J ust a few days from now, on Sunday, we’ll be leaving the US again to head back towards Madagascar! We’ve really had a great time in the States with family and friends and sharing at different churches, and seeing and hearing about what God’s doing in each of your lives. It’s been a very busy few months, but we were glad to have them and spend them with many of you, especially since we don’t expect to see most of you again for at least 3 1/2 years.
But as great as this time has been for us, it also really feels like it’s time to get back to Madagascar. We have a sense of urgency and excitement, we’re even quite anxious to get where God is calling us and to see the amazing things he’ll do there! So it’s with a lot of both sadness and joy that we leave the US again.
J ust to let you all know, our first stop on the way back to Madagascar is in South Africa. There we’ll spend a few weeks visiting friends and in particular visiting the village where we used to work as Peace Corps Volunteers. We’re excited to see all of them again, and we know they just can’t wait to see Matimu!
Then, from mid-May to mid-June, we’ll be in Tanzania at a TIMO Team Leaders’ forum, and then shadowing one of their TIMO teams there. Both of those things are intended to help us get ready to be leaders of the AIM team that will be joining us on Nosy Mitsio in July 2014. As I think you all know, we haven’t been in that particular type of leadership role before and so we think the time in Tanzania will be very helpful for us to get some practical advice and hands-on experience that will prepare us well for the team we’ll lead.
Then, finally, on June 18th we’ll be back in Madagascar! Within about a week or so of arriving, we should be ready to move to the remote island of Nosy Mitsio where we’ll be for at least the next few years. We can’t wait! We know there will be much ahead of us that we can’t expect or even guess about now, both struggles and successes, but it’s always exciting and fulfilling to be right where God wants you.
U nfortunately, we won’t have any e-mail contact or internet access on Nosy Mitsio. They don’t have any cell phone signals or any other way of communicating there! The only electricity on the whole island will be the solar power we intend to set up. We do plan to have some emergency forms of communication, such as local handheld radios and a satellite phone, but it won’t allow us regular contact with any of you. We plan to visit the mainland for supplies and communication about once a month and so that also means that’s how often we expect to be able to send and receive e-mails. We really enjoy hearing from all of you, so please write as often as you can! But just know that our responses will be one month or more behind. Basically, we plan to have enough solar power on Nosy Mitsio to run our laptop, so when we’re on the mainland we can upload and download e-mails, and then throughout the month back on Nosy Mitsio we can read them and write responses awaiting our next time in town. So if you ever need to communicate anything urgent, please write “URGENT” in the subject line, and we’ll try to read it and respond while we’re in town (though it’s very unlikely that will be the same day, or maybe even the same week, that you wrote it).
Similarly, there is no post office or mail sent to and from Nosy Mitsio. We’ll probably arrange for a Post Office box on the mainland or wherever the nearest place that we can most reliably receive mail is. It might take one or two months to determine that, so at this point we don’t have a mailing address in Madagascar. However, in the past couple of years, the Madagascar post has been very reliable and we’ve received all of the packages sent to us. So if you’re interested in sending something our way, then we’ll let you know our mailing address as soon as we can!
F inally, we’ve updated our Prayer Requests page here on our website. We plan to update that about once a month also. Please don’t forget to pray for us regularly! Right now we’d love your prayers for safety, peace, and rest during our travels and also pray for the ability for us to learn well from the TIMO forum and experiences we’ll have in Tanzania. Please also be praying for our team members that will be joining us over a year from now. And pray for Madagascar! Right now, Madagascar is facing a massive plague of locusts that is threatening a famine for much of the country. And pray for the Antakarana people of Nosy Mitsio, that they’ll be ready to receive us and that God is preparing them to know him! Please check our Prayer Requests page regularly to know what to pray for.
We should be resuming our regular e-mail newsletters again in a month or two, with more stories about life and living in Madagascar and what God is teaching us and doing there. For those of you who are new to our e-mail list, we hope you enjoy them, and thanks for joining with us in this great work God has called us to!
Adam, Lora, and Matimu Willard