2014 February 9
Dear friends and family,
Greetings again from Chad! January has come and gone and we are already 1/3 of the way through February! We have been busy with a variety of activities. Here is an update of progress and events here in Chad. I'll send a second newsletter out after this with several stories.
Melody has worked hard on organizing and simplifying our house. It looks much simpler now and Gideon has a nice area where he can play on a mat. I organized the 20-foot storage container. Now we have most of the shelves and organization for all the Bible school materials, for hardware (screws/bolts/spare parts), for supplies, tools, rope, etc. Over the past years, that container has only gotten worse. Now we can operate in a much more efficient way.
All three of us have been sick at one point or another, but we thank God for giving us good health.
While doing a routine 50-hr inspection on the airplane, we discovered a serious problem. The airplane is down for several weeks until replacement parts arrive.
Melody and I visited a village about 25km from here one Sabbath where there is a new group of people meeting every Sabbath. There were about 30 adults and maybe 40-50 children the week we were there. Sometime after the Bible training session in Bere 2013 (the one we had to leave in the middle of), one of our students went to his home village and began applying what he learned in the training course. Now there is a one-day church and up to 90 people are meeting there weekly! The Holy Spirit is working mightily there. About half of the chiefs in this village are attending the church as well. Please pray for God's work there. We are encouraged to see some results from the training already.
About 10 one-day churches were erected while we were in the States! Gary kept that process moving. We are pleased that the small team we trained here in Bere continued working while we were gone.
Last week I presented a three-day course on how to use a Bible concordance to about 10 lay members of the local Bendele church. The members were encouraged and excited to have this tool available to them soon. I told them that as soon as they finish the small library room in the church, I will put some books in there. Can you guess what they are doing this Sunday? They are plastering the room and putting on the finishing touches! We hope to open the library this month.
I have been searching for somebody to help us with our audio project. I plan to get sample recordings from candidates who can read French well and then compare these to choose the best voice. Then we will record Bible stories in mp3 format to put on our solar mp3 players. See the next newsletter for stories on the mp3 players.
A new volunteer couple, David and Sarah, have moved to Bere under the AMA Chad project. We are glad to have another long-term couple around and look forward to working together with the Bible training center.
Keep us in your prayers!
In His service,
Jonathan, Melody, and Gideon Dietrich