Dear friends and family,
As we pass through this Thanksgiving season, we are overflowing with thanks to God Who is so good to us and Who provides so wonderfully for our needs. We have made our way from Minnesota to Greeneville, TN now, and we enjoyed our visits with family along the way. We are also thankful that our daughter Eliora is doing well.
We are excited that the Lightbearers container filled with literature for Chad and several other countries should arrive at the port of Douala, Cameroon within a few days! The cost of the literature and shipping to Cameroon is graciously covered by the Lightbearers ministry. If you would like to help us with costs of literature distribution or with another area of our project, please be sure to read to the end of this email, where you will find a short list of ideas.
Here is a reminder that you are invited to our evening program on January 4 at the Greeneville TN SDA church, 710 Asheville Highway, 37743, beginning at 5 pm. We will be giving an update on the Chad mission projects with plenty of pictures. Please mark this date on your calendars! This will be our last presentation this furlough, as our return to Chad is set for January 6.
My brother-in-law Keith Mosier and his family remain in Chad at our base and continue the work there. Here are a few paragraphs from Keith:
Moving to Chad! by Keith Mosier
We were all excited as we climbed into my brother's vehicle which would take us to Chicago where we would board the plane for Africa. Ever since we had left Congo due to danger to our family and continued political instability, we had been looking forward to the day we could return to active missionary service. After the door closed for our family to return to Congo in 2018 we accepted the call to join Tammy's sister Melody and her husband Jonathan who have been serving in Chad about the same amount of time we have served in Congo. Melody and Jonathan have twice visited our project in Congo and a couple of times we have sent some of our staff to help them in Chad with publishing and evangelism training. Their base is very near Bere Adventist Hospital which serves over 20,000 patients each year.
Hours before daylight on the first of July, I looked at our large pile of suitcases and duffel bags as we checked in at the ticket counter. It had been almost 10 years since Tammy and I boarded our flight to Africa as newlyweds. Now with 4 kids and the youngest only three, it is a significant task just to stay all together. But now that Shiloh is 9 and Caleb is 7 we have some help pushing carts of luggage and entertaining the younger girls.
Our trip to our new assignment in Chad was pretty standard with a delayed flight which caused us to miss our connection in Ethiopia. After a forced overnight we arrived at our final destination in N'djamena only one day late! Jonathan was right there to pick us up in his Land Cruiser and most of our checked luggage was loaded onto the roof! After resting a night and purchasing supplies we started our all day drive to our new home in Bere where Melody was ready with a warm welcome. Our kids were excited to see their cousins and soon all six kids were delightedly running through the house which we were to share with Melody and Jonathan as our own residence was still a work in progress. Sharing housing is nothing new to us. When we first moved to Congo we lived in one room of my parent's house as we were building a house for ourselves.
On July 19th we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary by moving into our new house. Actually our house is an addition onto an existing 1 room dwelling. The original building has a thatch roof but our addition has metal roofing sheets. Getting settled in has taken time but finally we all have our solar electric system set up and we have running water in the house. We even bought a horse that our children love to ride!
One of my rewarding experiences as a chaplain was making friends with a Muslim man named Ahamad. He brought his wife to the hospital to deliver and I was able to pray with them when their new baby girl was only a few hours old. He invited me to visit him at his house, which I plan to do when I go through his village. The patients are a mix of Muslims and Christians and everyone desires prayer. Tammy has also had the privilege of volunteering at the hospital and even our kids got to participate handing out packets of food to needy children at the nutrition center.
As we look back and see how God is opening the doors for service here in Chad we can say, "Praise God!" And we want to thank each of you who have been praying for us and sending financial support. You are in our prayers as well.
In September we held our first evangelistic meetings in Chad right in the town of Bere. Several hundred people came to our meetings each night to listen as we preached from the Word of God. Mitchel Swena a volunteer at the Bere Adventist Hospital and a graduate of Mission College of Evangelism opened the word of God each evening and the people loved the French Bible Verses and colorful slides that accompanied the message. Debbie Beihl a young doctor who was also volunteering at the hospital gave the health talks. Mitchel had to return to the states before the series was over and Keith took over and preached the rest the nights. We are planting a new church from this evangelistic series. We have made an initial payment for the land, and hope to soon build the church.
It's Jonathan writing here again. For those of you who are looking for ideas on how you, your family, or your church can help Desert Tree Ministry financially, here are a few suggestions and needs.
- $4,000 import and warehouse cost for the Lightbearers literature container
- $3,000-$5,000 estimated shipping cost of literature from Cameroon to Chad/CAR/Gabon/Congo
- $2.50 will print a baptismal study guide book
- $3 will print 100 small black-and-white tracts
- $30 will sponsor an mp3 player with audio Scriptures in the local language
- $3,000-$5,000 provides a basic church building in the bush
If you would like to help our project financially, please make your check or money order payable to: Outpost Centers International (not to Desert Tree Ministry). Remember to note on the check memo line "for: OCI's work at Desert Tree Ministry" so the donation will get transferred to our account and mail it to:
Outpost Centers International
5132 Layton Lane
Apison, TN 37302
In His service,
Jonathan, Melody, Gideon, Liliana, and Eliora Dietrich