for your prayers as I have been recovering from spinal surgery. Since our last letter my swallowing has been improving little by little and I am glad to say that I am no longer having to eat pureed foods any longer – yeh! I must take small bites and eat slowly but at least am getting normal food down once again. It has all been an adjustment for me as I used to be accused of inhaling my food and now I am the slowest one at the table – ha. I had a follow-up appointment last week which showed that all the fusions are taking hold which is a real answer to prayer. I still have to do swallowing exercises each day, must continue to be careful with lifting, and also need to continue to wear a bone growth stimulator collar for the next few months which will help bring the fusions to complete healing.
Our Wana co-workers and their families were able to return to their tribal villages for Christmas and New Years. They always enjoy getting away from the city and having this special time at “home” with their family and friends. Besides the celebrations they were also looking forward to spending some time encouraging the believers in many of the churches there. They had left me with a number of rough draft Old Testament lessons, so while they were gone I was kept busy going through and revising each of them. Another blessing this past month was to see a new team of missionaries from Wana enter a new language group. This is the third cross-cultural outreach our Wana churches have sent missionaries too so it is very exciting to see them now taking the gospel to other language groups besides the many outreaches going on within their own tribal boarders.
Jeanne and I want to take this opportunity to thank you so much for your continued part in our ministry and thank you so much for your prayers this past month. It is a privilege and blessing for us to be able to serve together with you as we seek to spread the gospel throughout Asia Pacific.
Blessings this New Year!
Ed n Jeanne Casteel