Category: Update

January, 2019

Dear Friends,

Now that the presidential elections are over in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the dust has settled, the minister of telecommunications has turned the Internet back on, and we’re finally able to communicate with our school directors and church leaders. The Internet had been turned off for almost a month, so we’re thankful that full communication has been restored. When President Félix Tshisekedi was sworn in, hundreds of M23 rebels in the Kivu province laid down their arms in a show of support for the new president. It is the country’s first peaceful transfer of power since it gained independence from Belgium almost 60 years ago. Only the Lord knows how long peace will ensue, but for now, this seems to be a step in the right direction. Pray for continued peace.

The first phase of reconstruction work in Chad is almost complete, and the staff are beginning to settle into their newly renovated spaces. Afrideaf Foundation donated enough funds to address several more reconstruction projects, so director Yves Beosso will have his hands quite full for some time to come. Pray for wisdom as we continue the work.

Chad construction nearing completion of phase 1

We’re starting plans for our 2019 Congo Bible Camp, and will most likely meet in Bujumbura (Burundi). We’ll continue our study in Genesis, with plans to expand certain aspects of our pastoral training material. A couple of American teachers who are planning on coming have some health concerns, so pray that we’ll be able to get any necessary preliminaries addressed before we head out in July.

In Him,

Tim Foster
Director

December, 2018

Dear Friends,

As the year draws to a close, we see that God has done much through CMD in spite of a number of challenges.

Construction at the school in Chad, thanks to the AfriDeaf Foundation

Clement Abonyi, a ’70s graduate from our Nigeria school, is the founder of AfriDeaf Foundation. They have donated funds and materials to both our Nigeria and Chad schools. The funds were immediately put to use for reconstruction and expansion. Praise God for these wonderful gifts!

The Ebola outbreak in the North Kivu province of DRCongo shows no sign of receding. So far, 540 people have been infected since October 2018, and over 350 have died. Pray for the deaf living in the cities of Bunia, Butembo.

Immediately after the December 30th presidential elections in the Congo, the Telecom minister shut off Internet access for the entire country, supposedly to quell violence. As a result, we’ve been out of contact with our school staff in Likasi, Fizi, Uvira and Bukavu . Pray for peace and a resolution to the elections. Historically, elections in the Congo are a time of widespread violence and civil unrest.

In Him,

Tim Foster

November, 2018

Dear Friends,

We have five staff members in Chad and one in the Congo who have been able to enroll in local universities to further their education.  Their scholarship pays for 80% of their school costs, but on their limited salaries, even the 20% is a bit of a burden. We’re optimistic that they will be faithful students, but do keep them in their prayers as their studies are an additional burden to their current job duties.

In April 2019, Lord willing, our Congolese school directors will be meeting for our first Congo Director’s conference.  This will be an excellent opportunity for our school directors to get to know each other, and also to discuss various methods, practices and procedures for managing a deaf schools and churches.  Pray for Shukuru Heritier, our newest/youngest director, as he plans the event. Pray that the meeting will be a great success as our directors work together to train up the next generation of church leaders. 

The largest Ebola outbreak in underway in the north Kivu province of the DR Congo, with 167 lives lost since August. We don’t have a school in the region, but there are several deaf churches there, and a number of our deaf friends are in the affected cities. Pray that the outbreak will be quickly contained.

In Him,

Tim Foster
Director

October, 2018

Dear Friends,

Our Bukavu school is undergoing some important transitions. Director Nanza has brought in a new assistant, Fabien Morisho, a deaf young man from Goma (10 hours north) who has been a long-time

Fabien Morisho
New teacher in Bukavu

attendee of our Bible camps.  He’s the first deaf staff member for this school. We’re praying that he will be an effective teacher, and a vibrant liaison between our school and the existing deaf community in Bukavu.  Pray for direction as we seek to move the school closer to the downtown area of Bukavu.

In Chad, Director Yves reports that the university students’ strike has had a significant negative impact on the government of Chad. Last week, a rioting mob of university students came to our deaf center while school was in session, demanding solidarity with their strike. They threatened to destroy the school’s gate and beat the students to force them to stay home, just as they have done at other private schools. Praise God that their plans came to naught, and they eventually dispersed. Thankfully, a temporary provision was signed by the government a few days ago, allowing for some tranquility till January. Pray for peace and security in these uncertain times.

In Him,

Tim Foster

September, 2018

Dear Friends,

Grand Opening in Fizi, DR Congo

The 2018-2019 school year is off to a healthy start in Nigeria, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Summer construction and renovation projects are nearing completion: In Uvira, Director Pililo has had to rebuild the toilet facilities. In Fizi, Director Shukuru has completed preparations for their newly rented facility, and hosted a grand opening-day ceremony, with local dignitaries in attendance. Pray with us that these improvements will serve the deaf well.

We’ve started a new program where we offer financial assistance for some of our senior faculty and staff to pursue higher education at local universities. So far, we have about six people in Chad and the Congo who have submitted applications to take advantage of this opportunity. It is our prayer that their continued education will improve the quality of their teaching and administrative duties as they work to bring education and the Gospel to the deaf.

In Him,

Tim Foster

August, 2018

Fizi school renovations

Dear Friends
Our Fizi school is now renting space in a larger facility, and ready to begin the 2018-2019 school year. Director Shukuru Heritier has visited Burundian refugee camps in his region, and paved the way for deaf Burundian refugees to enroll in his school. Pray that the remaining logistics will be ironed out soon. In Uvira, we’re having to do some extensive renovations to the school building. Pray that we’ll be able to complete the repairs before school starts.

Toukoura Irrigation

At our new school property in Chad, the newly installed water pump has been put to good use irrigating the small farm, resulting in a bountiful crop.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

In Him,

Tim Foster
Director

July, 2018

We thank God for His blessings on our annual Congo Bible Camp. About 1/3 of the 120 attendees were first-timers from Burundi, so we’re thankful to be able to make inroads into the deaf churches in that country.

One of the attendees was a Muslim young lady named Ramla. Since our camps are targeted at pastors, evangelists and church leaders, it’s rare for us to have Muslim attendees. By the end of the week, Ramla had decided to follow Christ instead of Mohammed. We have no idea what her conversion will cost her, but please pray for Ramla as she begins discipleship under the Burundi church in her town.

Director Yves and his staff have lost no time in putting their new well to use.  They set up an irrigation grid and planted some crops and trees on the property.  If all goes well, the crops will grow quickly during this rainy season and be able to weather the coming dry season. 

In Him,

Tim Foster
Director

June, 2018

Praise God for several big answers to prayer regarding our Chad school:

  • A new motorcycle has been purchased to replace the school’s aging motorcycle. Pray that it will serve the school well.
  • A new well has been installed at the school’s new property. Limited funds have allowed for only one small building to be constructed so far, but in the mean time, one of our staff members has moved his family to the 6-acre property, and has planted a small farm. Pray that the first harvest will be bountiful, and that more funds will allow for continued construction.

Our Annual Congo Bible Camp is July 16-20. Pray for safety for the many who travel to the camp, and that God will be magnified in the teaching of His Word. 

Shukuru Ramazani, the director of our Fizi school, has made contact with a refugee camp several miles north of his town. He was able to locate about 20 deaf refugees at the camp, and is working with officials to allow the refugees to attend the school in Fizi. Pray that the officials will allow the deaf refugees to attend our school and receive not only an education, but an introduction to the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Him,

Tim Foster
Director

May, 2018

Please continue praying for our up-coming Congo Bible Camp in Bujumbura, Burundi. We’re starting a 3-year study in the book of Genesis, and we expect to face a number of counter-cultural questions on the nature and equality of man, the nature of sin, and the substitutionary atonement of the Lamb of God. We’re thankful that God has allowed for my wife and son to travel with us this year. 

Shukuru (middle) and the construction of a new fence

Praise God for a surprise gift of funding for a fence at our Fizi (Congo) school. Shukuru Hertier, the director of our Fizi/Baraka school, reports that they have received a gift from the sector chief to assist them in the construction of a fence around the school property. This small gift goes a long way towards helping establish the young school as a competent place where the deaf can get an education.

Yves Besso, the director of our Chad school, reports that his motorcycle is on its last leg. By the grace of God we were able to give it to him eleven years ago, and it has long outlived its usefulness. Would you pray with us as we raise the $1,500 necessary to replace his motorcycle?

In Him,

Tim Foster
Director

April, 2018

Plans for our annual Congo Bible Camp are picking up speed.  This year, we’re meeting at the Ephphatha School for the Deaf in Bujumbura, Burundi. My father, Dr. Andrew Foster, opened the school in 1981, and since 1988, it has been locally supported and operated in partnership with the Community of Emmanuel Churches (CEEM), the Brethren movement in Burundi.  Lord willing, both Cliff and Sherri Bodiford will be able to help us at the camp this summer. Cliff serves as an elder at New Life Deaf Fellowship in Fort Worth, Texas, and both have a deep passion for church-planting and mission work among the deaf.  Since we are working with new team members from America and Burundi, we are facing a new set of logistical hurdles, and covet your prayers. 

Director PIlilo Amani (Uvira, DR Congo) had to undergo hernia surgery 2 weeks ago and is recovering well. Thank you for your financial support, as the cost of this surgery was well beyond his means.

In Him,

Tim Foster
Director