Wednesday, 23 August 2023
In a remote town in Chad, there is a team of SIM workers partnering with the few local believers in the area to make Christ’s love known. Hundreds of neighbouring villages are filled with people who have no opportunity to hear the Gospel in their mother tongue or read a translated Bible.
SIM Australia mission workers, Steve and Rebecca, joined this team with the focus of supporting team members to flourish in difficult living conditions and learn unfamiliar languages while discerning long-term ministry opportunities.
This is not Steve and Rebecca’s first time serving in missions. The couple spent two years in East Asia teaching English in the early 2000’s. On their return to Australia, they were involved in contributing their professional skills (psychology and languages) to God’s global mission by helping select and prepare workers for all parts of the globe.
Steve shared, “Over the next 20 years, we became increasingly aware of the desert tribes in the Sahel who have little opportunity to hear about Jesus, through a succession of people speaking at our church who were heading there.” As Steve approached early retirement in 2015, they searched for opportunities to serve in the field again. “When Brendan approached us about going to help workers adjust to life in the Sahel and learn the local languages, we sensed it was a real answer to our prayers,” said Steve.
After spending 6 months in Niger in 2017 and several further visits to the Sahel region, the couple arrived in Chad in August 2022. As they made a start there, the couple has encountered many challenges but have also been surprised by how they have been welcomed in their community. “We feel well supported by many local Chadians, including the Chadian mission workers and some church families, our language helpers, and our neighbours. Our lifestyle is fairly simple, with few mod cons or western luxuries available here. The pace of life is gentle, but relentless, and everything is achieved through relationships.”
As the couple continues to learn the culture, they have been encouraged by locals saying they like how they participate in community life. “People we meet in the street have specifically commented on how they like us wearing the local Arab clothing, chatting with our neighbours, shopping in the market, attending social events, and giving alms to beggars and the small boys who live at the mosque,” shared Steve.
Steve and Rebecca are grateful to God for His faithfulness in providing for their needs as they begin to witness in Chad. “With limited Arabic language and local knowledge, and with more experienced team members not around, we have been blessed by the help we have received from local Chadians,” he shared. Praise God for the relationships they are forming with their community and team, and for further opportunities for connection with refugees in the nearby camp.
Join us in giving thanks for the team in Chad and pray that locals would hear the Good News and respond.
Representative image used. Image credit: Freepik
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