We have found that there is nothing that can fully prepare one for living in a foreign country other than going and living in that foreign country. All of the research, study, videos, reading, learning about it can’t compare to actually living there. For us, Africa is a place we are coming to know, because we are spending time living there. But most of our families haven’t had that privilege. Therefore they must imagine what it must be like. Yes, they listen to us and see our photos and watch our videos, but it will never be the same. So when information below, by the media or State Department, comes out, it can make them very frightened for us. It’s too easy to imagine the worst.
If you follow African news then you might have heard about the U.S. State Department’s email telling U.S. citizens to leave Chad as soon as possible. As you could imagine this was a bit of a disappointment to us as we are in the throes of preparing to return to Chad for six months in Oct. Following is the email sent out:
“The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Chad and recommends that U.S. citizens currently in Chad depart as soon as it is feasible to do so. As a result of the deteriorating security situation, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of dependents of U.S. government personnel and non-emergency U.S. government personnel from N’Djamena on September 11, 2015. Consequently, the U.S. Embassy is able to provide only very limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Chad. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued on February 26, 2015.”
We did our Internet research to see what new things have happened to cause such a warning and find nothing significant. Many e-mails have gone back and forth to Chad leadership and Chadian friends and again nothing has been noticed that would cause this kind of warning. Our leadership team in Chad has been working on this all week, communicating with the U.S. embassy, other mission groups and nonprofits. There has not been any new information indicating a need to raise the security threat level. The message seems to have originated from Washington D.C. and not from the Chad bureau. This is somewhat confusing, but in many ways it’s just part of living overseas. We are used to it.
Our SIL leadership team is telling us its OK to return to Chad, there is no need to panic. Chad is as safe or unsafe as its always been. If something should happen, emergency plans are in place and communication is good. We feel it is appropriate for us to continue with our plans of arriving in Chad the mid to end of October, 2015. Please pray with us to that end.
Especially pray for our families. It is hard for them to watch us go. Yes, they are followers of God and believe us when we say “this is Gods calling on our lives for this season.” But, its still hard for them. Its hard for us as well. We so much want to be a bigger part of our families lives.
Finally, pray with us for the additional $1300 we still need for our airline tickets. All other funding seems to be in place.
Thanks for all you do for us!
Jim and Judy McCabe