Church Planting in Madagascar
For many years, the country of Madagascar has experienced slow growth in the Church of the Nazarene. Recently, District Superintendent (DS) Georges Patrice
Ratovoarilala, spear-headed a drive to evangelise and plant churches in villages toward the northern part of Madagascar with a 10-person team from the cities of Antananarivo and Mahajanga. The team identified the northern villages of Mangabe, Andavakeora, Antoboro and Madirovalo as places where they wanted to plant the Church of the Nazarene and places where the church already had a small presence.
The team experienced breakthrough in many of the villages with people receiving Christ and the leaders of the villages giving the church land on which they could erect a structure. Rev. Patrice notes that in all of the villages, there had been some groundwork laid and there were people who had already accepted Christ and were being discipled by Nazarene pastors, and this trip was to establish new churches in those villages.
In the village of Antoboro, many denominations had tried to plant churches there, but the people living there had showed no interest in such a thing. Even the Muslims had built a mosque, but it was sitting empty. When the church first arrived in the village, there were 25 believers and the leader of the village hosted the church at his house. Currently, the house cannot hold all of the people anymore as there are now almost 70 believers. The church has had to move to the outside of the house and into the yard!
Two ladies who had received pastoral training in Antananarivo at the district centre, have been working in the village of Madirovalo. There are now 80 believers in this village and many of their families have also expressed their desire to become a part of the Nazarene church.
The team finished off their evangelistic endeavours in the village of Andavakoera where they encountered spiritual warfare. This area is known for its many groups who practice witchcraft and have been doing so for 50 years. In spite of some car trouble, the team was able to preach the Gospel and see people turn from their witchcraft, even burning the tools of this religion, and turning to the Lord as their Saviour. The mayor of the village donated a lovely big piece of land to the church so a church building can be built there.
We thank God for the hard work of laypeople in Madagascar and their commitment to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.