Greetings Family and Friends,

Life throws us many curves, as one who likes to ride I am very aware that how you approach them either makes them a joy, challenge or disaster. These past months have been somewhat of a ride as we have experienced several of these curves. Shortly after our annual conference one of the missionaries who had participated in Kathryn’s reading training asked us if we would be willing to come and do a training session with teachers from a pilot school project he had started in some remote villages some 350kms north of the capital in the Kanem. Some 200km of which is following tracks across country that point in the general direction of your destination. Though I have spent many years in Chad, this was the first time to venture up into the desert. Leaving very early in the morning we managed to get to the village before nightfall; only bogging down in the sand once which was easily resolved by airing down our tires. airing down While there the wind was strong, almost throwing you to the ground when you passed the corner of a house that was blocking the wind. The sand filtered through every nook and cranny and the metal roofs looked like they were breathing as the wind revealed every joint that had become loose over time. Kathryn definitely had to use her teacher voice to be heard over the rattling of the metal sheets in the wind. The teachers were thrilled and very appreciative as no one makes the effort to go so far to bring them any amount of training. The village has one well provided through the efforts of our coworker, Rivers Camp, with a pump that runs continually under the power of the sun. All the village animals; goats, donkeys, camels etc. ; hang around close by, drinking from the overflow of the small reservoir. Giving a cup of water comes in so many different forms as we practice being God’s hands and feet. As the training was quite short and the material very new we plan to return near the end of the year, Lord willing, for a review of the literacy program. Pray that we can be salt and light into these remote villages.

The Kanem training was only the beginning of the curve before us. Several of the missionaries who were exposed to this program would like us to come to their areas in the near future as well. Kathryn had no idea of the implication of this when she began by trying to find the best way to help a few young struggling children in our own village. So far this year she is booking 5 trainings each comprising of aprox. 20 teachers. That computes to over 100 teachers that will be exposed and hopefully implement at least some new methods which will make a difference in the lives of many children. Explicit, systematic, phonetic teaching is very foreign to the rote method they are used to, so please pray they will grasp these new methods and begin making a difference.
An extra curve thrown at us is the opportunity for Kathryn to teach at the Christian Teachers’ College in the capital. She will be teaching her literacy program in a 30hr module covering 3 weeks. We pray this will be a great opportunity to get new teachers setting off in the right direction and without the baggage ‘the way we’ve always done it’. This along with other trainings, seminars, and our annual conference we will be spending 6wks in the capital beginning late October. In order to be effective in these growing opportunities Kathryn has reluctantly had to let go of her ESL/discipleship ministry for this school year. She will however continue with training teachers in Biblical instruction, her monthly teacher’s discipleship group, and working with a handful of reading students. I will be taking advantage of this time to help out with some maintenance on the mission property which has been short staffed for some time. We are praying that the Lord will raise up a couple of people to manage the office, property and guest facility which is vital to not just our missionaries but many other missions working in the country.

On that note, we praise the Lord for answered prayer. There is a young lady, Katelyn, who has just begun French study, with the intention of joining with Kathryn in the education ministries here in Chad. She has yet to know exactly where that will lead her but initially the intent is for her to join us here in Koutou and learn about the ministries and opportunities that can be used to build bridges and reach people with the good news. Pray that she will learn quickly the French that she will need for ministry here in Chad. Also pray for clarity as Kathryn organises and structures her materials this year, to be able to share them with Katelyn most effectively.

For myself, there continues to me no lack of things to repair or replace even as I travel with Kathryn to the different areas for training. Here on the property I am in the middle of putting up a new water reservoir as the old one sprung a leak over a year ago. I also have a number of coolers and some solar equipment coming in a container from the US to be installed in the guesthouse.

On a personal note, our bodies do not last forever. We returned to Canada this summer as we had hoped however with a few more things to be looked after. I needed a thyroid biopsy that was not able to happen during the height of Covid as well as my heart decided to get a little too ambitious. I was able to get a good diagnosis here in Chad but was advised to follow up in Canada with own medical care givers. We thank the Lord that the biopsy was benign and my heart seems to be responding well to a basic prescription. Kathryn continues to manage with her dietary restrictions though without signs of it correcting itself. Her foot still suffers with even normal exertion however is much improved since the plantar fascitis showed up about a year ago. We are thankful to the Lord for the strength he gives for each day.
It was good to be home and see the grand-kids, and grand they are. We were able to spend a couple of weeks up north with Daniel and due to unforeseen circumstances the kids were with us an additional two weeks. Daniel’s situation is still not settled. Please pray for God’s intervention on their behalf.
We had numerous park visits, bbqs, and roasted marshmallows with all cousins together and even got to the beach a couple of times. Stephen continues to develop his own online phone business and software consulting. Jessica and family continue to live in our house, helping Kathryn’s mom however she can, being a hand that is close by. While Kathryn’s mom’s health has not improved, recent diagnosis suspects parkinsons and thus provides some clarity and hopefully a road to better management. Being home annually for whatever length of time allows us to be of some help and relief to all involved as well as being able to better assess the situation.

Finally, we often ask for prayer for the peoples’ physical needs especially in a country that largely functions on subsistence farming. That means they typically only grow what they anticipate needing for the coming year. Usually exhausting their seed at planting time, leaving little to eat until harvest. This often results in a hunger season just before the harvest as they often run out. The bigger problem with this is that, when there is crop failure it results in famine. They have nothing to eat nor money to buy with the elevated cost of food that has to be either brought in from other areas or even out of country. This most often happens in localized areas where they did not have enough rain. This year many areas have experienced the opposite. With the regular rhythm of things rice is often planted in the flood plains where rains settle, leaving shallow water for it to grow in. This year however there has been an abundance of rain, over 25cm here in the last month, 7cm one night last week alone. This has resulted some sections of the river overflowing its banks and raising the water levels above the plants. One of our workers sent his eldest to check on their rice fields and the water was up to his shoulders. Some villages are evacuating by canoe to the main roads. We are seeing the writing on the wall so please pray for the inevitable crop failure and what will need to be done for the people’s survival in the effected areas.
Pray with us as we seek to be most effective where God has placed us. Thank you for your continued prayers and faithful support.

Paul and Kathryn Weber

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