News Update - May, 2009
After three months in the village of Chageen, we have
finally come out to “civilization” (if N’Djamena so qualifies) for
a short break. Seeing as how we had almost completely run out of food,
we really didn’t have much choice. Here is a summary of our life and
ministry in Chad:
After two months of very hot temperatures (110°), the first
rains have brought welcome relief. It has been amazing to see how the
trees and shrubs around our house all “knew” the rains were coming
and began to bud out even before the moisture arrived. This
“Frangipan” tree in our backyard is the most spectacular example. At
night, its fragrance fills the air.
rains have also begun their annual destruction of the road to Chageen.
As we “4 wheeled” through mud and water two days ago to leave
Chageen, we pondered once again why it is that some people in the USA
actually pay good money to 4-wheel for “fun”. We also wondered
whether they would think it such fun if the nearest tow truck and
hospital was 200 miles from their playground.
recall that for many years we have been discouraged by the disconnect
between our vision for the Kwong church and that of our local Kwong
pastors who frequently take precious little interest in the spiritual
wellbeing of their parishioners. We have been encouraged these last few
months, however, by a new openness to Mark’s teaching and counsel.
Some excellent teaching by Moses the Younger on the shepherding
task of pastors was the initial impetus. (You may remember that Moses
has been a missionary among the Muslim nomads since leaving our
translation team about 10 years ago.) Mark followed this up by gently
imposing on them to follow through on all the pious things they said
during those meetings and the result is that Mark now has a foot in the
door with them.
clinic building is very
close to completion. The delivery room still needs paint, the windows
still need screens, a couple sinks need to be installed, and the waiting
area needs a gate to keep the village goats out (goats hate rain and
take cover there, and of course poop all over everything), but other
than that, the building is basically done. Pray with us as we look for a
young man who we can send for nurse’s training to staff the clinic in
ministries – teaching the kids with Jonas, the radio station,
Diane’s discipleship classes with the women, the boys’ club and
girls’ club, and of course the Bible translation project continue to
go well. We have been remarkably healthy and in good spirits. We will
return to Chageen in a week or so after purchasing a 6 month supply of
food to take us through the rainy season.
That’s all for now.
Mark and Diane