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In Romans 8, Paul asked a great question: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” By this, he did not mean that there would never be opposition. Rather, he reassured the believer that God’s presence and power is far greater than any opposition we may experience or face.
As for us, we know that the devil is certainly against us and he frequently makes that clear. Since our return on January 15th, our foe has made an effort to dissuade and discourage us. Yet we are reminded that “God be for us.”
A Rat’s Nest and Lightning Storm
First the blessings! We want to thank you for your faithful prayers. While on furlough, we specifically asked for prayer in finding a house. We thank the Lord for His swift answer! We were able to find a house within just two weeks of our return. As a family, we were praying for several specific things in our new house (including a yard, a bathtub, a guest room for the many, many, many future guests who will visit us (get the hint?!), etc.). We are glad to report that God answered all of those requests!
After moving in and getting settled, we soon found evidence that we were not the only inhabitants. When Dan peaked his head into the cabinet to take a closer look, he met our new fury friend. After doing a little more investigating, we discovered that this fine family had made themselves quite comfortable under our cabinets and intended on staying for some time. Thankfully we didn’t need any legal help to evict them!
As we continued making some minor repairs and adjustments, a lightning storm struck unexpectedly, sending a surge of power throughout the house blowing several lightbulbs, the oven, and a laptop charger!
Several other minor incidents have added up making it clear that we have an active foe who is not happy to see God’s work advance. Yet, we are certain that God is for us! It has been abundantly clear through several specific prayers answered that He has gone before us and is actively preparing the way for planting churches in this town.
In an effort to start building relationships and getting to know the people, we started an English club. Though our purpose in Madagascar is to preach the Gospel, we have found that teaching English is one of the fastest ways to start meeting people. In fact, when we approached a local elementary school and asked to use their facilities, they quickly agreed, then fourteen of their teachers signed up for the class. (We are praying that we will one day be able to get into this school and start teaching English and Bible to the students.) After that, we visited the local government office and announced the class. When Dan returned to pick up the registration forms later, he counted seventeen interested students! All of this in just two weeks! The class began on Saturday, March 14th with twenty-three students. We would appreciate your prayers that God would help us to begin building relationships as we start pointing people to Christ.
As we continue to look toward the future and prepare for the church plant, we trust God to continue to go before us! We are now actively looking for a location where we can begin to meet. We are praying that God opens doors for us to begin Bible studies in the homes of the people. We covet your prayers as we continue to represent you and preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in this needy country.
Many have asked how our family is readjusting to life here in Madagascar. We praise the Lord that everyone is doing well and is enjoying being back “home.” Among our family prayer requests, we asked God to give the girls new friends. We thank the Lord that there are two young girls who live next door who have become fast friends and our girls have enjoyed playing with them often! God is good!
The Browns to Madagascar
“That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.” Psalm 67:2-3