Dear friends and family,
It is long over-due to release another update on life here in Chad. Life is not without trials, but is certainly full of blessings. We were able to can about 150 more quarts of mango sauce this year in kettles over the fire. The rains are plentiful this year, and our small garden is doing well. Our main crop is summer squash, but we have a few tomatoes and beans and flowers planted. Temperatures are in the low 90s most days, so we are not suffering as much from the heat anymore. The rains have transformed the dusty brown landscape into lush green. It is beautiful.
A young man named Promise from Cameroon was able to help us in the print shop for a few months. With his God-given talents, he was able to help a lot especially in the area of layout and design. He also helped with equipment repairs. See attached picture of us cleaning a dirty thermistor for our color printer.
The last week in June, I taught a seminar on what the Bible teaches us about music. The class was for an hour and a half each evening for a week, and was held at the Bere Church. About 20-30 members attended. I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit there.
The Mission President visited our district for about a week. It was encouraging to have him go out with us to the remote groups and to give them training and encouragement. Since the rains have settled in, we could not have done this without our Land Cruiser.
One of the sites we visited with the Mission President is Lai. Nearly forty years ago, Adventist work was started in the town of Lai, about 18 kilometers east of Bere. Unfortunately, despite pastors work and evangelistic campaigns over the years, the work there has not been stable. And until this year, the church owned no land or building; they met at people's homes. Recently the Chad Mission sent a Gospel Outreach pioneer to work in Lai. Desert Tree Ministry, through the enabling of donors, was able to arrange for the purchase of a piece of land. Construction of the basic structure has just been completed. (See attached picture.) Now, the members can work toward raising the floor with dirt, and making windows and doors for the structure. The group should become more stable now that they have land and a structure. Pray that the group in this strategic location will mature and become a light to illumine the villages to the east who have not yet heard the Adventist message.
On the first week of July we were joined by Keith and Tammy Mosier and their four children! Keith plans to help Desert Tree Ministry with pastoral and evangelism activities. Tammy is the sister of Melody my wife, so they will enjoy having more time together. Keith has served as president of Congo Frontline Missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo for about ten years. We are happy to have them join us in ministry.
We continue to pray for God's protecting hand over us and the equipment in the print shop. Our 3-pole breaker switch malfunctioned, somehow shorting two of the three poles together and sending 400V through where there should be only 230V! Thankfully, I was nearby to smell the smoke and to shut things down. Nothing was ruined!
Each Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we open the print shop with a reading from a book called _Publishing Ministry_. This is helping our workers to better understand why we exist and what our goals are. We recently printed 300 copies of Sabbath School lessons for fourth quarter. We have also started printing the first copies of Steps to Christ in Nangjere! This project has been in progress several years, and we are so happy to be able to print it now. Another book recently translated into French (Verites Bibliques) is now finished with layout and design and we should start printing it this week. We have several translations of the popular Bible question and answer book in progress: in Bavuwa, Moundang, and Ngambaye. This book is already in French and Nangjere, and has been very popular. We are still printing and distributing tracts and Great Controversy books, books on the Sabbath, Baptism, and other Bible study guides.
Please continue to pray that God opens the doors for us to print or import the library sets for the pastors and schools in Chad, CAR, Congo, and Gabon.
Melody has been having some challenges with our pregnancy, so she and the kids have returned to America. We plan for Melody to give birth in Minnesota. I plan to fly out of Ndjamena today and should arrive in America about 30 hours later. This trip will largely be a working furlough for me. In America, I can "escape" from the daily and continual interruptions at the door, managing the print shop, and my responsibilities as district chief, to focus on development of the printing ministry.
We hope to see some of you in America, although we do not plan to do as much traveling this furlough.
In His service,
Jonathan, Melody, Gideon and Liliana Dietrich