2017 July 6
Dear friends and family,
Last month, I had gone to Kelo (about an hour away) to do some business, and Melody was home alone with the children. Nehemie was in the container which is part of the hanger, working on printing some materials. He came to the house to ask Melody something, and as Melody stepped outside he said, "Attention! Snake!! Run!!!" Melody hesitated a second, wondering which way to run, and so Nehemie quickly grabbed her arm and jerked her away from the door. There was a deadly sand viper that had been within inches of her ankle. Nehemie then grabbed a hoe and killed the viper as it squiggled into the house. We are very thankful for God's protection.
It is rainy season now and since it rains - sometimes very hard - almost every day, it is quite humid. Temperatures are not quite so hot, it only gets to 90-100 or so during the day. But since it is so humid, some days it is like living in a sauna!
We are trying again to grow a garden. Some night an animal dug up all of one kind of American corn that we planted, but didn't touch the Chadian corn. Maybe we will replant with an electric fence. We also are trying watermelon, okra, snow peas, tomatoes, and greenbeans.
Our children are growing. Gideon turned 4 years old in June and Liliana will be 2 years old in a few months. The children are raising tadpoles which are about one inch long now.
Part of my work as elder for 5 local churches is to visit and encourage them. Thus we go to a couple different churches almost every Sabbath. So Gideon and Liliana do not have the benefit of a weekly Sabbath School. However, family in the states have sent many 'props' such as pictures depicting the days of creation, crowns, bells, finger-loops and felt mitts of animals, and so on, that we use every morning and evening for family worships. We also use My Bible First's Visualized Songs and Bible lessons. The children love our daily worships and are learning many songs and Bible stories.
We just finished printing 2700 French Bible Study Guides for third quarter and are about half finished with 2700 for fourth quarter. These are for four countries in our Union. I have hired and trained local Chadians to help in this work. God is blessing this, and the printing operation is going more smoothly than the last two quarters. We are enlarging our space as the 20-foot container is just too small. We have also printed many tracts in several different languages - French and Nangjere and Fulfulde. One day the printer broke. I tried everything I knew to fix it to no avail. But God's angels fixed it, because it began working. I believe angels also helped the local mechanics repair the generator (needed to power the printers) one day when I was traveling.
It takes about 6 weeks to print 5,500 quarterlies each quarter, working from 6 am til 8 pm each day five days a week. If the printer breaks... printing will stop. We are very thankful for when God's angels fix our printer, but we also feel it would be wise to have more than one printer. We are seeing the need for at least one more printer (or two or three) to speed up the printing and to have as a backup. We would get printers identical to the one we have which would make parts interchangeable. A black and white laser printer costs about $4000 including shipping (pallet costs $2.50-$3.00 per pound). Our generator is also very unreliable and we need to upgrade that (about $12,000). As God provides, we plan to purchase another binding machine ($5750). When you will read the next paragraph, you will see why we feel an urgency... If you would like to contribute to these needs, please mark your donation "For Publishing Work."
An exciting thing happened the first full week of June. I received a call from the mission president asking me to go to Ndjamena immediately. By 4 the next morning I was on the bus - an 8-10 hour ride. That day I was invited to a meeting that lasted 30-40 minutes. And the next day I took the bus back home. What happened at that short meeting was pretty exciting. The West-Central Africa Division Publishing Director was there along with an Assistant from the General Conference Publishing Department in the United States who apparently had heard about our printing of literature in Chad and wanted to meet me and ask some questions about our work. He was astounded to learn that all our printing, including thousands of quarterlies for the Union, was done in a 20 foot container using just two laser printers (the black and white one plus a color one that prints the covers). Previous to moving the printing to the container a few weeks ago, we had been printing in a even smaller bedroom. The attached picture shows the container with foam mattresses to provide insulation from the heat.
We are receiving an increased number of requests of printing jobs, and we have to turn them down because of our limited capabilities. Please pray that God will provide for the needs here according to His will and His plan. We do our best to plan, and then submit the plans to God and leave them in His hands.
Until next time,
In His service,
Jonathan, Melody, Gideon and Liliana Dietrich