Like much of Africa, the entire region of southern Madagascar has been experiencing an inconceivable drought and subsequent famine. As a result, many have died, are severely malnourished and have no hope of future harvests. Some villages have sold the last of their livestock and are surviving off of bitter, often poisonous, manioc.
In October, we partnered with BGR and coordinated the “Seeds of Life” seed distribution project. Through the sacrificial giving of Southern Baptists and others all over the world, we were approved to help aid in this time of crisis by providing seed to the Mahafaly people, in hopes of a reproducible harvest next year. Despite being limited on preparation time, God heard our prayers and provided 165 tons of seed. If you are like me, and struggle to understand how much 165 tons really is, imagine about fifty-five elephants! You can imagine what it took logistically to get that much seed way out to the remote Mahafaly villages!
Our first generation church leaders played a major role in the planning and implementation of the seed distribution. They received training from BGR on distribution protocols and worked hard to develop an evangelism strategy. Each first generation church/village was given the seed for their village, along with the bags of seeds for the villages of their second, third and fourth generation churches. Each first generation church took seed to the second generation church and helped them distribute within their village. This continued on with the third and fourth generations.
In all, we were able to distribute over 3,000 (50 kilogram) bags of corn, cowpeas and peanuts to 55 villages with a combined population of nearly 41,000 people! The Gospel was spread to thousands who have never heard God’s saving message and over 700 people have received Christ. Over thirty new villages have new groups of believers meeting!
Now that the people have seed to plant, please pray God would send rain to the dry, parched land. Pray for a bountiful harvest, not only in their fields, but also among their hearts. Pray for many more to come to Christ and for the believers to continue to grow in their faith and commitment.
“‘If you remember my laws and commands and obey them, then I will give you rains at the right season; the land will produce crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit.
Namibia is experiencing its worst drought in thirty years. As the grass is depleted and the boreholes are drying up, cattle, sheep, and wildlife are dying. The clouds often begin building up in the sky only to dissipate before any rain has fallen on this extremely dry land. This physical crisis seems to be a daily reminder of the spiritual drought which is also evident in this country. The believers here are battle-weary and it has become a rarity to find those believers who are remaining actively faithful to all that God has called them to. Raising up godly leadership is almost insurmountable as Satan discourages and steals away any promising leaders. Please beg God to pour out His Spirit and move among His children in a refreshing and revitalizing manner that will cause these Namibian believers to mature and reproduce followers of Jesus. We also ask that you join us in pleading with God to “give us rain at the right season so that the land will produce crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit.”
Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be move. Psalm 55:22 The Swazi Team is asking help from all prayer warriors to take one day a week to “Pray and Fast for Rain in Swaziland.” Rain is desperately needed in the small mountain country. When rain doesn’t fall, the rivers and streams do no fill and crops and gardens cannot be planted. In simple terms, there is no food or water for the people or animals. The situation is very serious. Parts of Swaziland have not had sufficient rain in several years. It is the rainy season and rain should be falling regularly so farmers can begin preparing their fields for planting. But, there is very little planting taking place in Swaziland. Very windy and hot temperatures have been the norm for this year’s planting season with little rain. Please commit to pray for the rain to fall in every corner, on every homestead and in every city of Swaziland.
This month has been exciting as we have seen many answers to prayer, some of them requests that we have been praying for since we arrived in Namibia 4 ½ years ago!
This month, the children’s ministry we began at New Song Family Church when we first arrived in Namibia, was turned over completely to nationals!
The Breaking Free Bible study groups which Lisa began a couple of years ago continue to multiply, with at least 5 new groups meeting this year from 3 different churches…most being led by Namibians!
The school in Katutura where Lisa serves as counselor is in the process of bringing on a Namibian in order to ensure that the ministry is sustainable. Lisa will continue to serve as a supervisor and trainer at the school.
A young couple we have been mentoring for some time are feeling God’s call into the pastorate, and have expressed an interest in church planting. Just a few weeks ago they began a Bible study in their home on Wednesday nights. Please pray for God’s blessing upon this family as they step out in faith following His call. Also pray for wisdom and guidance for the two of us as we seek to encourage this couple.
In addition, if you would join us in prayer for the following:
Pray for the students who will be graduating from the Namibian Evangelical Seminary on the 23rd of this month. Pray that these young men and women would live Godly lives, putting into practice the many truths they have learned in their ministries throughout the country.
Pray for wisdom and guidance as we set out to partner with some of our colleagues in crafting bible stories that will address the many social needs in this country.
Please pray that we might have more rain. The rainy season is almost over and yet we have had no more than an inch or two of rain this year. This will prove to be devastating in the months ahead if the Lord does not intervene and send more rain our way.
Due to a cyclone off the coast of Mozambique in January, heavy rains fell throughout Swaziland. Dealing with the fear of a possible drought situation in many areas, the rains were a blessing. Unfortunately, reports of deaths as well as loss of homes were reported. Pray for families throughout Swaziland negatively affected by the heavy rains. Pray normal consistent rains will help alleviate a possible drought throughout Swaziland.