Dear Family and Friends:

Where does time go? Here in Chad you always greet with a “Happy New Year” even well into March if you have not seen each other yet in the year.  We are sincerely grateful to each of you for your thoughts, gifts and prayers over the past year.  This past year has been full of joys, challenges and changes.  We are grateful to our Lord who has sustained and provided throughout the ups and downs of the past year. We are thankful to many of you who have given generously since the mention of our financial need in our last letter, several of you have increased your monthly commitment.   That combined with a couple of large one-time contributions our support is sufficient to take us through the next couple of years.  May God bless each of you for your sacrifice and generosity.

We were able to take some holiday time this past August as planned and were blessed to see some of you as well 10941916_10204391604844241_7523504429927602499_nas welcome into the world Daniel & Christine’s first child, Rylynn Ysabelle.  We were able to spend 2 weeks immediately following her arrival as a family (Stephen and Jessica included) in their home.  It was a real treat we did not expect to enjoy again as our children become adults and follow God’s leading in their lives.  It was also a special treat to be back in Northern Ontario where we had spent our early years together. Some friends also supplied a place for us to stay while in Kitchener thus not requiring us to jeopardize the tenancy of our house.

Our last letter also mentioned the building of a new office/guest facility in the capital.  The finances are now sufficient to begin the building but I will no longer be involved in supervising the construction as most of that will be done during our upcoming home assignment.  Though if some are interested in a work team assignment feel free to contact us as there will still be the need for some who are more familiar with the installation of some things like windows and fixtures we will be purchasing from the US.  I am still somewhat involved as Iam responsible for ordering much of the materials from the US that are to be going into a shipping container being handled by Friends in Action.  We hope to have it on the way to Chad by late March or early April at the latest.  As a field we have raised over $220,000 towards the estimated $300,000.  Much of the remaining costs are for things like furnishings and fixtures for the housing units in the building.  Here once again is the link to the brochure on the project.  Special Project – Ndj Support Centre

 

This past year was a very special one for us.  When going through difficult times God sometimes sees to bless you in very special ways.  Without any initiation from our part, one of our supporting churches (Stoney Creek) was contacted to help with our annual field conference.  I was made aware of this possibility through the missions P1080795committee so I suggested the possibilities of one of our good friends the Suggitts being part of the team.  Through God arranged circumstances all but one of the family was able to meet this need.  We were so blessed and encouraged to have them visit even though as you know, time with good friends is always too short.  We are grateful to God, Stoney Creek and the Suggitt family for providing what will be remembered as the highlight of the year and definitely rank amongst the best of our missionary career.  If you are into movie quotes, ours would be “God is good: all the timeAll the time; God is good!”

After the Suggits left Kathryn began preparing for her 3rd Biblical Integration workshop for teachers of Christian schools here in Chad.  Her days were very full as she still maintained teacher ESL classes 5 days a week until the workshop which was held between Christmas and New years about 4hrs east of us.  This was the first one that had been wholly organized by a Chadian school director.P1080859  We were very pleased by the level of organization.  The days were filled with good questions and interaction from the participating teachers.  A side story from the workshop was the couple who prepared the food for the participants.  When the director was organizing the logistics he had asked them for a financial estimate.  They had refused and in the end simply told him they felt it was their ministry to provide in this way.  They were being helped by a group of girls who are being housed in the church’s refuge centre for girls who had to leave their families for refusing to participate in female initiation rites.  We (28 of us) were given hot drinks in the morning and upon departure as well as a hot meal at lunch.  I noticed early on a light coloured man who seemed to be the husband of the lady, looked very familiar.  One day I struck up a conversation with him and discovered he was from a business family in the town near us who was of mixed Syrian and Chadian descent.  I asked him about his obvious salvation story and he told me he had attended the catholic church which is from his mother’s side his whole life and had heard about God but never found a relationship with him.  At some point in his life he became a secret believer, especially because of his father’s side of the family but in 2004 he declared his salvation openly and was removed from the family business.  We shared some common background as I have known his aunt who ran the only European grocery style store in our area since I was a child here.  We often pray for those who are in seemingly impossible situations and rarely see God’s hand at work in those lives.  I was so encouraged and admonish each of you to continue to pray for those who you think are unreachable.

I continue to provide technical support to those in need.  In the past few months that has continued to be electrical, mechanical and computer problems for many.  One of the most recent jobs was on the Land Cruiser belonging to Mary SP1090095tone who does much travelling in the bush.  Her vehicle is well built for the task but this does not mean the roads do not excise their tax.  She was concerned of a shimmy in the steering as well as some new rattling coming from below the truck.  Upon inspection we found the rear sway bar was no longer connected.  The exhaust system had only one support remaining near the front with all the rear ones disconnected or missing.  Gear fragments in her differential. P1090088These unfortunately were the minor issues as I discovered the steering arm where it is connected to the wheel assembly had only 3 of 4 bolts present and those three were already backed out 1/8 of an inch.  If she had hit a surprise hole extra hard it would have snapped all of them, P1090087sending her off the road to some unpleasant destiny.  One of Mary’s favourite expressions is “by God’s grace” and in this case there was no question.  Finding the replacement parts proved to be its own challenge and we thank God for providing.  We now covet your prayers for the repairs as 2 of the 4 places for those bolts had been partially stripped by the previous, well intentioned, mechanic.

As you are likely well aware, there are radicals who violently oppose God’s ways in the surrounding nations and continue to cause harm and fear in the hearts of many.  These fears are creeping rapidly even into our local areas to the extent that some schools have closed as students fear what may happen.  We ask that you would pray that God would intervene and stop the oppression as well calm the hearts of those who have begun to live in fear and that instead they would turn their trust to God.

Kathryn continues to teach her English classes, until the end of March while I try and get the station property “ship shape” for our upcoming home assignment.  We are planning on leaving for Canada mid-April.  This will give us some time to be a part of the preparations for Jessica & Rory’s wedding in June.  Please pray for them and their upcoming lives together.  Our home-assignment is planned for 1 year during which Kathryn is anticipating beginning to work on her Master’s degree in Christian education.  There are still some things to be ironed out so we would appreciate your prayers for God’s direction and the details being worked out to God’s glory.

May God bless you and keep you.  With much appreciation for your faithfulness and love towards us.
Paul & Kathryn Weber