Dear friends and family,
Greetings from Chad. We now bring you a brief update, mostly of the activities of this week.
You probably know already that we have purchased land for our Publishing House. We were hoping to begin construction immediately and were in communication with a skilled engineer to help us with the building plans. Then, suddenly, Internet was cut across the country of Chad. That was toward the end of July. Until now, we still have no Internet access. We can access Internet in a few of the larger cities; for us, that means at least seven hours on the road. Needless to say, this has been inconvenient for us. But we are trying to be patient and praise the Lord for maintaining peace in this country. So enjoy this rare newsletter!
Last week was busier than usual. We started doing some video recordings with Gabriel. Someday, when we get Internet again, we hope to establish a video channel for Desert Tree Ministry. Pray for us as we are beginning to produce material for this channel. Toward the end of the week, the national Pathfinder director came to train and organize the young people. I had the joy of meeting with the baptismal candidates several times. I felt tired and sometimes my muscles ached, but each day I woke up feeling better, so I kept working.
On Sabbath, the Pathfinders had a long ceremony of investiture, where somewhere around 30 new members were introduced to the local club. A Chief Guide was also named, and we look forward to working more closely with the youth and evangelism training. I had the joy of baptising these young people in the rice field. Please pray for these young people, that they remain faithful to the Lord.
On Sunday, another 50 boxes of literature from the Lightbearers container arrived in Kelo, and Charles went with Levi to get them with our Land Cruiser. The literature has been in storage in Douala, inaccessable to us because of COVID19. Some of the boxes were moistened, but most of it looks usable. The road is very muddy with waist deep mud puddles in places. We are so thankful for our Land Cruiser. I came down with a fever, and the test was positive for Malaria Falciprum. I rested the evening and started malaria medication.
On Monday, we unloaded the boxes. I was glad for help from other people. Gabriel arrived and worked some more on some literature editing. We are glad for his wonderful help in pushing us forward with some of our projects. I desired more rest. But I got a phone call: "We are a well-drilling team. There was a white person who called us a while back about a well, was it you?" They were finished with their contract and had materials to do one more well before returning to Ndjamena. I had to go see them in town and verify the quality of materials and discuss the contract with them.
On Tuesday, the well-drilling team arrived early in the morning to begin work. They hand-dug a bore hole all the way down to a little more than 42 meters (138 feet). We are excited. The team seems to be skilled and professional. I have to work through a translater, as most of them understand little French. They speak a language I have not heard of before.
On Wednesday, the well-drilling team installed an electric pump and a hand-pump and arranged a nice cement pad around the pump. We are so thankful to have a nice, clean source of water on our new land. This will eventually serve us for clean drinking water, for the contruction of our new print shop, and for irrigation of the fruit trees we recently planted.
On Thursday, we finalized and printed the first copies of two different books in the Bavwua language. The first book was "God's Answers to Man's Questions". The second was "Steps to Christ." We are excited to see the first copies come out for distribution. Several other works are in progess for the same language. I conducted our third Bible study with a couple who is preparing for baptism. They are eagerly learning truths and are excited to study together.
On Friday, we did more printing, more editing and layout and design, and Land Cruiser reparations. A Bavwua man came to pick up 50 copies each of the newly printed books. These are a gift from our ministry to the translation team. I am still tired, but am gaining back some energy after recovering from malaria. We close the print shop around noon because it is Friday, and Sabbath is coming soon. I will now help my family to finish getting ready to welcome the Sabbath.
Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support. A lot is happening. We praise the Lord for the strength that He gives us.
In His service,
Jonathan, Melody, Gideon, Liliana, and Eliora Dietrich