Archive for category Missions Stories


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.



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A Gentle Breeze

A gentle breeze

It is the end of rainy season.

The rain brought cool weather and a much-needed crops. There was no rain in the month of October, and some of the crops may not survive. The mango trees that are growing in some areas lack the water needed to produce their delicious fruit. The same can be said about guavas and lemons.

When Art arrived in Chad on October 26th, he was not sure what to weather to expect. It turned out that the average temperature in Mongo was around 97 degrees Fahrenheit. With a bad cold, Art had trouble sleeping most nights. Thankfully, there would come an occasional gentle breeze that would blow through the dusty windows of the room he stayed in.

I’m reminded that God sometimes works through a still small whisper, a gentle breeze, as he did in the time of Elijah. The heat tends to drain us, but God’s gentle breeze refreshes. As Elijah stood on the mountain there was a strong wind, then an earthquake, and finally a fire. The Bible says that God was not in the strong wind. He was not in the earthquake, and He was not in the Fire. He was in that still small voice that whispered to Elijah, a gentle breeze that rushed across his face.

During Art’s time in Chad, he did not see miracles occur among the Dadjo. He did not see God reveal himself in a supernatural way. What he did see is Dadjo sitting in small groups listening as he read God’s Word to them. He was able to share the simple, yet powerful message of salvation through faith in Christ. That’s really all we can do. We can proclaim Jesus. God needs to do the rest. He may not do it in the timing we wish, and He may not do it by the numbers we wish, but He will accomplish His purpose through His Word (Isaiah 55:11).

After all, it may be just a still small voice with which He speaks and makes himself known to the Dadjo.


Please join us in praying for the Dadjo people of Chad, Africa. Pray that God will break our hearts for the unreached people. Pray that He will provide for their everyday needs. Pray that they will thirst for living water in the dry desert land, a thirst that only Jesus can satisfy.

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Chad, Africa: What They Eat

Some Chadians transporting their goats in the most loving way possible.

Some Chadians transporting their goats in the most loving way possible.

Chad, Africa is a third world country. In fact, Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world. For this reason, Chadians are forced to live a lifestyle quite different from your average suburban household. One example is in what they eat.

On the average day, Chadians mostly eat a pasty substance called ‘boule’. It consists of a grain called millet, which is their staple crop. Boule, served in a dome form, is eaten with the hands, and dipped in different sauces before it is consumed. Why boule? It’s cheap. That’s the best reason I can come up with, because, honestly, it doesn’t taste so good… at all. Chadians almost always eat as a group, from the same platter. It is part of their culture. Even though eating from the same plate is – we can’t deny – unsanitary,  the average Chadians does it without exception.

Now, on special occasions, or if it’s affordable, Chadians often eat common dishes such as goat meat (which the Aviles kids love). The goat meat there is not what you’d find in the States or Europe either. That’s because it is always tough. The goats run around all they want. It isn’t like they are kept in some cage and taught to just eat all day. The same goes for chicken, which is not consumed as much as goat. Chadians like their meat spicy, so they often use different sauces, or a crushed red pepper mixed with salt. Another food is rice, but rice isn’t eaten even close to as much as millet is. Chadians get most of their other food, such as vegetables, from the outdoor market.

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Getting Around in Chad

    Smooth pavement in Chad has been a cause for celebration in the past, when we would make our long travels back and forth between Mongo and Chad’s capital of N’Djamena. We would leave Mongo early in the morning, and by mid-afternoon, after about 380 km of bumpy, dusty, dirt roads, as our wheels touched the smooth asphalt in Masaguet, we would all start screaming for joy to finally be on smooth roads again. The last 120 km to the capital seemed like a breeze.
    Progress came more quickly over the next several years. During our last term in Chad, we were able to drive on 300 km of pavement followed by only 200 km of dirt roads the rest of the way to our village. Then, shortly before we left 3 years ago, we only had less than 100 km of dirt roads. Most memorable was our very last trip out of our village as we approached the big wadi called the Bang Bang. This wadi was the main “rainy season river” that would block travelers from crossing for much of rainy season, therefore locking us into our village area for the whole of rainy season. On our last trip across the Bang Bang, we were able to drive “over” it on the newly built bridge. We were so amazed that we had to stop on the bridge and take pictures to remember this moment, but it was also sad to think that we would never need to ask locals, eager to make a buck, to help push our vehicle through the rushing waters again.
    Art has now been back to Mongo, Chad 3 times since we all left, and he reports that the paved road now goes all the way to Mongo, and beyond. What should be included is that, even though this road is paved pretty much across the country, when it comes to the part of this road that goes through the larger villages including Mongo, the work has not yet even started.

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Happy New Year!!!

This is the time of year that we arrived in Chad for the very first time. It was at the end of 2001, and our colleagues showed us around N’Djamena for that first week before we took off to Cameroon for orientation. I still remember getting off the airplane, and as we stepped down the stairs to the tarmac in the hour before twilight, I was amazed at how the air smelled so strong of sand. It wasn’t even harmattan, yet everything had the smell of sand. This was sub-Sahara Africa after all. Because of how incredibly dry the air and sandy the streets, our feet had become badly cracked before that first week even ended. We had a great first week in Chad and were welcomed by almost everyone we met by a very friendly “Bonne année!” (Happy New Year!)
A year later, we were invited to spend a couple of weeks in a village far from the capital over Christmas and New Year. Our friends told us of a story from a previous year when they had asked the Chief’s permission to set off firecrackers at midnight to celebrate the New Year. They had no idea all the chaos they would cause in doing so. They found out the next morning that most of the villagers had abandoned their homes and ran for the mountains in fear for their lives. Unfortunately, the country had a history of rebel movements and attacks, some violent, so when our friends set off the “fun display”, the local people thought their village was being taken over. You can bet our friends never attempted firecrackers again.

The Question Everyone asks: What Millet Should I Grow?

Two different kinds of Millet, Chad, AfricaNow that rainy season in gone, although the humidity still lingers, the first harvest is ready for the people of Chad.

There are two harvest seasons because of the different millet (the main food staple) that the people in central Chad grow: red millet, which handles a drier rainy season better, and white millet, which handles a wetter season better.

Of course if the season is perfect, both grow great. A friend of ours had it bad for a few years. One year, it was just plain dry and nothing wanted to grow. The following year, he planted more white millet than red assuming another bad year. Unfortunately for him, it rained too much and drowned almost his whole crop. So the next year he went after the red millet, and you can guess what happened. It was too dry, and the red millet died leaving his family with another very poor harvest.:(

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Cotton Spinning

Cotton spinner in Chad, AfricaDuring one of Art’s times in a nearby Dadjo village a few years ago, he came across an older man who wanted to show Art his handiwork. Art was more than happy to learn of this man’s expertise, so on his next visit there, he brought his camera and listened, learned and took photos of this man’s work with raw cotton. It was a great time to watch this man turning puffy cotton into a fine thread. He placed the cotton balls on a board and rolled the seeds out with a skinny metal bar. He then stuck the cleaned cotton on a stick and pulled thin threads out, twisting it as he pulled. With the finished thread, he wound it around a long spool, examining it carefully continue reading>>

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