It was a map on the wall of the LB International Mission office that caught my attention—a map of Chad. I looked at it for a few moments and then started asking questions. Where did the LB mission in Chad first start? Where are the current missionaries working? This was in the early 2000s as the work of our Church was shifting to unreached people groups in northern Chad. Having grown up outside the US, I started thinking that God was calling me to this new area for the gospel.
The idea grew as I finished my undergraduate work until I was fairly convinced I would one day end up in Chad. As Mandy and I talked about marriage and whether God had a plan for us together, we saw that we both felt led to mission work in Chad. Through seminary and a few years after, we continued moving in that direction until we were finally on the way to help bring the gospel to the people of Chad. Even with a medical detour a few years ago for our fourth son, we were still able to eventually move to a town in Chad. Fifteen years of preparation and planning for me, and eleven for both of us together, and we were living and learning among an unreached people group.
Our plan was to return to Chad after our home assignment ended this March and get back to the village to continue in ministry there. However, we have medical concerns again. Our sixth son, Boaz, was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia in January, meaning that his liver is not able to function properly due to problems with the bile ducts. A surgery to attempt to correct the problem seemed to be working at first, and then just wasn’t. So, we have relocated to Minneapolis/St. Paul for his medical care. The outlook is that he will need a liver transplant within the next year, probably much sooner.
After so much time preparing and planning and working to live among the unreached people of Chad, why is God allowing this to happen now? We don’t know. Is this an attack by Satan, or just the effect of living in a fallen world? We don’t know. What will the next year(s) look like? We don’t know. So much unknown, but we know that God is with us. We have a heart for the people of Chad, and we know that God does too, so much more than we do.
And they are not left without someone who can bring the gospel to them. Our partners in the Chadian Church are still there, working to share the gospel. We pray that their work will bear fruit. We are also praying that God would work in Boaz’s body, giving him health, even a miraculous healing if that’s his will. Please pray with us that God would be glorified through Boaz, and that the unreached people of Chad will hear and believe the gospel.
Rev. Danny B. and his wife Mandy serve the Church of the Lutheran Brethren as missionaries in Chad, Africa.