A MINISTRY OF AFRICA INLAND MISSION INTERNATIONAL
AIM GLOBAL

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

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!

Church

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!

Building

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.

Open doors

Praise God that the ministry in Ikongo is going well and growing. There are open interests from the Tanala people to hear God’s word and follow the discipleship sessions.

There is a plan to go to more villages with the disciples! Pray God would open more and more doors.

Pray God’s protection on Melias and Thadde and Haja and family.

The Hoffmans have visited Sandrohy as a family. (The place they are planning to move to, in the middle of the Tanala people.) The family are very excited and love the place. Pray for all the arrangements needed to be done so that they can move in good time.

Praising God for a church planted amongst the Tanala in Ambalagoavy

We praise the Lord for a new church plant in the village of Ambalagoavy, amongst the Tanala. Pray for Pastor Ravola and his mission team as they embrace cross cultural work in the rain forests. They have no road access to the outside world apart from helicopter. Pray for good health for the team( especially Pastor Ravola’s son) as well as supernatural ability to bridge cultural gaps and language barriers.

Prayer for Gabriel

Gabriel and Nestine, along with Pastor Ravelo and his son were placed in Ambalagoavy on November 7th. Pray for this family as they begin to build relationships with local Tanala people and share the name of Christ with them.

Update on The Tanala of Madagascar

We praise the Lord for a new church plant in the village of Ambalagoavy, amongst the Tanala. Pray for Pastor Ravola and his mission team as they embrace cross cultural work in the rain forests. They have no road access to the outside world apart from helicopter. Pray for good health for the team( especially Pastor Ravola’s son) as well as supernatural ability to bridge cultural gaps and language barriers.

Update on The Tanala of Madagascar

Gabriel and Nestine, along with Pastor Ravelo and his son were placed in Ambalagoavy on November 7th. Pray for this family as they begin to build relationships with local Tanala people and share the name of Christ with them.

Update on The Tanala of Madagascar

Please pray for Gabriel and Nestine, a husband and wife Malagasy missionary team, as they complete their formal training with Jesus Family and prepare for placement in Ambalagoavy beginning in October. Their vision is to see Tanala believers worshipping the Lord.

Update on The Tanala of Madagascar

The survey in Ambalagoavy was completed and permission was given for the placement of 2 Malagasy missionaries. The Jesus Family organization has them in training now until October, and the missionaries will be placed soon thereafter. Pray that the training goes well and that the logistics of their placement are completed before the rainy season.

Update on The Tanala of Madagascar

The survey is now set for mid-July. The purpose of the survey will be to make final arrangements and agreements for 2 missionaries to be placed in Ambalagoavy beginning next year.

Update on The Tanala of Madagascar

Jesus Family has selected the 2 missionaries and they will be placed in the village of Ambalagoavy after their training is completed. A final survey in Ambalagoavy will take place later this month.

Update on The Tanala of Madagascar

Jesus Family Madagascar has a vision for training 24 Malagasy missionaries and sending them in pairs to 12 villages in areas where there are unreached people groups. The training begins in July 2015. AIM will be partnered with them in the training, logistics and survery work. Jesus Family has committed to placing missionaries in a Tanala village south of Ikongo. Pray for Sedera, the director of Jesus Family, and for the workers going to reach the Tanala.

Update on The Tanala of Madagascar

We did a survey of the villages south of Ikongo and found many remote villages without an evangelical church in the dialect. There was openness to having a team of Christian language and culture learners live among them in the forest.
Pray for Petera Solomandimby, a Tanala believer who has a burden for bringing the gospel back to his Tanala homeland. He has asked for some training that might equip him to plant churches and he has asked for co-workers to go with him. Pray for wisdom in how to enable Petera to get started.

Update on The Tanala of Madagascar

The Tanala survey has been postponed to 22 – 26 September. Please keep Sylvestre (InterVarsity) and Rodrigo (AIM) in prayer as they travel through and visit with people from several Tanala villages around Ikongo.

Update on The Tanala of Madagascar

We have made contact with 2 representatives from InterVarsity in the coastal towns of Manakara and Mananjary. These people have offered to help us arrange a survey to the Tanala central towns of Ikongo and Fort Carnot and to meet with pastors to talk about the Tanala people and to gain a better understanding of what a church planting team might look like in this densely forested and remote area.