When you live in one of the most impoverished nations on the planet, what does it mean to count the cost of following Christ?
It is a weighty question—something our ministry partners in Chad consider every day.
Chad is ranked 187 out of 189 on the Human Development Index, and it is frequently described as forgotten by the world. The abject poverty, governmental corruption, and general lack of development is simply staggering.
However, the light of the gospel goes forth. On a recent trip to the field, we were shown that truth.
Journeying hours by vehicle across a dry and unforgiving desert, our team visited a small seminary practically unknown to the world outside its own walls.
This missionary training school would be considered barely habitable by western standards. Housing about a dozen seminary students and their families, the dormitory could be mistaken for a condemned motel… or even a prison. These men have willingly left everything behind and survive on subsistence farming with only the clothes on their back.
Yet, despite the staggering challenges faced by this commitment, these men joyfully endure it for the sake of reaching their nation with the gospel. They have answered the call of God on their lives to minister to their Muslim neighbors, and they are hungry for His word. So, they give up everything to live in the desert, undertaking a theologically dense, year-long missions intensive.
Our team met Pastor Meeshak, one of the seminary’s lead pastors. Wearing a threadbare suit and no shoes, he welcomed our team with a smile that reflected the genuineness of his heart. Meeshak felt called to evangelize the Muslim world and teach others how to do the same. He explained to our team:
“I’ve had a burden for the unreached for many years. When I meet and talk with people from the Muslim faith, I always begin with the question, ‘Who is Jesus? And why did he come to save us?’ The Muslim people are very familiar with the story of Abraham. So I remind them of the story of Abraham as he was going to sacrifice his son but instead God provided a ram in his place. I remind my Muslim friends that Jesus is the ram who died for us and forgave all our sins. Jesus was without sin, and he left his divine nature to be with us.”
“I’m always ready to share about Jesus and I’m excited about being part of the neverthirst projects this year. The way neverthirst works is the best way—to simply love the people with water. Miltou is the large region where I am living and working and there are over 50 Pastors in the area and we all want to use water to reach people in the villages where we all serve.”
The gift of water gives Pastor Meeshak credibility to reach his people. He is already working with local leaders, mapping out a plan for 10 more water points he hopes to request soon. Like most pastors here, he is forward-thinking and on mission to serve others at great personal sacrifice.
Chad is a nation with jarring physical need. However, God hasn’t forgotten His people here. His ultimate answer for them is found in the finished work of Christ, proclaimed faithfully from the mouths of men like Pastor Meeshak and so many other men of whom the world is not worthy.
However, if their jarring physical needs aren’t genuinely met with acts of love and mercy, it is nearly impossible to expect the message of a loving and merciful Savior to be genuinely received.
That is why together, this work of bringing clean water through the local church will continue until all are served. And for many being reached in Chad, the success of that work is owed in large part to this seminary in the sand.