How often do plans get changed?
Why are we surprised?
Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Yet when it comes to plans any change can be so hard to accept. Recently, there was a bush trip planned. Brett and Katelyn were so excited to follow up with a village they had shared at previously. About two and a half hours into the trip, their car broke down. They wanted to press on but were advised to turn back so the car could be repaired and they could be safe. They obliged. But it wasn’t until they arrived in town after being towed in and got the news that the issue with the car was serious that they accepted the change and were thankful they’d turned back. The next day they got word that the national partner they were going to work with had a baby that morning. We don’t always know why plans change, but we can rest assured that God is not surprised. His ways are higher than our ways. May we trust him at all times in all ways!
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
God is at work in Madagascar. Todd & Deborah Hoskins are ministering among the Bara in southwest Madagascar. Pray for them as they have just completed building a one room base camp in a remote location. As is Bara custom they had a celebration with their friends to mark the completion of the building project. It was an enjoyable time of greetings, prayer, dancing, eating, and fellowship. What a joy to see them come to celebrate together a job well done. Click to see the joyful dancing! Todd & Deborah still have a big job ahead of them as a permanent home will be built and as they lay a strong foundation of relationships on which they will share the Good News with their new friends. Pray as they continue to build strong relationships that point the Bara people to Christ. Pray for their strength and wisdom as they live in difficult circumstances for the sake of the Gospel.
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God Reigns’.” Isaiah 52:7
The Bara are traditionally polygamist and nomads, living on cattle farming. They are known throughout Madagascar for being cattle thieves. In fact, they celebrate this as part of their culture. As part of a wedding ritual, the groom must raid cattle to prove his strength. Then he gives the raided cattle to his bride’s family. They have other evil and harmful practices. They consult witch doctors to look after the sick and dying and for advice concerning when to begin planting, when to marry and when to perform circumcision. There are almost 800,000 Bara who live in the southwest region of Madagascar. They are scattered over an area with little to no roads. They are tough to reach physically as well as spiritually but Jesus Christ loves the Bara and wants them to be saved. Pray for the Bara to have conviction of their sin. Pray for the Lord to make ways so that all the Bara can have access to the good news of salvation found only in Jesus Christ. Pray for the Lord to send a missionary family to live and work among this people. May the Bara be known for loving Jesus and making Him known instead of being cattle thieves.