The people were all smiling as they came out to greet the missionaries driving into their cactus lined village. The national partner arriving with the missionaries made introductions as they all sat down on the woven mats laid over the dirt. The nationals and missionaries exchanged proper greetings. The missionaries asked, “Do you want to hear about Jesus Christ and sing a song to God?”
“Yes!” the villagers responded.
“What song do you know?”
“We don’t know any songs to sing to God. Teach us.”
The missionaries proceeded to teach them a song along with the gospel. A few people showed interest in following Jesus.
Within a few months, as the national partner continued visiting and sharing with the people, many came to Christ. They were hungry for more stories from the Scriptures and insights into how to follow Jesus.
The missionaries were able to visit every once in a while, but the national partner was key in meeting with the villagers regularly. The time came for the new converts to follow in baptism. In the deserts of South Madagascar water is scarce. Finding a water hole deep enough to baptize is a huge challenge. On this day, the villagers and missionaries walked 10 miles to get to the ocean and back. The lead missionary, along with a few volunteers from Louisiana, stood on the shore surrounded by the new converts and modeled how to baptize. After a little more teaching and verification that the people understood what this step in their faith meant, the leaders of the village took each new convert one by one and baptized them! The people from the village sang praises to God and celebrated with a meal on the beach; rejoicing in this step of obedience in their new found faith.
Teachings continued and the new converts gained more and more understanding of the Scriptures. After some time the missionaries were asked to come back and teach about taking the Lord’s Supper. The people were all smiling again as they came out to greet the missionaries driving into their village. The missionaries had permission to set up a tent and stay for the night. They got the tent up and began fellowshipping with the people. Some women missionaries were cooking with the women in the cooking house. The missionary kids were teaching the village children how to play hop scotch and the men were sitting and beginning to discuss the steps to take the Lord’s Supper, described by the Scriptures. It was an incredible experience to be a part of these milestones in the lives of new Christians who had no preconceived ideas of what these actions should look like. From the time they confessed Christ as their Lord and Savior and learned songs to sing to praise him, to following him in baptism and then learning what it means to remember the Lord through taking the Lord’s Supper, the missionaries were determined to teach them to do everything based upon what the Scriptures say.
Pray the people in the village of Amby will grow in their faith according to the Scriptures. Pray they will weigh every action in light of the Scriptures and that they will be able to stand firm in the midst of persecution and temptation. Pray for the people in the church to grow stronger in their faith and be diligent in sharing the gospel with their neighbors.
After having been invited to attend and speak at a local Bible study, Jeremy and a Malagasy pastor drove the two and a half hours across town to get to the Bible study location. Once there, Jeremy realized that these were all very prominent people from all different religious backgrounds; some saved, some not. The lesson he would teach for the day? The Father’s Heart. He shared from Scripture God’s heart for reaching the lost. Everyone in the group seemed to come alive and become very excited about reaching the capital city of Madagascar for Christ. The Malagasy pastor who had come with Jeremy was genuinely surprised that such a simple lesson could elicit such response. But oh what a response it was! Even though the group normally meets only once a month, they asked Jeremy to come back on a weekly basis and teach them how to win their city for Christ. Please join us in praying that God would rise up the “laborers” to reach Antananarivo for Christ!
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!
Join Linda in thanking the Lord for R’s continued desire to study God’s Word. As the study of “Seeking Him” progressed, it was evident that it may have been too advanced at this time. So, the ladies have started a study of the women of the Bible instead. Please pray that both ladies would see God afresh through the lives of these biblical examples.
The Word of God is amazingly powerful but unfortunately most of the Masikoro can’t read. Even if they could read, they very few can understand the foreign dialect of the Malagasy Bible.
ISC missionary Tessa has been working with Masikoro believers to put key Bible stories into the local dialect in an oral form. Tessa asks you to pray for the Masikoro believers in the story-crafting group as they prepare to test their stories in another village. Pray for God to open the hearts of the hearers and to bring them to a knowledge of Him. Pray for the storytellers to speak with His Spirit, boldness and wisdom.
Praise the Lord that the Masikoro can experience the powerful Word of God. Pray for a great harvest of souls among this very lost people group in SW Madagascar.
The Tanala people live in rain forest of South East Madagascar. They are known as the people of the forest. Hiking out in slippery, narrow paths is necessary to get to most of the Tanala. This is a physically and spiritually poor area but God is at work.
Pray for spiritual growth among the new believers who are meeting weekly to study the Bible in two ministry points of Morafeno and Ankazotsara. Pray that these believers would be trained and equipped in God’s Word to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with many more Tanala. May the Lord Jesus be glorified among the Tanala.