Dear Family and Friends,

Much has happen since our last update both in regards to our ministry as well as our home/family situation.  We thank you for your faithfulness in partnering with us.  I will endeavour to bring you up to date without writing too much of an epistle.

Since our last writing we have heard good reports from the school in Amtiman and that they would like to have us back for a second training session.  Pray as we try and figure out logistics for this.  Kathryn has also been networking with another couple who are doing training in biblical instruction for Christian school teachers.  Some of the teachers she has been working with have participated in these workshops as well, using the material in their Bible classes.  She has had several testimonials in her teacher’s club of a number of students giving their lives to Christ as well as better reception of biblical instruction from Muslim students.  The monthly teacher’s club continues to be a good time of sharing and encouragement for the teachers. Pray that these seeds planted will bear more fruit. Once again this year has been very difficult for the country of Chad especially in the area of education.  In January all government employees declared a general strike due to a salary rollback.  Even most Christian private schools  were affected due to fear of bullying from state teachers and students in government schools.  This has only now been tentatively resolved with the payment of 1 month’s salary.  Please pray for continued payment to avert further repercussions.  Another challenge to education here in Chad is the virtually complete lack of printed material.  It is rare that the children have anything beyond a plain notebook in which to take notes.  They have nothing to read or study from.  Most schools are provided with teacher’s books but this does not guarantee that even all teachers have the needed material to teach from.  In Moundou alone the Christian schools have an enrolment of close to 10,000 children.  We are endeavouring to purchase some books to at least provide a small library for some of the Christian schools in our area.  Please pray that we can find appropriate materials and a way to get them here.  If you would like to participate financially in this project you can find it by searching for our name on the TEAM website.

Kathryn’s ESL training continues to give many opportunities for discipleship.  She was able to delegate the ESL training at our local bBible school to one of her advanced students.  This was well received by both the school and students.  We also heard of one of her previous advanced students working as an English teacher at a school in the city.  We thank God for evidence of fruit from our labours for Him.

I continue to fix and repair things for the Print shop and general station maintenance like plugged sewers as well as providing technical assistance for missionaries across the country.  Recent activities have been helping diagnose a backup generator which supplies the needed electricity for one of our missionaries who are devoted to front line work that allows them to function here with the burden of a child with CF.  Another was a large solar project for a missionary with a neighbouring mission who is working to bring the gospel into a refugee camp. I am also working to setup a computer research library at the Theological training centre for the church here in Chad. We thank the Lord for providing the financial needs for this and partners who are researching good electronic materials.  Please pray for good logistics to get the equipment here and setup.  Most recently I have also been trying to reduce our threat of bees on the property especially in light of the arrival of a new family from Sweden with small children. We thank God for safety when a large limb containing the biggest nest (10″ x 4′) volunteered itself by falling from the tree during the night.  This is the mahogany under which many people pass each day as  they visit or work on the property.

There also has been significant changes in our living dynamics.  Except for Diguna our German partner mission here on the property we have been virtually unchanged in personnel for almost 20yrs.  With the recent retirement of the Snyders who worked at the print shop they have been replaced by a single German fellow who has taken on this responsibility.  We are sorry to see them go but grateful for God’s provision and calling on Andreas’ life.  Also as mentioned above the new arrival of the Vilhelmsson’s from Sweden who were working up near lake Chad but had to refocus their ministry due to continued insecurity in the area.  Your prayers for us as we gel in a new “missionary community” would be greatly appreciated.

Now on the subject of family.

Dorrit

We thank God for the privilege and provision to be able to go to Canada over the Christmas holidays.   It was wonderful to be home for the arrival of yet another grandchild.  Stephen and Lisette were blessed with the arrival of Dorrit.  It was good to be home and provide some help to the new parents at this time.

Elim, Derek & Rylynn

It was also good to make the acquaintance of Derek Weber, Daniel and Christine’s 3rd.  When we arrived home Jessica gleefully announce that she was also expecting.  She is due early in June and we had planned on being home for her first but this timeline seemed impossible.  As time went on we were somewhat concerned that she seemed rather small and also by the number of ultrasounds being requested.  One week before we returned to Chad she was referred to specialists at Hamilton’s neonatal unit.  Here we learned that the baby has a severe case of Ebstein anomaly among other concerns which may or not be related.

Rory & Jessica

It has now been decided that the baby will need to be delivered in Toronto and require serious intervention.  Needless to say we were distraught over this development.  After talking with the family and with the support of our home church we decided to seek special permission to return home for this situation.  We believe firmly that God is able to reverse anything the doctors currently see as he is the very creator of this life.  We also acknowledge his sovereignty in all situations.  Kathryn has restructured her classes to minimize the impact on ministry and we will thus be returning to Canada early May with the plan to return to Chad early July, Lord willing.  We of course covet all your prayers for this very difficult situation.  In light of this it seems trivial but your continued prayer for Kathryn, especially during hot season is appreciated as she continues on in spite of her heat and mango allergies which tend to compound at the same time.

Finally, not to minimize but rather that it remains in the forefront of your thoughts.  Over the past number of years there has been some discontent among the leadership of the church here in Chad.  It all came to a head just before their annual general assembly where some decided to take action.  Basing their decision on some of the church bylaws they have tried to put a transitional leadership in place until things can get resolved.  This has caused mixed results, most sadly the confusion of the local believers.  There has been several concerted efforts for reconciliation but to date none have produced any measurable level of success.  Due to the issues even the general assembly rescheduled their deliberations and elections until this weekend.  At the root of the problem is pride and some very hardened hearts.  We as TEAM missionaries and our other mission collaborators work in areas where both sides reside.  This also brings tension between us as well as in the print shop who’s function is to provide materials for the church at large.  Though we are currently at the edge of the cliff of division, God can change men’s hearts.  Please pray for humbled hearts, forgiveness and a level of resolution that will permit the new leadership to be properly elected.  Phil. 1:15:18

There is much here to pray for but we entrust these matters into the Lord’s hands.  Our hearts are heavy on many fronts but we know the Rock on whom we stand.  We sincerely thank you for your prayers and faithful support.

Trusting Him together for good things,
Paul & Kathryn Weber

 

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