Christ the Savior is born in the flesh, the propitiation for our sins. This salvation from the just penalty of our sins is a free gift: given by grace, received by faith, lived with zeal. Too often it’s easy to reduce Christianity to a zealous list of dos and don’ts, especially when working with limited language skills. But our Savior compels us to zealously transform not only our actions, our thought processes and even our minds. Our entire worldview should be zealously transformed as part of our sanctification. These are a few of the thoughts that occupy my mind this Christmas season.
John Linus is a promising young pastor and an excellent candidate for further education. His education options in Nigeria are quite limited, but with the assistance of the Andrew Foster Memorial Scholarship Fund, he will finally be able to begin his college training at SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf in Big Spring, Texas. The Andrew Foster Memorial Scholarship fund was
started by Jim Walterhouse and Danny Campbell, faculty members at SWCID, and Linus is their first benefactor. After his studies at SWCID, Linus will begin studying at a Bible college, and then return to Nigeria to help serve the deaf churches. There were a number of delays in getting his paperwork completed and his visa approved, but by the grace of God, that has now been completed, and Linus is set to arrive in the USA in January. We thank God for this wonderful scholarship and pray that God will use Brother Linus to serve Him well. For more information about the fund, please visit http://afmsf.cmdeaf.org.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Three years ago we re-opened our Bukavu school with Boro Nanza as the director. Due to space limitations, Nanza has had to relocate the school to a property just outside the city limits. The new facility is owned by a Baptist church, and the rent is extremely reasonable.
Nanza’s current assistant is very limited in his knowledge of sign language. We were hoping to hire a young church leader from Rutshuru, but those plans fell through. Pray that we’ll be able to find another well-qualified assistant. By rough estimates, we believe there are several thousand deaf people in the Bukavu area, but almost none of them have access to an education, and the few that have received an education through our old school are spread far and wide. There is a lot of work to be done, and we covet your prayers.
Director Yves Beosso reports that construction at the Toukera property remains at a standstill. We lack the funds to complete the construction of the two school rooms. Another important feature to add in Toukera is a water well. This would enable us to encourage nearby residents to keep an eye on the property and herd off squatters. The laws in Chad make it easy for squatters to be an expensive source of frustration to property owners who cannot quickly develop their lands. We’ve had a few run-ins with squatters in the past, and hope to be able to prevent their return. In addition to the work at Toukera, the main campus in N’Djamena is in dire need of upgrades. Over the past few years, the center has been hit with severe storm damage. Due to time and finances, construction work was hasty, using mud brick. The mud brick needs to be replaced with concrete in order to provide safe, long-lasting buildings to meed the education needs of the deaf. Pray that God will provide the funds for these projects.
Yves’ oldest son recently graduated from secondary school. He is now at our center in Ibadan, Nigeria, studying English and preparing for January entrance exams to Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary. Lord willing, after his seminary training, he will be headed to the University of Ibadan for medical studies, and then back to Chad to work with the deaf. The school expense is more than the Beossos can afford, so they are trusting our Lord to provide.
Our oldest daughter, Micah, has ended her job as a UN refugee case worker, and now teaches third grade at a Classical Christian school in Austin. Our middle child, Noelle, has also moved down south to the San Antonio area to pursue her career interest in criminal justice. Daniel has taken on a renewed interest in life, art, music and literature, so this has been an extremely interesting 11th grade for him.
Mother Berta is doing as well as can be expected, grateful for each day the Lord gives her.