Dear Ministry Partners,
Greetings again from the two of us. It is hard to believe that another two months has passed since our last letter and I have been half way around the world and back since that time. We want to thank you so much for your prayers while I was gone to Asia Pacific for much of the past two months. We are thankful that my trip went very well and that the Lord took good care of Jeanne and our family on this side of the world while I was gone.
The first 10 days of my trip were involved in a “church development forum.” This was an international forum attended by missionaries from a number of countries in South East Asia. What made this forum different is this was the first forum where we started to include some of our own Wana missionaries – having 4 of them attend. It was a super idea and all the missionaries attending really enjoyed getting their perspective and hearing some of the challenges they each face in their respective church planting ministries. We all came away from this forum with some new and fresh ideas.
Following this forum our mission held a “missionary training forum” in Manila. We decided it would be good if a couple of our Wana men could attend this as well. I did not attend this but was involved in helping our men get ready for this trip. This was the first time that any of our Wana missionaries have been outside their own country! It was amazing to see them hard at work getting their birth certificates and country I.D. cards in order, and finally applying for and obtaining their passports. This was quite an experience for them and we really enjoyed hearing their stories when they arrived home. We are beginning to help our Wana churches with providing their own missionary training for outreach so this was a very valuable forum for them to attend.
We again had a wonderful Bible conference for our Wana church leadership and for others who wanted to attend. Church leaders and representatives from 7 different Wana villages, and 6 church leaders from a neighboring tribal group were in attendance. We keyed in on Revelation 20-22 for our study. One particular fellow named “Tenay” who is still an unbeliever asked if he could board the helicopter and attend the conference. Our evangelist who was in charge of that outreach asked him why he wanted to go and if it was just to take a helicopter ride or if it was to truly hear God’s Word. He assured him that he wanted to hear God’s word, and holding true to his word attended every meeting. We have known Tenay since he was a young lad when we first moved into Wana, and it is exciting to see him finally very interested in hearing the Gospel. Please be praying for him that he would soon accept Christ as his Savior. Besides having a great time with our Wana churches, we along with some of our Wana elders were also privileged to make consultant visits with 4 other tribal missionary teams. It is truly a privilege to be able to work together with them not only within the Wana tribe itself but also being an help and encouragement to other missionary teams in our region. Then during my last few days there our own Wana team was able to work on Bible lessons for the book of Jude – What a blessing to be involved in this great work!
Jeanne and I also want to take this opportunity to thank you so much for your prayers for us. We thank you too for being a part of our team as we work together with you to reach out to the island people of Asia Pacific.
Ed & Jeanne Casteel