You won’t see it on a map, but an invisible line in the sand separates the extreme lower left-hand corner from the rest of the country. Fully half the country’s population has their roots in the little region below and to the left of that line. Traditionally, they worship the gods of their ancestors, but a large number of them have become Christian over the last century. The vast reaches above and to the right of that line are home to the Muslim half of the population – a half which is almost entirely unreached. This invisible line is basic to understanding Chad. But it obscures a myriad of other little lines in the sand which are in some ways even more important. These are the lines which carve the country into 130 ethnic groups – each with its own language and culture, and each with its own need to hear the good news in terms that touch their heart.
TEAM’s growing involvement in the 21st century is north of that invisible line. That is where many of our teams and most of our new initiatives are located. Our long experience in the country has shown that working within the confines of those 130 smaller lines is usually the most effective way of reaching the unreached. Put another way, ethnically based ministry is key to TEAM’s strategy in Chad. In many cases, that means years of patiently learning Chadian Arabic or an obscure unwritten language, building deep, long-term relationships, and showing the love of Christ in practical ways through medicine and community development.
A cadre of TEAM missionaries continues to work below the invisible line as well. Their mission is to see the thousands of little churches scattered across that corner of the country endure for generations to come with a deep and abiding love for Christ, and a zeal for reaching their fellow countrymen in the rest of Chad.
Longing for the light of the Good News to dispel darkness in all corners of the land, TEAM in Chad will work hand in hand with national and expatriate believers to establish enduring, reproducing, indigenous communities of incarnational, light-bearing disciples wherever darkness remains.
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