S ince our last month’s newsletter, many things have been happening in our lives here in Madagascar. So here’s a quick update: My sister came to visit and experience Madagascar with us for a few weeks. Matimu had his first birthday and is now standing up, climbing, and cruising around the room on his own! Our first phase of learning here in Madagascar is finished and our Malagasy language lessons are completed after 6 months. Although we still haven’t “arrived” in the language, we’ve received a very good foundation and are able to use it anywhere we need to, without the aid of a translator. There will always be more that we need to know but we can’t sit in language lessons forever. It’s time to move on to our next phase of learning and doing.
We’ve packed our things and moved from the central part of Madagascar to the city of Toamasina on the east coast. This is where we’ve begun our Discipleship Training School with YWAM. And this is where our foundational training in the language has become of utmost importance. The training group here is made of 23 students, only 4 of whom are foreigners; those four include the two of us, one lady from Mauritius, and one lady from Switzerland. All the other students are Malagasy. And it’s not just lessons; we live and work and do everything together. And all communication is done in French and Malagasy. There is no choice for us. We have to communicate in Malagasy. As overwhelming as this was at first, in just one week my understanding has increased dramatically, and I’m sure by the end of the DTS, we’ll both be excelling at the Malagasy language. It’s a great time for us to exercise our Malagasy language, learn more about the Malagasy culture, and deepen our relationships with our co-workers.
During this period of training with YWAM, half the time is spent at the training center and the other half of the time will be spent living in rural villages. Here in the city of Toamasina, we’re laying a solid foundation for discipleship and church planting. Our first phase of practicing what we’re learning will be in July, when we and a few other co-workers will spend most of the month living in a distant village, beginning a new work there.
So, this is our new phase and a new time for us to prepare for the lives we’ll be living and the work we’ll be doing here in Madagascar long-term. Yet even when this phase is done, learning never really comes to an end. We must always be learning from the people around us as we share in community and walk alongside each other in this journey to know Christ and to make him known.
P lease remember to keep us in your prayers: that God keeps our hearts and minds open to everything that he will show us and teach us in these coming months. Also pray for our safety in our new home and as we travel and live in a hard-to-reach village next month. This area of the country has a lot of malaria, and one co-worker here may have already caught it since our training began, so please pray for God to protect us and the rest of those here at YWAM from malaria and other sicknesses.
We also have new contact info and it’s all up to date on our contact page. Our new mailing address is:
Adam & Lora Willard
Jeunesse en Mission Tamatave
We had a lot of success with our last PO Box and though it was often slow, I don’t think that anything sent to us was lost. So, there shouldn’t be any problems with our new address if you think you’d like to send something to us. Also, I have a new phone number (also up-to-date on our contact page) because of a very clever young pickpocket in the capitol city. My new number is (011) 261 32 280 3133
A s always, we’d love to hear any news that you’d like to share with us! Sorry if we don’t always get a chance to personally write each of you back , but with so many things happening in the last couple of months, we just haven’t had as many opportunities. Please know that we’ve read all your replies and have been grateful to have them! Also, with our work beginning in the rural villages here near Toamasina, we’ll be spending lots of time without electricity or the internet, but we’ll do our best to write you each month, and respond personally when we can.
Lora, Adam, and Matimu Willard