Literature

2014 November 12

Dear friends and family,

We promised to give you an update on each of the three areas of our project: laymen evangelism training, audio evangelism, and literature. Although we have covered laymen evangelism training and audio evangelism, we never quite made it a priority to share about our literature ministry.

While most of the people in the country of Chad are illiterate, there is a fair percentage of people who do know how to read and write. These people are found especially in the bigger cities where there is a higher level of education. This group of people are often eager to read anything they can get their hands on.

The Word of God is the most precious thing the people can read, and there is no other book that will benefit them more. Our goal is to bring in a shipping container full of inspired literature as soon as finances permit. If we have enough funding, we hope to load a 40-ft container; if not, we'll ship a 20-ft container. Our goal is to have inspired literature printed in bulk in the French language. This will hopefully include Bibles, concordances, Bible study series both for adults and children, and other inspired books such as _The Great Controversy_ and _Steps to Christ_, all in French.

As you can imagine, this is a huge project and is difficult to organize from here in Chad. But our friends David and Sarah Macomber, also here in Chad, have been a big help in doing some of the groundwork and research for the project. We thank them a lot for their help so far.

Yet, we have faced many hurdles. It is very difficult to find a press who has the rights to publish the books that we want that will also give us a good price. We are still trying to research the best (most economical) solution. Please pray that we will find a good solution soon.

You might ask, "How will you use so much literature? What is your plan for efficient distribution?" As we have talked over our ideas with the Chad mission president, here are some of our goals:
* Establish a church library in each church in the country.
* Enable each pastor and church elder to have a small home library.
* Supply the literature evangelists with low-cost literature so they can leave a truth-filled message with everybody, even those who cannot afford the higher quality books being sold.
* Supply trained Bible workers with literature to use in their work in the surrounding villages.

We are also starting final translation and editing on some tracts and other material that we have produced ourselves. We will buy paper probably in the capital and use our small laser printer for this project.

God has blessed us with a temporary source of cheap but good-quality Bibles. Another mission organization in another village brought in a container containing some French Bibles some time ago. Through the church here, we have been able to purchase about 250 Bibles for about $3 each! While that quantity will not last a long time, it is enough to work with for now.

As our Bible training school begins soon (November 17), we will soon have a handful of trained Bible workers. If only they had some more literature to take back with them to their villages after the course!

Some of you know that we have started a church library in our neighborhood as a pilot project. It is working well, and we are developing it into an evangelistic tool. Our dream is to establish small libraries with truth-filled books all over the country.

If you would like to know how you can help with our literature project, here are a few of our needs:

* People to translate from English to French. This does not require a trip to Chad. We can email the documents to the translator wherever he is and he can email them back when he is finished.

* We estimate a price of at least $70,000 to fill and ship a 20-foot container of literature, although we do not have a sure price fixed. We already have at least $20,000 of general funds that we can put toward this project, leaving about $50,000 remaining.

* We would like to invest in a little bigger laser printer for our short printing runs. We need to buy some boxes of paper and get some toner.

Please pray for this literature part of our project. Combined with the evangelism training course and the audio project, literature has a far reaching power. Please ask the Holy Spirit how he would have you involved with this project.

Melody and I have had a growing sense that our time left here in Chad is short. We do not know the future, and are not going to say whether we have three months or three years or thirty years left here. We simply do not know. But we have a strong desire to bring truth-filled literature into this dark country. For now, we are working with both short-term plans and long-term plans. Bringing in a literature container is among our short-term plans. People are longing for light. We cannot possibly go everywhere, but books can be easily distributed and loaned, and by this means, light can be distributed all over this land. As we study end-time events, we know for certain that the history of this world is nearing its end. Now is the time, more than ever before, to move to action.

Here are a few inspiring quotations about our truth-filled literature that have been encouraging to us:

"The warning message is to be carried to all parts of the world. Our books are to be published in many different languages. With these books, humble, faithful men are to go forth as colporteur evangelists, bearing the truth to many who otherwise would never be enlightened. --Manuscript 76, 1901." {CM 120.3}

"I have been shown that our publications should be printed in different languages and sent to every civilized country, at any cost. What is the value of money at this time, in comparison with the value of souls? . . ." {CM 149.1}

"I saw them holding papers and tracts in one hand, and the Bible in the other, while their cheeks were wet with tears; and bowing before God in earnest, humble prayer, to be guided into all truth,--the very thing He was doing for them before they called upon Him. And when the truth was received in their hearts, and they saw the harmonious chain of truth, the Bible was to them a new book; they hugged it to their hearts with grateful joy, while their countenances were all aglow with happiness and holy joy." {CM 149.4} "These were not satisfied with merely enjoying the light themselves, and they began to work for others. Some made great sacrifices for the truth's sake and to help those of the brethren who were in darkness. The way is thus preparing to do a great work in the distribution of tracts and papers in other languages.--Life Sketches, pp. 214, 215. (1915)" {CM 150.1}

"The press is a powerful means to move the minds and hearts of the people. . . . The press is a powerful instrumentality which God has ordained to be combined with the energies of the living preacher to bring the truth before all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples. Many minds can be reached in no other way.--Christian Experience, pp. 225-227. (1922)" {CM 148.2}

"Our publications are now sowing the gospel seed, and are instrumental in bringing as many souls to Christ as the preached word. Whole churches have been raised up as the result of their circulation.--Review and Herald, June 10, 1880." {CM 150.3}

Thank you for taking the time to read through this newsletter. Thank you for your prayers and support. We appreciate the email notes we occasionally receive.

In His service,
Jonathan and Melody and Gideon Dietrich