This past week Manoa and I met with church leaders in Diego with whom Esther Park has been working to train Malagasy church planters. We were so encouraged to see the openness of these leaders and their desire to partner with us in this work of reaching the Antakarana. Please pray for future communication and planning and opportunity to partner more in this ministry. Ask the Lord for fruitful ministry together that many Antakarana might be saved.
The yearly spiritual washing took place this month. Many go to ask blessing for health and the harvest. Pray that this year many Antakarana will put their trust in the True God and not their ancestral traditions.
Praise that the Harvest team went well, the two men were fully a part of ministry and had a good impact on the young men in the community.
Pray for the school ministry. The Malagasy missionaries teaching Bible stories in the school were told they were no longer allowed to go. Pray for wisdom as the team tries to find out what the issues are from the community elders.
An Antakarana believer walked 4 hours to attend a fellowship group in a far-off village. Pray for wisdom as plans are being made to visit this man’s village to see about gathering the few believers there for fellowship. Ask for God’s wisdom to bring unity through their common ties to Christ. Pray against the attacks of the enemy, which are in full swing in this Muslim community: the village headman is now forbidding the teaching of Bible stories (previously permitted). Pray that this situation would give further opportunity to share the gospel, and that the Lord would keep the door for witness and discipleship open on this Little Island. Please also lift up P & F, Malagasy missionaries working amongst the Antakarana: they receive little support which isn’t enough to meet their personal needs, so pray for abundant provision from Jehovah Jireh.
There are three teachers at the local school and one is a believer. They teach about 100 kids from the surrounding villages. Pray for this Christian teacher’s spiritual protection, provision for his family and success as he teaches the students and shares his faith. He is also Antakarana and a former muslim. This is very rare for this community.
Praise God that the 2 months of focused outreach/ministry on Nosy Mitsio was a blessing to the Antakarana. Pray that seeds planted would grow, bloom and multiply. Pray that the Holy Spirit would work on hearts that have heard the truth.
Pray for the Harvest Team- We have two young men, and our Malagasy Co-worker Petera is participating too. They are eager to learn and doing great. God is good because the Antakarana hold a lot of prejudice towards the Merina people and they are Merina. However it’s amazing how serving and showing love breaks it down. We are studying 4 fields CPM and helping the community during the rice harvest time. We have been sharing bible stories weekly as a group meeting and inviting the community. Our hope is to do it several times a week when people are gathering to break fast in the evenings during Ramadan.
Pray that these young men will be a testimony in word and deed. Pray for the Antakarana as they seek God during the time of fasting.
Pray for Malagasy missionaries amongst the Antakarana- that they would be light to those in the darkness, that barriers to the gospel would be torn down, and many would see Christ as their Lighthouse, their Safe Harbor, their God and King.
Pray for the upcoming Harvest team- we have two Malagasy men who will be trained and discipled for two months here on Nosy Mitsio. Also, pray for the new local school teacher. He is Antakarana and a believer! Pray we can find time in his busy schedule to disciple him.
Malagasy missionary Petera has been with a group of students this week to take them to their major exams. These had been delayed because of COVID-19. Most children form Nosy Mitsio can’t pass the assessment but Petera has been tutoring them and sharing Bible stories as well. Pray for favour as they take their tests and that success will lead to more trust and opening of doors to share the gospel.
As the Antakarana children on Nosy Mitsio continue to come and hear Bible stories, the adults have started to be more insistent on teaching dahira (Muslim prayers in song) to the young boys which has kept them from coming as often. Pray for victory in the Spiritual battle that is being waged for the hearts of the young ones. Pray that their parents would turn to the Lord Jesus.
Pray for school age kids being discipled on Nosy Mitsio. Pray that hearing the stories from the Bible will change their hearts and that they will be the generation that turns to Christ.
Pray that the Lord will have mercy on North Madagascar and will continue to keep the virus from spreading. Many people are coming to churches in the cities because they are afraid, so pray that the churches there can welcome them, share the gospel, and care for them.
As Madagascar continues with closed borders due to Covid-19, pray for provision for the people who are affected by the shut down of the tourism industry and regional travel.
An elder from a community in Nosybe has requested that a church be built so that villagers would have more than just Islam. Praise God for His amazing intervention!
Pray for wisdom in knowing how to more forward with a discipleship group on Sundays. Will it be possible to meet in two smaller groups? People are afraid to meet, but still very much in need of community. Ask for them to sense the Spirit’s leading and for unity.
Petera and Francine have been living on Nosy MItsio for 3 months and they have held regular bible storying times for the children in their village. Petera is tutoring 3 older kids at the school and teaching them about the Bible as well. Pray for these children, that they would do well in their studies as well as grow in the knowledge of Jesus. Sometimes adults come and listen to the Bible stories as well. Pray that the Word of God would take root in their hearts.
Esther reports that a one-month intensive church-planting training is scheduled to be held in March. Eight students have registered so far, but they need ten. Please pray for another two applicants so the training can take place. Praise God that a missionary couple from Tanzania have come to join Esther in the work. Also, she is leading a program at her church to train small group leaders. This is a new thing for the church to have small groups, but the leadership is excited. Pray that the pastor would train the leaders and that this would be a great ministry for the church.
Petera and Francine, a Malagasy missionary couple, are settled in Nosy Mitsio. They moved there a couple of weeks ago. When Petera talked with the leaders of the village, they agreed that he could have a service in their home. Thank the Lord for this first step, please pray that villagers will be open and their hearts will be prepared to hear and receive the gospel message.
The leadership in the Malagasy church are meeting together for a few days with AIM workers. Pray for them as they are trained on reaching the unreached of this island nation. Pray for unity of vision and heart and an encouraging time of fellowship. Pray the church here will send out many workers to the harvest field!
In July/Aug 2020 we are trusting God for a group of 4-6 Malagasy men who desire to follow God in missions. They will come to Nosy Mitsio to be trained and to share the gospel in the villages here. Pray that God would call these men and that the many details to make this happen will come together. We call these teams “Harvest Teams”.
Malagasy missionaries Petera and his wife Francine are moving to Nosy Mitsio at the end of October. Pray for safety in travel and good transition. Pray for them as they build relationships and work in children’s ministry among their Antakarana neighbors. Ask the Lord to open many children’s hearts to the gospel.
A missionary training for young Malagasy men has just finished in Nosy Be. Several of the participants are from cities like Diego Suarez and Ambilobe, which have large Antakarana populations. Pray that these young men would continue to follow God’s calling on their lives to full time missions. Also pray for provision for the many Malagasy missionaries who need financial support in their calling to unreached people groups like the Antakarana.
Pray for a young man “C” who has received a copy of Matthew in the Antakaragna dialect. He says he reads it morning and evening and it is his true friend. Pray that the Word will transform his life. Also pray for physical healing as he suffered a scuba diving accident 1 year ago and is working to regain the use of his legs.
A team of Malagasy musicians and a doctor recently came to Nosy Mitsio to share the gospel through prayer, music, and a medical clinic. Pray for everyone who was treated, prayed over, and who heard the gopsel. Pray that hearts would be softened to accept Grace and Forgiveness and to turn to Jesus.
Pray for the Antakarana as they seek God during the month of Ramadan. May Jesus reveal Himself and His truth.
Saturday night a group of about 50 people gathered to watch the Jesus film in the Antakarana dialect. For most of them this was their first time to listen to the complete story. Pray that the Gospel story will open their desire to hear more and to choose the freedom that comes in Christ Jesus.
Several of the elderly people on Nosy Mitsio have reached an age where they are sickly and a few have died. Pray that they will truly listen to the Gospel message being shared with them. May the Lord show them His mercy.
This last week there was a big event to honor a dead ancestor. Since then many people have become ill. Pray for Spiritual healing for this is not a battle against flesh and blood. Lord, deliver many Antakarana from the kingdom of darkness and bring them into the kingdom of Your dear Son!
Praise! The Worship workshop has finished well and God has had His hand on it. Musicians from several churches have participated and many new worship songs have been written and recorded in the local dialect. A final concert took place where the community in Ambilobe was invited to hear the music and listen to testimony. New relationships are being built in the local churches. Pray the new worship songs will be used to sing praises to God in the local language and many will turn to Him!
This week the local church in Ambilobe is going to be trained in writing scriptural music in the Antakarana dialect. Pray that there will be open hearts and talents used to create worship music that can be a vehicle for sharing the gospel to the Antakarana living in Northern Madagascar.
Pray for there to be more consistent gatherings attended by the people. There has been a lot of interest in the Matthew translation and several people have asked for an audio copy. Pray that gatherings will start and that the word of God will take hold in their hearts.
Praise! The village of Andavakabiby met together on Thursday to continue to listen to the gospel of Matthew. They listened to chapters 1-5. One prominent man stated how this was good truth, and he wanted to have the stories on his phone so he could listen to them while he worked. They all agreed that Jesus was correct when telling us to turn the other cheek and love your enemies. Pray that their ears would continue to be open to the story of Jesus and that other villages will accept the offer to come and have the stories played for them.
On Sunday the headman of the village of “Andavakabiby” accepted the invitation to come listen to a Bible story. He heard the story of Jesus’ birth and baptism in Matthew chapters 1-3. Pray that this would take hold in his heart and that he would come back to continue to hear the rest of the story of Jesus in Matthew.
Pray for the Antakarana on Nosy Mitsio- that they would welcome and care for new Malagasy missionaries living amongst them. Pray for good new relationships and for open hearts to the Gospel message.
A recent survey of the Antakarana in Madagascar is very encouraging. Pray for workers, especially Malagasy to join the work of evangelism and discipleship so that a church planting movement would catch fire and blaze across the Antakarana.
Pray for a survey going on all this week to find out what can be done to strengthen the ministry among the Antakarana. Pray for safety in travel and wisdom as the team visits and talks with people. May the Lord guide them clearly.
Two babies died today on Nosy Mitsio, one last night and one at the funeral. Last week another child died. Two of them were from diarrhea and the other from unknown causes. Please pray that the people here would be comforted and that they would open their eyes and ears to the life that God wants for them.
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.