2016 August 26
Dear friends and family,
We are happy to bring you another update from our work here in Chad. Our purpose in this update is to bring glory to God for the work that He is doing through us and others. There has been plenty of activity in the areas of Bible workers, literature distribution, translation, and printing.
Recently the district pastor invited all the Bible workers to participate in the quarterly district committee meeting. As we heard reports from over a dozen workers and discussed the challenges and successes of the work, we were encouraged to see some of the results of God blessing our training programs. Four groups are well-established and about five more prayer groups will probably become organized groups soon.
The first established group is Broum Tousou, which was started after our first two-month training in 2013. Where there was no Adventist presence in the area before, there are now 49 regular baptized members in addition to about 60 children! After several newly baptized members from Broum Tousou returned from our second training at the end of 2014, they started several new groups: Tourma, Broum Langue, and Barbre. Tourma is now a group with 35 baptized members and many other people attending each Sabbath. Tourma has started a couple of prayer groups, one in Dale and the other in Mankadre. The prayer group in Dale, where over 60 people are now meeting, recently started holding Sabbath services in their own village. Five people from Dale have been baptized. You get the idea. The work is now largely self-propigating, showing the effectiveness of God's plan for the Gospel.
Thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit, the church is experiencing rapid growth in some areas. One of our great challenges now is to properly follow up behind all the new groups with discipleship training. Please pray for us as we identify and further train future leaders to help with this work. Many of the Bible workers are uneducated by worldly standards, but are being educated and qualified by God to do His work.
Another great factor in the rapid growth is surely due to the great quantities of literature and tracts that have been distributed. We are so thankful for the generous donations that have enabled us to distribute such a quantity of literature. We are also looking forward with great anticipation to the arrival of the Lightbearers container full of literature. It will arrive in Douala and be distributed among four countries including Chad. That will certainly help us, but is not enough to fill all of the needs here.
Unfortunately, our stock of missionary literature is nearly finished and we are looking ahead into the future for a solution. Printing literature out of country and importing it has proven to be complicated, difficult, and time consuming. We believe that God is leading us to establish an Adventist publishing house and a printing press, in collaboration with the church here in Chad. This will help us for smaller print jobs, although we still plan to outsource larger print jobs. Please pray for God to open the doors according to His will; we have already submitted our petition to the church and they have invited us to present our project to the committee. We hope to raise another $15,000 to purchase and ship the initial printing and binding equipment and supplies so that we are functional before the beginning of 2017.
A couple of our students have been translating some literature from French into Nangjere, the local language. Translation work is tedious and requires lots of time and concentration, especially when you include editorial work and preparing the work to be printed. Lord-willing, we should be printing some literature in Nangjere before the end of the year!
Our main translator is a young man who was a student of ours from 2015. He has been working multiple hours a day for months as a volunteer on a couple of our translation projects. As he has expressed his desire for further education to become a pastor, we have agreed to help him, by faith, to attend the Adventist university in Cameroon in exchange for an agreement to work for the church for five years after his graduation. We believe that God will provide for his education and for that of others as they accept His call to ministry.
We have attached a fairly recent family picture, in case you forgot what we look like. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. We are happy to announce that our $8,000 goal for deep well project is nearly achieved! Also, we received a $1,200 donation for bicycles for Bible workers. Thank you everybody for your sacrifices and generosity. We encourage you to visit our website (http://deserttreeministry.org/) for an up-to-date list of prayer requests and to see the current status of our various financial needs and goals. Here are a couple of our larger current goals:
$25,000 ($15,000 remaining) printing and binding equipment $25,000 ($20,000 remaining) mini-libraries for pastors and Bible workers $80,000 ($60,000 remaining) a container of literature from South Korea $5,000 ($5,000 remaining) worthy student fund
Don't forget to send us a short email note every now and then; we like hearing from you. We also thank you for your faithful prayers. We know that many people are praying for us, and we can see clearly that God is answering your prayers and ours. Let's each be faithful to Him and His work until He comes! If faithful, we will all meet around the Tree of Life soon, and oh, what a day that will be!
In His service,
Jonathan, Melody, Gideon and Liliana Dietrich