A Visit from a Beautiful Hummingbird

While in Abéché, I stayed focused on paying the rent and the friends who work with us. I also had to work on getting a newsletter ready for our praying supporters. I am also taking special time to pray during this month. The time in Abéché was a good chance to get some special quiet time with the Lord. I spent a good amount of time praying about some of the challenges we are facing.

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How to reheat leftovers without electricity

In the Chad Innovations category of our website, we discuss practical solutions to the challenges of living in Chad.  By living in a place where life doesn’t work the way we are used to, we were forced to become innovators and inventors of new solutions.  One of the first problems I had to solve while there was to figure out how to reheat food without electricity.

Laura at HeavenlyHomemakers.com does not use a microwave because… well, it’s a lifestyle choice.  But for us, living in Chad made it impossible.

If you have regular electricity in your home in Chad, then you have been blessed to own generator or a solar electric system.  All it would take to shut your system down forever is to plug a 100 Watt incandescent bulb into the inverter, and turn it on.  In such a case, can you imagine what damage an electric stove, or even a toaster oven would cause from the draw it produces?

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Battery acid and solar electric system

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

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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How Much Solar Energy Do You REALLY Need?

This post was written while we were in Chad.

How much of a solar energy system do you need to satisfy the needs of your village home?

The answer depends on a lot of variables, the biggest of which are where you live and what you want to do with it. Some of us live near the equator and want to just run a few lights, while others of us live outside the tropics, yet still want to run a hot tub while they microwave a bag of popcorn as they watch satellite on a large screen TV, while they wait for their clothes to dry.

To run a few lights, all you need is one 70 Ah battery and a 50 to 120 Watt solar panel. I read about someone who was in the latter group, and three arrays with 25 120 Watt solar panels each could not satisfy their need.

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