Praise God for His provisions! Our school in Uvira will soon receive three sewing machines. These machines will be used to help our deaf students become gainfully employed as tailors and seamstresses. We’re praying they’ll also be able to make uniforms for the students soon.
In Chad, one of our staff members, Brother Dingamndoh Behiguim, will soon be presenting a dowry for his fiance Memadji. Pray for this young couple that God will bless their upcoming marriage.
Pray for the students as the exam finals loom closer. Good grades for finals are crucial, and will determine which students proceed to the next grades.
We thank God for a successful Bible Conference in Bukavu earlier this month. Aaron Kuglin was able to join us again, this time bringing his wife and youngest daughter. Pray for them as they continue to seek ways to be used by God to minister to the deaf. Josh Bonjour, pastor to a deaf church in Fort Worth, was able to join us and take a closer look at some of the work that CMD is doing. The attendees were quite excited at his fluent sign language, and are looking forward to meeting other people from his church at future conferences.
After the conference, we were able to visit a new school for the deaf in Kavumu (about an hour north of Bukavu). It was started by one of our former pupils using his own funds and resources. It’s amazing to see the ambition of young men who are rolling up their sleeves and forging ahead to bring education and the Gospel to unreached corners of their region. I’ll be writing about them in our next prayer letter.
In just a few days, we head to Bukavu (Democratic Republic of Congo) for our annual Congo Bible Camp. There have been a few hiccups in working out the logistics of the attendees, so keep us in prayer as we finish preparing for the conference. For several people in our team, this will be their first time to Africa. Pray for the safety of all those who are traveling to the conference – both Africans and Americans. Pray also that the attendees will be greatly benefited as we study 1 Peter together.
Please keep our Nigerian center in your prayers. The center continues to feel the strain of overcrowding, while construction at the new campus continues. Ideally, we would like to have several of the buildings complete by the time of our special anniversary celebration in December. We wait on God to continue to supply our needs.
Usually, our annual Congo Bible Conference meets in the eastern Congo during the summer. This year, we’re planning to meet during Easter. There are a number of advantages to this, but there are also a few schedule challenges that need to be ironed out.
Lord willing, we will be joined by Josh Bonjour, the pastor of a deaf church in Fort Worth, Texas. His church, New Life Deaf Fellowship (NLDeaf.com), has been looking for a deaf foreign missions group to partner with. I’m looking forward to his assistance as he helps teach the word of God at our next Congo conference. We’ll be teaching from 1 Peter. Pray with us that God will bless our collaboration, that more people will be added to His kingdom, and that His people will be strengthened in the Word.
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.