Happy New Year!

NEWSLETTER from Margaret & Celestin

Margaret & Celestin January 2024

Happy New Year Feature Image

Dear Friends & Family,

Hope you had a good Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus our Saviour. We wish you a peaceful New Year! 

We enjoyed meeting church, family, and friends over Christmas. The wives made Chadian ‘cake’– margarine, oil, eggs, milk, sugar, flour, baking powder and a little yeast mixed into dough and left in the sun to rise for an hour. Then moulded into different shapes and fried in a big frying pan over a wood fire.

We bought a large goat which the boys butchered on Christmas Eve. The wives prepared the meat and cooked (a very oily) sauce, ready for Christmas Day.

We cooked rice to go with it. Other families also prepared meals to share, an agape meal after a short service on Christmas day. Family and friends visited on Christmas Day, and we offered the cakes and sweets. It was good to see old friends and reflect on the development of the area and ministry over the past few years, but it was very tiring.

La Bergerie Evangelique des Nations saw in the New Year and started 12 days of prayer and fasting (1 day for each month of the year) – powerful! The church spends time together (whilst some go to school or work) praying, worshipping God and learning. A team cleans the church, another cooks an evening meal, including porridge and tea. This year some of the leaders are teaching, whereas in previous years Celestin did most of the teaching. We break the fast at the end of the day with communion – remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus, to take away our sin. In the evening, Celestin reinforces the teaching around a log fire, using a variety of teaching strategies such as role-play/theatre. The theme for this year is to ‘Go and make disciples of all nations,’ with the following subjects being developed over the 12 days. Prayer and how to share the gospel, how to follow- up new converts until they are baptised, how to make disciples, how to multiply churches, how to send missionaries, and how to have happy leaders. It is a long day – starting at 5 o’clock in the morning with prayer and ending around the fire at midnight. We will also do evangelism at the police station and gendarmerie to share the gospel with the prisoners and the police/gendarmes. We will prepare a meal for the prisoners.

We’re using 3 guest rooms that we built nearby, as dormitories. Started a long time ago, and only worked on when we’ve had the finances for materials and worker’s pay, they were ready just in time (although still need ceilings, and one room needs a window). Praise God! Later this month the church will celebrate its 6th anniversary, during which we will baptise several people, currently preparing for this.

The DTS in Sarh is due to start on 15th January. Margaret will travel there to help the team and do some teaching on the foundational values of Youth With A Mission. There are at least 5 students ready for the school, a couple of them are from La Bergerie Evangelique des Nations. Praise the Lord!

We really do need to start making bricks and building the new school on the land. Chad has a new Prime Minister who has said that schools should have proper buildings (most of our classrooms are still tin ‘hangars’) and that schools without proper buildings will be closed. The school inspectors in Koundoul are quite worried about this believing it may happen quickly. La Bergerie school is in God’s hands, it is his work, so we trust him and pray for the finances to build.

The health centre also requires some work to ensure we are giving good treatment and using the medicines that we have correctly. Margaret will spend more time here when she returns from Sarh.

We are praying for a lady who came asking for help to pay for an urgent eye operation. We were unable to help but she has stayed for the prayer and fasting and is trusting God. Please pray for her, and if you can help her financially, please let us know.

It is sooo good to have Celestin back! But after a couple of days alone when he arrived, there has been no time to rest. Many people come every day or ring, so he never has a day off. In the long-term this is not good for us or the work. We would prefer to be based outside of Chad and visit when needed. We believe this is God’s leading and timing.

Margaret’s Mum has been waiting for her second cataract operation for many months and finally has a date in February. You may know that she has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease but is doing well at home with daily visits from Richard (Margaret’s brother) and carers. Eye drops are required 4 times a day for 2 weeks after cataract surgery and twice a day for a further 2 weeks. Therefore, as Margaret already has a return flight for the beginning of February, she will travel to be available to help Mum.

Prayer Points:

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 his love, mercy, and grace, and for the gift of new life for those who believe!

  • Pray for La Bergerie Evangelique des Nations church as we set aside time to seek God’s heart through prayer and fasting. Pray for the leaders as they grow in faith and gain experience. Pray for more people to come and hear the Good News of Salvation and be discipled.

  • Pray for the pupils, their parents, and teachers at La Bergerie school to know Jesus and understand how they can live in relationship with him. Pray for provision for school fees and materials, and continued protection.

  • Please pray for the Discipleship Training School in Sarh. We haven’t run a DTS for 2 years but believe we are as ready as we can be.

  • Pray for the development of Chad. Pray the government would have a fear of God.

  • Please continue to pray for the finances we need, especially to build the school and develop the health centre.

  • Pray for Mum and her upcoming operation, Margaret’s travel to the UK and for us and God’s direction as to where he would have us be based.

Thank you and God bless you.

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

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

If you pay UK income tax: sign-up for gift aid and donate through Stewardship:
www.stewardship.org.uk/partners/20103447 (Training Development, Chad – Margaret & Celestin | Stewardship
Reclaimed tax makes your gift bigger!

Thank you and Good Bless You!

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