Sharing In His Sufferings

I want to know Christ - yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

AUDIO: Sharing in his Sufferings

We had a great time sharing at YWAM Ozarks in Ozark, AR!  It’s been such a blessing to be a...

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Moving Forward

In every instance, in every worry or every concern, God’s taken care of things. Now it’s time for me to fly to Madagascar to continue this process; to prepare the way for our whole family to return to Madagascar soon.

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The Rest of God

God is simply reminding us that our roles are limited. He’s giving us a gift of rest and he’s reminding us that it’s him, and it’s always been him, who will bring this work to fruition. And when God works, it is always good.

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When Things Fall Apart

Sometimes, even in ministry, everything just falls apart.  The foundation has crumbled, the walls have collapsed, the seed has rotted, and the sprouts are choked by weeds and burnt by the sun.  Sometimes by the end, there’s nothing to show for our years of efforts.

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A Light In the Darkness

Our headlady told us about the time the spirits which possess her forced her to run halfway across the island on swollen knees, running so fast that no one could catch her, then made her crawl around on all fours and start acting like a cow.

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Video Introduction

Watch this video for an introduction to the Antakarana people and our work among them

Latest News

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It's been some time since we've had an opportunity to speak with Nuckiline on the phone, but we were able to do that this morning. She shared some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that she's continued to translate some new Bible stories into Antakarana language and to share them with the discipleship group in Antanamazava. The Holy Spirit has led her to select stories based on the specific needs and circumstances of the members of the discipleship group there. As a result of translating and sharing the Jonah story with them, they've has taken a greater interest in sharing the Bible stories they've received with others they believe need to hear them - and now they have two men who've joined the discipleship group as regular members! Praise God for that, as it's long been a challenge to have men show consistent interest, and hopefully this will be an opportunity to have a broader impact in the local community and in villages further away (because in Antakarana culture, men are the ones who more often do the most frequent traveling).

The bad news is that a coronavirus variant has spread in Madagascar in the last few months and this "second wave" was worse than the first one. As a result the government has created much stricter travel and meeting lockdowns than previously. Not only that, but several people died as a result of covid in villages not far from Antanamazava (and several more from Ambilobe also). So Nuckiline wasn't able to visit them for the last few months, because of the risk of spreading this deadly disease during the time that it was spreading rapidly. However, the second wave of covid seems to have passed in their area by now, and the rainy season is also ending there (meaning the country roads and paths are easier to travel again), so Nuckiline is planning to go there and start visiting regularly again beginning next week.

Please pray that the group has been doing well and continuing to meet regularly amongst themselves over the last few months, even while Nuckiline was unable to visit and be with them. Pray that the stories they've received will have by now been passed to many more people in the area, and that many others will be feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, drawing them to follow Jesus and commit themselves to him. Please pray for continued good health for Nuckiline and her family, for her to have continued motivation and perseverance in this work, and for continued wisdom and discernment by the Holy Spirit to know how to lead these disciples into greater knowledge of and obedience to God - that they will multiply far beyond themselves and that it will result in many generations of Antakarana people (and beyond) following Jesus.
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This last year has been pretty tough on most people I know. We've had some tough times in our family too, including right now - trying to determine new careers and new lives here in the US (something we never planned on) and even by this point still being not at all sure how that's going to end up.

But that's one thing that's so amazing about this holiday today, Easter. It's the declaration that one man's defiance of the natural order of things: accepting a punishment he didn't deserve, submitting to a death he could've easily avoided, and demonstrating that death itself has no lasting hold over him - that this declaration applies not just to him but to *all* of us who find life and identity in him. Jesus did these things as a foretaste of what *all* of us can have in him.

Life is tough. Even the best of us are brought low by the natural decay inherent in this creation, and by the combined apathy and antipathy of others - no matter how hard we might struggle against it. The story of Jesus acknowledges that fully - there is no denial there. But Jesus has a different response than most of us would - instead of fighting against all this as if it's a struggle he could possibly win, he chooses to let it go, and let God his Father take the reigns and take the glory, and in so doing he defeats death and decay itself - not just for himself, but once and for all, and for all of us.

So in this tough life, and in this tough year that so many of us have experienced (and so many have had it harder than my family has), I take comfort that we're living with the continual hope of Easter. That Jesus's resurrection is a foretaste of what's to come. That death and decay has its moment (and so many of us are living in that moment right now), but it's only momentary. If we choose to be in Jesus, we can release our struggles to him, knowing that in him resurrection has the final say.

I hope that Easter this year can be a transition point to a gentler year, one with a renewed and more realized hope in each of our lives. I think we have at least a few reasons to expect that might happen. But even if that doesn't happen for all of us, or for any of us... at least let Easter remind us that these trials and these challenges will not have the final say; it's neither our responsibility nor in our strength to fully overcome these things ourselves. But in Jesus we *will* have resurrection. That much, at least, is already determined.
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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!
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