2018 March 30
Dear friends and family,
Greetings from the country of Chad, where the daytime temperatures this time of year are regularly above 105 degrees F!
In the last newsletter we mentioned we had just received 2 pallets that Jonathan's parents had sent from America. Much of the contents were printing supplies paid for by faithful donors. A couple of the main items on the pallets were a printer and a commercial paper stack cutter. In the first week the printer was set up, it printed over 20,000 8 x 11 pages! With two printers, our printing speed is doubled. It also gives us one to use if the other is needing repair. The paper cutter is on a sturdy stand and we are very impressed with how well and accurately it, well, cuts paper.
There were also some treats on the pallets for the children such as new tires for Gideon's bicycle, balloons, raisins, chips and salsa, peanut butter, some toys for playing in the sand, and a few clothes.
We found fresh strawberries in the capital city of Ndjamena last month! They were 'only' $12 for 10 berries. And no, we did not buy any! But we had not seen strawberries for sale before in Chad.
Jonathan came down with malaria the day before the Bible School for this year began. The mission president taught the first two days and by the third day, Jonathan was able to teach. Many of the students were graduates from the previous 2-month classes. Classes were taught for 5 hours every day on topics such as Baptism, Family Life, Music, Finances, Sabbath. This year, the training was for only one month and the classes were more advanced than previous years. It was a good group of students who were serious about learning. They got together in the evenings to study and pray. One of the points we touched on throughout the training was about heaven's culture. We should be loyal first to heaven's culture rather than insisting on African culture or American culture in areas that differ from Bible truth. The graduation ceremony was yesterday, with 44 students receiving a certificate of completion. (see picture 1) This was our biggest class yet. We pray that the Holy Spirit will empower these workers to do a great work.
Each student who completed the course received a pack of literature, much of which was printed in our printing shop. Groups and churches that had not yet received Bible concordances and My Bible First! children's lessons received a copy, as well. (see picture 2)
During the course, the students helped sort literature from the previous Lightbearers container. (see picture 3) Recently we were able to nearly complete the printing of the missing boxes. They accomplished in a few days what would have taken our small team weeks to do! On departure day, the students took advantage of access to our literature container and were able to take 20-25 boxes of books and Bible study materials (see picture 4). These materials will be distributed widely from Abeche in the east, to Ndjamena, to Fianga in the west, to Sarh in the south. Our stock of 20,000 Great Controversy books is now diminished to just a few thousand.
I have been asked to serve as "Chef de District" to oversee the local churches (about 12 total now). I do not feel qualified to do this work, but God will help me to serve in this position until the Chad Mission finds a pastor for our district. Part of this responsibility involves visiting different churches in the area, often speaking for the sermon.
Gideon just got a new pet lamb. He named it Peanut after the mottled red-and-white peanuts that grow here. (see picture 5)
Thank you for your financial support and for your prayers. Both are necessary and we appreciate your helping us here in Chad.
In His service,
Jonathan, Melody, Gideon and Liliana Dietrich