March 2014

A Vision Realized

By Nancie Hoffman

When Mission:Chad started nearly 10 years ago, it responded to the call of its ministry partner, Pastor Ngarndeye Bako, to bring the love of Christ to the orphans of Chad. An orphan himself, Pastor Bako told of the over 500,000 orphans in his home country of Chad who had lost one or both parents as a result of famine, disease, or war. Since that time, conditions in Chad have improved in some respects, but worsened in others. Oil development in Chad has now brought some economic relief to the country. This is most evident in the commercial development that canbe seen in the capital city of N'Djamena.

Yet, despite these improvements, Chad continues to struggle with an ever-growing refugee population pouring in from three neighboring countries: Sudan, Libya (since the overthrow of Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi), and Central African Republic (CAR). Particularly concerning now is the burden that the refugees from CAR are bringing to Chad. As that country continues to experience mounting violence between Islamic and Christian factions located there, refugees are fleeing into southern Chad to get relief from the violence. Many of these refugees have not been immunized from various diseases and they are bringing them  into the country, even to some of the children at Village

Altonodji. Add to these difficulties the ever-present harshness of the climate that alternately causes famine or flood amidst temperatures often exceeding 115 degrees F., and you have a country that remains under so much stress that even the most well-off experience hardship.

With all these pressures of everyday life in Chad, the orphan is often a forgotten victim. They have suffered not only from physical disease, famine and war, they also suffer the emotional scars that come with the loss of a mother or father at such tender ages. Without help, many of these children are relegated to life on the street, unable to be cared for by extended family or friends who do not have the ability to assume the extra burdens of additional childbearing. In this environment, Pastor Bako dreamed of establishing a village for these forgotten ones, a place where they would be secure in the knowledge that they are provided for, and where they could

experience the love of a God who would never forsake them. He dreamed that through God's grace, some of these orphans would one day grow up to change the course of a nation.

Into this dream Mission:Chad entered. Through your generosity and God's grace, Pastor Bako's dream is being realized at Village Altonodji (meaning, "the orphan needs your love"). We are now finally beginning to see the first fruits of our labors as the first two of our Village orphans continue to pursue a college education at the University of Moundou. As you read the letter from one of these Village graduates in the following article, please know that you are the reason for his gratitude and hope. Please remember, too, that many more "Evarists" remain at Village Altonodji today, waiting for their chance to fulfill the dream God has put in their hearts for their lives and for His Kingdom. These still need our help. On their behalf, Mission:Chad continues to give thanks to God for all of you who make their dreams possible.

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[Pastor Bako] dreamed that through God's grace, some of these orphans would one day grow up to change the course of a nation.

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