Niki, an Antakarana believer, recently lead another woman to the Lord and now they both want to come to Nosy Mitsio for a month in December and help minister and share the gospel. This will be an amazing witness to the people on Nosy Mitsio, who are bound in the ways of Islam and ancestor worship. Pray for there to be an open house and open hearts to receive them. Pray for Niki and her friend as they grow in Christ and prepare to witness to their fellow Antakarana. Pray for protection from spiritual attack as they and the team there bring the gospel message to the Antakarana people. Pray that other Malagasy believers would follow the calling to missions among the unreached in Madagascar.
Almost the whole community looks like they are fervent M believers during Ramadan time, with their customs and practices: at the offices, at stores, at schools, taxi drivers, sellers on the street, etc…. Pray for a special touch from the Holy Spirit to open their eyes as more people will go to mosques this period. The government gave notice that Koranic schools will be shut down, because they are making students study the Koran too many hours a day. There are complaints from some parents and students about it. Pray for peaceful dialogue.
Pray for mercy for the people of Northern Madagascar as cyclone Enawo hits. Pray for God’s people to love their neighbors and honor Jesus in their response to this crisis.
Please pray for the Antakarana people of northern Nosy Mitsio. A wealthy business-owner wants to build a large tourist resort on Nosy Mitsio and he’s made many big promises to the local people if they would allow it. However, the people have recently learned that the agreement requires them all to be removed from their homes, their rice-fields, their cemeteries, and other sites important to them. It would affect approximately 10 villages and several hundred people. Reportedly very large sums of money have already been paid to the regional government, but without consultation of the local government who would normally manage such agreements. The people of Nosy Mitsio feel like they’ve been greatly tricked, but some are also afraid that the rich people will resort to violence to get what they want. Please pray that the people of Nosy Mitsio will have peace, that they won’t be forcibly removed from their land, that self-interest and corruption won’t be prosperous, and that God would judge all those involved. Pray that this becomes an opportunity for the people of Nosy Mitsio to seek God as the just and loving judge who defends the cause of the poor and helpless, as seen in Jesus.
Please pray for relationships in the village of Ampasindava on Nosy Mitsio. An older lady with no known relatives has recently moved to this village, after claiming the royal ancestors directed her here through a dream. Many people on Nosy Mitsio think she’s been exiled from the mainland and that she’s a witch who curses people, yet most are afraid to interfere with what may be the work of the ancestors bringing her here. Relationships in the village of Ampasindava are already being strained, as this lady has been blamed for some recent sicknesses and spiritual oppressions, and people in the village are divided on whether or not she should be blamed for it (which is causing them to break relationships with each other). Please pray that the team leaders living in this village would be led by the Holy Spirit to respond to every person with God’s truths during this time of conflict. Pray especially that this village would know the peace of Jesus, that both their fear and their trust in the ancestors would be destroyed, and that all would be reconciled to God and each other through Jesus our Lord.
Please pray for Mamani’Jordany. She has been one of the most enthusiastic members of the discovery Bible study in Marimbehely (on Nosy Mitsio), and has helped lead the meetings several times. While the TIMO team was away from the island, she became possessed by an ancestral spirit, had a long illness, and has been performing ceremonies to try to appease the spirit. Please pray that she would receive freedom and liberation through trusting in Jesus!
The TIMO team reaching out to the Antakarana on Nosy Mitsio is coming to an end in December. There are not yet any national partners or Christians on Nosy Mitsio or in the nearby area to continue the ministry in the absence of the team. Please pray for the team and AIM leadership to have God’s guidance and wisdom in upcoming discussions as they make decisions regarding continuing church-planting ministry to the Antakarana on Nosy Mitsio next year. Pray that we would work with God towards his purposes (not our own) for the Antakarana on Nosy Mitsio. And pray that the seeds that have been planted would grow and bear fruit.
The small village of Marimbehely on Nosy Mitsio has been diligently meeting to hear Bible stories for several months now. Two members of the group have demonstrated a lot of passion for learning the stories, discussing them, sharing the stories with others, and even leading the Bible study group themselves. The TIMO team is currently away from Nosy Mitsio for “month out”, but the people of Marimbehely have said they want to continue meeting and discussing the Bible stories in the absence of the team. Please pray that the Holy Spirit’s power and conviction would hold them strong in their pledge to continue in the team’s absence, that the Holy Spirit would reveal to them the truths of God’s character and actions through the Bible stories, that any obstacles or spiritual warfare would be overcome mightily and visibly by God’s power, and that the people of Nosy Mitsio would see that Jesus is the ultimate answer to their hopes and the ultimate freedom from their fears of the ancestors.
Please pray for the Bible storying efforts on Nosy Mitsio. There hasn’t been much progress for the last few weeks, as several villages (or their headmen) have appeared reluctant to gather and meet to discuss the stories. Praise God that one village (Marimbehely) has been faithful to meet and learn more. Pray that the Holy Spirit would draw the people of Nosy Mitsio to himself, that he would help them understand and remember the Bible stories, and that he would convict the people on how to follow him, and to share his stories with others.
TIMO team members recently traveled with a group of men to a nearby island (north of Nosy Mitsio), to chop logs to make repairs on the local school. It’s an island with many exceptional taboos, due to ancient ancestors buried there. The team members wanted to share a Bible story with that group of men there, but were told it was taboo to speak of Jesus/God on that island. Breaking the taboo was said to result in getting deathly ill and unable to leave the island. It provided the team members a good opportunity to share more about Jesus/God and how he’s more powerful than any dead ancestor, taboo, or possessing spirit and that when we trust in him we have nothing to fear. No curse or illness followed and the work trip was completed smoothly… something for the men of Nosy Mitsio to think about. Please keep praying that the Antakarana people will have an opportunity to see God’s power in action, that they will be able to relate the Bible stories they’re hearing to the life-changing realities of Jesus that will free them from fear/oppression.