For those of you who are keeping us in your prayers, this page has several specific things you can pray for us about. We update it regularly, so any time you want to know what you can pray for us about, you can always check here! And for prayer about the nation of Madagascar, we have a “Madagascar News” page that you can always check for up-to-date news, so you’ll know how to pray for the nation.
1) Praise God that we’re finally seeing some Antakarana people enthusiastic about being discipled as followers of Jesus! After many years of ministry to the Antakarana here, these are the first results we’ve seen, and it’s growing: now there is also another discipleship group here in town (led by our closest ministry partner), and a large discipleship group in a nearby village. Pray that God would give them strength and give all of us wisdom, that they would be discipled into maturity and fruitfulness, and that they would empowered and motivated to go and make other disciples. Please pray that many more Antakarana would come to know Jesus during this time and that thriving Antakarana churches would be planted and multiplied!
2) Please pray for Madagascar during the time of the coronavirus, as very much of the population here would be classified as “vulnerable” to the threat of COVID-19. Praise God that so far Madagascar has done a relatively good job limiting the spread of the disease. It’s still not here in the far northern part of Madagascar where we are. We believe that God has given the President of Madagascar a wise and prudent mind in dealing with the threat of COVID-19 in Madagascar for the most part, and we thank God that most of the efforts made by the Malagasy government have been fairly successful in limiting the spread of the disease to the most vulnerable populations here. However, the last month has seen the disease begin to spread and grow significantly more than before, and has also resulted in about a dozen deaths. Please pray that Madagascar (both the governing authorities and the general population) will not become fatigued in the positive efforts they’ve made so far in limiting the spread of coronavirus here, and that they would give God the praise for sparing them the severe crises that so much of the rest of the world is facing. Please pray that the recent uptick in the disease spread in Madagascar would be short-lived and that it would be quickly brought back down.
3) Please pray for our ministry partners (and potential ministry partners) here in Ambilobe and the surrounding area. We’ve had a number of people with whom we’ve worked together for outreach or discipleship here in town over the last couple of months. It’s been exciting to partner with all of them, but for some of them we have some significant differences in ministry goals or methods and long-term vision. Praise God that at least one of our ministry partners has the exact same vision, heart, and ideas as us in our hopes to disciple Antakarana people into multiplying indigenous simple churches. Please pray for an opportunity for us to have a “vision-casting” meeting for more potential ministry partners, that the Holy Spirit would draw those he’s called to partner with us in these specific efforts of seeing a disciple-making movement among the Antakarana. Please pray that God would continue to bring us and other fellow workers together in one Spirit, of one mind, and with one goal for seeing his Kingdom grow and multiply among the Antakarana people in this area and beyond. Pray that God would give us discernment in which people to focus on as long-term ministry partners, and wisdom for how to help them grow in the specifics of the work God has asked each of them (and us) to do here. And pray especially that local people now beginning to be discipled for the first time in their lives would also be empowered to turn and disciple others, so that the movement would begin and spread!
4) Praise God that the last month of outreach in Antanamazava (a village not far from Ambilobe) has been very successful! We’ve been meeting as a relatively small group in the center of the village for weekly discipleship times and the group is already growing (over a dozen people each week now). One lady in the group even said that every week she is eagerly waiting for the next time, that the week seems “too long” until our return again. We hope to start identifying leaders in the group soon, so that they can each begin to lead new discipleship groups in their village and beyond – thus discipling more people than we are able to do ourselves, and preparing the way for multiplication. Please pray that these new disciples would have a growing hunger for following Jesus, and that they would be empowered and emboldened to share what they receive with others in their village and beyond. Please pray for us to recognize who the Holy Spirit has empowered as leaders to begin starting discipleship groups with others in their village, that we would be able to train them well and entrust them to spread the work further. Pray for us also to determine if we should have a time for a group presentation (for example, with the “Jesus” film in the Antakarana language), for the entire village together, and how to be prepared for new discipleship groups that can start as a result. Finally, please pray for a move of God there, for signs and wonders that would amaze those who are still far from God, and to strengthen the faith of those beginning to follow him.
5) Please pray with us for a breakthrough among the Antakarana people! We’re asking many people to intercede for them with this one prayer request. Pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal himself in power, signs, and wonders, that Antakarana people would receive dreams and visions of Jesus, and that the way would be prepared to reap a harvest among them, for churches to be planted and multiply, and for a disciple-making movement that would reach all of northern Madagascar!
6) Please pray for Diana and her husband Jean, an Ecuadorian couple who are interested in joining our team in northern Madagascar soon. They were recently married and so will spend at least one year to grow in their marriage and to prepare to serve as long-term missionaries in Madagascar. Pray that God will strengthen their relationship with each other during this time and that he will continue to prepare them in any way necessary (including finances, training, and anything else) for serving him in Madagascar. Pray that we would have discernment and wisdom in coaching them through this time period and helping them make decisions to prepare for future ministry here.