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.
Apprentice missionaries Steve & Nickolee and their toddler will be leaving the city of Tulear in which they live and are headed out to the bush in the southwest part of Madagascar where the Mahafaly people live. While it is normal for Steve to go out to the Bush to do ministry, Nickolee and their toddler have only done a trip like this a couple of times. Leaving the comforts of the city and heading out to the very rough and rugged bush isn’t easy so they are asking for your prayer.
They will meet up with Doug and Nathan, two journeymen, who have already started Bible storying sets in the villages of Kilimary & Andremba. On Monday, the guys will be continuing the storying sets in Kilimary or Besatra. Nickolee is excited because it will be her first time to be there when a story is presented. On Tuesday, they will possibily travel farther south to the village of Tanatsoa. Wednesday morning the guys will present the next story in Besatra or Kilimary and then they will travel back to their home in Tulear.
Nickolee writes in their blog: “We’d love to know that while we’re “out of touch” that you guys are faithfully lifting us up to the Father.” Steve and Nickolee ask that you pray for their safety along the roads, opportunities to teach the stories, language & cultural learning/awareness, Nickolee as she has prepared a short devotional to share with the women, bonding as a family as they are able to do bush ministry together, and connections in Betioky as they seek out information towards moving there one day.
Pray also for the villages mentioned: Kilimary, Andremba, Besatra, Tanatsoa. As the Bible stories are presented, pray that the people of these villages to hear, receive and tell others the stories. Pray also that they would take the truths of the stories to heart and respond in obedience to God’s Holy Word.
Grant and his team had not met for 6 weeks with the church of young believers in Kilimary for various reasons. Once Grant and the other missionaries on his team returned to Kilimary, they noticed that many of the believers were starting to wear charms for healing and protection again. They had previously laid these practices down at the foot of the cross but had unfortunately picked them up again. On June 30, Grant and some from his team were able to meet with them and teach from Romans 6 about the new life we have in Christ. They discussed some of their practices including one called “Sandratse.” During this custom the sick man will drink the blood directly from the body of the cow and be given energy and strength. Grant asked them where this power comes from. They said, “the devil”. Grant and the others explained how it was impossible for God to be associated with evil and the power of the devil. They said that they now understood that it was wrong in the sight of God for them to rely on their charms and attend these ceremonies. The leaders of the church said that they would teach the other people in Kilimary and their children about what God’s Word says about these matters.
Pray for the young church in Kilimary. Pray for these believers to boldly and confidently trust Jesus and not return to their old, evil ways.
Please pray for the believers of Kilimary and Besatra, villages in the Southwest of Madagascar. Pray that God would give these young believers a passion for spreading the Gospel among the lost villages around them.