Category: Update

March, 2021

Dear Friends,

We’re excited to see so much progress with the construction of new buildings at our N’Djamena (Chad) school. The sizable gifts we’ve received over the past few months have been depleted, and construction is now slowing down. The rain season will be here soon, and if the work is not completed by then, we’ll have to move at a much slower pace. Pray with us that we’ll be able to continue construction and complete the new multi-purpose building soon.

In Bukavu (DR Congo), we’ve added new staff members for our growing school, but we also need to get them trained ASAP. Their lack of strong sign language skills is a hindrance that needs quick resolution. Pray that we’ll be able to get them trained quickly.

To the northwest of Bukavu, in the city of Kavumu, a school for the deaf has been struggling for several years. It was founded by a group of local parents concerned for their deaf children, and they’ve had a tumultuous time with less-than-honest people vying for leadership. Despite this, the school has grown to over 70 deaf students. They have asked us for financial and academic assistance, but at this time, we’re not able to commit resources to their effort. Fabien, one of our deaf teachers from Bukavu, has been spending a lot of evening hours working to help them stabilize and get competent leadership in place. He’s brought in a former classmate from his high school in Goma, and both men are working there at their own expense. Pray that God will give us wisdom about whether and how we might assist the Kavumu school.

In these uncertain Covid times, we’re exploring an opportunity to go to Goma in July and host a Bible camp. Pray for wisdom about making these arrangements.

In Him,

Tim Foster
Director

January, 2021

Dear Friends

January has been a busy month for us in the Congo. We’ve completed the purchase of two parcels of land. One is in the city of Baraka, and the other is in the city of Uvira. After all the legal paperwork is completed, we’ll need to finish the plans for construction and then proceed with building the classrooms. Finalizing the blueprints for construction has proved to be a bit of a challenge in Baraka. We have limited access to construction expertise, and the people willing to do the work are very keen to try and make a tremendous profit off our project. Pray that we can get these buildings underway and completed within the next few months.

We have recently promoted Pililo Amani from director of our Uvira school to regional director for the Eastern Congo. In this position, he will have oversight over our Bukavu and Baraka schools. We are confident that his years of faithfulness in developing the Uvira school will be invaluable as we also try to grow the Bukavu and Baraka schools over the next few years. Pray that his transition into that role will be smooth. Also pray for him as he will travel quite a bit more than he has in the past. The roads in his part of the Congo are not always safe, and the road to Baraka is almost useless. The two-hour boat ride across Lake Tanganyika is almost three times faster than a bus or motorcycle ride on the dysfunctional roads.

In Chad, we’re excited to announce the purchase of a good used truck! Thanks to Mission Project Fellowship, we’ve received a grant for the purchase of a much-needed vehicle. https://missionprojects.org/project/679 Director Yves and his staff have been praying for this for quite some time, so we’re excited and looking forward to what God will do through this special blessing.,

John Foster
1963 – 2021

We have some very sad news here at the home office in Texas. John Foster, my 2nd oldest brother, suffered a heart attack on January 19th and is now with the Lord. He worked in the CMD office from 1988 till July 2019 and was a consistent and faithful servant with his various duties, even while his health was in decline the past few years. After many years of bouts with diabetes, pneumonia, bronchitis, high blood pressure, kidney failure, dialysis and Covid, his body succumbed to a heart attack. He had no spouse or children. We will miss him dearly.

Thanks for your prayers.

Tim Foster
Director

November, 2020

Our update for November is the Winter 2020 Prayer Letter.

October, 2020

Dear Friends,

The new school year is picking up speed as our teachers and students get back into the swing of post-Covid education.

Director Yves Beosso reports that four teachers from our network of schools in Chad (two of whom are from our ECMST school in N’Djamena) will be heading to South Africa to participate in a Deafnet Centre of Knowledge conference in Worcester, South Africa. The conference will focus on education tools and techniques for deaf educators. Pray that their trip will be safe and that the training and materials will be beneficial for their schools.

In Uvira (DR Congo), we have unfortunately missed an opportunity for purchasing new land as part of our expansion. A prospective seller didn’t want to wait for the funds to be transferred, and sold his property to another buyer. Pray that Director Pililo will be able to locate another parcel of land soon and begin construction on our new building.

Our Baraka (DR Congo) school is seeing continued growth. Our four newest students are adults from neighboring villages. With no vehicle for transportation and no rooms for boarding, Director Shukuru brought these four students live with him and his new wife in their one-bedroom home, while they saved up for the usual 4-month down payment for a new home to rent. Although the arrangement was culturally inappropriate, Shukuru and his wife felt it was a worthwhile sacrifice in order to educate and evangelize these deaf adults who had never stepped foot into a classroom. When I found out about the challenge, I quickly sent him the down payment funds so he could move into a bigger home and have designated male and female bedrooms for his new students. Pray for wisdom as we continue to grow.

Fabien doing outreach ministry in Bukavu, DR Congo

We’ve increased the number of primary classes in Bukavu (DR Congo), and now offer the full set of six Primary classes. Director Nanza now has his hands full with three new teachers and fifteen new students. Some of the new teachers are also new to sign-language, and our P6 teacher, Fabien Morisho (who also does a lot of outreach ministry) is providing sign-language training for these teachers. Transportation continues to be a big challenge as most of the current crop of students do not live close to the school.

Indeed your prayers are coveted.

Tim Foster
Director

September, 2020

Dear Friends,

Now that summer is behind us, we’re preparing for the 2020-2021 school session. Covid quarantines have been lifted, and teachers and staff are ready to get the new year started. Additionally, two of our directors and five of our teachers in Chad and the DR Congo will be returning to university under CMD scholarships. Pray that they will continue to do well both in their studies and in their work.

In Uvira (DR Congo), Director Pililo reports that their school year ended with 71 students. Twelve had to drop out due to various health, flooding and Covid concerns. Even despite the flooding in April and Covid lockdown, most students were able to pass their grades, and all the Primary Six students graduated and are now preparing for Secondary School. We’re still waiting the test results for the students who tested to graduate from Secondary School. Pray that they’ll also have passing scores. Pray that we’ll also be able to finally start construction of our new school facility. The land acquisition has been a challenge, but we believe the final steps are in place, and Lord willing, we’ll begin construction in November.

Shukuru and Mpasa – September 5, 2020

We praise God for Director Shukuru’s recent marriage to Mpasa, a deaf young lady from Goma. Pray for them as they adjust to married life, and that she will make a smooth transition from the big city of Goma to Shukuru’s small town of Baraka (DR Congo). We’re excited to have her on board as our new Primary 3 / Primary 4 teacher!

Great news in Chad: Mission Projects Fellowship will be sponsoring our center in the purchase of a pickup truck! Praise God for meeting this long-standing need. Director Yves reports that they have added seven new students for the 2020-2021 school year, and three additional students cannot come because they live too far away and cannot afford the boarding room rates. Pray that we’ll be able to find sponsors for these families.

Pray with us as we re-evaluate our strategy in Bukavu (DR Congo). Many of the students travel long distances to attend our school. The need is great, but the resources are limited, and transportation is a huge challenge. Pray for wisdom as we explore new options for serving the deaf in this large city.

Indeed, your prayers are coveted.

Tim Foster
Director

August, 2020

The Lord has been gracious to us during these Covid19 times.

Putting the finishing touches on flooring in Chad

Although school has been suspended across most of Africa, we have been able to make good use of the down-time to greatly improve our facility in N’Djamena, Chad. Director Yves Beosso reports that all the faculty and administrative buildings have been rebuilt and are now in use. Praise God! The one building remaining is the two-story multi-purpose building that has been on hold for the past several months. It will serve as the chapel, with classrooms on the 2nd floor. Pray that the Lord will continue to provide for this building so it can be completed.

Faculty and staff touring the completed buildings in Chad

Due to scheduling delays, Director Shukuru Hertier has had to postpone his wedding from August 29th till September 5th. In this region of the Congo, wedding dates are assigned by the government after the couple registers for a marriage certificate. Travel and accommodations are all hampered by Covid19 restrictions, and the cost of living (and the cost of marriage) goes up as well, with many unexpected increases around every corner. Shukuru’s new wife will join him as the Primary 3 teacher at his school in Baraka. Pray for a smooth transition as all these pieces come together very rapidly over the next few weeks.

We’re pleased to announce that our university scholarship candidates in Chad and the Congo received high marks across the board. Their scholarship requires high academic performance (in addition to their regular teaching duties), so we’re very thankful that the last round of students will be returning to university this fall. Pray for their continued success.

In Him,
Tim Foster

July, 2020

Dear Friends

Thank you for your continued support for the work we’re doing in Nigeria, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The economic strain due to Covid restrictions is having its toll, especially in Nigeria, and your faithful partnership is greatly appreciated.

In Chad, Director Beosso reports that the rebuilding project is 95% complete – Praise the Lord! The construction includes demolishing and rebuilding offices, kitchen facilities and residential rooms for the director’s family. The kitchen and residential rooms now have plumbing directly to the kitchen and bathroom fixtures, an important upgrade indeed! Previously, the center had one central central spigot and sink that served the whole campus.

Construction of administrative buildings nearing completion in Chad

The 2-story multi-purpose building has been spearheaded by Clement Abonyi’s AfriDeaf foundation. Due to Covid-19, their finances have been squeezed, so the construction project is on hold. Pray that we will soon be able to resume this important project.

In Baraka (Democratic Republic of Congo), we are getting closer to purchasing new land for our school. The current landlord has significantly increased rent, and we feel that now is the time to relocate and establish a permanent facility. Assistant Director Shindano Andre was able to come from Uvira to help with the process, and we hope to buy and build soon.

As if construction and preparing for the new school year wasn’t enough – Lord willing, Director Shukuru Heritier will be getting married next month, on August 28th! The wedding will take place in Goma, 20 hours north, and Mpasa, thew new bride, will join our staff as a teacher in Baraka. Pray for their families as they plan the wedding and begin their new life together.

In Him,

Tim Foster
Director

June, 2020

Dear Friends,

Due to Covid-19, schools in Nigeria, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo are still closed. The closure affects each school differently. Our Nigeria school is hardest hit because their monthly budget depends heavily on tuition fees and not foreign support. As a result, they are going through tough financial times and could use your prayers as they work to meet their financial obligations. Several months ago we partnered with AfriDeaf Foundation to send some equipment to the school. The shipment has arrived, but due to Covid-19, the ports are closed and our staff cannot retrieve the shipment. There has been some looting of the shipment. Pray that the rest of the equipment will arrive in Ibadan soon.

In Chad, Director Yves Beosso and his staff are making good progress on rebuilding older dilapidated buildings on the campus. So far, they have completed three smaller buildings while waiting on funds to continue working on the larger 2-story multi-purpose building.

Continued construction in Chad

In Uvira (DR Congo), Director Pililo and Asst. Director Shindano have found new homes to rent in the aftermath of the springtime flood that destroyed thousands of homes. Because of your love and faithful financial support, they were able to quickly recover after having lost most of their worldly possessions. We’re hoping to begin construction soon on our new school, and would greatly appreciate your prayers.

In Baraka (DR Congo), Director Shukuru reports that his university classes have resumed, although primary and secondary schools have not reopened. He still has several Primary 6 students that he would like to prepare for year-end exams, so he will be working with those students individually. We’ve not been able to make an agreeable arrangement with the landlord, so it appears we’ll need to relocate the school. Asst. Director Shindano has arrived from Uvira to help Shukuru locate and finalize documents for the new school location. Pray that they will be able to find an excellent location.

In Him,

Tim Foster
Director
Christian Mission for the Deaf

May, 2020

Dear Friends,

Dedication service at the new multi-purpose building in Chad

Because of your faithful charity, we have now completed one of three buildings at our deaf center in Chad. Director Yves Beosso reports that the multi-purpose building is now complete and will serve as temporary lodgings for his family while the Director’s Home undergoes a similar rebuild. We thank God that although the Covid-19 lockdown resulted in a scarcity of building supplies and increased cost, we were able to finish the building on time. The demolition of the old Director’s Home is now underway, and we expect the home to be completed in a few weeks. Meanwhile, construction on the 2-story multi-purpose building continues as funds allow. Pray with us that it will be completed before the 2020/2021 school year starts in late September.

Demolition of the old Director’s Home

In Uvira (DR Congo), Director Pililo reports that he has been able to find a new home to rent in the aftermath of last month’s flooding. We’re ready to proceed with building a new school, however we need to first acquire a bit more land by buying an adjacent property. The property owner lives in Burundi (the country next door), and has been very difficult to contact. Pray that we’ll be able to find him soon, that he’ll be agreeable to a reasonable price for the land, and that we’ll be able to start construction soon.

The landlord of our school in Baraka (DR Congo) has decided that he needs to significantly increase the rent. Director Shukuru Heriter says that we could buy the property outright, but the landlord is asking far more than the property is worth. If we can’t reach an agreement, we will need to relocate the school. We have land options, but it is too far south of the city, and very inconvenient for the staff and students. Pray that we’ll find a solution soon.

In Him,

Tim Foster
Director

April, 2020

Dear Friends,

Tragedy has struck the people of Uvira (DRCongo). Due to heavy rains in March and April, the Mulongwe river overflowed its banks on April 17th and damaged or destroyed over 15,000 homes in Uvira. According to the UN, 38 people died in the flooding, and an estimated 70,000 people have been displaced. Our director and his assistant have lost everything in their homes except a few clothes, some furniture and their cellphones. Everything else has been lost. Since school is not in session due to Covid-19, several of the displaced deaf families are sheltering at our school, waiting for permanent space to become available.

Assistant Director Shindano Andreshico surveying his flood-damaged home
Director Pililo Amani assessing his destroyed homes and belongings

In our plans to expand our current school, we are considering adding space for the director’s family to live on campus. Pray for wisdom and favor as we work to expedite construction. The Covid-19 lockdown had increased the cost of food and construction materials, and the flood damage is causing prices to soar even higher. Pray that tranquility will be restored to this heavily damaged region of the Congo.

In Chad, Director Yves Besso reports they’re making good use of the Covid-19 school closing in order to keep their building projects moving at a healthy clip. Although funds have dried up a bit for the new 2-story multi-purpose building, materials and funds are still available for smaller structures like storage buildings, new toilet facilities, etc. These buildings are made of cheaper construction materials, so we’re still able to continue construction on these buildings while waiting for funds on the larger multi-purpose building. Pray that all the main construction will be complete by the time school opens this fall.

In Nigeria, things are a bit more rocky. Director Emmanuel Ilabor reports that not only have parents pulled their kids out of school, but most parents have stopped paying their tuition while their kids are out of school due to Covid-19. Unlike Chad and the Congo, Nigeria has a robust economy – the best of African countries. While we cover 80%-90% of Chad and Congolese school costs at all times, Nigerian parents of deaf children are more able (and willing) to shoulder more of the cost to educate their children and therefore our Nigerian school requires less foreign financial support. But now that the parents aren’t paying tuition in Nigeria, the faculty and staff are facing dire financial needs. Pray that the parents – who are surely facing their own financial challenges – will continue to partner with the faculty and staff even when school is not in session.

Truly, your prayers are coveted.

Tim Foster
Director
Christian Mission for the Deaf