T he time is near. With gestation almost to completion, every movement inside is testing the boundaries and pushing against the walls, movement that cannot and will not be contained for much longer. And yet he still grows, filling up every space there is and stretching to the limits. With lungs almost fully formed, he will be ready to breath the story of his life, a life that has been changing us drastically from the inside and preparing us for his arrival.
From years before we arrived on Nosy Mitsio to years after, the vision of reaching the Antakarana with the gospel has been developing its form. Like Mary we’ve carried the good news inside of us and pondered these things in our hearts, waiting for the time to make him known to the world around us. But we know now that we cannot keep the message inside of us anymore. It’s grown too big and too great to be kept in by any of our frailties and weaknesses. Despite any of our anxieties and fears, not knowing if we’re completely ready, he will burst through into a world that’s meant to know him.
And so begins our bold ministry to the Antakarana. Together with our team, we’ve just finished developing a multi-part strategy that we’ll now begin, to reach out to the people with the good news of Jesus. Whether working in the rice fields, sitting on our porches or fishing, we will speak of the God of creation and boast of him in all that we do, lifting up prayers and thanks to him as our friends watch and see that he is a part of every aspect of our lives. We will begin crafting Bible stories in their language that they will hear, discuss, and be able to retell and share with their families. And we will work with our communities to provide much needed basic medical care and train them in the process, showing that the God of Creation is also concerned with every aspect of their lives.
It’s time! The most glorious message declared by the angels thousands of years ago to the shepherds will now be echoed to the Antakarana. God, thought to have been far and distant, will now be seen among them. Because we cannot contain the glory of his name, our mouths will boldly open wide to proclaim his story. It’s a story that will be conceived in them and birthed throughout the future church on Nosy Mitsio and among all the Antakarana. Through a small crack he’ll burst into our world: Immanuel, God is with us and among us. Peace on earth and good will toward all men!
I praise God that as I enter the last weeks of pregnancy, I can experience physically what God is doing in the spiritual realm, knowing that the birth of the church on Nosy Mitsio is also near. What a beautiful picture he’s given us, himself born into life on earth so that he could show us a new way, a rebirth into life that is full and complete in him. A life that our Antakarana friends and neighbors will soon be able to share with the Church throughout the world.
We thank all of you for standing with us, for arriving at this point together with us, through your prayers and your support. Though the Antakarana may be geographically distant and remote from so many of you, but as they enter God’s Kingdom, it’ll be through the welcome of the Church around the world, through your shared efforts to open the door for them and invite them in.
A s most of you know, we’re now in South Africa to await the arrival of our second son, who we should be able to finally meet in the first week of December. Medical care here is very good and the costs are quite a bit lower than what we’d experience if we had to travel all the way back to the US.
However, we still expect it to cost us around $6000-$7000 total, including all of our medical expenses (assuming a healthy baby boy and a safe delivery mostly free of complications) and our travel to and from South Africa and Madagascar. We have a health savings account, rather than insurance, that we use for all of our medical expenses or potential emergencies, but these current costs will deplete much of that. If you’d like to give specifically towards this, it would help us a lot in covering expenses during this time. God has already led several friends and supporters to give towards these upcoming costs. And just as we were considering how much to raise our monthly budget target to cover the needs of a second child in our family, God sent someone to make a monthly commitment in just the right amount! We’re very thankful for all of this and we know that God is communicating loud and clear that he will provide for all of our needs. If you’d like to be part of that, then please follow the link below for info on how to donate (or click the “donate” button on the right side of the page, for online giving):
Thanks again for standing with us in the work of God to reach the last reached peoples of the world! And please continue praying with us and our team as we enter this time of new beginnings.
Lora, Adam, Matimu, and baby Willard