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Dear Friends and Family,

We wish each of you a special time of blessing during this Easter season.  In the last month or so we have seen several from the village welcomed into the body of Christ.  One Sunday we welcomed 11 people who had recently decided to follow the Lord.  It is those times that my eyes are moist and my heart beats with joy; seeing the reason for which we have given our lives, realized.  Just imagine how Christ felt after all the anguish of that day when he uttered the words “it is finished”.  It was the realization of a plan set in motion at creation, and then end of a pain filled day, the joy of victory all wrapped up in one.  This Easter season we trust that you know the hope that Christ has put in our hearts and that you will share it with someone.

One of the other exciting things that we have seen is the opening of a university just up the road from our village.  Because it is about 15km from town many of the youth have chosen to find lodging with those in the village.  This has impacted our little church of 100 by about 50%.  It is not unusual for some 40-50 university students to be in attendance these Sundays.  Some of the local youth have recognized the need for a bible study among these students.  This Sunday one of our local missionaries will be taking up this challenge to provide these young people with the biblical foundations that they need for life.

Sometimes life here can be very frustrating and we often wonder if much is being accomplished as we deal with difficulties in the Church and injustices we observe from day to day.  Yet almost weekly we are reminded how simply sharing and being concerned makes a great impact on peoples lives.  When we leave church I am often approached by 1 or more youth that Daniel shared some time with in the choir.  We often don’t see the results when we are in the situation but we covet these reminders when struggling through difficult times.  We also covet your prayers for the boys as Daniel seeks employment for the summer and Stephen spreads his wings on to California for a co-op work term.  Both seem confident of making the grade this past semester.  We are excited as we see them mature; taking risks blended with faith and watching God provide their needs and mould them.  Jessica continues to make progress in her school work while Kathy guides her and finds ways to encourage her.  It has been difficult for Jessica as there are no other youth on our base or near by.  She covets the few days she gets with her friends when they return from school in other countries.

Recently I was finally able to get around to a project given me quite some time ago by a retired missionary.  She donated embroidery machines which I was to setup and train a national to use to produce badges for the national JEA (boy’s brigade & pioneer girls) movement.  Unfortunately the machines, though new would not work properly.  After several weeks of frustration I discovered loose parts.  How this happened we are not sure but we thank the Lord that the machines now seem to work and Kathy is devoting several hours a week training a Chadian to run the machines.  I also need to do a fair bit of programming as they were supplied with only a few of the achievement badges used by the youth movement.

I continue to be busy with maintenance and as I mentioned in our last letter this year we are adding 2 rooms with bath to our base’s guest facility.  To reduce the expenses I decided to have the brick make on the property.  This has come with its own experiences and learning curves.  The first 4000 are now fired and the construction should begin in a week or so.  Most of the finishing work (plumbing, electrical, paint and furnishings) I will be doing myself so if 1 or 2 of you want an exotic working holiday ☺ you could write me, we might be able to make it happen.  I also hope to include running hot water!  Currently I am also coordinating a shipment from the states that will bring some quality equipment like good flush toilets and ceiling fans.  My hope is that the shipping container will arrive late July or early Aug.  One of my greatest challenges out here is repairs that last due to the poor quality or lack of materials.  My wood planer works over time as most of the wood comes from a “chainsaw mill” and is very rough.   The Jatropha plants continue to grow and I hope to have the oil press arrive with the same shipment.

We are managing in spite of the heat of this time of the year.  Kathy has struggled with here usual allergies to heat and mangoes but is courageous and takes one day at a time.  Otherwise we have had good health in general for which we praise the Lord.

We thank you for partnering with us as we enable those bringing God’s hope to those who have no hope.  We trust that you too will “mark out a straight path… that those who follow… will become strong.

Paul, Kathryn & Jessica