Chad is an ethnically diverse country in central Africa with an estimated population of 15 million people—made up of 141 unique people groups. Geographically it is divided into three distinct zones, the Sahara Desert in the north, the Sahelian belt through its center, and the Sudanian Savanna in the south.
Chad is rated in the top tier of poorest countries in the world. Statistics show that 47% of Chad’s population live below the poverty line. The United Nations Human Development Index ranks Chad as 186 of 195 countries in the world due to multiple factors—including a high infant mortality rate (10%), a low life expectancy (51 years), minimal access to safe drinking water (51%) and a low literacy rate (41%).
Of the 141 people groups in Chad, 75 are considered unreached, all of them are Muslim. The majority of these people groups live in a context where they have little or no contact with the gospel.
The Lutheran Brethren first sent missionaries to Chad in 1918. By God’s Grace, and through the faithful service of those called to go and those called to send, the gospel was proclaimed, people came to faith in Jesus Christ, and a sister church was born. We praise God for the Lutheran Brethren Church of Chad. It is composed of believers from 15 different ethnic groups, all of them from animistic backgrounds, and together they function as a synod of over 900 congregations.
In recent years, LBIM has been transitioning—though still playing an active role in the support of our sister church—we are now partnering with her to form multinational teams to bring the gospel to the many remaining unreached people groups in Chad.
Our CLB/LBIM plan is to place missionary teams (Chadian and North American) in at least three of these unreached people groups over the next five to seven years to plant culturally appropriate, biblically grounded churches that will in turn make disciples in their own communities and beyond.
Our missionaries live in community with these unreached peoples, sharing their lives and sharing the gospel message. We minister holistically and contextually—meeting both physical and spiritual needs—in relevant and tangible ways. Our missionaries proclaim the gospel in both word and deed, through education, health care and our ‘Living Waters’ ministry through which we install water wells in needy communities and maintain an ongoing commitment to evangelistic ministry among them.
We are excited to see those responding to this call, and continue to pray the Lord of the harvest to raise up and send people with various skills and gifts to be used for God’s glory in the nation of Chad.
Chad at a Glance
- Geography: Desert in the North, Grassland in the Center, Brush in the South
- Population (2012): 16,000,000
- Languages: 141
- Official Language: French, Arabic
- Literacy: 40%
- Christian: 27.78%
- Bible Translations: 9 Full Bibles (9 additional New Testaments)
- Missionaries: 295 from 23 agencies
Japan is in many ways a bridge from the West to the East, the only nation that has been classified as both non-Western and modern. Yet there is a deep spiritual void, which is presently being addressed by an average of 100 new religions each year.
The needs that the Church can speak to are many. The political world has been rocked by one political scandal after another. There is a lack of values among the nation’s youth that has caught the attention of the national media. The economy has been hit hard, and the “graying of Japan” is a major concern.
In the midst of these crying needs there is a spiritual hunger in the churches calling out for awakening. Pray that God’s children in Japan would seek the Lord in a new way, and that God would bless his churches with a new vision for gospel-centered evangelism that speaks to the culture and offers hope to many who see no answers to the deep questions of the heart and spirit. Pray also that the Lord would soften the hearts of the Japanese people to receive the message of the gospel, giving them an understanding of their spiritual need and God’s offer of love and forgiveness. Pray especially for spiritual awakening among breadwinning men, a minority in most churches.
Lutheran Brethren International Mission sent their first missionaries to Japan in 1949 and have had the privilege of helping establish a Church there. There are now twenty-nine churches which have been planted and our goal, together with the National Church, is to continue planting churches in Japan, a nation that is less than 1% Christian.
Japan at a Glance
- Geography: Four Large Islands, over 3,000 smaller islands
- Population: 127,714,220
- Official Language: Japanese
- Christian: 1%
- Bible Translations: 2 Full Bibles
- Missionaries: 3,500 from 245 agencies
Since the arrival of our first missionary family to Taiwan in 1951, sixteen churches have been planted and a seminary begun in cooperation with three other Lutheran missions and four National Churches. We have a growing work and presence among the Hakka people, one of the least evangelized people on the island.
Originally from mainland China, the Hakka migrated to Taiwan early in the 18th century. There are more than three million Hakka people in Taiwan today, most living with all of the modern conveniences that we have in America – from washing machines to cell phones. Materialism is widespread.
At home and in their community, the Hakka of Taiwan use their mother tongue, Hakka, though many can speak Mandarin Chinese. The Hakkas’ religious beliefs and customs are similar to those of other traditional Chinese. Ancestor worship is probably one of the biggest stumbling blocks that potential Hakka Christians face. It is generally believed that when a Hakka person becomes a Christian, he forsakes his ancestors and close family relations. Because the Hakka people are very conscious of social pressure, both from their families and neighbors, it takes great determination to follow Jesus. Less than 3/1000 (0.3%) are Christians.
Taiwan at a Glance
- Geography: Mountainous Island
- Population: 22,401,000
- Official Language: Mandarin
- Christian: 6%
- Bible Translations: 5 Full Bibles (6 additional New Testaments)
- Missionaries: 1,205 from 139 agencies