January 12, 2015
Dear Friends and Co-workers,
Wow! It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and now New Years is all behind us. It seems like that time came and went very quickly. We do trust that you had a great time with family and friends during this holiday season. We had a good time celebrating Thanksgiving with each of our parents on separate days this year, and then for Christmas we got everyone together for a nice dinner, followed by reading the Christmas story and exchanging some gifts.
Things in the Wana Tribe were bustling as this is always an exciting time of the year for them too. All of our Wana co-workers, except for one family were able to go back into the tribe to celebrate Christmas. They were all SO exited to be traveling together with the anticipation of getting back to their home villages and being with family and friends during this special time of the year. Our churches all had special Christmas programs and of course a big feast as well. They too made sure that each of the outreaches where there are believers were also able to have a special Christmas celebration. So some of our church leaders made trips to these outreach areas for that purpose. We were all so excited for them during this time and visions of all they were doing were dancing through our minds.
We have some other exciting things taking place too. The first thing is that we were able to do our first publication of the book of Genesis. This was printed in December and the pilot was able to deliver them on December 26, which in Indonesia was in perfect time for Christmas! We have also been able to finish the translation of the Chronological lessons “Creation through the Life of Christ” complete with pictures. The Lord sent us a gift to cover the cost for the first printing of these so those will be getting printed and distributed soon. The most exciting news is in the village of Kawedo where 15 new families are asking to be taught the Scripture for the first time! These are mainly families who have been rejecting the teaching for over 30 years and now desiring to hear the Word of God. It is a good reminder that “God is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
I am now in the process of making plans to return to Asia Pacific on March 9 and will be returning on April 20. As normal it looks to be a packed time with a church planting seminar, Wana Bible conference, visiting Wana churches, consultant visits to other tribal works, and working on final corrections and compiling the Bible lessons for all of the Epistles into books. We will appreciate your prayers for this time and also the finances for it. Some finances have already come in but I am still needing to trust the Lord for another $2000 to meet the needs of this trip.
Jeanne and I also want to take this opportunity to thank you so much for your prayers this past month. We appreciate so much your being a part of our team as we work together with you to spread the gospel to the many people scattered about on the thousands of islands in the Asia Pacific.
May the Lord Bless in this New Year,
Ed & Jeanne Casteel