Dear friends and family,
Interesting times we live in!
Toward the end of February, I (Jonathan) attended the Chad Mission year end meetings in Ndjamena for several days. The pallet of supplies shipped via air freight from America had arrived the week before and we were able to pick it up after the meetings ended. We are thankful for the assistance of the Chad Mission in helping us with all the documents. Everything seems to have arrived safely and in working order, including our Riso digital duplicator. This machine will enable us to produce tracts more quickly and less expensively. Thank you, Lord!
Our family had a bout of sickness for about a week in early March. Fevers, ear and eye and nose infections, malaria, etc. Everyone seems to be fine, now. Daytime temps are 100-110 degrees F. It has also been quite dusty for weeks until recently, when an early rain storm cleared the dust. We are thankful for our Land Cruiser, but we have had to spend some thousands of dollars on repairs recently (new transmission, new tires, etc).
Along with many countries in the world, Chad closed its borders on March 19 as a precaution against COVID-19. There are no regular flights in or out of the country, except for cargo. As of the time of this writing (April 5), there are 9 reported COVID-19 cases in Chad , although we suspect large numbers of unknown or unreported cases. To protect their citizens, the government has ordered all churches and mosques to be closed, shut down public transportation, implemented curfuews, limited the size of groups to 50 or less, etc. By now, most of the world is experiencing similar circumstances.
We thank God that we are able to finish the laymen training program. The Mission President Pastor Benjamin opened our program with a class on stewardship. I taught classes on the Word of God, Holy Spirit, Personal Evangelism, Music and Worship. Keith and Charles taught Bible doctrines and Public Evangelism in the evenings. Other teachers included Pastor Sali and Gabriel. Gabriel helped organize equipment and we were able to record most of the program on video. Now we can distribute video and audio on micro-SD cards, and people can listen to the classes on their phones! We are excited about this, as we have been desiring to record these training programs for years.
Keith and Tammy Mosier and their children have returned to America. They were the last people to board the last commercial flight out of Chad before things got locked down. We really appreciate all of their help and support during their nine months of service here in Chad. We will miss them, but trust in Gods leading.
Due to COVID-19, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist meetings which were scheduled for this summer in Indianapolis have been postponed til 2021. So I will not be coming to America in June 2020.
We would like to ask for your prayers for our work in Chad. There is much to do and we need help. We are still working hard on developing tracts, translations, layout and design, printing, and binding. So much more could be done, such as conducting more training seminars throughout the country, starting a gospel radio station, writing culture-sensitive tracts, integrating evangelism with the work of the Bere Adventist Hospital, and working in other ways to strengthen the work of the church in this country. Please pray and ask the Lord if He would like for YOU to go to Chad to help spread the gospel here. Listen carefully for His answer. If you feel called to come to Chad, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let's communicate.
Again, we thank all for your prayers and donations which enable us to work for the Lord in Chad. Stay tuned for more updates about a few things I didn't have time to write about this evening!
In His service,
Jonathan, Melody, Gideon, Liliana, and Eliora Dietrich