After 5 months of official Malagasy language school, we have now been studying the Sakalava dialect of Malagasy for the last 3 months. We study in our house with our teacher whom we affectionately refer to as T-Bone.
T-Bone is a great teacher and friend, and I'm sure you will be hearing more stories about him in the future. We have learned alot and will hopefully be able to start preaching and teaching soon.
The Sakalava dialect is about 60% different from the official, although alot of people understand the official. But by far, the biggest change is the need to also learn some French in order to conduct business in town.
Over the course of all of this language study, I have started to build my own dictionary that I update almost daily and use all of the time. We would ask that you would please continue to pray for our ability to learn this dialect and that the people of Northern Madagascar would come to know the ONE that has sent us here to share the good news with them. Thank you all so much.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Our adventure to the village of Matsaborimanga was a two day trip, starting with a 2 hour drive to the village of Mahamasina where we spent the night.
Mine and Michael's accommodations were quite nice, this was our hut for the evening, and it was all inclusive. We did not have to go looking for anything, everything was there from bees to grasshoppers to mosquitoes, but it was really quite nice
We left for Matsaborimanga early the next morning, because we knew that the trail there was going to be very difficult, and we weren't disappointed, it was a long, slow, very rough ride. However, we have been blessed with a strong truck that was able to cross the rivers, go over the big rocks, and through the bushes that the rabbits can't go.
We arrived at Matsaborimanga (Matsabori=Lake manga=mango) and about 25 adults and 25 children gathered to hear the Word of God proclaimed. Michael shared the story of creation to Christ and at the end offered an invitation to receive the free gift of salvation. Derao ny Tompo!! (Praise the Lord!!) 11 of the people prayed to receive Jesus and have asked for more teaching.
The rainy season will soon be starting and the village will be impossible to reach, so we pray that we will be able to get some Bible study material into their hands before the rains come and that they would be faithful to continue to gather and study His word together until we can return.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Greetings from the big red island of Madagascar. Time has really flown by for us since we arrived here eight months ago. Our first seven months were spent in the Central Madagascar town of Antsirabe, studying the Malagasy language and culture. In July, we moved north to our official place of residence and service, Diego Suarez (Antsiranana). We live very near the northern tip of the island, on the Indian Ocean, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit we will attempt to reach and share the truth of the gospel of Jesus with the millions of lost souls here.
Our first assignment however is to continue in our Malagasy language learning endeavors, because the dialect here is a bit different, and we really need and want to be able to speak the words of salvation clearly to our people.
We have a very good tutor and the advantage of a small Baptist church in our town where we can go and learn and practice what we are learning.
My desire is that by the end of this year, we will be able to start going into unreached areas of Northern Madagascar and share the Good News of life in Jesus. Please be in prayer for our family, our language learning, and most importantly the salvation of the people in Northern Madagascar that God has sent us to serve
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
We, as a family, have a bad habit. We seem to have an indescribable love for the people that God puts in our lives. Such is the case of our current daytime guard/gardener/helper, Rina.
Rina is 21 years old and has been married for one year and has become Walker's best friend and a virtual part of our family. Last week as Rina was going home for the evening, he was attacked by two men who hit him in the face with a large rock, and stole his bicycle. He was left on the side of the road, unconscious and bleeding until some men came along and assisted him. We have been going back and forth to the Dr. and the hospital, caring for our "son" as best we can since then. He has had surgery to repair his fractured chin and broken and missing teeth, and is starting the healing process. Due to the fact that Rina lives about 10KM away and needs to see the Dr. nearly everyday, and because his mouth is wired almost shut, he will be staying with us so that he can get the care that he needs and the soft food he needs. Praise God that he wasn't hurt worse or even killed, and Praise God that we have this opportunity to be His hands and feet for Rina. Please pray for his healing and that we would be able to give him whatever he needs as he recovers here at the Berry Baptist hospital of Madagascar. Pray that God would be glorified in this situation and in everything we do in His name here in Madagascar.
Sunday, May 08, 2011
This past weekend,we had the wonderful opportunity of flying up to visit our soon to be home in Diego Suarez, Madagascar. We were reminded a few times on this trip exactly what we have been called to do, and that is DIE, just like the airport code says for Diego. We have been called by God to die to ourselves, to take up our cross and follow Him. We have been called to Diego Suarez to be servants to our Boss, slaves to our Master, and soldiers to our Commander. It is not enough to be one or the other, we are called to be all three. While we were there, we got to see the town and some of the surrounding countryside, as well as the magnificent Indian Ocean. The contrast here is very stark, this is most likely the most unreached and spiritually darkest part of the island, with over one million lost souls here and around 60% of them professing Islam and yet when you drive around you realize that this is one of the most beautiful, breathtaking places in the world. We have been blessed to have been placed here with Michael and Michelle Allen and can't wait to see how God will use our team to impact the Malagasy people of Northern Madagascar for His kingdom. It is our prayer that our team will be salt and light to these people, that God would be glorified by everything that we say and do, and that we will never forget that we have been called to be servants, slaves, and soldiers for Him. Will you pray with us? Thank you and God bless.
Friday, April 08, 2011
Our favorite girl Michelle Allen receiving her 5 yr. service pin.
Pastor David Uth and us. Our Lord's Supper
Delaney's VBS program. Learning some chords from J.D. Cope.
Our Two Oceans Cluster meeting was held from the 30th of March to the 4th of April in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the theme was "To The Praise Of His Glory" Ephesians 1:11-14. Our entire leadership team did a fantastic job with this conference, in challenging and encouraging all of us to live, work, and do everything to the praise of His glory. It is my belief that God has an incredible amount of amazing things in store for this part of the world, because of the awesome group of people that He has put together in the Two Oceans Cluster, starting at the very top. Our cluster leader Wade Coker, our associate cluster leader Matt Spann, and our team leader Michael Allen are an incredible group of motivated, Godly men who will do whatever it takes to reach the lost of our cluster for Christ, and it is a pleasure to serve with them.
We were blessed to have a volunteer team from First Baptist Church Orlando, Florida to come and conduct a VBS for our kids and conduct all of our worship services. They were led by their senior pastor David Uth, who also serves as an IMB trustee to Sub-Saharan Africa. My words cannot describe how wonderful it was to have this team with us. The love that they poured out on us was incredible, and the praise and worship times were truly a time of refreshing and blessing to us all. Attached are a few pictures of the team with us and our kids. I thank God for FBC Orlando, Pastor Uth, and all of my new brothers and sisters in Christ.
Part of the praise team warming up. Walker hanging out with the tech guys.
Mada boys playing cards at the airport. Having pizza with part of FBC Orlando.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
We just returned to Madagascar from our Two-Oceans Cluster meeting in Johannesburg, and it was an unbelievable blessing to be there with such a great group of people and a fantastic team from First Baptist Orlando. This story however is about a little event that took place on the way to South Africa. It all started with us going to the airport at 5:30a.m. We arrived with no problems, checked in with no problems, and passed through security with no problems. As we were waiting to board the plane, we found out the this would not be a direct flight, but would be stopping an hour away on the resort island of Nosy Be. We fly to Nosy Be and are informed that we had to get off of the plane, collect our luggage, recheck-in, go through immigration/customs/security again, and then re-board the same plane and sit in the same seats. Meanwhile, there were about 500 tourists at this tiny airport that were not very happy with us going in front of them, even though we were just passing through. After we got back on the plane, we realized that we had just accomplished the equivalent of what we will call an Air Madagascar fire drill.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Today we went to the Any An Tsena Sabotsy, aka The Market. This market in Antsirabe is very large and has a large assortment of things, and compared to the other markets that I have been to in Africa, this one is very neat and orderly. We spent a couple of hours shopping and practicing our Malagasy, and bought bananas, pears, some baskets, and fresh flowers. We thank God for the opportunity to go to the market and learn more about the people that we have been called to serve.
Monday, February 07, 2011
Greetings to everyone, from the town of Antsirabe, Madagascar. This is our temporary town as we study and attempt to learn the Malagasy language. We will be studying language and learning culture here until July. After our official, formal language class is complete, we will be moving to the Northern Madagascar town of Diego Suarez and will be working among the Northern Sakalava people. Our language teachers in the photos are Madame Lalao, and her son Andry. They are both experienced and very good teachers and we are fortunate to have them. We would ask that you would please pray for our ability to learn, comprehend and retain the language, and that you would pray for the salvation of the Sakalava people that we are going to serve. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support as we strive to reach Madagascar for Christ.