2016 March 2
Dear friends and family,
As I begin to type this short newsletter, the temperature is 106 degrees in the shade. Yesterday it was 110. I have malaria. Melody is trying to control the temperature of our dear little Liliana (5 months old) with wet cloths and our 12v fan powered by our solar system.
Yes, no doubt about it, we are back in Chad, as of the end of January. Now, we are already nearing the end of the third week of our two-month Bible training. It's hard to forget about the heat, but there are many reasons to rejoice and be grateful.
We enjoyed the times that we got to visit with some of you throughout our long furlough. Thank you for your hospitality. We had a safe return trip from America. We are thankful for our angels. Surviving the public bus system is really a miracle as we see many carcasses of terrible accidents along the road.
The printing equipment that we purchased in America arrived without being damaged! We had literally worn out our tiny little printer. It was time to get a bigger printer. It is much faster and has a duplexer, so printing is MUCH MUCH faster and more accurate than before. The long-reach staplers (one heavy-duty and the other light-duty) are working wonderfully. We have already printed the equivalent of over 4000 sheets (over 2000 double-sided). We are printing the curriculum material to give to each student at the end of the course. We are also printing material for use at the church library. We are so thankful for our new, upgraded equipment! Other material such as a paper stack cutter is purchased, but we are waiting to arrange a pallet to ship to Chad because the items were too big to ship as airline baggage.
We have been working on arranging other printed material in America to ship on the container that is destined for Africa. Thank you to everybody who helped so generously toward the literature fund! We are already seeing some amazing results of literature distribution here in Chad. We have received numerous requests to go to this village or that village and teach them. Truly, the work is great and the laborers are few!
We have a good group of about 25 students this year for our Bible training program. Our new mission president traveled down from Ndjamena to open our training! (I've attached two pictures of him teaching.) That was amazing because he traveled during the night, opened our training in the morning, and left before evening the same day back to Ndjamena. Many of our students come from Broum Tousou and the surrounding villages, as there is a lot of evangelism activity near there. Our first-level trainings are open to anybody who is serious about learning more about the Bible, no matter their religion. We have several chiefs regularly attending. I have been studying with one of them for years now, and it is such a pleasure to see him eagerly soaking up the Word of God. One of our neighbors decided to attend, also.
Please pray that God will give us strength and health to finish the training successfully. Please pray for all of our students, that they will accept the work of the Holy Spirit on their hearts. Please pray for peace in this country of Chad so that we can finish as much work as we can.
Please also pray for more help. A future generation of Bible teachers is being raised up in our trainings, and we are eying some of them to further train and eventually use in our training programs. But at least for another year or two, we still need a French-speaking person to help. God knows the need. If He is calling you, please do not reject his call.
I will go get some more rest now.
In His service,
Jonathan, Melody, Gideon and Liliana Dietrich