2018 February 28
Dear friends and family,
So many things are happening at Desert Tree Ministry, it is hard to find the time to write a newsletter!
At the end of January I drove to Kelo, about an hour away, to pick up Dustin who is volunteering to help us for a year. He knows French well, loves people, and is dedicated to evangelism. He arrived in NDJ and then took a bus to Kelo. There is plenty here to keep him busy! Dustin and I have visited people together in various villages and have seen some answers to prayer. The wife of a chief (one of our church members) who died recently had been lying on a mat for the better part of a year. She had been told that she was paralyzed from her legs down. As Dustin led out in helping her, we visited her almost every day. About a week later, she was hobbling around with a stick crutch, supporting her own weight on her legs. A couple of days later, she was walking without support! Please continue to pray for Dustin's outreach in the medical missionary ministry and that people will see Jesus working through him.
Two pallets arrived in Chad from America early February. We had been blocked for printing for a number of weeks because of various equipment broken down or depleted supplies. The pallets included a new printer, a commercial paper stack cutter, and many supplies such as glue pellets for book binding and toner and drums for for the printing of books and other printed materials. There are also many items on the pallets that are unavailable to buy here in Chad.
Gideon and Liliana are greatly enjoying their pets - currently a cat (named Cat!) and two hedgehogs (named Hedgy and Hoggy). The hedgehogs eat dog food, peanut butter, wheat, mangoes. They have needle sharp quills and very soft bellies.
This year, Desert Tree Ministry is conducting our fifth annual laymen evangelism training program, starting March 5. Instead of the normal two-month length, this year we are changing gears a bit and having more advanced training instead, but for only one month. We are inviting selected students who have already completed our training courses in the past to return for further training. Two of our main topics will be church music and how to manage a happy family. Please pray for me and others as we teach, and for the students. Pray that Jesus will be at the center of our teaching. Pray that we will be revived and reformed and prepared to work with greater efficiency and energy.
We are planning on returning to the States for a furlough this summer. Our families are greatly looking forward to this. For example, Jonathan's mother is counting the days, planning special things, getting ready. She will have the guest room all prepared, and it will include special things she knows we like. She will have special foods that are our American favorites. She has a great longing for us to 'come home' and wants very much to see us. That reminds us of how Jesus must feel. He is preparing a special place in heaven for us and He is including lots of special things and foods that He knows we will enjoy. He is "counting the days," too, and is looking forward greatly to when He can come to take us Home. He is waiting for us to "Tell the World" about Him and when all the world knows, and can make an intelligent choice, then He will come. What a wonderful day that will be! We hope each one of you have chosen to be a part of that homecoming!
Thank you for helping us with your prayers and donations, at Desert Tree Ministry to do our part in telling the world about God's love.
In His service,
Jonathan, Melody, Gideon and Liliana Dietrich