This post was written while we were in Chad.
Ever since I returned from Moundou, I have been quite busy! First of all, I learned that “Twila”, our Speed The Light vehicle, had sustained some major damage to the axle. I suppose it happened several months ago when we drove back from Guéréda to Iriba. Without warning, we drove toward a three-foot deep ditch at 30 mi/hr, and hit it very hard. As a result of much bumping around, we discovered that we had gained a flat tire; fortunately, though, the only one who got damaged is Twila.
I had asked a close friend to set up an appointment for Twila to get a long overdue oil change. I had not met him yet, but when I did, it was my old friend Khamis! The last vehicle we owned in Chad caused so much trouble that it gave me three years of sermon material this past furlough! But Khamis was the mechanic behind the miracle of that vehicle running until furlough came.
In any case, the front axle is slightly bent, and the ball joint is leaking transmission fluid. And at just the right time, Khamis was back in our lives, fixing the problem for us. The parts were expensive; we paid him as best we could, and were up and running on Monday. He had done an excellent job, as proven by the driving we have done since then.
I have asked some new friends to translate a children’s Bible storybook from English to French in my absence. This is how I met Santa (yes, that is her real name!). Her French and English are both excellent, and her talent for translation is truly a gift from God. She refuses to take money for her work, so I pray for God to bless her for this service. I have also learned how to use Arabic script on my computer.
Christmas shopping in Chad is a challenge because choices are limited, and sometimes you need to be creative. We did not find a new kitchen timer for Sharon. I found it easy to acquire sunglasses for the girls, but the watch I bought for Susan broke. Due to the addition of a few new mini-supermarkets, and the expansion of old ones, I can get better results. Twice, we have enjoyed a visit to a new restaurant called Royal Chicken.
I also visited a friend who manages car repairs. To help him out, I asked him to fix the antenna on Twila. But he should have left the broken CD player alone. After a great Christmas service, I went to check on the car CD player. After waiting for several hours, I discovered that the specialist had fixed it using six different stereos. I didn’t have the money after the axle repair, but realized I had to pay him for his hard work.
A CD player in the car again was a pleasant Christmas gift for us. However, it seems trite compared to the gift of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, given by the One who keeps His promises to us.
Do you have any stories about visiting Santa? Let us hear about them in the comments!