2015 May 8
Dear friends and family,
We have a full report for you. In fact, we will divide it up into two or three newsletters over the course of the next few days.
The last weeks and months have been a flurry of activity and blessings for us here. We just purchased tickets for our trip to America! For the return trip, we will have to purchase an extra ticket. Yes, our family has grown again we are expecting our second baby early October! Please pray for the health of Melody and the baby as the heat is nearly unbearable at times. Thankfully, the rains are beginning to fall occasionally and the cloud cover has helped to cool the temperatures down into the 90s.
Shortly after arriving in the States, we will be traveling to San Antonio, Texas for the General Conference Session. We will be exhibiting our ministry there, so if you plan to be there, please look for us among the other OCI member exhibits. They are all grouped together.
God has blessed us greatly with the arrival of our first order of 12,000 books! Our pastor, also the publishing director for this country, traveled to Cameroon to arrange the shipping and import of our books. On Tuesday I drove down to Moundou and picked them up. What an incredible blessing it is to finally have some printed literature in this country. *See pictures below. Soon, hundreds of people will be reading the truths that are contained in these books. Please pray that the people will heed the Holy Spirit leading them to truth and that many souls will be in the kingdom of God as a result! This is not our last order, by any means. This is the beginning. The second order (20,000 Great Controversies) has been paid for and is being printed as we speak. We expect delivery within a couple of weeks!
Within the last month, our team has put up two more One-day Church structures. Materials for these churches had been shipped last year to the site. But unfortunately, the work was blocked by lack of proper screws. Then it was blocked by the rains. Finally, after a long wait, two church groups (one 33km and the other about 12km from Bongor) are rejoicing for their new structures!
Among other news is some exciting developments with Mummat Jean, chief of Dabgue Ngolo. If you remember, he was a student in our last two-month training. Because of a bout of malaria and then a strange paralysis on his left side, he was unable to complete the training. Using our Land Cruiser, I was able to bring him to the hospital to consult with a visiting brain surgeon. The verdict was that he would likely die from the surgery or die from the sickness if he didn't have a surgery. Mummat elected to return home. The neighbors taunted him, "You should give up your religion. Leave your new church and come back to ours." Mummat would reply, "No, I will die a part of this church. I will not go back on the truth I have learned." Others said, "You are going to die."
We visited with him several times when we could. His face was full of hopelessness and gloom. We prayed with him. We gave him an audio Bible. I told him, "Mummat, God is not finished with you yet. As long as you have life, you have a responsibility to share the truth that you have learned with others. When people come to visit with you, share Scriptures with them. God can still use you to do a mighty work."
As he lay on his mat day after day, I admit that I thought he was going to die eventually.
On April 18, we drove down to Dabgue for church. Normally we pick up some of his family, including a young lady who was recently baptized. I parked the vehicle in the sandy road and waited for people to come. To our surprise, Mummat rounded the corner of his house, ambling slowly but steadily toward the vehicle. "I'd like to go to Dabgue with you today. Do you have time to wait for me to change my clothes?" he asked. "Of course, we will wait for you. We are so happy that you can come today," I replied.
At church for the first time in four months, Mummat gave his testimony. I recorded the French translation and will now provide a transcript translated into English as best as I can.
Mummat: "I didn't think I would be here with you again. Since December
23, I fell ill, gravely ill. When I was ill, the brother Jonathan worked
a lot because of me and brought me to the hospital. From the hospital,
he brought me back to my house. He even thought about sending me to the
I was paralyzed on one side; my left hand did not work and my left leg did not work. When I was lying at home, lots of people would come and say, 'You, you are going to die. Why are you just lying there? You should be searching for other things.' ['other things' meaning witch craft for healing] So then I said, 'Don't say bad things like that. My life is already with God. What God will do, you don't know. God will reestablish me.'
Always people prayed for me. Many people prayed day and night for me. I am very thankful to them and to my God. Now I am with you and it is a great joy for me. Now my hand works a little, although my fingers don't work completely. But my feet work fairly well now. Pray for me that I will find complete health.
To those who said, 'You need to abandon your church or join other church,' I replied to them, 'No more, no more, I am with my God, I will die with my God.' Now when people see me away from my house, they are truly surprised. That is my prayer of thanksgiving to God."
God truly worked a miracle and He answered our prayers for healing. Thank you for those of you who have been praying. Please continue to pray for him and the work here as God's work triumphs in spite of difficulties and challenges.
Watch soon for another newsletter or two telling stories of pioneer work and baptisms!
In His service,
Jonathan and Melody and Gideon Dietrich