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.
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.
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.
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.
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!