Map of South AfricaAdam and Lora Willard were US Peace Corps Volunteers in South Africa from July 2008 until November 2010.  While in South Africa they lived in a rural village known as Dumphries B, located in the northeastern Mpumalanga province and just a few kilometers from the fence of Kruger National Park.  Almost everyone in Dumphries B are members of the Shangaan tribe and spoke the xiTsonga/Shangaan language, which we also learned to communicate competently.  Many residents of Dumphries B were also refugees from political turmoil in Mozambique.

With Peace Corps South Africa, Lora and Adam were part of the School and Community Resources Project and worked for two primary schools in the area.  In Dumphries B was Mahlahluvana Primary School, and just 4-5 kilometers away in Dumphries A was Welani Primary School.  Our job was to assess the needs and resources of the schools and community and participate in developing them and strengthening the teachers and school staff in any way possible.

To that end, Lora engaged primarily in literacy projects.  She organized and created a library at both primary schools, trainedLora with the Book Club at Mahlahluvana children and teachers to run and manage the libraries, and created a curriculum for the library to be used school-wide on a weekly basis for every class.  She also started an after-school reading club at Mahlahluvana and developed a curriculum for teaching literacy to Grades 2 and 3 and trained those teachers in how to use it to improve the literacy rates of the learners (which were dismally low).

One major area of involvement for Adam was Information Technology.  He created a curriculum and did one-on-one training with all the teachers and staff at each school, teaching basic computer skills to most and advanced skills including maintenance and repair to a few.  He also did computer repair work (for free, as Peace Corps is an entirely non-profit job) for everyone who asked for it in about a 20-mile radius.  Near the end of his service, he set up a computer lab (with the help of Ulusaba and Emmaus Road Church) for teaching computer skills to the learners, at each primary school and the replacement Peace Corps Volunteer took up this work.

Adam also began an after-school Art Club at Mahlahluvana Primary School that he co-taught with another teacher.  With the Art Club, the kids did contests, painted murals at the school (including a giant world map and South African map), and eventually took a field trip to the capital city to visit art museums and professional sculptors.

World Cup Mural painting by Mahlahluvana Art ClubFinally, Adam was also heavily involved in helping the schools develop their local resources.  This particularly included helping solidify a partnership between the schools and a local private game lodge, Ulusaba.  Through this partnership, Ulusaba and their guests funded many projects for the schools including both libraries and computer labs, the Art Club murals and field trip, a playground and sports field for Mahlahluvana, and the publishing of a cultural yearbook created by the Grade 7 class with Adam.

We both immensely enjoyed our time in South Africa and even extended our time by 2 months more than our contracted date in order to properly finish up some of our projects.  The opportunity to live among and live as the rural South Africans and build deep and meaningful relationships with them and our co-workers was more rewarding than can ever be explained.  On top of that, we brought a wonderful souvenir back with us from South Africa, our son, Matimu!  His name actually means "History" in the Shangaan language.

All of the posts on this page are e-mail newsletters we sent out during our time in South Africa.  If you're just visiting this page but you'd like to receive similar and regular updates throughout our years in Madagascar, just send us a message with your e-mail address and we'll add you to the list.

If you'd like to see the photo-filled book we created with the 7th graders from Mahlahluvana, please click the cover here to download the .pdf.

It's really a fantastic piece of cross-cultural communication, as the 7th graders did their best to share their lives in the English language.  All of their writing has been preserved just as they wrote it, with pictures drawn by the kids and with photos of the authors in the middle of their daily activities.

Modern Shangaan Life: From a 7th Grade Perspective

Click here for the Modern Shangaan Life: From a 7th Grade Perspective, book in .pdf format

 

And if you'd like to read all of our articles / stories from South Africa in one printable .pdf document, then please click here and enjoy!

Thoughts from South Africa by Adam & Lora Willard

 

 Click here for an album of our best pictures from South Africa:

Click here for an album of our best South Africa photos

Click here for an album of our best South Africa photos!

 

 

A Cloud of Witnesses

…a scene of dust and blood, of body parts strewn haphazardly, some still twitching, disjointed, bleeding out. Not one piece is connected to another and thus the entire body, broken apart and moments from death, lies collapsed in the sand, unable to move, unable even to seek help.

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Merry Christmas!

Each and every one of us were foreigners to God’s Kingdom, to his lands, and with no hope of acceptance. So then God came to us, to our land. As one of us, he tore down the fences and the dividing walls that were built by our sin; and the effort killed him. But death couldn’t keep him and…

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David Immanuel Willard is Here!

David Immanuel Willard has made his grand entrance! Born on Dec 6th at 3:17 am in Pretoria, South Africa (7:17 pm Dec 5th, CST), weighing 7.6 lbs. and 21 in. long, he’s a sight to behold!

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South Africa & Tanzania 2013 Photos

We visited South Africa and Tanzania between April and June 2013, visiting the village where we used to be PCVs, some training in Tanzania, a safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, and visiting a missionary team in an Alagwa village in Tanzania. 124 photos

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Back and Forth

We stepped off the taxi, three of us this time, back in our village in South Africa.  We began...

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Transition to Madagascar Photos

Pictures from our move to Madagascar. They’re mostly from South Africa, in Pretoria, Dumphries, and Kruger, where we stopped for a few weeks along the way to visit friends and “family”. But the last 10-15 are from our arrival in Madagascar. 139 photos

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South Africa – Best Of Photos

These are a collection of our best photos from our time in Peace Corps South Africa, living in Dumphries in Mpumalanga province (near the border of Kruger), and working in the School and Community Resources Project. It was a great time, from July 2008 to November 2010. 513 photos.

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Ku Tsundzuka

Our time is up.  We extended a couple of months, but those are finished now too.  After nearly two...

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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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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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We're wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! This is our first thanksgiving in the US in 10 years!

We're thankful most of all for our God who takes care of us in all things, the big and the small. He doesn't always promise that the paths he leads us on are easy, but he promises to be with us and take care of us along the way, and we've seen that to be so very true in our lives!

We're so thankful that God has directed us these last months, and he's opened the doors for us to leave Madagascar and to return safely and relatively smoothly to here in the US, and he's taken care of all of our needs along the way.

We're very thankful for incredibly generous friends and relatives who helped us get here and who've provided hospitality and transport for us (both transport along the way and also a great long-term vehicle for our family).

We're thankful for friends of family (people who don't even know us personally) who've provided a great place for us to quarantine as a family here in the US - right next door to Lora's parents. They've even offered for us to stay in this home for the next few months until we discern our next steps and get our own place. What great generosity to come from those who are strangers to us!

We're thankful that though our personal plans for life sometimes change suddenly and drastically, none of this catches God by surprise... he knows what we've been through, he knows where we're at now, and he knows what's ahead. He's with us through it all and he graciously offers us one opportunity after the next to participate with him in the advancement of his Kingdom here on earth, in all things to draw us and those around us closer to him in Jesus and to empower us for his good works by the love and strengthening of his Holy Spirit.
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We heard again from Nuckiline - in Antanamazava they shared the Jesus film in Antakarana language this week. A *whole* lot of people were there to watch it, and they will finish the last bit of the film and do follow-up next week.

Nuckiline also had the opportunity to coach the regular discipleship group members into how to share their testimonies (big or small) with lots of people on a regular basis. And shell be preparing them for leading new simple discipleship groups of those interested in joining once the Jesus film is finished.

Praise God for all the great testimonies coming from northern Madagascar, even after we left! God knows the right timing and the right methods in all things! And while we would love to still be there participating directly with Nuckiline in all of this, and to be able to see firsthand all these great results that we worked towards for so many years, but we know that Gods ways are better than ours, and this is a situation where its better that we should go because the works God wants to do through them there in our absence are greater than he could do with our presence. We simply praise God that his Kingdom is coming to the Antakarana people, and the foundation for his Church, a strong and multiplying one, is being built among them!

We fly out of Madagascar tomorrow (Saturday) and arrive in the US on Sunday. We dont know what the future holds for us, nor even if its in Gods plans for us ever to return to Madagascar in the future (though its still very much in our hearts to do that). But we praise God for the time he gave us here, and for the small pioneering part he privileged us to play in seeing many future generations of Antakarana people have the opportunity to know Jesus and to serve him and his Kingdom!  

Please pray for us as we transition to the next season God has for us: that God would protect us and our loved ones as we return to the US during the height of the covid-19 spread; that God would make it clear to us what our next steps are - whether a season of waiting or active pursuit of whatever task/role he has for us next; and pray for our two boys as they leave the country of their childhood to go live in a new country and new culture that theyre almost totally unfamiliar with.  

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support for many years now. Once we leave Madagascar, I will probably only provide infrequent updates in the future. But please always keep in your prayers the Antakarana people, Nuckiline in her leadership role in the work, and the future generations of disciples being made there - that they would have the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to persevere and grow, and multiply the reach of Gods Kingdom until everyone in northern Madagascar has an opportunity to know Jesus and be discipled together in following him.

We heard again from Nuckiline - in Antanamazava they shared the Jesus film in Antakarana language this week. A *whole* lot of people were there to watch it, and they will finish the last bit of the film and do follow-up next week.

Nuckiline also had the opportunity to coach the regular discipleship group members into how to share their testimonies (big or small) with lots of people on a regular basis. And she'll be preparing them for leading new simple discipleship groups of those interested in joining once the Jesus film is finished.

Praise God for all the great testimonies coming from northern Madagascar, even after we left! God knows the right timing and the right methods in all things! And while we would love to still be there participating directly with Nuckiline in all of this, and to be able to see firsthand all these great results that we worked towards for so many years, but we know that God's ways are better than ours, and this is a situation where "it's better that we should go" because the works God wants to do through them there in our absence are greater than he could do with our presence. We simply praise God that his Kingdom is coming to the Antakarana people, and the foundation for his Church, a strong and multiplying one, is being built among them!

We fly out of Madagascar tomorrow (Saturday) and arrive in the US on Sunday. We don't know what the future holds for us, nor even if it's in God's plans for us ever to return to Madagascar in the future (though it's still very much in our hearts to do that). But we praise God for the time he gave us here, and for the small pioneering part he privileged us to play in seeing many future generations of Antakarana people have the opportunity to know Jesus and to serve him and his Kingdom!

Please pray for us as we transition to the next season God has for us: that God would protect us and our loved ones as we return to the US during the height of the covid-19 spread; that God would make it clear to us what our next steps are - whether a season of waiting or active pursuit of whatever task/role he has for us next; and pray for our two boys as they leave the country of their childhood to go live in a new country and new culture that they're almost totally unfamiliar with.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support for many years now. Once we leave Madagascar, I will probably only provide infrequent updates in the future. But please always keep in your prayers the Antakarana people, Nuckiline in her leadership role in the work, and the future generations of disciples being made there - that they would have the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to persevere and grow, and multiply the reach of God's Kingdom until everyone in northern Madagascar has an opportunity to know Jesus and be discipled together in following him.
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Comment on Facebook

May God continue to bless the work in Madagascar for His glory!

Praise God almighty! His wisdom is perfect! Glory to His kingdom.

God bless you lavishly Thanks so much

Y es good my friend

We just spoke with Nuckiline about the ongoing ministry in Antanamazava. She said they're very motivated and it's still going well. Tomorrow night in Antanamazava they'll share the "Jesus" film in Antakarana language. Please pray that all the equipment works well, that the people God is leading to himself show up and are attentive, and that more disciples would be made in Antanamazava and beyond.

In the following weeks, Nuckiline plans to share more stories about the coming of the Holy Spirit and the formation of the early Church. She also plans to train some of the discipleship group members to start leading other discipleship groups regularly (the same way we've done for them). Possibly some who come to see the Jesus film tomorrow night will join new discipleship groups led by those that Nuckiline and we have discipled. Please pray for Nuckiline as she leads this work on her own right now, and please pray for more fruit and multiplication of disciple-making that spreads far and wide through the work in Antanamazava!
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Awesome!!! We will pray!

🙏

🙏🙏❤

I need help here, Do anyone know where deeper life Bible Church is in Madagascar.

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