Here’s a note we received from Yves Beosso, the director of our school in N’Djamena, Chad:
“We praise God for a successful 24th annual Easter Bible conference took place in Sahr, Chad during the middle of April. The city of Sahr is about 15 hours southeast from the capital city, N’Djamena. In all, about 130 campers came in from 8 different regions of Chad. This was the city we last held the 1st Easter Bible conference in 1996 when we moved to Chad from Nigeria in October 1995. God has blessed our ministry and our participants through this camp, bringing light to the deaf. We give Glory to Him and continue praying as we extend educational and Gospel work among the Deaf in Chad.”
In the city of Uvira, DR Congo, we’re finally ready to break ground on a new school. It’s been a long delay, but the time is now right. One of the hold ups is that we’ve had a buyer willing to purchase our old property. That deal appears to be falling through, so pray with us that the buyer will go through with his original commitment and complete the transaction.
Indeed, your prayers are coveted.
Tim Foster Director Christian Mission for the Deaf
After two years of Covid delays, we’re finally getting back to our annual Congo Bible Camp! Praise the Lord! We’ll be picking up right where we left off, continuing our 4-part study of the book of Genesis, and exploring Christological themes in the lives of the patriarchs. This year we’ll be meeting in Goma, at the site of a school for the deaf that CMD established in the mid ’80s. It was the last school my father visited before hopping on board a charter flight to his untimely demise in 1987.
This year’s conference will be different in several respects: Prior to our conference for deaf church leaders, I’ll be the guest speaker at a special 3-day pastor’s conference that is being organized by one of our Congolese interpreters. I’ll be presenting an introduction to the attributes of God, and guiding conference participants through an outline of Biblical principles regarding the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. The conference will be attended by village pastors, many of whom have little to no formal Bible training. Pray that the teaching will be well received and that the pastors will gain a deeper appreciation for the God we serve.
We’ve been very pleased with the construction work going on at our Baraka school in the
Democratic Republic of Congo. We’re now installing windows, and in a couple of weeks, the doors will be installed, followed by plastering the walls. It’s exciting to see the project getting closer to completion. Meanwhile in Uvira, 90km north of Baraka, we’ll be breaking ground in a few more weeks.
Keep our Chad brothers and sisters in prayers. Their annual Easter camp will be underway in the middle of April. The preachers will be teaching from the life of Abraham.
I’d like to introduce you to a few of the students enrolled in our schools to help give you an idea of some of the students that God has sent our way. These stories come from Yves Beosso, the director of our school in N’Djamena, Chad.
Meet Tedombaye Narcisse
His father is in the militia in Chad, and was looking for a way to have his 6-yr old son get an education. Unable to keep him in his home, he brought “Ted” to our school in 2020, and we were happy to enroll him as a boarding student.
At holiday break, a relative came to pick up Ted, but he wasn’t returned when school resumed. The following school year, we reached out to his family to check on him, but got no response. After several weeks, we got an unexpected text message from a prison. It turns out his dad had been in prison since April 2020. He soon received special permission to come and pay his son’s outstanding school fees, and then returned to prison. Ted’s mother used to sell trinkets and would use a portion of her profits to pay for her son’s school costs, but as with most parents, the funds she contributes are very small, and we have to do fund-raising in order to pick up the rest of the cost. Since then, we have not heard anything from Ted’s family. He is doing well under our care and training, and his language skills will soon reach the point where he can understand the Gospel. It’s unfortunate to see that he has been abandoned by his parents, but we are praying that he will one day come to know and love his true Father in heaven.
Meet Koumimadji Gloria
Her grandmother brought Gloria to us when she was six, and she’s been with us for four years now. Gloria’s mother is too young to care for her, so her grandmother is her primary care giver. We have been concerned for her because her grandmother earns a living by selling wine and is occasionally intoxicated when bringing Gloria to school in the mornings. Indeed, some days she was even too drunk to bring her in to school. We’ve been hoping that her grandmother would never give her alcohol, but one day our worst fears were confirmed. After much prayer, we offered to take Gloria on as a boarder so that she would be shielded from her mother and grandmother’s lack of care for her. Praise God, her grandmother agreed. Gloria is now flourishing and happy – so much so that she refused to go home with her grandmother when she came to pick her up. Pray that Gloria will continue to flourish, growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
CHAD We thank God for the opportunity for two of our teachers in Chad to travel to Worcester, South Africa, to participate in a special Red Star training program. The training has been particularly effective with younger pupils, helping them to quickly grasp language concepts.
In addition to the new Red Star program, three of our teachers have completed their university education, thanks to scholarships that have been made available to them. We are hopeful that the additional training will yield fruit for many years to come.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO In the DR Congo, our regional director, Pililo Amani, just completed an intensive week-long training program for our faculty and staff in Bukavu. Several people from our local partner church expressed an interest in joining the classes, and were befitted by the training. Pray with us that their interest will encourage them to also be involved with educating the deaf and assisting us with our evangelism efforts.
Construction in N’Djamena (Chad) and Baraka (DR Congo) is moving along at a brisk pace. While the administrative buildings are completed in Chad, the two-story multi-function building still has a ways to go.
Basic construction of flooring and walls for the first floor is mostly complete, and the second floor is now underway. If we’re able to keep up this pace, I think we should have the building completed in three more months.
In Baraka, we’ve got the main foundation in place and are ready to lay bricks for the walls. Shindano, the assistant to our regional director, will be making a trip there next week to inspect the progress. Pray for a safe journey (the roads between their cities are so bad that the trip has to be made by boat).
Thank you so much for your support on these construction projects. They help us educate the deaf, and in so doing, reach more people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Pray for us regarding a kindergarten option in Baraka. We have several parents who don’t know what to do with their deaf preschoolers. At this time, we don’t have the budget to have a kindergarten class, but we hate to see these children languish socially and academically. Pray for wisdom to handle this situation.
Director Yves Beosso reports excellence attendance at their 5th National Deaf Church Leaders’ conference in Chad. The
topic of the week was Biblical church leadership, with a focus on the qualifications and duties of deacons. We thank God for an excellent turnout and participation from several cities across the southern region of Chad. We look forward to next year’s conference where we hope to build on the same theme and use the training to strengthen the deaf churches.
Construction for the new school in Baraka (DR Congo) is definitely picking up. The bricks have been fired, and the preliminary foundation work has been completed. Next stage is to pour concrete, and then start the brick work for the walls. In the meantime, we have had to find another school to rent because our landlord has decided to sell the building we were renting. The cost to rent the new school is a bit higher, but we’re able to make it work.
We have great news to report about our construction progress in Ibadan, Nigeria. Mission Projects Fellowship
(www.missionprojects.org) had informed us earlier this year that we were the recipients of a $9,800 construction grant, and those funds were delivered this month. Praise God! Progress over the past few years has been stop-and-go as funds allow, so we’re excited to see this project take a huge leap forward. When completed, the 39-acre campus will be feature K-12 classes for 400 students, a chapel, auditorium, boarding rooms and a small parcel of farming as well. Pray with us that God will continue to bless our progress.
A few weeks ago, Director Shukuru Heriter and his wife Mpasa welcomed their first child into the world.
The delivery ran into some complications resulting in a week-long hospital stay, but we thank God that both mother and baby are now back home and recuperating. Shukuru and Mpasa, grew up as students in our deaf schools in Uvira and Bukavu and were married last year. Mpasa moved from Goma to Baraka to help her new husband at our school in Baraka. Pray with us that they will raise their new daughter in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.
God’s blessings come in various shapes and sizes. In the remote city of Baraka (DR Congo), Director Shukuru has not had much by way of transportation, as walking is the primary means of transportation between home and school. This month, they were able to purchase a new bicycle. To western sensibilities, this might not seem like much, but it’s actually going to be a great help now that Shukuru has to travel out to the new school construction site every afternoon to check on progress.
In Chad, we’ve completed a series of administrative buildings for our center in N’Djamena, the country’s capital. Our two-story multi-purpose building is still under construction. We’re thankful that it’s moving at a brisk pace, and we’re praying it will be completed before school starts in a couple months.
After many months of planning and revising plans, we’ve finally broken ground on building a new school for the deaf in Baraka (DR Congo). The process begins by making mud bricks and drying them in the sun. Then the bricks are stack like an oven, and kept over a smoldering flame for about 5 days. The end result is a durable, low-cost brick, suitable for a construction project that will last 20-30 years. It’s significantly cheaper than concrete, and due to the low cost of labor, is the preferred choice for single-story construction projects in this part of Africa. In the photos on the right, director Shukuru Ramizani’s staff has prepared about 1,800 bricks. They estimate they’ll need about 40,000 to complete the classrooms, administrative offices, staff buildings and perimeter wall. We expect to start construction at our Uvira school in a few weeks.
In Bukavu (DR Congo), we could use your prayers for our efforts with devising a good training program for our new teachers. Things are moving a little slowly these days since Luimbo Nanza, our director, was in a motorcycle accident and injured his leg. His Meshake and Fabien are filling the gap for now, but things will be better when Nanza is back in full swing.
Since Covid-based travel restrictions are still cumbersome in the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda, we’ve decided that holding a Congo Bible Camp in 2021 will not be feasible. Pray for the ~20 deaf churches in the region that will miss another opportunity for Biblical and pastoral training.
Students and teachers from one of our old schools in Goma (DR Congo) had quite the scare last month. A nearby volcano in the Virunga National Park erupted on May 26th, causing 30,000 residents of Goma to flee their homes. At last count, 31 people died in the disaster. A number of our deaf friends in the city also had to leave the city until the lava cooled and the earthquakes ceased. One of them, a young evangelist named Temo, sent me several photos of the volcano and ensuing damage done by the volcano. Pray that their lives will be quickly restored.
We’re happy to report that Director Yves Beosso is nearing completion of the new administration buildings on their property in N’Djamena (Chad). We have about another $500 worth of construction to go and the buildings will be complete. Meanwhile, the 2-story multi-purpose building is moving at a much slower pace, so pray with us that both sets of buildings will be completed soon.
In Nigeria, construction of our new school continues to move forward. Praise God with us that Mission Projects Fellowship has awarded our Nigeria center a $9,800 grant! This is a huge blessing, and I’m excited to see how the project leaps forward.