Today has been a day filled with reflection and prayers of thanksgiving for what God is doing in Dono-Manga, Chad. I can still remember the feeling of helplessness when I received an email from Ebenezer Udofia describing the suffering and death in Dono-Manga. “Sir, there has been a distress call (SOS) from the brethren and people of Dono-Manga in southern Chad for aid. The community at the present time is being devastated by an epidemic of diarrhea disease due to the lack of clean water and malaria due to the lack of bed nets. The
community has lost about 600 people within the last six months, mostly children. The churches of Christ in the area totaling about 150 members have lost twenty-one members over the same period.” His words “mostly children” hurt the most. I would learn later that there was nearly a 50% death rate of children under five because of the two problems he mentioned.
Hope Springs was still reeling from having to call our missionaries home and we were questioning if we as an organization would even survive. We had never had any plans to work in Chad. The very fact that Chad had been a French Colony and its major language was French had kept it off our radar. But God heard the prayers of His people. Little did we know where He would lead us.
Since that day in February of 2009 medical/evangelistic/agricultural campaigns have been conducted, numerous people have come to Christ, churches have been established and villages continue to call for someone to come to their village with the message of Christ. 26 out-of-service wells have been repaired, 20 new wells are being drilled and funds are now available for 15 more. A new dispensary was recently constructed and stocked with lifesaving drugs and mosquito nets. A new orphanage was just completed for 41 orphans and a training farm compound is under construction that will be complete with a wall, chicken house, goat barn, catfish tank, a drip irrigation farm and its own well. Two men from Dono-Manga were sent to Jos School of Biblical Studies and have completed their schooling and have returned to help with the work. One of these men has established a school for 325 children that will include the 41 children from our orphanage. One of the subjects he will teach will be English. Does anyone else see the irony here?
What we see as a barrier is not a barrier for God. What God seeks from His people is faith to follow His direction in spite of the barrier. This is a lesson I am still learning. I used to wonder what lesson Jesus was teaching when He said that mustard seed faith could move a mountain into the sea. I no longer question that…I have seen the mountain moved into the sea.
We are trying to develop a greater vision for the future that is based in what we have seen God do over the last 2+ years. We believe that what has been done in Dono-Manga can be duplicated multiple times over in the many small villages that have struggling churches with dedicated preachers. We have seen firsthand what humanitarian outreach coupled with the message of Christ can accomplish. There is something powerful about the combination of the message of Christ being preached when it is accompanied by a compassionate
We have a list of over 30 small towns and villages with a church and a preacher doing their best to reach their communities. We are praying for God to raise up churches and/or individuals that will say, “We/ I will adopt a village and over time do for them what has been done in a much larger area like Dono-Manga. We have the connections on the ground to get the
job done. We are not talking about a “forever” commitment, but a commitment to help them stand on their own two feet. We are talking about providing wells and training to make them self-sufficient. Everything we do at Hope Springs is designed to be self-sufficient in a short period of time. As the old adage says, “We teach people how to fish, not just give them a fish”.
I would be remiss if I failed to thank each of you for your prayers and gifts to this ministry. You have radically changed the lives of 126,000 people living in numerous villages throughout Dono-Manga. Through your donations you have saved hundreds of lives and given hope in this life, and the one to come. Thank you for being Jesus to the people of Dono-Manga. Only heaven will tell the true value of your gifts.