Jesus Film

After a long time of praying and trying to make progress in having the Jesus Film translated into the Dadjo language, we are very pleased that there is finally some movement in that direction. The Jesus Film is a docudrama based off of the gospel of Luke, and it has already been translated into well over 1000 languages.

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Early this morning, the Dadjo translators that Art works with boarded a bus to N’Djamena to be trained on making the Dadjo translation of the book of Luke fit the script and filming of the movie. There is a local Chadian in N’Djamena who is part of Campus Crusade who will do the training. This is just the beginning stage of this project. It will likely take a year or two to see the finished product, but we are very excited about the possibility of showing this film on the life of Jesus in Dadjo villages.

We would very much appreciate prayer through every stage of the making of this project and the impact it will have with the locals who watch it.

Who turned the water off?

That is the question many people in Chad, Africa and neighboring countries must be asking themselves. Lake Chad, which once served as an oasis to the countries of Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon, shrunk in size by over 90 percent between the 1960’ s and today.

More than 40 million impoverished people rely on Lake Chad for their livelihood, and a recent United Nations report states that almost 11 million people in the lake region need humanitarian relief to survive. The shrinking of Lake Chad is not a natural disaster waiting to happen, it is one that has already mostly taken place.

France took control of Chad in 1900, and just a few years later, a French army captain described Lake Chad as an ecological wonder. At the time, the food supply was abundant because of crop irrigation and fishing. The lake also provided drinking water and water for life’s daily necessities.

Today, life in the Lake Chad region is much different. Besides the lack of water that sustained millions, Lake Chad is now where the terrorist group Boko Haram carries out many of its atrocities. The poverty created by the Lake Chad crisis has left many hopeless and drawn them to join the terrorist group. To paraphrase one chief, life has gone from bad to worse.

In February of 2018, a glimmer of hope shined through the darkness. A meeting was convened in Abuja Nigeria to discuss the crisis. There were over 1600 participants and a variety of solutions were proposed. The meeting gave birth to “Transaqua”, a plan to build a 1600-mile canal to transfer water from the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the Chari River which feeds Lake Chad. The cost of the plan is over 50 billion U.S. dollars.

The participants at the meeting will now move forward with environmental and engineering studies. If Transaqua is to become a reality, there will be many challenges to overcome.

For the many impoverished relying on Lake Chad for their livlihood, the hope is that before too long, someone will turn the water on once again.

https://allafrica.com/stories/201803200302.html

https://phys.org/news/2018-02-italy-china-solution-lake-chad.html

https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/sucking-dry-an-african-giant

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/04/lake-chad-the-worlds-most-complex-humanitarian-disaster

 

Boko Haram Still Making News

Boko Haram is still causing havoc. Although Chadian forces and joint military forces from neighboring countries have had a great deal of success in pushing back the jihadist group, Boko Haram is still out to kill. Murdering, sending out suicide bombers, and now we hear of mines. Unfortunately, Chadian military were victims to one of these mines in Nigeria. Four died and twenty were injured.

Although it’s always hard to hear of deaths, we are thankful for the successes of the joint forces that have been able to push Boko Haram back into more inaccessible places such as islands of Lake Chad and the forests of Sambisa near the Cameroon/Nigerian border.

Since its inception in 2009, Boko Haram has caused more than 20,000 deaths and displaced 2.6 million people.

Relief Once Again

It’s been two months since we heard news of huge salary cuts and hospitals and schools on strike in Chad. We were concerned that this would be a repeat of 2016, when many government employees went without salaries for five months, which in turn left hospitals, schools, and markets vacant of people and merchandise.

So we are thankful to hear that, after only two months this time, everyone is back to work. Salaries are paid up and strikes are over. The hospitals are once again open to patients, and the schools are filled with students. Thank you for your prayers.

On another note, Art is planning another trip back to Chad in a couple of months. He will be there for about three weeks spending most of that time testing almost-completed Scriptures, and working on revising drafts of others. Our two oldest children will be going with him this time, Micah- to teach children, and Josiah- to help with computers. They are both excited about this opportunity. We would appreciate prayers as we plan for this trip.

Elephants Dying Out in Chad?

Before our family left Chad in 2012, we thought that it would be a shame if we didn’t try to visit Zakouma, a game park almost the size of the state of Rhode Island and about a 7 hours drive South East of where we lived. After all, who would want to live in Africa for many years and pass up this great opportunity for their children to see big wildlife in their own habitat.

So when we approached the game park, we were excited (and also a bit terrified) to see a herd of elephants crossing our path. We saw a variety of animals including, lions, giraffe, wildebeests, monkeys, ostriches, etc, but the elephants were the funnest.

We had heard of poaching going on at the time and efforts to combat the killings, but we hadn’t realized how great the danger was for elephants in the area until now. An article we just came across in National Geographic reads, ” In 2002 the park was home to more than 4,000 elephants, but by 2010 that figure had plummeted to a mere 400—a 90 percent drop. Experts predicted that Zakouma’s remaining elephants would be gone within two or three years if the situation stayed unchanged.”

As we read in the article, it was only a year prior to our visit that a South African couple was asked to take over management of the park. They initially didn’t want to because of how bleak the situation looked, but they went ahead making several changes to combat the poachers. After several years, it looks like their efforts are finally paying off, and the elephants are finally starting to grow in numbers again. There is more on the elephants’ struggle and this couple’s efforts in Chad, Africa. see full article here

 

Another Economic Crisis?

It was just over a year ago during Art’s trip to Chad in 2016 that we were stunned to find how empty the shops were and how vacant the hospitals and schools were. Having not received pay for some time, most gov’t employees were on strike, leaving students with no educators and hospitals with no doctors or staff, which eventually trickled down to stores with no merchandise.

 After many months of this, the country did recover, but now we are hearing of, what might be, another crisis. When the government workers received their paychecks last week, many found only a portion of their salary, some reduced by as much as 40%. Gov’t employees include police, military, teachers and hospitals. People are again on strike and frustrated. The hospital in Mongo just started sending patients home saying that there is no one there to help them. 

Please pray for the people of Chad while the government works on stabilizing their economy once again.

Harvest

Millet is the main staple of Chad, and most families in and around Mongo have land in the perimeter for planting this seed. It is what most Chadians eat every day, so if there is a year with a very good harvest, the farmers, and the area as a whole, are very well off. Likewise, if the crops are very bad, then many will go hungry. There are two harvest times for millet. Red millet is harvested in November, and white millet is harvested now, in January.Image result for white millet

Image result for white millet

The news for this year’s harvest is neither great, nor bad. So, although we all love a big return, we can be thankful that there will be food on the “table” for our friends in Chad until next harvest.

Please also pray for the spiritual harvest to ripen in the hearts of the Dadjo as God’s Word works it’s way into their lives.