Dear Family and Friends:

Merry Christmas.  That time of the year is upon us once again.  We wish each and every one of you God’s rich blessings and hope for the coming year.  It is upon the coming of the Lord into history and looking forward to His return that our hope is built.  We so dearly long to be with you particularly at this time of year.  We look back on many fond memories shared with many of you.  It is your continued faithful support and good memories that enable us to carry on. Your prayers often provide unseen protection.  As those of you who follow me on Twitter/Facebook will know, we experienced an accident a few months back.  Though it cost us much of what we had put away for a spring holiday back home, we thank the Lord that it was dealt with in reasonable fairness.  Though the man who we hit and who’s foot was broken received little of the financial compensation we are happy to report he is up and walking well.  The local Chadian missionary who helped us in the dealings with the officials and acted as our guarantor, took the opportunity as an open door to make contact with the man’s remote village.

In August we were privileged to have Jessica visit us with Rory and grateful for the time they spent with us.  Rory chose this as an opportune time to make his intentions formal and they are now officially engaged.  The last several months have been some of the most busy and stressful that we have seen in years gone by.  As mentioned in our last letter, the Chad field is in the need of some new facilities in the capital.  In the months leading up to our November annual conference we began formulating the needs and what the new facility should look like.  In Oct. we met with EMI, an engineering team that works for mission/church project world wide.  You can possibly imagine what it is like to take on such a task with a wide variety of needs and ideas and come up with a single purpose designed building.  The other part of the process was that I was asked to take on the task of overseeing the construction of this project.  As this will require a move to the capital for several months, it basically means pulling out of our home from the time construction begins till we come home on furlough.

For Kathryn this means shutting down her current ministries for about 2yrs (including our next home assignment).  She is currently teaching about 40 ESL students in 3 different levels. This is especially difficult in light of the fact that the Christian school teachers ministry has really only just been kicked off.  After much prayer and deep soul searching we have agreed to take on this task. Kathryn will continue to prepare ESL lessons and materials for the teacher’s seminars and there will be many opportunities in the capital that will want to leverage her passion and experience.  Some are already vying for her commitment but we are waiting till we are there before making final decisions on these.  It has been difficult for her not to be able to answer clearly requests from those seeking to continue their ESL and Christian Ed training.  There are many details to work out for this move as we will still maintain some of our responsibilities here in the south, which will require regular visits.

For me it means several tasks the must reach completion before the construction can begin.  We will be spending 2 weeks immediately following Christmas in the capital while I rewire the entire property’s feed lines as the current feed lines will not handle the power needed for an additional facility.  Part of this will be installing a set of switches that will automatically switch between the two 2 3-phase lines that feed the property in case of a power failure and thirdly switching to a backup generator in the case of a city wide power failure.  Secondly, the remaining supplies have arrived for the installation of a solar system that will run the print shop at least 80% of the time.  The installation consists of 42, 120watt panels.  This and the equipment is a huge blessing for a ministry that supplies much of the vernacular literature, at an affordable price, for the church here in Chad.  It has been supplied by Diguna, the German mission that has recently joined us on our property here in Koutou and also by a German foundation called Help for the Brothers.

So what does the time-line look like. First, as scripture tells us one should “first estimate the cost then count the money to see if one has the money to pay the bills.”  As TEAM Chad missionaries, we have agreed to not begin till we have all of the money on hand for the basic structure of the building. We currently have about 40% of what we need.  Though Kathryn is not finished teaching her current ESL course till early May, we have agreed that I would go to the capital in April to begin pouring the foundation, Lord willing, before the rains begin.  If the foundations cannot be done then, we will have to wait till mid-Sept to break ground. If they are done in April, we would like to take some holidays in May as we will not have seen the family in 2 years.  We have saved up enough for the airline ticket but, we would need wheels to get around. Should someone be able to help us out with this we would be very grateful.  Should the Lord see fit to bless this time-line we would resume the construction upon our return from Canada in June.

One of our deepest concerns is that this project largely hinges on us doing the work as the work here in Chad is very strapped for workers who are all involved in vital ministries.  As you know from our last letter we are significantly lacking in support.  We thank each of you who have given a extra over the past few months, which has enabled us to continue in ministry, however we are still using a reserve fund to meet each month’s needs.   At the current rate that account will reach zero in Feb., at which point we may be faced with a very difficult decision.  As I mentioned we have managed to set aside enough for the airfare to visit the family in the spring and we are trusting the Lord not to have to use those savings for daily expenses in the meantime.  We are still $600/mo short of our basic needs and $1200 short of our recommended support needs.  Pray that the Lord will supply in miraculous ways.

One of the most joyous things of this time of year in the Chadian church, is some practices that in all likelihood came from reflections on Christmas and what it is all about.  Once a year they hold large baptisms that encompass what we would see as all the churches in the county. This year the evangelical churches in Moundou near us, baptized over 500 new believers. Ten of whom were from our local church. Another county about 70km from here over 150 made a public stand for the Lord in the river of baptism.  I cannot give you the totals for the country but this will represent less than 10% who will pass through the waters in the weeks surrounding Christmas. What a way to celebrate the Salvation that came through our saviours birth.  The second practice is a huge evangelistic campaign that immediately follows Christmas day. Hundreds of believers pile onto a variety of transportation and usually target 2 or 3 areas to campaign door do door  for several days with the Jesus film being shown in many venues each night.  There are many that are saved or renew their faith during this time where we see a very good parallel with the announcement the shepherds made after seeing the Christ child.  We covet your prayers for safety of  the many who will travel and for the seed to land on good soil.  It is during these times we see fruit that comes from the work we do in facilitating, encouraging and training of the body of Christ here in Chad.

May God richly bless you and renew His passion in your life over this Christmas season.
Paul & Kathryn Weber

I will be forwarding the TEAM Support Centre project info in a few days for those who would like to contribute to the project.  You can also find it online by going to TEAM’s website and choosing “Give Now” then typing in NDj in the search box.