A wonderful display of fireworks on New Year’s Eve was new for the people of Abeche, Chad. Sadly, many cowered under beds afraid that the rebels were attacking again. In February a fresh outbreak of conflict occurred when rebels stormed the capital N’Djamena demanding the president’s resignation.

In spite of the danger, New Zealand/Fijian church planter Eliki travelled to N’Djamena to assist WEC missionaries caught in the crossfire. As God graciously provided heavy military protection for him, he discovered that a missionary’s car was the only one left undamaged in its area. Lavenia, Eliki’s wife, explains the amazing scene on his return. “When he was due to fly out no plane was to be seen. Eventually his name was called out and a UN pilot came out to meet him. Together they walked to the plane but incredibly, he was the only passenger. It was as if the Lord was reminding us again that he is in control and is taking care of his children.”

In spite of this unstable climate WEC’ers in this predominantly Muslim country remain optimistic. Eliki and Lavenia declared, “We believe that this will be a year of miracles!” The year began with the fledgling church organising an outreach meal for neighbours and friends. “We showed the Jesus film and distributed calendars and tapes. There was a great turnout with many watching the entire movie” Another source of encouragement is an increased demand for English classes and the spiritual openings they bring.

Sadly, two young seekers have had difficulties with their families. One young man came to them after being thrown out of his home, asking “What do I do now? Where do I go?”

Such developments pose significant challenges. Eliki observed, “It makes us realise how ‘easy’ it is for us to choose this life-long commitment, but it can cost them everything. May these young men stand strong amidst persecution.”