2012 May 8
Sometimes time seems to drag along slowly as we work through the hottest part of the year. Other times, time seems to fly by. It has already been about six weeks since we sent out the newsletter explaining that our plane has been grounded.
In summary, God has blessed us and the problem does not appear to be as serious as we thought it would be initially. The plan was to disassemble the engine and ship it back to the States for repair, but now we should be able to just replace a few things and put the same engine back on.
But we have a problem. As the wind storms sweep through this time of year, they whip up lots of sand and dust into the air. The sand and dust gets everywhere and everything gets a coating of dust, including eyeballs and nostrils. We can not assemble an engine out in the open.
But we have a solution. Thank God, the monstrous hanger project is nearing a milestone. It has been almost exactly three years since the first footings were dug. Then progress stopped. But then God sent us help. Welding is finished for now. Painting is basically done. And the roof is on, meaning that means we have shade to work under for the first time!!! The remaining tin for the walls is coming along steadily, and the hanger is finally taking shape. We finally have protection from wind and rain and wind-whipped sand. More work remains, but is less pressing and will be done as we have time.
This week we will probably be reassembling the motor and installing it back onto the airplane.
We erected the One-day Church in Bendele, and the congregation has been meeting there for a month now. After we raise roof supports and the tin, the locals put in walls and windows and doors however they choose. This way they can have a sense of ownership for the church they helped build with their hands. One of our SMs, Matt, raised funding to sponsor this project. We are excited to see this church become functional so fast. Thanks, Matt, for helping move this project along! We pray that the many people coming now will continue to come and to respond to the truths they hear.
Please pray for our Thursday evening Bible study group. It has expanded and new people are coming. I have several requests for pre-baptism studies. I cannot study with all the people who want to study. I am contemplating a group baptismal study. Oh, if only the Bible school were running and we had workers! Where are God's workers? Where are the people with a desire to save lost souls?
We are praying also for some volunteers to help out at the Bible school property - preferably somebody who knows French and has a good Bible knowledge. Tentative plans right now are for Melody and me to move out there to help with the construction and to organize the first classes for the students. This is a huge responsibility, so please pray that God will bless us with strength and wisdom for this task.
Before the rains become heavy and the roads become impassable, we are organizing stock of cement, sand, gravel, and fuel so we can continue operations during the rainy season. For the first time, cement made in Chad is available. The price is now about $16 per sack instead of $24 per sack. This will help us complete some of our projects faster, as the dollars are thus stretched.
A donor has shipped us ten solar-powered mp3 players. Each holds about 100mb, which is not large. But it is enough to hold the four gospels in the local language. We are currently testing these units out by loaning them to local families. If the test runs well, we plan to enlarge this project. This is an amazing opportunity for the locals, especially those who cannot read. Most children and many adults cannot read the Bible even if they had a printed copy. But they all can understand it in their own language!
Be sure to check out our website. Some text has been updated recently and there are lots of new pictures up through 2011. My brother has worked hard on keeping the website updated. Thank you! http://africaaviationministry.org/
We thank God for your faithfulness in financial contributions to this project. All of us, no matter who we are or where we are, depend on God to provide for our needs. But to those of us who are volunteers, this is especially evident. He is faithful!
Please pray for us that we will remain faithful in spreading the good news to so many around us who do not know it.
In His service,
Jonathan and Melody Dietrich