Bible stories

Telling Bible stories in the local language has been successful. Many have heard the Gospel in their heart language and understand the implications for their lives. Several kings in our area said that they want to follow the Lord Jesus. There is also a greater awareness of local Christians that they too can witness to their neighbours.
We have translated 41 Bible stories and recorded them. They are ready to be put on sd cards, cd’s or any other medium. Please pray for that process and for wide distribution, and for many to believe!


Working together with a young pastor and his wife (Dories & Alphossin) we have
taught some young believers to go out and evangelise. Currently, they are travelling
alongside Dories and Alphossin and are learning as they go. Pray for many open hearts to hear and receive the gospel.

Tsara Rano

It is humbling to witness the daily struggles of villagers here, who mainly worry about what/how they will eat the next day. Theirs is a life where small accidents can quickly become life-threatening. Pray for the Hofmanns, who are grateful that they can be here for their fellow villagers when things go wrong. Cases of malaria, worm infections, and many severely malnourished babies have been worse in the past 10 months than in the previous 10 years. Jurgen has started visiting a new village, Tsara Rano (“Good Water”)—praise God that the Bible stories are being well-received there, to the point where the King’s wife has been asking when Jurgen would visit them too! Pray that God’s love, peace and joy would bloom among the Tanala.

Beautiful truth

I have started to visit a new small village. For this I have made some changes in the creation story I share: I emphasize how beautiful God created us, our initial role in creation and the fact that we are made in God’s image. We have noticed that people don’t value life as a gift of God (they are very fatalistic). By emphasising this part, I hope they will understand that being restored and saved by Christ means that they can take their place as God’s ambassadors on earth. That is totally beyond their world-view now. Pray God will open their eyes to this beautiful truth.


Many people come to us for advise and help concerning their health. We are not doctors, but we can help them pretty often. We have been able to help young mothers with breast infections, young children with severe worm infection and Malaria. This was not the first thing we were thinking about when we came to Madagascar, but apparently the Lord decided differently. A good thing too! Because the people usually have difficulty trusting foreigners, but they trust us. This makes it so much easier for us to share the Gospel. Praise God and pray that many will put their trust in the Lord Jesus.

Tanala Luke widely loved

A local deacon from a Lutheran church took some of the newly translated Luke booklets with him when he went to a big meeting about 4 hours drive south from us. There were many Malagasy from other tribes (mostly from southern regions) at the meeting. They recognised the language as Antanala right away. Still, they could understand this translation better than the official Malagasy language. They said that they will save money to buy the Luke booklets and use them in their churches, Bible study groups, and when they go to unreached areas!


The Gospel of Luke is ready in the Antanala language! We have 100 booklets available at the moment. We do not give them for free but ask a small price (0,50 euro cents) so people value them more. Pray that many will read and believe the Word of God.

Gospel of Luke

Praise the Lord that the first printing of the Gospel of Luke in Antanala has been completed, and that work on the book of Acts has begun. Pray that as the Antanala read and hear God’s word in their own language, it would take root in their hearts. Pray that they would find eternal freedom from their deep-rooted fears by putting their trust in Christ as their Savior.

Strength, comfort, and the Word

Pray for strength and comfort as illness, disease, and death come in many forms such as malaria, diabetes, Covid-19 and even infant death. Ask Jesus to reveal himself as the Way, the Truth, and the Life; ask him for protection from the enemy who comes only to kill, steal and destroy these people who tend to live in fear. Pray for their hearts which lack peace, that the Prince of Peace would become known to them. Praise God that the gospel of Luke in Antanala has been printed and is ready for distribution! The work on the book of Acts continues to progress.

Bible Stories

The 41 translated bible stories are being used to educated new Christians in a small church not far from us. Pray for their discipleship. This church has grown from 15 people last year to 60 plus now!
One village has gathered to hear all the stories and after that I would like to show the Jesus film. Pray for many to believe.


In Ambodimanga village, the king & elders welcomed Malagasy missionaries who were allowed to preach the gospel. Pray that those who heard would be transformed and follow Christ. Pray for the elder who, like Nicodemus, came to the missionaries at night to give his life to Jesus and vowed to stop doing ritual sacrifices/ancestral traditions. Pray that the books of Luke and Acts in Antanala would be finished soon, and the church of 60 new believers could grow strong in the Lord as they study His word.

Malaria and Luke

Many people in our area are suffering from Malaria (the nasty type). We provide medicine and along with the medicine comes a talk about the Lord Jesus. Pray many would be healed spiritually as well as physically.
The Gospel of Luke translation has been digitalized and is ready to be sent off to the printer! Pray for God’s blessing on His word, that many would read it and believe.

Witch doctor came to church!

Jean Baptiste reported that he was very surprised last Sunday to see the witch doctor in the village coming to church with his family. People said one of the reasons is that the witch doctor sees the transformation in Jean Baptiste. He saw how Jean Baptiste stayed calm in the midst of trouble, not turning back when he had the opportunity to do so. Praise the Lord for this testimony and pray that the witch doctor will come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Jean Baptiste is not well and under treatment for tiredness. Please pray for the return of his strength and health.

Using local language

Pray for the awareness among pastors of the importance of preaching in the local dialect. We have finished 41 stories in the Antanala dialect, but pastors still think they should preach from the official Bible.

Translation work

Pray that the translation of Luke & Acts may progress. We wanted to finish the Gospel of Luke this year but Covid interrupted the work. Our friend has started on Acts.

Strength to Overcome Trials

J lost his father last week due to sudden death. This young servant of God really goes from trial to trial: house broken into, some family members giving him trouble because he is a believer, pursued with false cases, sickness and now losing his dad. It looks like the evil one is really roaring after him. Please continue to pray and support him. He is doing great work among his people group. Four villages have been reached with quite a few committing their lives to Christ.

More laborers

We praise the Lord that there are now three churches planted by local believers in three different villages around Ikongo, and two other villages are asking Jean Baptiste to come start a church in their villages as well. Jean Baptiste is the only Malagasy partner serving in this area at present and is asking for more labourers to come serve with him. The harvest is great but the labourers are few. He hopes to bring two or three believers from these three churches to the Malagasy training in April. Please pray for Jean Baptiste that the Lord will sustain him and strengthen him. Also pray for more workers to join him in this work among the Tanala.

Submission of Kings

The King of one village and his wife had decided to follow Jesus, but it wasn’t seeming to make much difference to their daily lives. A local pastor moved into the area and took the responsibility of going to preach in the village weekly despite struggles with their dialect. He was well received and the king has since been thinking seriously about the practical consequences of following Jesus.
Meanwhile the king in another village had a son who went away to study and then returned with news that he had become a believer and been baptised. The king has now decided that he and his family will also follow Jesus, having been convinced through the testimony of his son that the stories he had been hearing were in fact true!
Praise God! Keep lifting up the kings of these villages as they allow the gospel to transform every area of their lives.

Preaching across language barriers

Pray for Doris and Stanis. These two men each pastor a small church in two different areas. They are passionate about Jesus. Both are from a different tribe which means they still use a lot of ‘strange’ words while talking with people. Doris received the story set accompanied with recordings. This way he can practise the Bible stories in the Tanala language. Still, he and Stanis have a hard time understanding the need to use local dialects since the Bible is already available in the official (old) Malagasy language. They still assume that all Malagasy people understand the official language, but this isn’t the case for those in the villages who are unable to read and have spent their whole lives just hearing and speaking one specific dialect. Both men have been trained as pastors and as such have been taught that reading the Bible in the official (old) language is required.


Syncretism is a big problem among the Christians. Because of this they are still afraid of the spirits, which causes the unbelievers to doubt the power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I have access to the kings and elders in the villages (among whom are several important witch-doctors). They listen to me and are surprised by the boldness of the Gospel. Pray that this fearless preaching will have an effect on the other Christians. Pray that they will repent from their syncretistic life style, experience freedom from fear in Christ, and share their testimony with others.

Spiritual obstacles

Ancestor worship and witchcraft is an ever present concept in the lives of the Tanala people. It brings poverty and fear. However, they dare not leave this way of life, in fear of the witchdoctors and the ancestor spirits. It is a heavy obstacle when it comes to preaching the Gospel. Many say that they would like to follow Jesus but the spiritual powers are pressing hard on them. Please join us in this cosmic battle field. Pray that the people will embrace the Gospel and they will fully adhere to it.

Scripture in heart language.

Pray for the ongoing work on translations. The work on the Gospel of Luke is well on its way. The complete Gospel has been translated and is currently being digitalised (and pre-tested). After that we will have to go through the book to make changes, choose what words to use and what not. While I (Jurgen) am working on that, our translator, Menja, is working on a draft translation of the book of Acts. Please pray for us to have discernment as we translate.

Bible story booklet

Jurgen, Katja, and Menja have finished translating a set of Bible stories in the Antanala language and have put them into booklet form. These booklets will be used by the nearby church leaders, and hopefully by others in the Antanala area. Jean Baptiste, and his colleague Aime just finished their one year training at a Bible School in Tana and are serving as missionaries in Ikongo, a part of Antanala land. I just got a phone call from Jean Baptiste and he reports that a new village is open for outreach, and many people are gathering together to hear the Word of God. These new booklets can be used to teach them also. Pray for many to believe!

Gospel of Luke

Menja has finished translating the Gospel of Luke! Everything is written by hand and Jurgen still has to enter it into the computer. It is a challenge to determine which words can best be used. Some words such as synagogue or temple are unknown to the rural people. Prayer house or large church could be options but do not cover the full meaning. In such cases, Jurgen writes a footnote with an explanation about the word.

Menja is doing so well that we immediately asked him to continue with the second book of Luke, ‘Acts’. He has already finished 17 chapters.

Pray that many people will read or listen to the Word of God and believe!


The young couple, Doris and Alphossin, who started a small church in Tanamboa, are working hard to get the new believers mobilised. Now, there are plans to construct a new bigger building for the gatherings and activities. The building will become a central place where studies, worship services and other gatherings can be organised. Pray for God’s blessing on this little church!

Gospel of Luke

Menja, our translator, finished the translation of the gospel of Luke into Tanala. Now we need to check chosen words for accuracy. There are 41 stories. We are still working on separate Bible verses to go along with the stories as memory verses. Please pray for this process.

Hearing at last!

In Beono village the king has been waiting for more than 1.5 years to hear the Bible stories! I started going there last December and am already discussing the implication of accepting Jesus. The king, Iaban’i Velotia (father of Velotia), said last Thursday that he believes in Jesus now! He is accompanied almost every week by the president of the Fokontany (deputy mayor), Iaban’i Dimby. Both men constantly discuss the implications in between the stories. They see it as their responsibility to take note of the Bible and possibly forwarding the message to rest of the village.

The king knows the King!

Tsiombivohitra village has a young king (Germain). He and his wife believe in Jesus now. The practical side of things is a bit harder for them as they are expected to teach the traditions of the ancestors to the people. Aspects of these traditions are just plain wrong. They realise this and are thinking how to go about this. Pray for the Lord’s discernment for them.

Closed door

The village of Ambohitsara has closed its doors to us. The king of the village is a witch-doctor and he managed to listen to all the old testament stories. At the beginning of the NT stories, he started to tell me that they did not have the time to listen anymore. My friend the Pastor was told off as well. I still travel through this village weekly and hope that the Lord will open the hearts of the people. Please pray.

New Church!

One small village (Tanambao) I started to visit in February 2018 has a young lively church now! The young pastor and his wife (Doris & Alphossin) of that church came to live in the village in August 2018. They are from a different tribe and area of Madagascar and felt God’s calling to preach the gospel in our area. I introduced the people with the concept of sin in the months prior to their arrival. He told me that when they settled in Tanambao many of the people already knew they were in need of a saviour! Now, they gather on a weekly basis with about 20- 30 people (mostly women). We also see they are going out to evangelise their neighbours and others.

Reaching Tanala

Pray for Dories and his wife Alphossin. This young Malagasy couple moved to our area to preach the Gospel! Dories really wants to work together with me, which is a huge encouragement. Pray for God’s blessing on their ministry. Pray for the Christians who already live here. Many of them don’t have much knowledge about the Bible but they are willing to be taught. Pray for hearts eager to share what they learn with their Tanala neighbors.

Hunger for the Good News

Thank God for the hunger for the Good News. People love the Bible stories. Pray they fully understand and experience that knowing Jesus means a release of bonds. We are going to visit new villages. Pray for open hearts to receive the message.

May the kings bow to the King

The kings of the villages are having a hard time with the Gospel. They know that it means a different way of living. Many of the ancestor aspects of their culture cannot be reconciled with the Gospel. Yet the kings are vital when it comes to making decisions. Pray the Lord will speak powerfully to the kings and they will bow their knees to the King of kings.

Death and Discouragement

In less than 2 weeks, eight people have died in the village where Melias, the Malagasy missionary, ministers among the Tanala. Four of them were believers and leaders of the new church. The others were their relatives. Pray for the encouragement of the believers and Melias. And for the Lord to have mercy on this village. Oh Lord, stretch out Your hand and heal!

Story translation and vegetables

Praise God for two Christian Tanala, Maman’i Prisca and Menja, who are helping the missionaries settle well and are eager to work together for the gospel. Menja is working with the missionary to translate Bible stories into the Tanala language.
This shows that God started to work among the Tanala long before any missionaries came to the area.
Tsara Andriamanitra! (God is good!)

Pray for fruit

Pray for Mama Prisca and Menza, local believers, to be bold witnesses. Pray the people of Maroamboka and the surrounding villages would have open hearts, eager to hear the Good News.



Very Diligent

The three Malagasy missionaries, Melias, Thadee and his wife Haja, who work in and around Ikongo come with exciting news almost monthly.

The new Antanala Christians are very diligent in their activities. They already reach out to other Antanala and some are doing very well. The missionaries organised prayer meetings every evening and the new Christians followed this example in their own village. They do an interchange between them, they are praying for each other, and they are doing bible study together.

In Ambalavolo, new Christians are involved in God’s work and they are very diligent to share the gospel with others.

Pray for more workers

Four Malagasy missionaries from Tanala area are in the capital for training. Esperance was so excited to read Matt 9v35-38 in her quiet time…exclaiming,”I have never heard such wonderful news about Jesus!” Please pray for more workers to be sent out into the harvest fields in the Tanala region.

16 baptisms!!

Today 16 people were baptized!! Rejoice with us and pray for their walk with the Lord and their testimony to others. May the Lord bring many more!


Praise the Lord the Tanala elders of the area have welcomed the idea of the Hoffman family coming to live in their midst to share the gospel. Pray for the Lord to prepare hearts to hear and believe the good news of God’s salvation. Pray for the Hoffmans as they begin building their new house in the Tanala area. Pray for the logistics- building materials like cement and tin are hard to get and the roads are treacherous in the rainy season.