Recently, Adam made a trip to the capitol, Antananarivo, to visit the seminary and convention leaders. As he was at the seminary he was able to see a handful of students from the South of Madagascar. As he was reporting back to me on the visit and as I later saw the picture of some of the students I was so encouraged.
Sometimes we forget how the Lord has worked and moved in the lives of the nationals when they go away to pursue theological studies. May we reflect and remember all the Lord has done and may we pray as Paul in Philippians 1:3-6, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” God is doing a mighty work among the people of South Madagascar. Would you remember them in your prayers and agree with me that he who began a good work in each of them will bring it to completion?
Every rut, every rock, every turn made my brain feel like it was bouncing inside my skull. At the end of the longest day, my whole body felt out of sorts and I wasn’t sure if my head would stop hurting. I never felt like I was in such bad condition that I needed medical attention, but a few times I wondered, “What in the world are we doing!” You see, a few weeks ago our family spent two weeks traveling around the Southern part of Madagascar visiting national partners, new churches, teammates and taking care of a few errands. We we’re on the road anywhere from 4-11 hours in a single day with some days interspersed of little to no travel. The saying rang true for us that the people are “unreached for a reason.” The roads are terrible! There are a few nice stretches but others were nearly impassable. As you pray for the people of South Madagascar today, ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers from the fields. Pray more nationals would continue to evangelize and make disciples. We’re seeing the beginnings of a movement, but it won’t come without resistance from the enemy. Pray these national believers will be able to stand firm as each and their respective families are persecuted and face spiritual warfare like never before.
It’s that time of year, when many people pack up and prepare to serve the Lord around the world. International World Changers from the state of Louisiana are in route to Fort Dauphin, Madagascar. They will be on the ground from May 19-30. Pray for the villages they will serve, including Tsihombe, Salohimahasoa, Marovato and more. Pray for the hearts of those they will be sharing with to be receptive to the Gospel. Pray also for their time in Fort Dauphin as they use sports ministry to reach the youth of Madagascar. Pray for logistics and their health.
There are other volunteer teams in and coming to South Madagascar. Keep this area of the country in your prayers. Pray the Lord would continue to see the missionaries and these volunteer teams through to the finish
As the time of singing came to an end, the congregation waited in anticipation for the young preacher to begin his sermon. He set his Bible and notes on the table before him and paused. “Raise your hand if you’re alive?” he started. “Raise your hand if you’re alive?” One-by-one most of the people raised their hand. He proceeded to preach verse by verse from Colossians 3 about putting on the new self. When he reached verse 3 he asked the congregation again to, “Raise your hand if you’re alive.” This time there was hesitation. “Raise your hand if you’re dead,” he rephrased his question. More hesitation, but again one-by-one hands started going up.
You see, we are called to die to ourselves and be hidden in Christ that when he returns we would join him in glory. In Galatians 2:20 we are reminded, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” This young preacher captured the attention of the congregation and made a lasting impact on the fact that we need to put away the old self and “whatever we do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col. 3:17)
Pray for this congregation to live out Colossians 3.
A missionary couple had a dream to bring physical and spiritual sight to the lost. Over 20 years ago this dream was laid on their hearts and now the Lord is bringing it to fruition. For years now, John and Laurie have continued to wait on the Lord to show them where to go, what to do, and how to make His name known among the nations, particularly among the Antanosy people group in Madagascar.
The dream came true as Laurie followed the leading of the Lord to visit the eye clinic. She had been there before but the Lord told her to go back. The doctor wasn’t there this time but she visited with the director. The director showed her around and Laurie was amazed at the equipment and prescription glasses available, but none of these resources were being used! After a few visits to the eye clinic and conversations with the doctor an arrangement was made. Laurie would work for free. The clinic would offer their equipment for her to use for free. The patients would pay as they could to help support the costs of running the eye clinic. And the exciting part is John would come, tell stories from the Bible, share the love of Jesus and help the patients to know how to have spiritual sight along with their new found physical sight!
This new found sight is bringing smiles to the patients. Not only can they see and read, but they are being filled with love, peace and hope as this missionary couple fulfills the call God placed on their lives.
Pray this missionary couple and new believers from the eye clinic would be “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)
Everyday we see faces like this Antandroy man. He is listening intently to the stories from God’s word, trying to make sense of this new idea, Jesus, Savior of the world.
Men like this have been hearing these stories, believing and following Christ in faith. Many are also taking these stories and sharing them with their households and friends.
Praise God that children like these will grow up learning these stories! Pray they will come to know the Lord in a personal way and be able to take what they’ve heard and entrust it to those who will be able to teach others also.
Pray the Word of God and a relationship with Jesus Christ would take over as the ultimate source of power in each Antandroy and Antanosy person’s life. Break them away from the power and fear they live in trying to worship and cling to the traditions of pleasing their ancestors.
As they cling to this newfound faith, pray they would be laborers for the harvest is plentiful!
A friend of mine recently told me that she couldn’t separate her call to Christ from her call to missions. She was only five years old when she made that personal decision to follow Christ and it transformed her life forever. Now she has served as a missionary more than half of her life. She’s such an example of obedience to Christ. The status quo support of missions isn’t enough to reach all who are crying out to hear about Jesus. The status quo way of doing missions isn’t enough to reach all who are crying out to hear about Jesus. The status quo method of sending isn’t enough to reach all who are crying out to hear about Jesus. Programs, special events, methods, and just sending people isn’t enough to reach all who are crying to hear about Jesus. Words aren’t enough and it is time for action. Would you pray and ask God to revolutionize your life and my life in how we can be used right where we are and where He desires for us to be tomorrow? Let’s seek His will, His ways, and His power to complete a seemingly impossible task. Many are still dying without knowledge or hope of their future. Although the Lord is moving in miraculous ways among the Antandroy and Antanosy people there are still so many who have not heard the truth of Christ. Pray for national workers to put their plows to the field and catch the vision of multiplying themselves as they testify of what God has done in their lives and as they train trainers.
Unfortunately, it is not unusual for believers to fall into temptation and begin backsliding. We are all under attack and face spiritual warfare on a daily basis. It is heart-breaking still when our national partners are the backsliders and we want so bad for them to fall under the conviction of the Spirit and repent, but it’s not up to us. The Word of God warns us in Luke 6:42, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” We must check ourselves lest we fall into temptation. We must also remember Peter’s instructions from God, “Be holy, because I am holy.” Let us all remember to continually strive to meet this expectation and never fail to lift up our brothers and sisters to the Father on a regular basis! He is faithful and will never forsake us!
Praise the Lord for volunteer teams that have come, are currently here and those that are coming. It is so exciting to see the Lord at work through these individuals. We’ve just had a team from Kentucky working to drill a well for water in Ambagnezagne. Although, they did not find water, souls were saved as many came to know Jesus, the Living Water, as their Savior. Currently, a team from Georgia is headed to the bush to share the stories of God’s word. Pray for the village of Bekily. Next week a team from Texas will be sharing stories in Fort Dauphin and in the bush villages of Ambovombe, Tsimarolo, and Anjeke.
In the coming months, teams from the Carolinas, Texas and even a Kenyan missionary will arrive seeking to share the Light in the darkness. Pray that these volunteers will be faithful to the leading of the Spirit in all they do!
John and Laurie and their three children have completed their official Malagasy language training and have just recently arrived in Ft. Dauphin, Madagascar. Ft. Dauphin will be their home and base of ministry as they seek to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Antanosy of Southeast Madagascar. The Antanosy hold deeply to their traditional religious practices of ancestor worship. Some consider themselves to be Catholic or Protestant but they still hold on to the worship of their ancestors. The great majority have very little understanding of the Bible, mostly due to lack of access to Scripture and Biblical teaching. So please pray for John and Laurie as they take this needed Biblical teaching to the Antanosy. Pray that many wouldn’t covert simply to a religion but that they would be radically changed and set free from sin by their Savior Jesus Christ. Pray for John and Laurie as they begin learning now the Antanosy dialect of Malagasy which is quite different than official Malagasy. They desire to teach the people in the heart language of the Antanosy so pray that they will be able to learn and apply what they’ve learned quickly.
May the name of Jesus be exalted among the Antanosy!