We are back home and ready to report on our 4-week trip along the east coast up to New York State and Pennsylvania. We had thought of continuing on to Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Alabama. We could not get peace about it and later realized that we really were not physically up to it at this time. We’re sorry for having missed some of you in those states. We both came home with a cold, and Tom’s turned into asthma, as it usually does.

We learned another way in which angels look after the saints. We had a very late night before we left on the 3rd of October. Tom realized that he needed to stop often for rest and coffee, but we did not stop and try to get sleep. He usually can fight off sleepiness but this time in Georgia fatigue caught up with him, and he was awakened by a big bang when he side-swiped a big semi-trailer truck while we were passing him. (I was asleep.) Neither he nor the truck driver stopped. Tom realized that he had not done any damage to the truck and that our car was not immobilized. We continued on and now that we are back the car has been repaired through the insurance company. The Lord had the truck at the right place to keep us in the lane, avoiding serious damage to the car, or to us!

On the trip we were able to visit two of my former classmates at Prairie Bible Institute that I had not seen since I graduated there in 1951. It was a blessing to all of us to share news of the Lord’s leading in each of our lives during the intervening years. We serve a wonderful, loving and caring God.

Our two days with my nephew, Paul Mansker, were relaxing after our highway mishap. We reminisced, discussed the Word, and watched the baseball playoffs together.

It was also a joy to visit other friends, family members and supporters. On the 7th we arrived at Fred and Lorna Morris’s place in time to join them in a dinner for Fred’s 90th birthday. Fred visited us in New Guinea in 1959 to get detailed information on the life of Jim Spence, a former classmate of his who was a coworker with us until he died of leukemia in 1957 and was buried in New Guinea. Fred later wrote and published a book about Jim called IN SEARCH OF BROWN GOLD. Let us know if you would like to receive a copy. Fred once told us he has prayed for us every morning since he met us in 1959. We are sure that the prayers of such godly supporters of ours enabled us to press on these past 60 years!

We were able to visit our grandson, Ilai Burdett, in the correctional institute in Ogdensburg near the Canadian border in upper New York. We were allowed to take a Bible in with us and were able to share some verses with him. He listened and made comments. What concerned us was his comment that though he wanted to do what is right, God was not helping him to change. He will be released to return to Syracuse in May. He has to remain and work in that area for at least 6 months. We would appreciate prayer for him. Later we stopped to visit with his daughter Kelli May, our first great grandchild. She lives with her mother who devorced Ilai and remarried.

Our main purpose for this trip at this time was to reconnect with our supporters at Harpursville Baptist Church in Harpursville, NY, and to get acquainted with pastor Craig Schnurbusch, whom we had not yet met. He is interested in missions and wanted to meet all the missionaries that the church supports. Our daughter Judy and her husband, Jim Burdett, who are on home assignment, had a meeting there in mid August before coming to Sanford for the month of September to work with Doug Lotz on formatting and checking their translation of the New Testament in the Dom language in which they have worked for 32 years. We did not want to be away during September when they were here. The pastor, therefore, agreed on our having meetings there on the 12th of October. We worked around that date for our other contacts. While we were there a couple who have been long-time friends and supporters, drove 2 hours to be with us there. Thank you, Dick and Lee.

As we were leaving there Pastor Craig was concerned about the warning light which kept saying there were problems with the engine. He took it to be analyzed but the mechanic found nothing. But the warning light came on again. However, since it had been checked we considered it be something minor so ignored it. While we were travelling in New York our car started coughing and hesitating, then stopped. After starting it again and asking the Lord to lead us we returned to the town we had left and a mechanic there checked it. He put it through analysis for over 3 hours before he found that two main sensors were not functioning – the one for the air intake and the other for the crank shaft. With his promise to have the parts by morning we overnighted in a motel. In the morning by 11 o’clock we paid our $700 charges and were on our way. Since then the car has run well, with a slight increase in gas mileage.

On the 18th we drove on to Beaver Falls to stay with our son Joel and family. Joel works in the mailing room in Geneva College, a Christian college in the same town. When one of the professors was told that Joel’s parents, who had served so many years in New Guinea, would be visiting, he told Joel he wanted his father to speak to his three classes. On the appointed day we turned up and were told that the professor was sick and would not be there, but that he wanted Tom to go ahead and teach his three classes. We did so, and enjoyed sharing with the students. Later we did get to meet Dr. Watt when he came to Joel’s to see us.

While at Joel’s we went to visit with Yarnells and to go with them to their Global Missionary Supply warehouse to inspect some of the questionable copies of the newly-printed 4,000 copies of the Hamtai New Testaments. Yarnells and volunteers had inspected them and there seemed to be very few problems. Those of this second printing are nearly 3/8th of an inch thinner but an ounce heavier than the previously printed ones done in Canada. GMS hopes to have a container ready to send them in by December. We are praying for funds to pay for the shipping charges. Also Tom was invited to speak that Sunday morning in their Sunday school and for 15 minutes during the morning service. Many from that church had helped inspect and repack the original 6,000 copies of the New Testaments.

Corinne looks them over

Bob and Cheryl Yarnell

By this time we had accomplished most of our goals for the trip, and since we were concerned lest Tom’s asthma develop into bronchitis as it usually did before, we felt we should head home to Florida. Now thankfully, no bronchitis, but he still has to keep the asthma down through medication.

On the way home we did stop to visit my niece and husband, Dennis and Pam Burd. You have seen their names on our prayer letters for many years. Their printing and mailing of our prayer letters have been a tremendous help and blessing. However, since we are now in the U.S. and are in better health than they are, we will be doing it ourselves from now on. So please help us. If you have a change of address, or if you happen to want your name removed from our mailing list, please contact us. Also, if any of you who are receiving our letters by snail mail but have email and would rather receive them by email, please send us your email address. By the way, we would also be interested in having the phone numbers of any of you who would care to give them to us.

Thanks to any of you who responded to our request for your vote for NTM to receive a gift towards an airplane. NTM won the 2nd prize of $8,000. That gift can help outfit and send a new Kodiak that has been given for Papua New Guinea.

Our NTM flight program in PNG recently sent a new pilot, Jon Leedahl, to the Summer Institute of Linguistics to their station in Ukarumpa, PNG, for training to fly a Kodiak plane, which would be on its way soon to the field. Some of you probably heard of the motorcycle accident near there that terribly injured him, necessitating the amputation of one leg and much extensive treatment on his other leg. SIL evacuated him and his family to Australia, where he is gradually improving. Continue to pray for his recovery and for other pilots that we need and for the ferrying of the first Kodiak soon to PNG.

Well, with various problems hindering our getting this letter off sooner, we have decided to make it a “prayer letter” going to our complete mailing list rather than an “update” going to only those with email.

Recently on HUCKABEE, Mike stated that our culture seems to be skipping Thanks¬iving and right after Halloween going right into Christmas preparations. Lest we be guilty of the same, we would like to here express our sincere thanksgiving to the Lord and to all of you who have stood with us over the years with your friendship, prayers, gifts, encouragement, and concern expressed in so many beautiful, loving, helpful ways. Thank you! Thank you!

We have been tremendously blessed and must not forget we are still debtors to get the Gospel to the lost. May this Christmas season not be a burden but a joy, rejoicing in the coming of our Saviour to live a sinless life so He could die as a perfect substitute sacrifice for each of us.

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Tom and Corinne Palmer