Postcards from Africa: Madagascar

It was 4 am and the Toyota truck was the only vehicle bouncing through the darkness and out of the city of Taolagnaro, on the southern coast of Madagascar headed to Ambovombe. The only activity was hundreds of people pushing bicycles loaded with produce from the gardens in the hills to the little town below. They carried buckets on their heads, sometimes bushels of leaves stuffed in empty rice sacks and now carrying the result of their labour in the fields.

Ambovombe has over 20 new Nazarene churches in the zone. Several years ago there was a famine that impacted the whole south of the island, and Nazarene Compassionate Ministries responded to the need along with other organisations. Through this impact of love, several churches were started. Along with the DS, Rev Patrice, the local leaders have been passionate about church planting, and now, just 3 years later, there are 20 small churches in this region.

There were 3 days of training planned with the 20 leaders in the area. The teaching consisted of discipleship, healthy church planting and showing them how to use the Jesus Film equipment brought here for the first time. Furthermore, there were showings planned in three nearby communities.

In the village of Etsila, the film had only begun when Soanavosotse came to our lead pastor, Vola, and was requesting prayer. She said that she has been tormented by nightmares where a large black snake entered their home and would wrap itself around her body to crush her. She was terrified! It had happened over and over again. We gathered around her to pray for her protection and to ask her to confess her faith in Jesus Christ that would
protect her against the enemy. The pastor asked her to show them her home and they went to the house, praying and anointing the home in protection against any evil spirits.

As the film ended that night 35 children and 18 adults came forward to pray the sinners prayer and express their faith in Christ. Truly the Lord is using the message of hope and love to touch lives in these villages. It was also apparent to me that there is spiritual oppression that is generational. The people of this area worship their ancestors with traditional ceremonies and have many rituals and practices that keep people living in fear of the spirits. For generation after generation, they have lived in bondage and darkness.

Continue to pray for the work in the south of Madagascar. There is new work beginning in each of the six provinces of the Island, but much is still left to be done: materials translated into their local languages, training of pastors and leaders and further development of effective methods of discipleship and evangelism. Please pray for the DS, Rev Patrice and his team as they work hard to evangelise across Madagascar. Pray also for missionaries, Milly and Agnes Ibanda, as they train pastors and help to develop the work.

If you would like to help donate a bicycle to a pastor, please click on the link below: