News from Mark and Diane
family, friends, and supporters;
many months gone by since our last update have been intense even by
Chadian standards. Here is a brief summary of our life, beginning with
the most recent events and working backward. We trust it will enable you
to pray more informedly and earnestly.
fellow servants, Mark and Diane
seasons of life
We begin our backwards journey in the state
of Indiana. We came to the USA on December 7 for a four week
“vacation”, and as we write (January 2), we are about 24 hours away
from our departure to Chad. This trip was supposed to happen in
March-April when the temperatures will be unbearable in Chad, but
Diane’s uneasiness about her parents – well-founded as it turns out
– made a trip in December seem like
a wise thing (when the temperatures were unbearable in Indiana).
In the event, both of her parents have serious medical issues which make
continued life in their own home difficult at best. And so with help
from Diane’s siblings and her parents’ church family, we succeeded
in moving them out of their home of 45 years and into an assisted living
facility the day after Christmas. It was surely providential that
we should be there at this time, even
though these events didn’t exactly make for the restful time we hoped
it would be.
for our surrogate daughter Sylvie (now almost two years old) has woven
Chageen into the fabric of our lives even more intimately than before.
Naturally, this has made leaving Chageen, even for a few weeks’ time,
all the more difficult. Our trip to the USA was no exception in
this regard, and was a foretaste of the day (still a couple years out)
when we will have to leave her for 8 months or more while we go to the
USA for furlough.
construction of the Bible School building has been dragging on for
almost two years now. In a way, that’s a good thing because we have
translated an enormous amount of material for the Bible school during
the many hiatuses in the construction. But all the same, Mark decided
enough was enough and resolved to finish the roof structure, which was
quite complicated, before our departure to the USA. It was a marathon
for Mark and his Chadian tradesmen, but in the end they finished not
only the roof (minus the corrugated iron sheeting) but also the
superstructure of the home in which Larry and Jan Gray will live. Larry
and Jan, you will recall, are coming to Chad in June to help with the
Bible School. It was a good race, and it was very satisfying to leave
for the USA after a job well-done.
glad to be heading home again tomorrow. We look forward to seeing
Sylvie, our three cats, and all our dear friends and coworkers in
Chageen. Getting the Bible school operational will again be our priority
this year. There are many more materials to prepare, the building to
finish, and the Grays to welcome – quite apart from our usual
ministries. 2016 has been a very full year, and 2017 promises to be much
the same. We are ever grateful for your prayers on our behalf that we
would have the strength and wisdom to discharge the ministry which
Christ has laid upon us.
dinner with Diane’s parents. The next day, they moved out of their
home of 45 years.
favorite Chadian girl
Bible school as we left it, and as it awaits our return.