To download a printable PDF of this prayer letter, please click HERE.
Hello from Madagascar. We are excited to be writing our first prayer letter from the country where God has called us to serve. After driving more than 60,000 miles and visiting over 100 churches on deputation and then spending nearly an entire year in France, we are thrilled to finally call Madagascar our home.
“In Madagascar, you don’t have to make up unbelievable stories to tell your friends back home, the stories come to you.” These were the opening words that a veteran missionary shared with us after arriving in Madagascar. And now, after living here for three weeks, these words have become like a motto.
Day 1 – car accident! As Dan was trying to make a legal left hand turn, a Malagasy bus (which is really a large passenger van), hurriedly tried to pass us on the left. He struck the front driver’s side of our vehicle and then lost control. We watched as the bus swerved back and forth out of control until finally crashing into a small building alongside the road. Quickly a crowd began building as Dan and the driver discussed the accident. Slowly, and with the help of veteran missionary friends who came to our aid, Dan went through the process of reporting the accident. Five hours later, everything was finished. We thank the Lord that nobody was hurt and through it all, Dan was able to give the owner of the van a Gospel tract in Malagasy.
Day 2 – sickness! After settling down from the accident, we woke up on our second official day in Madagascar with fevers. Lasting for almost an entire week, all three girls traded off being sick until finally Dan succumbed to the peer-pressure and finished by being sick as well. Again, the words from the veteran missionaries echoed in our ears: “You will get sick. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.” What a welcome!
Besides these minor things, we have chased lizards through the bedroom (unsuccessful in catching them), killed cockroaches in the kitchen, have gotten lost on the confusing roads a countless number of times, and have been scammed when trying to buy more credit for our phone (only losing about 2 dollars). Though our life has reached a new level of “interesting,” we can honestly say that through it all, God has been an ever present help in our time of need. His presence has been constant and we are strengthened and encouraged to know that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.
As always, we appreciate your prayers as we continue transitioning into a new life and new routines. We have found that our French has come in quite handy, however, we have seen, now more than ever, the absolute need to learn the heart-language of the people. We hope to begin learning Malagasy in the very near future and look forward to the day when we will be able to effectively communicate the Gospel in Malagasy.
As for some other important matters of prayer, please pray that the Lord would allow all of our paperwork to be finished within this coming week. We need to have everything in order before our container arrives on May 8th. Also, we are in the process of finding and buying a vehicle. Please pray that God would give us wisdom and guidance as we look. Finally, we praise the Lord that we have been able to already find a house. The Lord led us to meet a sweet Malagasy family while on deputation who have offered us their house to rent. We look forward to moving in soon.
Again, we say thank you for your many prayers and faithful support. We pray that God would find us faithful in pointing the Malagasy to Christ…for His glory and to your account.