Michelle’s May Update

Dear Ladies,

First of all, I would like to thank all of you that brought food, cleaned or helped in some way to making our first few weeks back in the US easier. We certainly appreciate all that you do for us. We are especially thankful for Ben and Alyssa Hall for allowing us to stay in their beautiful home. We have truly enjoyed being here. It has been a blessing to me to be able to catch up with many of you as well as meet some of you for the first time! It is always a blessing to come back and see how the Lord is adding to our church!

Jackie asked me to give a bit of an update on my perspective of life in Africa. I can’t believe it, but we are already into our 5th year! God has been so very faithful to us. As we are coming into this 5th year we are beginning to see some fruits of our labor. When I think about why those fruits have come, I realize it is the product of the Biblical principle of teaching the Word of God.

Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:1 Samuel 12:23
For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.Hebrews 4:12

Teaching isn’t only done in a group setting. It is done spending time one-on-one, using day-to-day circumstances, working through conflicts, and ultimately living what you teach. This past year I have seen some amazing spiritual growth in the ladies that I work with. It doesn’t have anything to do with my abilities as a teacher. It all has to do with the effect that the Word of God is making on their hearts and their response to it. That is why it is so important to be constantly teaching the Word of God to someone. It is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword! It can reach places in the heart of a person that my words can’t.

This past year, Bev Hammett and I taught a ladies conference on the importance of being a mother and child discipline. I also taught through Bev’s book Choices We Make. We also studied the book Loving God With All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. We meet together for a couple of hours every Saturday. The ladies in the village of Makobo also try and join us. It has truly been a blessing for me to see how these ladies have taken to heart the Word of God and have begun to put it to practice in their lives and in their homes. I always say I must be the hardest nut to crack ! By the time I teach a lesson I have read it, rewritten it to fit the cultural needs and then taught it. It seems that I need triple the teaching! I can honestly say that I, as well, have experienced spiritual growth in my own life by teaching these ladies the Word of God.

We have also seen an increased interest in the young ladies of the church. We have about 10 teens that started out as children in Rachel Hammett’s Sunday school and are now young adults. I taught the girls through the book Lies Young Women Believe and my husband took the young men and taught them through the book RIGHT and WRONG that went though the life of Daniel.

Just before coming to the US, I taught through an 8 week course on salvation combining the scripture diagrams with other material that I have accumulated over the years. Only one of those teens are saved and baptized. The rest admitted their need of salvation. Of course, I would have liked to have seen one or all of them saved at the end of the course, but I know God was working as we were studying the Scriptures and I look forward to some day seeing the fruit of salvation in God’s timing and not my own. I am also looking forward to returning and picking up where we left off even if I have to teach the principles all over again. The more of the Word of God that is taught, the more possibilities the Spirit of God has to work in a heart. I hope you understand that this update is not an accolade of all that I have done. It is meant to be a testimony of what God’s Word can produce when we take the time to teach the Word of God as much as possible. I encourage you ladies to get involved in the lives of the young ladies of our church and be willing to do Bible studies with them as well as doing salvation studies with those that are lost. God uses our personalities and life lessons to impact the lives of others when we are willing to sacrifice our time and put some effort into teaching God’s Word to another person.

Thank you again for your prayers and encouragement to me and my family! We couldn’t do what we are doing without the support of our church family. You are welcome to come and visit at any time! My ladies would love to have you come and teach them whatever God may lay on your heart! (hint, hint)

Michelle Castner


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