French kidnapped

March 23, a French citizen was kidnapped in Chad. The incident happened near the border with Sudan, and he’s believed to have been taken into Sudan. There is not much information available as to who this man is or why he was kidnapped. here is the link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-chad-kidnapping-idUSKBN16V1HB

Other than that, although there has not been further reports of attacks in Chad by Boko Haram, “Boko Haram’s use of child bombers has increased over the last year with one in five suicide attacks now done by children, the UN’s child agency says.” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36023444

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There is Good News from Chad!


Thanks to everyone who prayed about the recent financial crisis in Chad!

Art was in contact with the translation team last week, and he got an update on the financial situation in Chad. In previous posts, I spoke of the sticky situation going on in Chad. The government was not paying many of its people, and so workers were going on strike everywhere, including in hospitals. There is good news! The good news is that everyone who has been waiting for their government salary has been paid – paid in full!! We are a bit floored how this is possible, considering the severity of the economy and how it trickled down to affect just about everybody, but we THANK GOD for this positive change of events!

God’s hand is at work in Chad, Africa. It is incredibly clear. We need to keep praying for Him to move in people’s hearts, especially those of the Dadjo people. The Dadjo are finally getting the true Good News in their language, the language that speaks for their hearts!

Pray for their hearts to be stirred, and for them to cry out to God – not the God who demands perfection, but the God who’s name is Love, who is pure, just, and forgiving.

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A New Year With Old Friends

As the old year came to a close and a new year opened up, our older children were excited about the opportunity to spend part of their Christmas break with friends that they grew up with in Chad, Africa. It was also a special treat to have one of the couples from England who cared for all the children during Chad Retreats show up in Arizona too. With around 30 (now grown) children from roughly 6 different countries gathering in Arizona, it’s been a blast for them. These are all friends that our children last saw 5 and more years ago in Chad, thinking that they may never meet up with again. We can’t wait to hear how their time went and see how their friends have all grown.

We are also thankful for how well the last couple of weeks of Checking went for the book of Acts. We still miss not having Abdallah as the back translator for this work, but the new man that Izzo found turned out to be much better than other replacements we’ve used in the past. For that, we are very thankful. When the checking continues later this year, there will be different consultant working with us, so we pray that it goes as well then, as it has with Jackie as the consultant.

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A Time of Transition

The Africa we’ve grown to love.

Checking for the book of Acts starts this coming Monday. It goes for two weeks leading right up to Christmas. We were really hoping that Abdallah would be able to be the back-translator for this time, but once again, he said that he would not be able to go. This is a big disappointment to us because he has been the best back-translator we’ve had for checking. He is fluent in Dadjo, he knows French, and he caught on really fast as to what the consultant needed from him. The replacements that we’ve had to use the last few times have not worked that well, making the time for checking last a lot longer, along with increased frustrations of the team trying to help the back-translator through the meaning of the verses.

All this to say, another man was found that will hopefully/prayerfully work as the newest back-translator. We are leery about another man filling in because of the struggles we’ve had with past back-translators, but maybe this is all in God’s plan. There are some negatives in that he is from further North where they may understand some of the terminology differently than in the Mongo area. Also, because he has not done this before, will he be good at it or not???? On a positive note, he speaks his Dadjo like Izzo, he knows French, and he’s educated. Another note that may prove to be a big plus is that he apparently has some kind of background with the Catholic church. This is a big surprise to us as we’ve never heard of another Dadjo with anything but an Islamic background.

So we can pray not only that the next two weeks of checking go well, but also that this new back-translator will be touched to the core in hearing the Word of God in his own language.

 

 

 

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What’s Happening in Chad Right Now?

Izzo

Izzo, one of Art’s “language helpers”

During Art’s time in Chad, he was able to visit friends in the village. One of these men owns a little boutique in the market. Art was surprised how empty his shelves were compared to all of the other times that he visited him in the past. It all has to do with the gov’t employees not getting paid. It had a trickle down affect that has hit even the small business men who are trying to sell cookies, soda, water, soap etc. Now his shelves are almost bare.  Some of the hospital personnel have been paid a month’s wage, but they are still behind 3 months, so it has not made much difference. The schools will likely stay closed the rest of the year at this point. Up till today, there still has been no change.

On another note, Izzo’s older son who went into Libya to stay with extended family was kidnapped in July. Libya is controlled by many different militia groups that war against each other. There are two that kind of work together to run eastern  Libya with it’s capital there, but it’s control even there is tenuous. So it has become a very unstable country. They demanded a ransom for his release which the extended family helped to pay, so Izzo is greatly indebted to them and now needs to figure how to repay them.

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Testing in Village

Art had a good day today testing several chapters of Galatians and Colossians. They finished relatively quickly for today, which was good considering the people like to hang out at the mosques on Friday afternoons. He said that the time went very well, especially with one man who seemed to know exactly the kind of help Art needed in order to find possible inaccuracies in the translation.

Art also mentioned, as he often does when doing village testing, that it turned out to be more like a Bible study. Throughout this past week as he reviewed Galatians and Colossians with the people, it was a very natural lead into sharing the gospel message several times. One man even pulled Art to the side afterward and asked him if it was true that Jesus really did rise from the dead! Please pray for the Dadjo that God is calling to himself, that their eyes would be opened to the truth and that when their time comes, they would be able to stand strong in the midst of the pressures that surround them.

Also keep praying for Art, that God would continue to use him. Also pray for continued safety and health. He had a bad day yesterday of feeling pretty sick, but today he’s been better.

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He made it!

Art arrived in Mongo last Friday, no problems. He said several times that it was hot. Mongo tends to be a bit hotter than the capital, and then living right up against the “mountain” is worse as more heat reflects off of the mountain that his Mongo housing backs up against.

Then Art had a meeting for Scripture Use that several people were a part of including a few past and present Chadian missionaries to the Dadjo. The discussion went very well among all in attendance.  Art is now starting the week going over Galations before testing it in nearby villages.

On a different note, the strikes that I mentioned about last week continue. It’s been four months that teachers and health workers have not been paid, so the strikes continue. There is a skeleton crew of health workers who have been put back on duty, but many of the hospitals have closed, and those that are open are way under staffed.

Not only is the lack of pay affecting teachers and healthcare workers, it is having a trickle down affect on much of the population. Because these people are not getting paid, they don’t have the money to buy in the markets, so the marketplace is fairly empty. And because there are not many buying in the market, the shop owners don’t have the money to feed their families AND keep their shelves full. It seems like some of them are on the brink of closing their doors. A friend that Art got to know pretty well used to have his shelves packed, but now the shelves are nearly empty.

Also, as far as the harvest of millet goes, apparently rainy season did not end very well. Several areas dried up too early in the Mongo region leaving much of the grain not ripe enough for harvesting. This is true for Izzo’s field and many around his. So it doesn’t sound like 2016 is ending up that well for many people in Chad. We can pray that they would find our heavenly Father to be the provider of all their needs.

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