These photos were taken between June and August 2012, when we first arrived on the east coast at YWAM Tamatave, and when Matimu had food poisoning (including a short trip to the capital city).
(08/10/2012, 65 Photos)
We spoke briefly with Nuckiline this morning and she said things are still going well there with the discipleship group in Antanamazava! She said that tomorrow they'll be starting a new Bible story set, one that Nuckiline will be starting the translation for (into the Antakarana language) herself. We're excited to hear Nuckiline taking the initiative to move forward into the next stage of ongoing discipleship with the people there! We were also able to connect her with colleagues of ours that are doing similar work in eastern Madagascar, so they can visit and encourage one another.
After being in the US for several weeks now, it was so great to hear her voice and hear that things are going well! ... See MoreSee Less
We're wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! This is our first thanksgiving in the US in 10 years!
We're thankful most of all for our God who takes care of us in all things, the big and the small. He doesn't always promise that the paths he leads us on are easy, but he promises to be with us and take care of us along the way, and we've seen that to be so very true in our lives!
We're so thankful that God has directed us these last months, and he's opened the doors for us to leave Madagascar and to return safely and relatively smoothly to here in the US, and he's taken care of all of our needs along the way.
We're very thankful for incredibly generous friends and relatives who helped us get here and who've provided hospitality and transport for us (both transport along the way and also a great long-term vehicle for our family).
We're thankful for friends of family (people who don't even know us personally) who've provided a great place for us to quarantine as a family here in the US - right next door to Lora's parents. They've even offered for us to stay in this home for the next few months until we discern our next steps and get our own place. What great generosity to come from those who are strangers to us!
We're thankful that though our personal plans for life sometimes change suddenly and drastically, none of this catches God by surprise... he knows what we've been through, he knows where we're at now, and he knows what's ahead. He's with us through it all and he graciously offers us one opportunity after the next to participate with him in the advancement of his Kingdom here on earth, in all things to draw us and those around us closer to him in Jesus and to empower us for his good works by the love and strengthening of his Holy Spirit. ... See MoreSee Less
We heard again from Nuckiline - in Antanamazava they shared the Jesus film in Antakarana language this week. A *whole* lot of people were there to watch it, and they will finish the last bit of the film and do follow-up next week.
Nuckiline also had the opportunity to coach the regular discipleship group members into how to share their testimonies (big or small) with lots of people on a regular basis. And she'll be preparing them for leading new simple discipleship groups of those interested in joining once the Jesus film is finished.
Praise God for all the great testimonies coming from northern Madagascar, even after we left! God knows the right timing and the right methods in all things! And while we would love to still be there participating directly with Nuckiline in all of this, and to be able to see firsthand all these great results that we worked towards for so many years, but we know that God's ways are better than ours, and this is a situation where "it's better that we should go" because the works God wants to do through them there in our absence are greater than he could do with our presence. We simply praise God that his Kingdom is coming to the Antakarana people, and the foundation for his Church, a strong and multiplying one, is being built among them!
We fly out of Madagascar tomorrow (Saturday) and arrive in the US on Sunday. We don't know what the future holds for us, nor even if it's in God's plans for us ever to return to Madagascar in the future (though it's still very much in our hearts to do that). But we praise God for the time he gave us here, and for the small pioneering part he privileged us to play in seeing many future generations of Antakarana people have the opportunity to know Jesus and to serve him and his Kingdom!
Please pray for us as we transition to the next season God has for us: that God would protect us and our loved ones as we return to the US during the height of the covid-19 spread; that God would make it clear to us what our next steps are - whether a season of waiting or active pursuit of whatever task/role he has for us next; and pray for our two boys as they leave the country of their childhood to go live in a new country and new culture that they're almost totally unfamiliar with.
Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support for many years now. Once we leave Madagascar, I will probably only provide infrequent updates in the future. But please always keep in your prayers the Antakarana people, Nuckiline in her leadership role in the work, and the future generations of disciples being made there - that they would have the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to persevere and grow, and multiply the reach of God's Kingdom until everyone in northern Madagascar has an opportunity to know Jesus and be discipled together in following him. ... See MoreSee Less
We just spoke with Nuckiline about the ongoing ministry in Antanamazava. She said they're very motivated and it's still going well. Tomorrow night in Antanamazava they'll share the "Jesus" film in Antakarana language. Please pray that all the equipment works well, that the people God is leading to himself show up and are attentive, and that more disciples would be made in Antanamazava and beyond.
In the following weeks, Nuckiline plans to share more stories about the coming of the Holy Spirit and the formation of the early Church. She also plans to train some of the discipleship group members to start leading other discipleship groups regularly (the same way we've done for them). Possibly some who come to see the Jesus film tomorrow night will join new discipleship groups led by those that Nuckiline and we have discipled. Please pray for Nuckiline as she leads this work on her own right now, and please pray for more fruit and multiplication of disciple-making that spreads far and wide through the work in Antanamazava! ... See MoreSee Less
Here's our latest news from Madagascar, and it's BIG news. It turns out that our time in Madagascar is now finished, and soon we'll be heading back to the US to begin an entirely new season of our lives there. Read our story below to find out how God communicated all of this to us.
DEUTERONOMY 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”🙏
God is wonderful!
So exciting. Dr Skinner and I will be praying!
Please I need help,do anyone else know where deeper life Bible Church is in Madagascar
I just spoke with Nuckiline on the phone about how the discipleship group went in Antanamazava yesterday, and it was SO encouraging! She said the group is growing a little with some new very motivated members. Nuckiline is also making plans to start a specific training for the key members to begin to lead their own regular discipleship groups made up of other people in their communities (or in other villages, if they commit to carrying the Bible story discipleship groups further). She also is wanting to start some really small-scale skills training with them soon that many are eager to participate in, with the possibility of seeing it grow to become an economic development project. And she's considering what Bible stories to translate and share next, as very soon the group will be finished with the first evangelistic/church-planting story set that we translated together with her.
So, it was SO encouraging for us to hear this great news and how Nuckiline is stepping forward to prepare for the next steps! We encouraged her in all of these things and she seemed to really appreciate it, but really, it was just SO encouraging to us to hear all of this! I do really believe that God is starting to grow these works through her in ways that could not or would not have happened were we still around. It's always hard for us to set aside ourselves and our own feelings of self-importance, but when it comes to God's Kingdom we are *not* the key players - it's always him and the way his Holy Spirit empowers those considered the "least" or "last" in society; through them he grows and multiplies the goodness of his Kingdom, until one day it will reach every people on earth! Praise God for this great report from today!