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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
October 24th marks the date for Art to be back on a plane to Chad, Africa. Tickets have been purchased, we just received the Chadian Visa this morning, reservations for housing has been made, more work on Galatians and Colossians are being done for this trip, etc. There is still much to be done, including making sure that his vaccinations are up to date. He’ll also be missing our presidential election in November, so he’ll need to vote early:)
When Art arrives in Chad, it’ll be the end of rainy season. Even though the rains do a decent job of lowering the temperature for the rest of the year, the rains also leave behind a lot of humidity for the next couple of months. But the countryside is pretty in October with everything green, the low mountains, and the fields of millet ripening. The towns are a different story. Also, the roads around Mongo will be more easy to travel now that things are drying up.
Some good news we also received recently is that a door of two weeks opened up for more of the book of Acts to be consultant checked in December! We are so thankful for this slot of time. It is probably not enough time to finish Acts, but it will come close. And hopefully Abdallah will be available for the back translation. He is the best person for this, but has been unavailable for the last couple of checkings.