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)
There's always something new and "interesting" to experience here in Madagascar. For over a week now, I've had "cutaneous larva migrans" on my hands - basically it's hookworms that have burrowed into my skin and have started zig-zagging around as they grow (under my skin). I've got the big one on the inside of my wrist and I've got a couple others around the tips of my fingers (one has started wrapping around my index finger on my left hand by now). It took me over a week to figure out what it was (I've alternated between thinking it was a simple bug bite, to a spider bite, to fungus in multiple spots; but finally the zig-zagging lines that have continued to grow have proved what it is). Maybe it's just me, but I feel like every time it hits the point of becoming unbearably itchy, that's when I can notice that the line has zig-zagged and spread out a bit more... maybe as the worm has been tunneling through the layer underneath my outer skin? Pretty disgusting! But thankfully no worse than itching and a bit of pressure where it stretches the skin a bit too tight on my knuckles.
I must've gotten it while digging through the dirt that I've been using in my small garden that I've made here at our house. Apparently an infected cat or dog can spread it through their feces, particularly in sandy soils, and then it spreads to people when the infected soil comes into contact with human skin. Thankfully people aren't their actual target and they can't really go anywhere else (no further than they can grow and stretch out underneath my skin that is) and they can't reproduce inside me at all, nor can I contaminate anyone else. And thankfully the treatment is fairly readily available and easy (I've started the medicine today). I should be completely cured of it within about 5 days. And hopefully I can find a way to treat our neighbors' kittens, who are the likely culprits for spreading these things into my garden soil. I don't really want this to happen again, haha! (It did happen to Matimu once though, when he was about 1 year old and he was playing on the beach on the east coast of Madagascar - he got one each on the backs of his legs. Back then I think it took us about a month to figure out what it was and to treat it. So it's not the first time our family has had to deal with this particularly disgusting infection!) ... See MoreSee Less
We call this "parasy kankana" or literally worm-flea. People take banana skin, heat or burn the inside to the highest temperature they can bear and stick it to the skin where it is. That would kill the worm-flea. Then they take a pin or a needle to make a little opening in the skin and get it out. The east coast wet sandy ground is full of it.
Please pray for Madagascar during this time! Here in the far north, the rains have been intense, but no serious structural damage, injuries, or deaths that we're aware of. (A road north of us has been reported to be cut off, but that's a common event at this time of year.) This article was from yesterday, but the heavy raining/flooding has continued into today, so unfortunately, the real news is probably a good bit worse. Please pray for people's safety and well-being during this time and in the months ahead, as this is expected to affect many people's rice harvests as well! (And rice is the staple food, it's what Malagasy people survive off of.)
This evening we were happy to be able to demonstrate to one of our local friends how to do a simple "discovery Bible study" (DBS) using a Bible story we had translated into the Antakarana language. She's one of the same ones we've been doing local outreach and prayer times with lately. DBS is such a great simple and effective tool for discipling others in ways that can be easily reproduced and multiply. We hope to use this method (or one much like it) to follow up and disciple those who we've been reaching out to nearby. ... See MoreSee Less
We had a good time going out to the clinic this morning and also meeting with an older man who lives nearby. It was good to see the enthusiasm our local friends had to share the Gospel and to pray with people. There's also a lot that we can still share with them about the process of disciple-making and using contextual stories to communicate about Jesus. The best part of the morning was the older man being eager to have us return regularly to his house to share more stories about Jesus! Our friends here have also decided on a regular schedule to meet with us for prayer and outreach. We're excited about the start of this!
Please pray that we'd be able to share well with our local friends here about the process of making disciples who make disciples and that they'd be receptive to expanding their methods and goals for ministry. Praise God for an encouraging start with them this morning! ... See MoreSee Less
We had a great meeting this afternoon with a few local believers! It was exciting to hear them tell us about their passion for simple non-institutional churches - one of the first times I've ever heard a Malagasy person talk about this! We also shared with them our vision for seeing local disciples multiplied, with the long-term goal that everyone in northern Madagascar can hear the good news and have the choice to follow Jesus together with a simple local church in their own language. This weekend we plan to all go together to one of the local clinics in town, to talk and pray with people there. We hope this is the start of a fruitful partnership that will see God's Kingdom established firmly among the Antakarana! He's at work here! ... See MoreSee Less