Just when we thought things were getting cool in Chad because of rainy season, they are starting to heat up.
We got a big surprise this Sunday when we found out that Chad is now on the travel ban list for the US. We were dumbfounded when we first heard this, there being no reason for Chad to be on the list. As many of you know, Art is planning on traveling to Chad in less than a month. Although this doesn’t directly affect us, it may if things are not fixed soon.
It seems that this ban is a result of a lack of security measures on Chad’s side for screening who leaves the country to the US. Chad is not a hotbed for terrorism, but it is surrounded by questionable countries. And now there are rumors that if Chad continues to stay on this ban list, Chad may wish to reciprocate the ban to US citizens traveling there. This would directly affect us as well as many friends in ministry there. Please pray that things get resolved quickly.
On another note, there have been two different incidents of missionaries being held up at gunpoint in the capital in the last two weeks. One of the incidents was an attempted robbery, but the other was a successful robbery. Although this has happened in rare cases in the past, the general consensus is that this is becoming more of the norm.
We came across an article about needing to address the huge influx of Africans to Europe. We were surprised to read that the president of Chad was among the seven leaders from Europe and Africa who met together to better relations between the two sides. Africans seeking to escape poverty and/or war are crossing borders of Chad and Niger into Libya to reach a better life in Europe. “Idriss Déby Itno, the president of Chad, said ‘poverty and a lack of education’ were the main drivers of migration to Europe.”
Life in Chad is not easy. Please pray that God would provide healing to those who are hurting in Chad. Political clashes and lack of sufficient food and water are causing people to reevaluate where their shelter is from. Our hope is that the people of Chad will find their shelter in God.
To find out more about the Migration Crisis, read this article from The Guardian!
Last April we wrote about a French citizen who was kidnapped in Chad. Unfortunately we find no updates on him. What we do know is that Boko Haram has been making a come-back. There are reports that 381 civilians died at their hands since last April, with the terrorists often using women and children to carry out their suicide bombings. This is mostly in Nigeria and Northern Cameroon, but it also has been impacting our beloved Chad.
“Across the Lake Chad region, millions of civilians are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance as a result of Boko Haram violence.” Here is a link to the article.
Art is planning another trip to Chad in the next couple of months. He has made great progress in translating more books, so at this point it’s time to test the translation. Testing helps Art’s team see if God’s Word is understood and sounds natural to local Dadjo speakers who have never heard it in their own language before. He will be gone for close to three weeks from the middle of October and into November.
There is much to be done before he leaves in order to prepare him for much that has to be done while in Chad. Please pray that his next trip will go smoothly and be fruitful!
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
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.
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.
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.