June 2017

Burden for the Gospel

By John Wickberg

We were recently introduced to two of the students at Shalom Faculty of Evangelical Theology (a/k/a "FATES", formerly named "Shalom Evangelical School of Theology") and wanted to share their stories as a way to give a better idea of the commitment it takes for someone to go back to school when they have a family to support.

Philippe & Rachel Allouma

Philippe Allouma and his wife Rachel, along with their seven children, have made the sacrifice it takes to study at FATES because they are convinced that the call to "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near" is still active for all people. So he is responding to God's call of "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" with a bold "Here am I. Send me!" This call is not going to be easy since income will be meager during the 3 years of study. After that, he is ready to go and serve in the mission field of Chad, if God wills, to one of the many unreached people groups. This is definitely a journey that can only be started if one has a heavy burden for the gospel.

The second student is Octave Mira and his wife Angeline along with their four children. Octave realized at an early age that the message "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" needed a response. And now he has decided to respond again as he learned that "the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." Octave wants to be better trained to serve as one of God's laborers. His plan, if God wills, is to serve as a pastor once his training is complete. Octave is from the far south of Chad where the need for pastors is great.

Octave & Angeline Mira

It's hard to summarize the challenges that these men and their families will face to fulfill their desire to become effective servants of God. These brief stories are multiplied many times for the 30 students in the FATES undergraduate program. The faculty have similar stories of commitment when they could follow easier paths.

Mission:Chad remains the only organization contributing to the teachers' salaries at FATES. Salaries of full time teachers and administrators cost $50,150/year. In addition to salaries, there is a great need for several housing units for the main leaders who otherwise need to rent houses in different neighborhoods and pay for bus or taxi motorcycles to get to school. These costs add to their burden and are not covered by their salaries. We pray that you will consider helping FATES have the resources it needs to train these students well. On July 1st 9 students will graduate from FATES with the Bachelor's degree, 6 will graduate with their Masters, 6 will graduate from the Women's Studies, and 44 students will graduate from the lay section. Pray that God will be glorified through these!

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"This is definitely a journey that can only be started if one has a heavy burden for the gospel."

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