A visit to the Niellim

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December 2000

Those of you who supported Diane with your prayers and gifts through her years as a single gal will remember that she was working with the Niellim people in southern Chad, and eventually did her thesis at the University of Texas at Arlington on their language. While our principle ministry now is with the Kwong, we still maintain a keen interest in the goings-on in Diane's old stomping grounds. Hence, when her parents visited, it seemed like an ideal opportunity to visit and renew her acquaintances there. 

In brief, you will remember (if you were one of Diane's supporters) or learn (if you were one of Mark's) that the Neillim are a people group of about 4000 who are for the most part Muslim. There is, however, a young group of believers among them with whom Diane intended to work before she was spirited away to Kwongland by Mark. Now, however, there is a capable young man named Sosthenes (right, with family) from another tribe who has taken over Diane's work of Bible translation into the language as well as the spiritual oversight of the young believers. We had a delightful visit with Sosthenes, and were also pleased to meet his disciple, a young Niellim believer named  Felix (below right). 

Continue to pray of the Niellim. Sothenes and his family have endured much in the cause of the Gospel among the Niellim. He is a Chadian, but every bit as much a foreigner as we would be in the circumstances. He needs to painstakingly learn the language like we would, and must endure hardships which he wouldn't have were he at home 200 miles to the west. Of particular concern to them is the very poor water supply which has made for a lot of family sicknesses. (A project is under way to drill a well for them and AIM will receive funds for it - ask us for details if you're interested.) Besides the day to day hardships of life, they have recently experienced much opposition, some of it unquestionably supernatural. And as if to add insult to injury, the first convert from among the Niellim and someone in whom Diane and Sosthenes had put much hope for the future of the gospel among this tribe is now in jail for thievery, adultery, and attempted murder (his weapon had no bullets fortunately). 


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