Dear Ministry Partners,
Wow, it seems like tons has happened since our last letter to you. First of all we want to thank you so much for your prayers for both of us as I ventured off to the Asia Pacific and Jeanne held the fort on this end. I was able to depart on schedule and was 25 hours from take off till touch down, with a stop in Chicago and in Tokyo. One little blessing I had on the Chicago – Tokyo leg with is about 13 hours was a great seat. I was kind of cramped in a window exit row seat when the flight attendant came and asked the gal sitting next to me if she would like to move to another seat. She said “no” as she was traveling with the gentleman sitting on the other side of her. The flight attendant then looked at me and said, “Well would you like to move?” I said sure and was given an upgrade to “economy plus”…thank you Lord for that little gift!
It was a joy to be back with the Wana tribal believers once again. We boarded the new Kodiak airplane and 50 minutes later touched down on the little grass airstrip in the middle of Wana land in the village of Padalempe. There we enjoyed a 4 day long Bible conference with our church leaders, and evangelists studying from the book of Jude. As we studied through this book the Lord led us to talk about how the devil is a liar and a deceiver, and how he hates man and always fights against God and His will. We talked a lot about how the old former belief system can sometimes be what “creeps in unawares” and can destroy our faith. This generated lots of good discussion and we felt like it was a tremendous help and encouragement to all.
My trip also included a trip to the capital city for a consultant workshop, and then multiple consultant visits to different missionary teams. We also use these trips as discipleship opportunities to train our Wana missionaries and church leaders. We always have some of them traveling with us and they are learning the process of giving consultant help to those whom they have sent out. It is a blessing to serve alongside of them and we appreciate the invaluable input they have to offer to our missionary teams as they see and understand things from a different angle than we do. We feel like we really compliment one another.
Five days before I left on this trip Jeanne was working out in the yard when she banged her head on a tree limb wrenching her neck. The day after I left for Asia Pacific she started experiencing lots of neck and back pain. We had known from an MRI years ago that she had pretty severe neck issues and a recent MRI showed that she had just aggravated her existing condition. To make a long story short this all led to neck surgery for her last Thursday in which they fused three of her vertebrae together tying it all together with a titanium plate. So she has now joined the stiff necked titanium club along with her husband – ha. The last five days have been hard with lots of soreness but things are coming along slowly for her. She will have her first follow-up appointment this coming Monday. We will sure appreciate your continued prayers for her.
We thank you again for being a faithful part of our team and for your prayers this past month. The Wana people continue to express their thanks to you for sending someone to them to tell them about Jesus.
Ed & Jeanne Casteel