There has been fighting again between the Arabs (who started it this time) and the Maba. Houses and grazing land were burned and 23 died. The government finally has things under control but there is no doubt that ill will remains. Arabs here think surely the Maba started it as they hear little reliable news. Pray that the truth will come out and more importantly pray that this violence will bring people to think about the One Way to God.
A was recently asked to keep away from the grave when his stepmother was being buried because he is not a Muslim. His pain as he told us this was very evident. A.J. tries to help young men who have been on the streets and who often are on drugs or taking alcohol excessively. He faces accusations that he is bringing thieves and troublemakers into the area. Sadly some accusations come from a man who has claimed to be a believer but who lives in both camps to avoid persecution in a way that is offensive to those who are persecuted. Pray that Satan will not have his way in continuing this strife. Pray for wisdom for A.J. as he deals with people struggling with addiction who can be very devious. Pray that in hearing the Good News, they will find new life.
Please pray for B, a Maba believer. Saved only 2yrs ago he has recently decided to move away from our big town where it is easier to find fellowship and encouragement to a rural area where he hopes to find work. Challenges in his life have included death threats from his family and pressure to keep away from Christians. Pray that he will find fellowship to help him grow in his faith and that he might be able to share his new-found love for JC with people whose hearts God has prepared.
The Chadian pastor involved in the outreach programme in a mixed Maba/Chadian Arab village soon after Christmas, asks for prayer as he returns Saturday 20th April to visit the couple who made a commitment to our Saviour during that outreach. Pray also for the teacher in the village school who has been the only believer spending time with the couple up to now because the pastor’s motorbike has needed repair for the last 4 months. Pray that pastor and his church will consider it a priority to get the bike repaired soon so that he can do visits in surrounding villages as he used to do.
Following the death of Ousman, local leaders of our cousins have forbidden people to visit the home of Rachel, his widow, saying that those who do should fast 3 days. Stories are being spread of the bad behaviour (drinking alcohol, dancing etc.) that Christians are up to. Even Ousman’s brothers have not visited. In a society where community is everything, this is deeply hurtful. Pray for the small community of believers to have grace to show compassion and love to those who persecute them and not retaliate. Pray that this might impact the local community to consider the claims of the gospel.
Ousman had under his charge, for 6yrs, the son of his dead brother. He is now 8 yrs old. Because the family is so overcome with grief and the enormity of coping with his children (including another orphan) they are talking of sending the boy to stay with a great aunt. Pray that they would be mindful of how far they would be sending him from Christian influence and reconsider. Ask God to provide for this family.
Sad to say, Ousman, who we prayed for 5 weeks ago, died yesterday after 2 yrs of increasing heart failure. He leaves behind a wife, Rachel, and 5 children. The youngest is only 18mths. Pray for them and our small church. He was a founding member. Pray also for the Maba translation project which he used to help with. The lady leading it did find someone to try out working with them before she had to leave for N’djamena. Pray that when she returns in early April this man might continue and be enthusiastic about the project. Pray that through the work he might come to believe in Jesus as Saviour.
Pray for F who recently heard the Good News. Pray that a true faith might replace the daily round of rituals and that she might find true peace in knowing our Lord despite difficult family circumstances.
Pray for O, one of a few Maba believers, who is increasingly severely sick with heart failure despite every medicine possible. Pray that the peace which passes all understanding will fill his heart and will be a witness to his family, friends, and neighbours. Pray that God would intervene and heal him.
In December you prayed that the checking of the Genesis translation into Maba might restart. It had been apparently “forever blocked”. O has been the Maba person who used to work on it. This last week, another man, Ib was finally found to help. A few hours of work were possible before the person leading the translation had to leave for other responsibilities. She returns early April. Praise God the translation did restart, pray that it will continue when she returns in April and that O will be fit enough to take part. There is something very strange in the way the translation hasn’t moved forward, but it is difficult to get to the bottom of it. Pray against the forces of evil working against progress amongst these people.
The visit made by the church of southern Chadians led to leaflets with the word of God being distributed to 400 households with team members being welcomed by most. One couple decided to follow the one Saviour. Pray that they will grow in their fledgling faith. They have a new testament in local Arabic. Pray that they will understand it. The husband can read but it is not clear how well.
The trip to Maba villages with memory cards of Maba stories went well if not quite as planned. We spoke with several people about God, sharing recorded stories and giving some cards and 2 Bibles, but much time was taken up seeing 32 patients who came to see the expatriate. Most of these were mentally ill or had epilepsy and had never received treatment. We were able to pray with most and showed a portion of the J film to some until the pressure of numbers became too great. Praise that these people could receive help, pray that seeds of compassion and prayer and the word will bear fruit. Pray that people will be miraculously healed or continue faithfully their treatment. One man had been successfully treated for one year but then his family stopped taking him for treatment. When I met him he was chained to a tree. Lord have mercy on him.