We trust this letter finds you well and trust you had a wonderful “Independence Day” weekend. Even though we are losing a lot of freedoms we once had we can still be thankful for the freedoms we do have and the freedom to worship and share our faith with others. Sometimes I think we take for granted what we do have. For instance in Asia Pacific where we work to be a legal church you must have at least 93 members (I believe that is the odd number) and then 45 families in the neighborhood have to sign a paper that they are in agreement. If either of these two qualifications is not met then legally it cannot meet as a church – just some of the regulations we face in Asia Pacific.
Jeanne and I always enjoy growing a garden. I guess we like to see things grow. I even hate to thin out the plants as once they come up I just want to see them keep on growing so I have Jeanne do all the thinning – ha. The radishes of course were the first to come ripe so have been eating on them for awhile now, and then this past week we started to get squash and cucumbers. The tomatoes look like they will be awhile before any come ripe and the melons even longer. We sure do enjoy the fresh vegetables we get.
Things are going well in our Wana churches. We enjoy daily skype conference calls with our Wana co-laborers and working together with them to see our churches come to further maturity. A couple of our churches were really challenged this past Bible conference in the area of discipling new men into leadership positions. It has been encouraging seeing them working with and teaching the younger generation of believers. Recently we were able to print and send in copies of the newly translated foundational lessons “Genesis – Life of Christ”. One church has begun to reteach through these lessons to all the believers for review and to make sure all their believers are well grounded in the foundational truths of Scripture. We are excited to see them excited about studying God’s Word. We were able to finish translating the Jude lessons and now working on a set of 22 marriage counseling lessons. These lessons are all looking at different married couples both in the Old and New Testaments and studying through both the challenges and victories they had in their lives. This is a great set of lessons and we will be excited to see them put to use.
In many ways it seems like I just returned home from Asia Pacific but here it is and only two months before “lift off”!! My plans are to depart here in September and I will return in October. Steve and I will be involved in another Wana Bible Conference studying the book of Jude, and also looking forward to touching base with many of our Wana believers. We will also be doing some consultant visits to some other missionary teams. Many of these teams will soon be finished with language and culture study so we are beginning to help prepare them for Scripture translation and curriculum development. Many funds for this trip have already come in but I am still trusting the Lord for another $700.00, and will appreciate your prayers for that.
We also want to thank you so much for being a part of our team and for your prayers for us. It is a blessing to partner with you to expand the reach of the gospel in the Asia Pacific region.
Ed & Jeanne Casteel