Our return trip to Abeche

well water before Abeche

This post was written while we were in Chad.

Today was our trip to Abeche, from Mongo! This trip was the result of five months of planning and prayer. We were so glad to make it here at last!

Sharon is still recovering from her illness, and from a busy, big day of preparation yesterday. I started yesterday off by refilling our water supply from the well in the courtyard. This involved throwing a bucket with a roped tied to it down the well. It was difficult for me to get the bucket to tip into the water so it could fill up. I didn’t realize how heavy a bucket full of water is when you are pulling it back up! After many successful attempts, I obtained about 65 gallons of water, and it took me until 11 AM due to my lack of experience. So, that’s why our friends, the Avileses, are so careful with water!

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A quiet, productive day to wait

waiting

kid waitingThis post was written while we were in Chad.

I “lay low” today, recovering from the trip and the tiredness I was feeling even before I left. This provided me with a chance to put the stuff I brought with me into storage here at Bakan Assalam. So the car is empty, and we can return home when our work is done here.

It seems like the bulk of our work today is to “wait”; wait for a key to become available, wait for my friend offering his home to us to return from France and to get back to me, wait for the staff at the orphanage to return tomorrow. We are working on alternatives: I went into the house we lived in last term, took pictures, knelt and prayed.

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The boy who jumped over the wall for food

Photo by Valeria Rodrigues (pixabay)

This post was written while we were in Chad.

I got up very early this morning, thirty minutes before the Fajr prayer time (which is one hour before sunset). Last night, the winds and the rain were violent, and the lightning and thunder were fairly close together.

Garibou boys; photo by Mary Newcombe

photo by Mary Newcombe

So I shut off the solar system, and read a book or two on my handheld and fell asleep.

As I worked at my desk this morning, there was a tall twelve-year-old boy, walking around in our yard! YIKES! This isn’t supposed to happen!

I fearfully but loudly yelled out the window, asking him what he was doing here. With a pleading voice, he told me that he was at the Madrasa (Qur’anic school) up the road; they hadn’t any food for a while. Their Qur’an Master was visiting the fields, and had left him and his fellow students to fend for themselves. He was told that there was a “nasara” (foreigner) in the home here, and that he would give him food.

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Battery acid and solar electric system

wikipedia.org battery acid

This post was written while we were in Chad.

On Monday, we set up the solar panel on the roof, and bought two 150 Amp truck batteries! We realizeden.wikipedia.org acid that the base for the fridge isn’t there, so we couldn’t move it over to the house yesterday.

As the sun was setting, I was wearing my old clothes saved especially for the job of dealing with battery acid. Before pouring the battery acid into the container, I used a battery acid tester to make sure the acid was of a good quality. In the past, the stuff I bought tasted watered down… but this time, the little balls in the tester all floated! So we filled up all the compartments with acid, and let the battery sit overnight.

This morning, we brought them in, and I spent most of the morning carefully attaching the solar panels and the battery to the charge controller… only to find out that the charge controller is defective out of the box. The charge controller keeps the solar panels from overcharging the batteries (which may create an explosion), or drained of electricity from the lights and appliances on the solar system (which would permanently keep the batteries from charging ever again). So the charge controller is a vital part of a solar electric system. There was a need to return and replace it, so the prospect of a quick trip to N’Djamena looked more and more likely.

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Withdrawal of resources, unlimited grace

Worn ATM (Source: wikimedia)

This post was written while we were in Chad.

We are struggling lately with the basics here at the orphanage. I go to the bank a few times on the weekend for a withdrawal our monthly rent from the ATM. However the dispenser is either down or turned off. We have to wait on this issue before we make a withdrawal of money for our regular living expenses. Now we are starting to draw from our savings. It is the beginning of the month, so the typical rush on the bank is happening now.

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