Dear Prayer Partners:
A pastor of a hearing church told a deaf man about our school in Bukavu, Zaire, asking for more deaf children. Try to imagine what gestures the pastor must have used with the illiterate deaf man: "Children -not hearing- there read, write, pray. Come, come. More children not-hearing there." The man then told his teenage hearing son of his plans to go often to the school. His son, however, tried to discourage him because of his age. Angrily, the father replied that he wants to be with other deaf people, praying together to the Almighty in heaven. It is all too common for deaf people to feel lonely and not know that there are more like them. The Sunday School in Bukavu, like other Sunday Schools, is open to anyone, regardless of age, and has few attendees who are past teen-age. This man seems to have a hunger to know more about God. Pray that he will soon understand God's plan of salvation.
Attempting to stop infla-tion, Zaire has now replaced their monetary unit, as of October: 1 NZ (New Zaire) equaled 3 mil-lions Z. At the time of introduction, the exchange rate was 6.7 NZ per dollar. BUT... confusion ensued, causing more problems, thus perpetuating the inflation. By December, the exchange rate climbed to 44 NZ per dollar and reaching to 80 NZ in January. Conditions in Zaire are deteriorating steadily with soldiers and public teachers going unpaid for many months, mines and railways being virtually closed down, increasing food costs and pillaging. In South Zaire, where an intertribal war has been raging for several months, a missionary said that he had never seen such hunger in all his years. Some deaf children in that region were advised not to attend school because of their belonging to rival tribes. As wars cause difficulties and sufferings, with much stealing of foods for survival, please pray that God's people in those ravaging places will stay faithful to Him and that their needs will be met. Pray that more deaf will be reached for Christ inspite of all that is happening there. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine,or naked-ness, or peril, or sword? --Romans 8:35
The Christian books, magazines and Sunday School materials which were shipped last year arrived safely in Sierra Leone. Now we are praying that our shipments to six other countries in Africa will arrive soon in good condition. To send packages by sea--the cheapest rate--takes so long. Sometimes it takes four to six months. Sometimes it takes as long as a year or so. Please pray also for safe arrival of 418 Bibles shipped to 17 schools and ministries in those and other countries. Last November, we bought 156 used French textbooks for $1 each at an Ontario warehouse, and received 165 additional books for free. We plan to buy more before packing them for our schools in Zaire.
Our thanks to missionary Mary Watson for the French translation of the words and explanations for the sign language manual "Joy of Signing". Completed, it has several lists stapled together into a "book" of 135 pages. We have already airmailed some to a few schools and plan to send more "books" to other schools and churches. This translated project will increase understanding for our French-speaking African co-workers, thus improving their communications with the deaf.
For his varied outreaches among the deaf in Benin, Serge Tamomo was recently selected by Direct Mission Aid Society of Minn.to receive a Yokefellow Award certificate with $1,000. Every year, DMAS has been giving the awards to a number of nationals in different Third World countries for their significant contributions to the spiritual and physical welfare of the people they serve. In Cotonou of South Benin, Serge continues to work among the deaf: shepherding a church, directing a Christian elementary school and a vocational training program. Last year he opened another deaf school in Parakou of North Benin, beginning with one class and a teacher whom he has trained. Lord willing and providing, one teacher/class is to be added every year.
Some have asked us about the sale of our house... God has us in the school of patience here. We are thankful for His goodness, our health and blessings. A family is interested in our house, and according to our realtor, the closing date will be around end of February. We pray that things go well with the sale of our house and our move to Detroit. Even when we move, God willing, we will keep our Flint post office box until end of this year, so that you may still use the same address: CMD, P.O.Box 1254, Flint, MI 48501-1254.
Thank you for being our partners in praying and supporting. The Lord bless you!
Yours in His Service,