Fighting Against Famine in Madagascar

The southern region of Madagascar, known as the Big Red Island, has been grappling with prolonged drought, leading to food scarcity and hunger. To combat this crisis, in 2020, Rev. Richard and Therese Ravelomanantsoa, through their work with the Madagascar District Church of the Nazarene and special donors, provided essential supplies like food, water and baby food from the north to the drought-affected south. In 2022, the focus shifted to empowering locals in Andranovory, near Tulear, in the Southwest Region, to cultivate their own vegetables for consumption and sale, introducing Sustainable Agriculture Phase 1 to the area.

Recently, the Church of the Nazarene, in collaboration with Helping Hands Africa (NCM), invited one representative from 150 households in the impoverished region for sustainable agricultural training. The goal was to educate the community on sustainable vegetable farming in a water-scarce environment. Alongside the training, the teachings of the Gospel were shared, leading to many conversions and individuals embracing Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. Miraculously, rain fell for the first time in years as the planting season commenced, sparking newfound interest in both agriculture and spiritual growth.

Introducing a novel agricultural approach initially met scepticism from some locals, but witnessing their neighbours’ successful crop yields within a month changed their minds.

In October 2022 and March 2023, seven individuals from the southern region attended theological training in Antananarivo, enabling them to establish and lead churches. Four of them promptly returned home to establish churches or preaching points and continue their leadership roles. Presently, regular church services are held in Andranovory, with additional preaching points in Antsakoamaro, Ambihivaha, and Betaola.

During a visit in March 2024, Rev. Richard and Therese were greeted by over 100 eager attendees under a mango tree at the Antsakoamaro preaching point, where they shared the Gospel, resulting in numerous conversions.

To aid pastors who travel long distances between preaching points, the Madagascar District initiated a bicycle provision project. Financial contributions towards this initiative are welcomed to support pastors in remote areas. Click here to donate.

Thanks to the ongoing support from Helping Hands Africa (NCM), the 150 families in Southern Madagascar are now prepared to advance to phase 2 of the Sustainable Agriculture Programme.