October, 2023

Dear Friends,

Continuing construction in Uvira, DR Congo

We’re happy to report that Phase 1 of our school construction project in Uvira, DR Congo is complete, and Phase 2 is underway. Due to funding issues, we’re going to have to scale back the project for a while and only build the first floor for now. Then as funds permit, we’ll begin the 2nd story of construction. I’m looking forward to being able to visit the campus when it’s completed and enjoy the beautiful view of Lake Tanganyika.

We continue to have challenges in sending funds to our staff in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria no longer permits international funds to be received and issued in local currency. This is true not only of the USA, but of African countries as well. The downside is that most fund sending agencies (Western Union, Money Gram, etc) are set to issue funds in Nigerian currency. A such, our transactions take about a week to process, only to be refunded. To add to the frustration, support representatives at both Western Union and Money Gram did not know why our transactions were being refunded, and Nigerian agents gave our staff members quite the run around. It’s no fun getting sent on wild goose chases in attempts to resolve the problem. After some digging around on multiple financial sites, I was able to pinpoint that the problem was the CBN’s policy change regarding international funds – but a reliable solution remains elusive. In the past week, I’ve had a smaller transactions go through in a somewhat unconventional way. Pray that we’ll be able to find a reliable method that doesn’t include exorbitant costs from our USA bank.

Putting the finishing touches on the roof in N’Djamena, Chad

In N’Djamena, Chad, we’re putting the finishing touches on our multi-purpose building. All that’s left now are the wall treatments, doors and windows, water and wastewater facilities, and paint. Due to an unreliable electric grid, we had hoped to have the building powered by solar panels. The initial estimates we received was well above our budget, so we’re seeking alternative solutions.

Indeed, your prayers are coveted!

Tim Foster
Christian Mission for the Deaf