Director Yves Beosso reports that their campus is now online with electricity! During the installation, volunteer workers also renovated and expanded two buildings.
All that remains now is to plaster the floors and walls and install the windows. We praise God for you, because without your faithful prayer and support, we could not have done this!
We’re looking to enhance methods by which donors can be directly involved in the lives of deaf students by setting up targeted sponsorship programs. Pray for wisdom as we proceed.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor – Luke 4:18-19
As Christmas draws near, our hearts are turned to reflect on the birth of our Savior and this special ministry He has entrusted to us. Indeed, we are privileged to see the Gospel going forth in proclamation of spiritual liberty to the captives. We praise Him to see the blind regain their sight. We rejoice in the liberty of the oppressed, and we are humbled when we consider that our glorious Lord has elected to show His favor upon us both now and when He comes again. May His Name be continually praised for the great things He has done! (Is 12:1-6)
Although it’s still a year out, plans are underway for the 55th anniversary next December. It’s hard to believe that it was in 1960 that my father, Dr. Andrew Foster, opened the first of several schools for the deaf in Nigeria. From those few schools and churches for the deaf, literally tens of thousands of deaf Nigerians have not only gained an education, but more importantly, have had their spiritual ears opened and learned to call on the name of Jesus Christ! We praise God that He has seen fit to use CMD to bring so many Nigerians into His fold.
In the past two decades, we’ve seen explosive growth in church-planting. From the two deaf churches planted in Lagos and Nigeria, the deaf leaders have struck out on their own, expanding the network of CMD churches. At this time, there are over 25 self-sustaining churches for the deaf across the country, and plenty of opportunities for planting even more churches. The enthusiasm and sacrificial collaboration we’ve witnessed among the Nigerians is a model that we would love to see in other countries. Pray for us as we work to replicate this kind of growth.
Along with the growth in church planting comes the dire need for leadership training. A few of the deaf leaders have completed university-level Bible study programs, but the need surpasses the supply. The greatest hindrance today is the lack of scholarships, as many of the deaf cannot afford to attend university or Bible college. Pray that God will supply this need, and that many well-qualified leaders will rise to the challenge of shepherding His sheep.
Construction of the new campus continues as funds allow. The first of the dormitories is near completion, and several classrooms and multi-purpose buildings are well underway. There is still much that remains to be done, and we’re anxiously looking forward to God providing the means for construction to continue.
Director Yves Beosso reports that electricity is now available in Walia, the village on the outskirts of N’Djamena. Till now, our school’s only source of power has been generators – an expensive option. Having electricity as a utility service will be a huge blessing. Over the past few weeks, faithful friends of CMD have done special fund-raising to help cover the $500 utility fee to bring electricity to our school. We’re praying that the school will be online before the end of the year.
Earlier this summer, Yves received an invitation from Deaf Ministries International (DMI) to give a lecture at their annual international conference held in Seol, Korea. We thank the Lord for allowing him to share with an international audience, and pray that DMI will be a vehicle through which Yves’ insights will be spread to other deaf ministries around the world.
Democratic Republic of Congo / Burundi
Our summer conference in Bukavu was a heart-warming success, and we thank you for your prayers! We’re thankful that attendance was a little higher than usual, but what really fired our zeal was the strong response to the teaching material. This year’s topic was the Supremacy of Christ, and we taught from the book of Colossians. I was a little concerned that the first couple of chapters would be too thick on theology, and not readily received.
To my pleasant surprise, not only did they grasp the complexities we taught, but they responded with many profound questions about the nature of Christ, the Trinity and the practical application of these theological truths. A large part of the teaching success is due to this year’s small group structure organized by fellow missionary Rene Lindquist. Additionally, the Lindquists were able to arrange for a short-term mission team from Michigan, USA, to help us out for a few days while they worked with other mission projects. We’re so thankful for their contribution, and so thrilled to see the Word of God bearing fruit in their lives.
For our 2015 conference, we’re exploring options for meeting in the neighboring country of Burundi, at the school Dr. Foster opened in the ‘70s. Pray for wisdom as we try to attract more Rwandan and Burundi attendees.
Two of our deaf young men have helped start new schools for the deaf in the cities of Rutshuru and Fizi. They are hard-pressed for finances and resources to meet the needs of the deaf. Also, many of the deaf in the region are negatively influenced by the growing influence of prosperity-gospel missionaries and preachers. Pray that the deaf will stand strong, resist the false doctrine, and lean on God alone.
This December, my wife and I will be taking two of our kids to Washington DC. I’ve been asked to be the keynote speaker for a Nigerian deaf awareness conference, and will also use the time to bring our family to see some of the historical sights of DC. Pray for a safe trip and effective conference. Mother Berta is taking life one day at a time in the comfort of Faith’s home, and looking forward to her children and grand children visiting this Christmas season.
Thank you for your continued prayers!
In December, our family will be heading to Gallaudet University in Washington DC to attend the first AfriDeaf conference. The AfriDeaf organization was founded to raise awareness for the needs of the deaf in Nigeria. I’ve been invited to be the keynote speaker. While in DC, my family will take advantage of the opportunity to visit various museums and learn more about US history.
Yves Beosso, director of our school in N’Djamena (Chad) reports that electricity is now available in their community. We’re grateful for the CMD friends in Michigan who worked quickly to raise funds to cover the utility connection expense for our school. We’re so thankful for this huge blessing!
Dear Prayer Partners,
Emmanuel Ilabor, the director of our center in Ibadan (Nigeria), ran into health issues immediately after returning to the US a few weeks ago. His doctors initially feared he had Ebola. Thankfully it turned out to be something less malicious: Malaria – albeit a pretty severe case of it. After a 5-day hospital stay, he was able to rejoin his wife and children. We thank the Lord Emmanuel’s speedy recovery. Due to the blessings of many donors, construction has continued steadily at our new campus just outside of Ibadan. Two operational water wells supply water for construction crews, and several buildings are nearly complete.
Yves Beosso, our N’Djamena (Chad) director was invited to attend an international deaf conference in Seol, Korea. He gave a presentation on the work that the Lord is doing in Chad. We’re thankful for this excellent opportunity to share our Lord’s faithfulness.
Dear Prayer Partners,
We’re excited to hear that electricity is now available in the Walia community, just outside of N’Djamena, Chad. We have a primary school for the deaf located in Walia, and the prospect of not having to use a generator as our only source of electricity is very exciting. On the down side, the cost of getting electricity to the school will exceed $500 – more than their budget allows. Pray with us that God will provide for this need.
Our annual summer Congo Bible Conference meets in various cities in the eastern Congo region. For 2015, we’d like to see if we can meet in Bujumbura, Burundi. There are many deaf there that are unable to attend the conference when we meet in the Congo; hopefully we can bring the conference to them instead. Pray that God will open doors as we explore this option.
Dear Prayer Partners,
Please be in prayer with us regarding a seminar opportunity in N’Djamena, Chad later this fall. In my discussion with Yves Beosso, our school director there, we feel there is a strong need for a leadership training conference at his campus. We’re still in the exploration phase, so we covet your prayers regarding finances for the conference, attendance and participation.
We’re excited to see the launch of two new schools for the deaf in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. One is in the town of Rutshuru, and the other is in the town of Fizi. Both schools are being led by young deaf men who have been educated at Congolese schools founded by CMD. Shukuru Heritier and Chance Bakunzi are the deaf young men heading up these schools, and are currently raising funds in preparation of the new school year. There are many deaf people in these towns in need of an education so they can hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray with us that the Lord will provide the resources, material and additional staff for these schools.
Dear Prayer Partners,
It was truly amazing to see how God has been nurturing the deaf that attended our annual Congo Bible Conference in mid-July. Attendance was higher than expected, and the volume of feedback we received was strong evidence that they’ve been growing both in their appetite and their knowledge of the Scriptures. What a joy it is to see how God has been keeping them firmly rooted in Him as He continues to shape us all into the image of His Son!
A special treat for us this year came in the form of a mission team from Harvest Bible Church in Westland, Michigan. Not only did they help with food and games, but they also performed drama routines throughout the week covering the material we were teaching in Colossians. We’re deeply grateful for their assistance! In addition to our conference, they also helped Tom and Kathy Lindquist with 3 other conferences in the area. Truly, they were a hard-working group.
Dear Prayer Partners,
We’re down to the wire as plans finalize for our annual conference in Bukavu (DR Congo). We’ll be teaching through the book of Colossians and demonstrating how the supremacy of Christ mandates that disciples pursue both comprehensive doctrine and faithful Christian living. To that end, Lord willing, we’ll be addressing particular issues that have come up in recent months on matters of Biblical faithfulness. Pray that our words will be faithful and well received.
A short-term mission team from Michigan will be on site, finishing up a 2-week trip to the eastern DR Congo region. We’ll be putting them to good use as we are expecting a larger turnout of attendees this year. Pray for unity and charity as we work together for His name’s sake.
Dear Prayer Partners,
Fall enrollment is now underway for our center in Ibadan, Nigeria. We’re also in the process of hiring some new staff members and teachers. Please pray with us that we’ll find the right people, and that our school will stay filled to capacity.
Construction at the new campus is moving along nicely. We’re thankful for the recent donation of a solar-powered well and elevated water storage tank. This gift will greatly help both the construction and use of the new campus. We’ve also received a generator. It won’t replace the ailing primary generator, but every little bit helps!
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. – Col 1:28-29
It’s truly a joy to interact with deaf Africans who have a robust understanding of the word of God. Seeing them take on a leadership role and guide others in a spirit of humility and grace is truly a beautiful thing. But regrettably, it’s not a very common thing. This is our ultimate goal and passion: to prepare the deaf for spiritual leadership roles within their communities, and equip them to make disciples for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Meeting with deaf Nigerians
18th Annual Chad Bible Camp
Donated solar-powered well &
First Foster grandchild graduates from college
Every year, our deaf high-school students in Ibadan participate in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO). Students with high scores are able to proceed to universities in Nigeria and beyond. Recently, a few Nigerians have been able to enroll at SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID) in Big Spring, Texas. As it turns out, SWCID is located about 4 hours west of our CMD headquarters in Texas! Last week, my wife and I drove there to visit the deaf Nigerians. It was a good time of fellowship and encouragement. Pray that more graduates may be able to attend SWCID in the future.
Construction of the new campus steadily inches forward. We’ve received a grant for 100,000 Euros from Siegworks Construction. Praise God! Another fantasic blessing came from a supporter who installed a solar-powered well. Having water on site will help greatly as construction continues at the new the campus.
After many years of service and numerous repairs, our center’s electric generator is now in dire need of replacement. The Commissioner’s for Women’s Affairs and Social Welfare has kindly donated a 6500W generator. It’s not powerful enough to run the entire facility, but we’re thankful that it helps take a load off the aging primary generator.
Over 220 people attended the 18th Annual Easter Camp for the Deaf. Most attendees had to travel to get to the city of Doba. Although the facility had a shortage of utensils and ran out of water on the 1st day, God showed His loving kindness by having local churches bring in water and utensils to meet the needs of the campers. We praise God that 19 people made a commitment to follow Christ. Pray that they will continue in discipleship.
When some village officials heard about the camp, they brought in 50 deaf people from outlying villages in the region. These deaf villagers had never received a formal education, and were stunned to see so many people, deaf like themselves, yet with advanced education and the ability to read, write and communicate about things they read in a Book. Pray that these deaf villagers will be able to attend a proper deaf school and learn to read, write – and hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
As in Nigeria, our Chad school has recently received financial support from some unlikely sources. The US Embassy visited our school in the capital city of N’Djamena one week before the Easter camp, and promised to help with the reconstruction of some deteriorated buildings. Most of the buildings at our center are made of mud-brick (as are most buildings in that part of town). The embassy delegates want to replace four of the deteriorated mud buildings with concrete buildings. Pray that they will follow through on their commitment when construction gets underway this August. While the embassy will be carrying the majority of the costs, we still need to raise several thousand dollars to complete the projects. Pray with us that the Lord will provide.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Staffing at our annual Congo Bible Conference will be interesting this year: A team of 15 people from Michigan – most of whom have never been to Africa – will be traveling in the Kivu region (eastern DR Congo) to help with two hearing conferences, as well as our deaf conference in Bukavu. There is also a possibility that a deaf American from Colorado will join our team. This year, we’re going through the book of Colossians, and placing more emphasis on small-group discussions to help the deaf assimilate the material we’ll be teaching. We want to capitalize on the additional help by increasing our budget so more deaf Congolese can afford to come. Pray that the Lord will provide mightily, as local transportation is the largest line-item in our conference budget. Pray also for the Michigan team: Traveling in the DR Congo is not exactly safe, and certainly not for the faint of heart.
Our school in Uvira has had some changes in staffing. Director Pililo Amani has added a young deaf high-schooler as a teacher for the primary classes, and so far, he’s doing well. They still have a need for sewing machines to teach tailoring and to make uniforms. Pray that God will meet this need.
Our school in Likasi, led by Director Mwamba Pascal, has a pressing need for a computer. We have several laptops on hand that I will be brining to the DR Congo this summer, but because our Likasi school is so remote, it’s far cheaper for our director to travel several hours south to Zambia and buy a computer there. Our missionary friend in Likasi, Ruth Willenbrecht, has helped locate a good deal. Pray that God will meet this need.
Mother Berta is staying with us this week while my sister, Faith, is in New York to attend the graduation of her oldest daughter. Alessandra is the first of the Foster grandchildren to graduate from college. Following hot on her heels is our oldest daughter [name withheld]. Lord willing, she will be going overseas next year to work full-time with an evangelical ministry doing outreach to Muslims. Pray for these two as they strike out on their own, that God will continue to bless them and keep them and make His face to shine upon them, and give them peace.