Dear Family and Friends,
Well, this is the day we have been looking and working toward for the past nearly two years. We started submitting the completed manuscript of the Hamtai New Testament to our New Tribes Mission Publications Department in the headquarters, which is only 1½ miles from the NTM Homes where we live. It is good being this close so that we can communicate freely with Doug Lotz as he starts to format the New Testament and get it ready for printing. Otherwise we would have to do it all via Email and phone. Here we are in his office discussing the formatting:
We thank God for the wisdom and strength to enable to us to come this far. We look forward to the day we can take the 5,000 copies of God’s precious Word back to Papua New Guinea and get it into the hands of the eager Hamtai believers. Some of them keep asking us via their cell phones when we will return with their copies of “Buk Bilong God” (God’s Book).
The next question you are probably thinking is, “How long will it take to get the New Testament printed?” We are estimating that it should be formatted and sent out to the printers by December and then printed by January 2013. This means we won’t be able to return to PNG until after that. We are disappointed with that time frame, but are trusting God for His timing, which is always best. Meanwhile, we will begin editing the preliminary draft of some Old Testament portions that our co-translator, Malcolm, did a few years ago.
Many of you have asked about our health. We are grateful for the health the Lord has allowed us to have. Corinne’s TIA in December was a scare to both of us, but it was not serious. Her blood pressure is still rather high. My recent bout with colon problems prompted me to get a colonoscopy. That showed no polyps etc., praise the Lord. However, I have a bad case of diverticulosis which could become a more serious problem if not cared for.
We are thankful for our membership in Samaritan Ministries International. At our age we can no longer be under the group insurance coverage of New Tribes Mission. We send our monthly fee to members whose needs have been published by the SMI office. And when we have had a medical expense we receive checks from other members to cover everything except eye and dental care. It did cover Corinne’s cataract surgeries last year. However, we do have some pre-existing conditions which may not be covered. I think I am heading for a knee replacement, for example, and we would be on our own with that. We do have Medicare A which covers hospital, but we won’t be able to get Part B until January next year with benefits not available until July.
Corinne needs to see an eye doctor, and we both need to see a dentist soon. Pray we will find the right ones.
We enjoy living here in the NTM Homes, the retirement center for retired NTM missionaries. We enjoy fellowship with many of our former coworkers in Papua New Guinea. We are getting acquainted with other fellow missionaries whose names we have heard through the years and prayed for them as they worked in many other countries of the world. Being busy with our translation project we haven’t become involved in the local churches very much, although we attend every Sunday. One church, Sanford Bible Church, was without their song leader for the summer, so we have enjoyed attending there, and I am able to lead singing and participate in special music, etc.
We are thankful for the Lord’s continued provision for our needs through our faithful supporters and Social Security during this time of transition from active field work to semi-retirement. Furniture and many other household items were given to us, so our simple duplex apartment is quite comfortable. And of course, we have enjoyed the Florida sunshine, and lately almost daily rains. We followed instructions for preparing for hurricanes, but thankfully we have been spared from them. Air conditioning keeps us cool. We’ve been blessed beyond measure. We pray for those without power and for those who are fleeing fires, hurricanes, and floods.
With joy in the Lord,
Tom and Corinne Palmer