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.
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.
Follow this link to read a short story about the work of the TIMO team among the Antakarana of Nosy Mitsio, and how they’re responding to some of the traditional ancestral customs with the truth of Jesus:
Please pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to guide the team in their responses to the ancestral culture of the Antakarana people.