News From Chad

NEWSLETTER from Margaret & Celestin

Margaret & Celestin February 2024

Margaret & Celestin

Dear Friends & Family,

How are you? We continue in the spiritual battle for Chad. Following 12 days of prayer and fasting Celestin was very tired. He had one day of rest but became very unwell, suffering from headaches and a particular sensitivity to noise. Medication was given, with no effect. We believe it was spiritual warfare after the intense period of work. He is slowly getting better – Praise God!

Meanwhile the Discipleship Training School (DTS) started in Sarh – Praise the Lord! Eight students, 3 young ladies and 5 men from Chad and the Central African Republic including an ex-rebel who needs prayer and the word of God to change him. It’s a grace to have him in the school. The church La Bergerie Evangelique de Nations has sent 3 students as well as staff. They have chosen to respond to the call to mission and learn more about God and make Him known. It is an opportunity to grow in relationship with the Lord and develop a Christ-like character.

Staff have come from different places in Chad including Moundou and Koundoul to support the Sarh team to run the school at the YWAM base. Having not run a school for 2 years there are several challenges to overcome, particularly to have good quality drinking water. The pump at the base is broken but we don’t have sufficient funds now to investigate the cause and make repairs. Meanwhile we buy drinking water, and use the pump nearby for washing and cooking, but the water is not as clean. We lack basic materials such as mattresses to sleep on, kitchen equipment and tables & chairs. Some of the furniture was damaged by termites.

Margaret has only a few days left to concentrate on the health centre and English language school partnerships before flying to the UK to take care of Mum. The prospect of being apart again is hard but Mum is not well. Following a diarrhoea and vomiting bug, she fell whilst walking the dog and broke her arm close to the wrist. Her arm was put into plaster and a sling. Then she was in a lot of pain and after calling an emergency ambulance was found to have a fever, probably due to a chest infection. This seems to be responding to antibiotics, but has put an extra burden on Richard who is doing his best to look after her at home. The cataract surgery was moved to the 31st of January and consequently cancelled because of Mum’s infection.

La Bergerie Health Centre has been treating sick and injured children in school as well as some parents and teachers. We bought a small stock of essential medicines to treat children after gaining parents’ consent. Parents are required to come and pay for the medicine used so that we can replenish and increase our supplies using this money. However, very few parents pay the bills, so this expense is not sustainable. For the work to evolve, we need to separate consultations and treatment from the pharmacy. Parents will be obliged to pay for medicines before we use them to treat the child (unless it is an emergency in which case we treat immediately). We have taken on the responsibility to educate and treat children who are orphans or abandoned and pray for God’s provision to continue to do this. We will use another room in the health centre (currently a bedroom) for the pharmacy. Eventually all the people (mainly family) who live at the health centre will move out as we expand our operations.

We work step by step to bring God’s glory and presence to Chad but there are many setbacks. Two of the security lights in the school grounds have been stolen, and attempts have been made to break into the school office. We still haven’t been able to repair everything that was broken in the attack on the school. For example, the office windows, and table and chairs will cost around £400 to replace. We haven’t been able to show films because someone took the adapter which connects the projector to the computer. Despite the difficulties we persevere.

We have been working with some young girls. One 18-year-old who already has a child is staying with us for the moment and helping with the cooking and cleaning. The church deaconesses are working with her and her father towards reconciliation.

We’re still praying seriously for a car. A new Toyota Hilux costs around £35,000 and is guaranteed for 3 years. This is what we hope for, but there is currently a second-hand car for private sale from a lady owner that would suit us well. It costs 6,000,000cfa (around £8,500) – good value for the make and quality of car but no guarantee that it will not break-down. Interestingly, the taxi that we regularly use is for sale at 2,500,000f (about £3,250) because the owner is preparing to travel abroad. The car is old but runs well and we have got to know the taxi driver who is a Muslim. (He hires the car from its current owner). If we bought this car it could work for him to continue to use it as a taxi when we are not using it, which would provide a regular income to use on the upkeep and running of the car.

We’re planning to do evangelism in a nearby village starting this weekend. We need a generator to show a film and transport to get there and back. We pray the equipment will work. We were given an old computer which can be connected directly to the projector.

We were able to give money to the lady who asked for help with an eye operation but on examination another eye condition was found, and treatment started using the money. The specialists will review her condition after 2 weeks of treatment to see if the operation can go ahead.

God has called us to live and work together so it’s hard to be apart, especially when Celestin is sick. We implore God for a visa to come to the UK. We’re applying to do a School of Communication Foundations in the UK which starts in April. It’s another big financial challenge – school fees cost £3,000 each. It is a required course for Celestin’s degree in Missions and as Margaret would benefit from the course, we hope to do it together at YWAM Harpenden.

“I told them that the hand of my God had been gracious upon me, and also the words that the king had spoken to me.
Then they said, “Let us start building!”
So they committed themselves to the common good.”

Nehemiah 2: 18 (NRSV)

Prayer:

Chad has such potential for growth and development but is held back by the powers of darkness. In Koundoul we experience spiritual oppression every day. When people are freed from the power of the enemy they will develop and grow! The greatest needs in Chad are for prayer, education, and health, which are central to our ministry.

  • Praise God for who he is and his great love for us! He is Sovereign.

  • Pray for the DTS in Sarh – for students and staff to grow and develop in their relationship with the Lord. Pray for the finances to pay school and staff fees. Pray for the base and the resources we need including finances to repair the pump, pump water into the water tank and buy necessary materials and equipment. 

  • Pray for the school’s Health Centre. We need a lot of resources to provide the treatment needed by schoolchildren and their families. This will increase as we start to reach out to the local community. We pray with each person who comes to us.

  • Pray for the evangelism in the nearby village – that God would open hearts and minds to receive the good news that Jesus died for them to take away their sin and give eternal life. Pray that we will have all the equipment that we need and that it works.

  • Continue to pray for La Bergerie school and the church. For people to go deeper in their relationship with God and ability to take responsibility for their actions. Continue to pray for protection from all sorts of evil.

  • Pray for Mum and Richard, especially that Richard will have the strength to cope. Pray for Celestin to regain his health and keep well, especially when we are far apart. Pray for Margaret as she travels to the UK.

  • Please pray for the finances we need and give if you feel led. Thank you.

God bless you.

Here are the details to support us through our bank:

Bank name: Santander;    Account name: Margaret M TANNER;    Sort Code: 09-01-32;     Account no.: 85726803

Thank you!

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