Sunday, April 15th, was our first opportunity to share with a church using only the Malagasy language. One of our good friends here in Antsirabe invited us to spend the weekend with him in a distant village to the west, where his parents are pastors of a church. They also asked us to do the preaching. They only gave us a 2-day notice on it, but we managed to prepare a short sermon for them, which was also our first in the Malagasy language!
We’ve been studying Malagasy for about 5 ½ months now and our studies are nearly finished. Soon, we’ll be moving to the east coast where we’ll be working with YWAM to do church planting and rural clinics in the rural areas around the city of Tamatave. At that point, we won’t regularly be working with anyone who speaks fluent English and we’ll need to entirely rely on our Malagasy language skills for all aspects of daily life and for any degree of success in our work. So, this past weekend was a great opportunity to get practice and prepare for what our lives will be like very shortly!
After about 6 hours in a crowded taxi-brousse, and then another 4 kilometer hike to the village, we arrived! It went great overall and we were warmly received. But of course we were also reminded that we still have a long ways to go to truly be fluent in the Malagasy language. Posted below is the sermon we prepared, so you can see what the Malagasy language looks like. And maybe you can even get an idea of the sort of difficulty we’ve been facing as we’ve learned this new language that we need in order to share the love of God to the Malagasy people! Also, below the Malagasy portion is a translation into English. It was a simple sermon, but we were proud to be able to share it with the people in the village of Andimaka.
Adam: Manao ahoana daholo ô! Miaraba anareo izahay amin’ny anarany Tompo Jesosy Kristy. Adam ny anarako. Vadiko izy.
Lora: Lora ny anarako. Avy any am’fiangonanan’ny Etats-Unis izahay. Mahafaly anay miaraka amin’anareo eto.
Adam: Tena mahafaly antsika rehetra sartria efa nitsangana tamin’ny maty ny tompo antsika, Jesosy Kristy. Andriamanitra no tonga teto amin’izao tontolo izao ohatran’ny zazakely. Tonga teto izy mba hampafantatra ny Mpaharintsika, ny Tompontsika, mba ifandraisantsika amin’azy.
Noho ny izany, ny herin’izao tontolo izao, ny ota, no namono azy, ny tompontsika, Jesosy Kristy. Nefa, derantsika Andriamanitra sartria nitsangana tamin’ny maty iJesosy! Ny fahafatesana sy ny ota tsy mahery nohon’iJesosy! Tsy afaka mandresy azy ireo, fa iJesosy ny Mpandresy!
Dia, miaraka amin’ny fitsangananan’iJesosy, tonga ny fanjakan’Andriamanitra eto amin’izao tontolo izao. Dia, miaraka amin’ny fahatongavanan’ny fanjakan’Andriamanitra, tonga ny fotoana afahantsika rehetra mihidtra eo’aminy fanjakan’Andriamanitra. Amin’ny fahafatesanany sy ny fitsanganan’iJesosy efa no tanterahan’iJesosy ny zavatra rehetra ilain’izao tontolo izao.
Efa nihidtra eo’amin’izao tontolo izao ny fanjakan’Andriamanitra fa mbola tsy menenika tanteraka erin’izao tontolo izao ilay izy. Indray indray mbola miady amin’tsika ny heriny taloha hatramin’izao. Fa misaotra an’Andriamanitra sartria efa nomeny to Fanahy Masina isika mba hiaro antsika amin’ny heriny taloha.
Vakiantsika hiaraka ny Romana 8:18-25.
“Fa ataoko fa ny fahoriana amin’izao andro ankehitriny izao dia tsy tokony hoharina amin’ny voninahitra izay haseho amintsika. 19 Fa izao zavatra ary rehetra izao dia samy maniry fatratra ka miandry ny fampisehoana ireo zanak’Andriamanitra; 20 fa izao zavatra ary rehetra izao dia nampanekena ho zava-poana, nefa tsy noho ny sitrapony, fa noho Izay nampanaiky azy, 21 sady nahazo fanantenana koa fat izao zavatra ary rehetra izao aza dia hovotsorana amin’ny fahandevozana, dia ny fahalòvana, ho amin’ny fahafahana izay momba ny voninahitr’ireo zanak’Andriamanitra. 22 Fa fantatsika fa izao zavatra ary rehetra izao dia miara-misento sy miara-marary toy izay efa hiteraka mandraka ankehitriny; 23 ary tsy izany ihany, fa isika koa, na dia manana ny voaloham-bokatry ny Fanahy aza, isika aza dia misento ato anatintsika, miandry ny fananganan’anaka, dia ny fanavotana ny tenantsika. 24 Fa ny fanantenana no namonjena antsika; nefa ny fanantenana hita dia tsy mba fanantenana intsony; fa ahoana no mbola anantenan’ny olona izay efa hitany? 25 Fa raha isika manantena izay tsy mbola hitantsika, dia miandry amin’ny faharetana.”
Dia miala miandry ny fanatanterahan’ny fahatongavan’ny fanjakan’Andriamanitra isika. Isika no tsy maintsy manao ny asan’ny Fanjakana mandritra izao fotoana izao.
Lora: Nefa ity ny fanontaniana: Inona ny asan’ny fanjakan’Andriamanitra tokony atoatsika? Misy fanazavana ao amin’ny bokin’ny 1 Petera 4:7-11.
“Fa antomotra ny faran’ny zavatra rehetra; koa hendre ka mahonòna tena ho amin’ny fivavahana. 8 Ary mihoatra noho ny zavatra rehetra, mifankatiava tsara; fa “ny fitiavana manarona fahotana maro” (Oha 10.12) 9 Mifampiantranoa, ka aza mimonomonona. 10 Samia mifanompo araka ny fanomezam-pahasoavana izay noraisinareo, dia tahaka ny mpitandrina tsara ny fahasoavana maro samy hafa izay an’Andriamanitra.
11 Raha misy olona miteny, dia aoka izy hiteny toy ny milaza tenin’Andriamanitra, raha misy olona manompo, dia aoka izy hanao izany araka ny hery izay omen’Andriamanitra azy; mba hankalazana an’Andriamanitra amin’ny zavatra rehetra amin’ny alalan’i Jesosy Kristy; fa Azy ny voninahitra sy ny fanjakana mandrakizay mandrakizay. Amena.”
Efa akaiky ny faran’ny zavatra rehetra amin’izao tontolo izao. Miandry ny fahatongavan’iJesosy isika kanefa tsy miandry fotsiny. Atoloantsika azy ny fiainantsika mba ho sady midera no manome voninahitra an’Andriamanitra. Midera an’Andriamantira isika rehefa mifankatia tsara. Manome voninahitra an’Andriamanitra isika rehefa manampy ny olona ilaina fanampiana isika.
Mandritra fahavelomantsika, tokony ampiasantsika ny fahahaiza-manao nomen’Andriamanitra antsika. Raha afaka mitory teny, dia mitory teny. Raha afaka mampianitra, die mampianitra. Raha afaka mampahery dia mampahery. Raha afaka manompo dia manompo. Ohatran’izany.
Ny fiainantsika no fanatitra ho an’Andriamanitra tokony mifampilaza filazantsara momba ny izay nataon’Andriamanitra ho antsika. Rehefa ataotsika ny ohatran’izany, dia tohizantsika ny asan’Andriamanitra amin’izao tontolo izao sady resy tanteraka ny heriny taloha.
“Adam: Hello everyone! We greet you in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ. My name is Adam. This is my wife.
Lora: My name is Lora. We come from the church in USA. We’re very happy to be here with all of you.
Adam: All of us are very happy because our lord, Jesus Christ, has already risen from the dead. God came here to earth as a baby. He came here we might know our Creator, our Lord, and that we might have a relationship with him.
And for that, the powers of this world, sin, killed him, our lord, Jesus Christ. But, we praise God because Jesus has risen from the dead! Death and sin are not stronger than Jesus! They couldn’t defeat him! It’s Jesus who’s the victor!
And together with Jesus’s resurrection came the kingdom of God in this world. And together with the coming of the kingdom of God came the time that all of us can enter into his kingdom. By his death and resurrection, Jesus already completed everything that this world needs.
The kingdom of God has already entered into this world, but it hasn’t yet completely spread everywhere in the world. Sometimes the former powers are still fighting. But thanks to God because he’s already given us the Holy Spirit that he might protect us from the former powers.
Romans 8:18-25 (NIV): “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
So, we need to wait for the completion of the coming of the kingdom of God. But it’s us who must do the work of the Kingdom during this time.
Lora: So then, this is the question: What is the work of the Kingdom of God that we should do? There are instructions in 1 Peter 4:7-11:
“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
The end of all things in this world is already near. We wait for the coming of Jesus, but we don’t only wait. We offer our lives to him so that we can praise and give glory to God. We praise God when we love each other well. We give glory to God when we help those who need help.
While we’re still living, we should use the talents that God has given us. If someone can preach, then they should preach, if someone can teach, then they should teach, if someone can encourage others, then they should encourage, if someone can serve, then they should serve. Like that.
Our lives are brought to God. We should tell each other the good news about what God’s done for us. When we do like that, we continue the work of God in this world while at the same time the former powers will be completely defeated.”