2014 February 9
Dear friends and family,
This year we have a more focused vision to do a lot of Bible training in this region of Chad. We plan to conduct various short (2-3 week?) training sessions in different villages. In addition to this, we plan to distribute solar mp3 players with Scripture and other material, and we hope to set up a small printing operation. For more information, please visit http://deserttreeministry.org
We are going to try to keep a list of prayer needs current on the website. Please check this page regularly if you pray regularly for the work here. http://deserttreeministry.org/howtohelp_prayer.html
For stories and more frequent tidbits of information, please visit our blog: http://africaaviationministry.blogspot.com/
Below, we will copy a couple of the stories from our blog.
I first met Frederick over four years ago. He was a small young boy with a large grin on his face. His eyes did not look in the same direction, so he often had to turn his head to point his eye so he could look at me. His skinny little legs were mostly floppy and limp and have been that way for most of his life. With the help of his parents or neighbor kids, he tied sticks to his legs with strips of old rubber moto inner-tubes to stiffen his legs a little. That, in conjunction with a pair of wooden crutches, enabled him to shuffle short distances away from home.
Frederick came to the gate that day and asked me for 25 francs. That is equivalent to 5 cents USD. He wanted to buy a small piece of bread. Over the months and years, he still comes to visit.
He lives just a few hundred meters from our compound. When we drive to town, he is often sitting on the worn-shiny trunk of a felled palm tree. Just sitting. Sometimes with a group of friends. Sometimes alone. While many other boys his age go to school, he stays home because he cannot walk that far.
Last week he came to visit. He had a letter from his father asking me to help him with his legs. I don't think there is much that can be done to help him, but I promised to do a little research. If it will help, I'd like to raise enough money to send him to the handicap clinic in Moundou.
I also gave him a solar mp3 player containing the New Testament in Nangjere. He was delighted. Frederick now listens to the Bible regularly at his place on the shiny palm log. And when we drive by, we often see him with a circle of friends listening...
Please pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to the hearts of those who listen to God's Word and that their lives will be changed.
"Do you have any more of those little things? You know, those things with the little solar panel and the Bible in Nangchere? Will Jonathan ever get more?" These questions have been swirling around the neighborhood for a long time now.
Earlier, when we were trying out these little solar-powered mp3 players to see how they would work in this harsh environment, we had loaned one to our guard. It had the books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John spoken in the local language. He had loaned it to one of our workers who took it home to his family. Here is their story.
Although this worker is illiterate, he is a hard worker and intelligent. His wife, of course, is illiterate as well. When he brought a portion of the audio Bible in his native language home with him on the mp3 player, he and his wife gathered around to listen.
The stories they heard amazed them. Some of the stories were familiar, but full of life and details they had not known before. Other stories were new. As his wife listened to one story in particular, she was convicted by the Holy Spirit that she must go find her child and apologize to her for something. She felt compelled to do so until she made things right.
Later, this woman commented to our guard, "If we could have this in our family every day, our family would be different. My husband would be a better husband and I would be a better wife. When can we have one of these?"
It is true. God's Word is powerful and brings conviction of sin. We all would be better off if we were to have the Word of God on our minds throughout the day. We would be better people, through God's power.
Martha comes in the morning to sweep our yard several times a week. She also fills our large water container on our front porch so that we have water with which to cook, bathe, and flush. Her reliability and good work ethic have encouraged us to keep her as our regular helper. Her kids have visited many times since I arrived in 2009.
As usual for a woman in this culture, she is illiterate. She communicates freely in Nangjere, her native language, but knows very little French. She couldn't read a Bible in either language, even if she owned one. But since she cannot read, she owns no books. What little she knows about the Bible comes from what her friends have shared with her or what she has heard in church.
One morning while Martha was busily sweeping our yard, I came out the door and greeted her. I presented to her one of our solar mp3 players, explaining that it contained the New Testament in Nangjere, her very own language. She was thrilled, delighted, amazed. She could hardly believe it! Her grin stretched from ear to ear as she held out both of her hands to receive the New Testament. It was as if she had just been given $1000.
Sweeping stopped immediately. Broom aside, she intently listened to the Word of God as she sat statue-like on the small chair. It was near noon before she finally got up to finish her work. Now she was hauling water in the noon sun.
Over and over again she told me, "Thank you. Thank you."
For more information on how you can help, please visit http://deserttreeministry.org/howtohelp.html