July 18, 2020

Camels, Mangos, and Missionary Kids

Hi everyone! We’re the Netteburg kids: Lyol, Zane, Addison, and Juniper. We live in Chad, a country in north-central Africa. Our mom and dad are missionary doctors, but we’re missionaries too, because we love sharing Jesus with the people who live here.

Mission 360° magazine asked us what it’s like being missionary kids growing up in Chad and what we like about our experience here. Here are some of our thoughts.

12 1 6

I like a lot of things about Chad, especially the animals. I think people know that, because they’re always bringing us new pets like this baby goat. He loves being hugged!

12 2 8

One time, someone even gave us a camel. There are lots of camels here because the local people raise them. My older sister, Addison, and I were excited to see this baby camel with its mommy.

We live on something called a compound. It’s a bunch of houses together with a wall around them. We have lots of mango trees. I absolutely love mangos! During mango season, we rarely eat at home. We walk around the compound, picking up mangos and stuffing our faces.

12 3 5

We share a lot of mangos with my parents’ patients. While they eat the mangos, I get to try new things like pounding rice with a big stick. It’s hard!

12 4 6

I like to share Jesus’ love. Now that I’m four, I can help Addison give out baby clothes and soft blankets to new mommies like she’s doing in this picture. Our mommy likes us to do this for her patients.

12 6

My favorite place to visit with my parents is the Fulani village. The Fulani are a group of people who are mostly shepherds, but some are farmers too. I like to visit Mommy’s patients with their new babies.

When we visit the Fulani group, they walk out to their cows and bring me back fresh milk in a metal bowl. It’s my favorite thing! It tastes like ice cream.

One way I share God is by helping Mommy and Daddy on Sabbath. Every Sabbath, we hop in the back of the truck and drive out to remote villages to worship God under a big mango tree.

12 7

We love teaching kids and their parents Bible stories and songs. I help with felts and sing the songs. It makes me sad to think of all the children who don’t get to learn Bible stories and songs about Jesus. We go to villages where there isn’t a single Bible!

12 8

My favorite thing is to swim in our river during the hot season. Lately, we’ve had to change rivers because hippos started coming to the one we were using. Hippos are very dangerous, so we’re not allowed to swim with them. The new swimming river is great. One spot is deep, so we can jump from a tree into the river.

12 9

I love to make stuff. My favorite things to make are bows and arrows. I have to select the perfect tree branches. I also love making things out of old tire rubber. Some of my friends in Chad can make the most amazing things. One kid makes tiny motorcycles and cars out of pieces of trash. They have moving parts and everything.

12 10

In the villages, there are a lot of animals we can play with when Mommy and Daddy go to visit people. There are always pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys, cows, and horses. In this picture, my brother and sisters and I are standing with some friends and holding baby chicks.

12 11

I enjoy sharing Jesus by helping with witnessing at the hospital. Last year was the first time we’ve done a live nativity scene at the hospital. It was hard to make it look different from normal village life because Chadian culture and dress are a lot like Bible times. Many patients from all over the country were able to see “Baby Jesus” and hear the story translated in their own language.

12 12

Chad is a great place to be a missionary. There is so much to do! My parents work in the hospital, which is in our front yard, basically. Here’s a picture of the staff with my parents on the far right. They help people feel better and tell them about God’s love. My mommy does a lot of surgeries. My daddy takes care of the really sick patients and keeps the hospital running smoothly. He also homeschools us.

12 13

I miss having friends who speak English, but two years ago, God sent me a new friend named Carmi. His parents are missionaries from the African country of Cameroon. After school, Carmi (right), Zane (left), and I play outside together.

12 14

This past year, a new family from America came to live nearby. They have four kids, and we have so much fun together. Their daddy teaches us guitar lessons.

12 15

One of my favorite things to do is helping my dad lead out at church in the different villages. We thank you for giving your weekly mission offerings in Sabbath School or online. Your offerings help support our family's missionary work and about 400 other missionary families around the world!

The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Mission.