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 just heard the good news that in our part of Madagascar (and also any other part of the country without any cases of covid-19), the government has lifted the restrictions on gathering in groups!
So, we should be able to move forward on some of the ministry plans we've had put on hold during the time of coronavirus lockdowns in Madagascar. Praise God for this opportunity to continue ministry with no fear of health risks here! Pray for us as we hope to visit Antanamazava again this week or next, that we'll do exactly as God is leading us to forward his Kingdom there and from there.
Please continue to pray for other parts of Madagascar, those around Tamatave, Tana, and Fianarantsoa - the coronavirus continues to spread little by little there and thus their lives and travel remain restricted and with some fear of potentially spreading the disease to those with weak health. ... See MoreSee Less
Lora's written our most recent newsletter! In it she shares from her heart about the task God has set before us, how it's always bigger than us and beyond our reach. She also reflects on one of the stories of Jesus and what this might mean for all of us right now during the time of covid-19. I hope this encourages many of you!
Things have been quiet here as we've followed the Madagascar government's efforts at keeping the coronavirus from spreading here in Madagascar. (So far it seems to be going very successfully.) For us that's meant a pause from our formal ministry meeting times, but we've still had some great times of prayer with our closest local ministry partner. And though things are quiet with *our* efforts, God has assured us that he's still working in the hearts and minds of the Antakarana people, drawing to him those he's chosen to be the leaders of his Kingdom movement among them.
This Easter season with so much craziness in the world, it helps us to remember that in Jesus, though we often go through periods of suffering and even death, his resurrection and new life is always the result! We've been praying regularly for many of you all around the world, that you would be safe and protected from the virus, or healed if you've already been in contact with it, and that through it all you would be aware of Jesus's presence. Through his death and resurrection, and the gift of his Holy Spirit, he's always with us in any time of trouble or sorrow. With Paul we can say, "though outwardly we are wasting away (or maybe sometimes we just feel that way), but inwardly we are being renewed day by day." We identify with Jesus in his death, that we might also hope to share with him in his resurrection. He is risen indeed! ... See MoreSee Less
So, Madagascar has now fully closed all its borders, and yesterday they just confirmed the first three cases of COVID-19 here. We're still here (now "stuck" here) and we've expected this to be a great time for moving forward in ministry. However, with news of the first three cases here (all international tourists, so we hope the government quarantined them before they had a chance to spread it to anyone else), and a bit of a rough sickness that has just passed through our family this week (well, still hasn't finished with Lora and myself)... we're having to reconsider things a bit.
If the coronavirus spreads through the general Malagasy population, it will be *devastating*. Not only is access to decent medical treatment completely out of reach for most people, but for most those within reach they certainly can't afford it. On top of that, the local lifestyle (an absolute necessity for the majority) makes spreading a highly contagious disease like COVID-19 much more likely. Social distancing is literally impossible for most.
We don't have any grocery stores around here, we have the crowded market. There are no delivery-to-home services - to acquire anything requires a social interaction in person. The vast majority of people don't have any form of refrigeration and so there are very few food choices that could be sustained indefinitely (rice and beans are thankfully both plentiful in towns/cities, but beans would run out VERY quickly if people tried to stock up here like they've been doing in the US). Very few people have a bank account, and most have very meager cash savings. Not working isn't an option for most (because between the risk of dying from coronavirus and dying from starvation, the choice is obvious)... and most people's work means being crowded together with many other people. Having running water is very rare, but thankfully, most (in our area) do have access to wells.
If something like coronavirus arrived and spread here, there'd be very little that could even possibly be done to stop its devastation.
So, we're starting to re-think our short-term ministry plans. Our own current sickness has necessitated it (which includes runny noses, so presumably it can't be the coronavirus), but right now it's helping us to also think through the implications for everything else, including how to not be vectors for the spread of disease here where basically everyone is a vulnerable population. We're here (we can't leave even if we wanted to), but we need to pray and see how God leads us to use this current time wisely. Please be praying for the third-world, for those who could potentially be infected by this virus and who would be devastated by it.
is there anything we can do on this side of the screen? We will be praying for your protection and for the people of Madagascar who are not as fortunate as we are in the US to ahve access to basic needs and healthcare. Please keep us posted. <3
Calvary greetings to you in Jesus name.My name is Victor Damisa am married to Joy Damisa(a female) and we are blessed with three children.We are co-labourers in the vine yard of the Father and pioneers of the Flames Mission Intl. By the grace of God in late 2018,December to be precise,the Holy Spirit impressed on our hearts to declare to the brethren in the ministry that "None shall be lost and none shall be left behind". The import of which I hadn't fully grasp until the corona virus pandemic outbreak. On the first day in Jan. 2019,the Lord instructed my family to break bread every day for the whole year.@ a point in time in the month of March the virus spread to Nigeria,and some cases were confirmed in Kaduna in the Northern part of the country,where we are. It was as the time that death cases began to occur in Nigeria that the Holy Spirit impressed it in my heart that the spirit of death is moving over the nations of the world just like in the days of the Israelites in Egypt. That but because we are saved by our faith and profession in Christ Jesus that we are cover by the blood. But by us obeying the instruction to break bread(communion) daily we and our house hold are secured. Beloved,I believe that the Lord will make a distinction between those that serve Him and those that don't.Kindly ,take the communion on a daily basis with your family 1 night.And as touching your family,they are healed totally in Jesus name by His stripes.
We went back out to Antanamazava today (the first day in a week that had good enough weather! God prepares the way!) We weren't able to show the Jesus film yet because it was a long time before we found the head village official to discuss it with. But in the meantime we had a great talk with several people in the village, about our hopes for disciple-making in simple Holy Spirit-dependent ways. One lady really seems like she might be a "person of peace" there... she was talking about how she feels like whatever she receives from God she should freely share with others. She also said that she really felt like God called her to that village specifically (previously she lived in another area a ways from there) and that he has a specific task for her there, to help people know and follow him. As we shared more about simple reproducible discipleship methods and discipling people in their own language, she was very receptive.
Eventually we did find the head village official to speak with him and he said the door is open for us there. He showed us the place where we'll share the first part of the Jesus film (right in the center of the village). So we'll return Thursday evening to show the first part, to engage with people in discussion, and to see if anyone at that point wants to commit to meeting regularly for discipleship through Bible stories. (We should share the next part of the Jesus film the following week.)
We may not have achieved our plan for today, but I don't doubt that God has directed our paths! Pray that the person(s) of peace (if this lady or others) will become clear, that they'll take a strong leadership in the work there, and that they'll be able to spread it far and wide! ... See MoreSee Less