For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. (Isa 44:3)
As we continue to work within our limited resources to meet the spiritual and educational needs of the deaf, we find ourselves at a unique juncture in the history of deaf education in Chad (Central Africa). Several years ago, we received a sizable land grant from a local chieftain. The five-acre parcel of land is located in Toukoura, a few miles south of N’Djamena, the country’s capital. Our dream is to construct a new mission compound that would replace our aged and overcrowded facility currently located in a mud-brick community on the outskirts of N’Djamena. The new plan calls for primary and secondary school buildings, dorms, a chapel, a cafeteria, a carpentry shop, a tailoring shop, a multi-purpose building and more. These new buildings are desperately needed. Our current facility is overcrowded and many deaf children in N’Djamena are unable to enroll. However, as with most land grants in sub-Sahara Africa, it came with one major caveat: use it, or lose it. Local efforts to raise funds for this ambitious project have met with little success, and we now find ourselves faced with the very real possibility of losing this precious opportunity.
Two additional events have transpired over the past couple of years that make the situation more pressing.
- A new university is preparing to break ground almost right next door, turning the area into a magnet for higher education. It would be hard to imagine a better location for our school for the deaf.
- Squatters have begun to build on our property. The laws in Chad are such that we must either build our facility around their buildings or purchase their buildings. We will need to alter our plans to accommodate their squatting, and do something now to block any future squatters from building on our land.
Right now, the best way to prevent further squatting is to install at least one permanent building or structure. Ideally, if we can install a well and pump, we can arrange for nearby villagers to operate the pump for their agricultural needs until we can begin construction. The villagers would benefit from the initial use of the well, and in the process, would guard the property from future squatters.
The cost for installing a well is around $2,000 USD, and starter buildings would cost between $10,000 and $15,000. Our desire is to raise enough funds to begin the well before year’s end, and begin construction of buildings before spring 2016. It’s an ambitious project, but we feel that this is a unique opportunity to expand the work of educating the deaf in Chad and preparing the next generation of spiritual leaders.
Would you pray with us about how the Lord might use you for this endeavor?
Thank you for standing with us and praying with us in this unique situation.
Christian Mission for the Deaf