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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!)