News Update - May 15 2010

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Followup on Mark’s trip to Mobou

May 15,  2010

The favor of the Lord our God did rest upon us. He established the work of our hands for us. Yes, he established the work of our hands. (from Psalm 90:17)





Construction at Mobou Kousou

in front of church


Antenna at Mobou Nyegin


Impromptu hymn sing


Home again – (L to R) Luke Bamadi, Pastor Wanang, David Gouptaan, yours truly.







Four days, two goats, two chickens (nicely seasoned), two radio repeaters, and 160 miles later, Mark made it back to the comforts of home and hearth in Chageen. Overall, the trip to Mobou went very well – the weather cooperated, the repeaters worked better than expected, and our relationships with the Kwong churches in Mobou have been renewed. Here in brief is how the Lord undertook in our favor as Mark and his Kwong coworkers made this trip.

*      We were concerned that rain could make the trip quite difficult. In fact, Mark and the guys watched with dismay on two successive nights as very large thunderstorms passed immediately to the south of Mobou and turned the roads which they had just traversed into veritable quagmires. As it turns out, they were able to take a circuitous northerly route back to Chageen. That road had very little water on it.

*      The first radio repeater, which we installed at a place called Mobou Kousou, worked so poorly that Mark was ready to give up. As a last desperate Hail Mary, he disconnected the coaxial cable and attached a piece of plain wire to the FM output thinking that maybe somebody could just walk up to the contraption, hook the wire up to his radio aerial and hear something. All of a sudden the peanut gallery – which had been sitting expectantly all day under a nearby tree with their cheap Chinese radios in hand, and which by now had very forlorn looks on their faces – erupted in squeals of excitement as their Kachibo’s squawked to life. To Mark’s ears it was not exactly a satisfying consumer listening experience, but the Kwong Christians of Mobou Kousou were thrilled.

*      Notwithstanding the qualified success of the first repeater, there was enough frustration involved that Mark resolved he would not install the repeater in Mobou Nyegin (about 5 miles from Mobou Kousou) until the engineering types back in the USA could figure out what was making them work so poorly. Trouble was, he was driving around with a 20 foot piece of 1½ inch galvanized pipe and a 400 lb block of cement which he really wanted to dispose of. Once, however, these tokens of an antenna were duly installed next to the church, the clamor to have the whole deal, whatever its shortcomings, became a crescendo. There was nothing to do except give it a try on the understanding that if it worked as poorly as the one in Kousou, down it would come. As the afternoon got hotter and hotter and the thunderheads loomed to the south, Mark took some inspiration from that providential piece of wire at Kousou and made a completely new FM output connector with some spare parts – just another of many shots in the dark. It worked. As Diane switched on the transmitter back in Chageen, the sound of Mobou Nyegin’s very own youth choir came blasting out of every radio for 50 meters around without a hint of static.

*      The Christians of both churches were genuinely thrilled with Mark’s visit and wished Diane could have come, too. It was hard, however, to shake off the impression that maybe we really don’t have that much to offer them. The day before this trip, we took delivery of the new Kwong hymnbook. It is very professionally done and looks really classy – a sure sell, or so we thought. (All over Chad hymnbooks in any language outsell Bibles by a factor of probably 3 or 4 to one.) Not in Mobou. At the prayer meeting we attended in Kousou, the Kwong Christians merrily sang away with their old tattered Ngambay hymnbooks. The pastor didn’t preach that day, but when he does, he preaches in Soumray. In Nyegin, while Mark cogitated on the mysteries of the magic wire at Kousou, a dozen young men borrowed our hymnbooks for an impromptu hymn-sing – and then turned them all back in when they were done. We sold exactly three hymnbooks, and not a single item of discipleship materials. Are obituaries all they want to hear on these FM repeaters?


Finally, many thanks to everyone who was praying. We had more expressions of support and prayer in response to last week’s  Prayer Bulletin than perhaps any other missive we have sent out. We were most grateful for your collective concern. As this letter goes out a few days after Mark’s return, we are in N’Djamena to get the book of Genesis in Kwong approved for publication – a process which will take a couple weeks and which involves double-checking every last verse.

Your fellow servants,

Mark and Diane


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Last modified: December 18, 2010