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These were the words of an 18 year old teen camper as he reflected on the week of camp. Others shared similar thoughts as they recounted the highlights of the few days we spent together. For myself, I will never forget the final night of our first teen camp as the 28 campers and 13 adults stood around the glowing campfire and shared from their hearts the work God did in their lives. There were tears mixed with laughter as nearly every teenager spoke from their heart. Though I understood very little of what they were saying, it was very clear that God had done work in those few short days.
We thank God for the opportunity we had, along with two other veteran missionaries, to help run and organize teen camp here in Madagascar. Being the first time for all of us, we were really quite unsure of what to expect. Yet now, looking back, we can certainly say that God did a wonderful work. Besides many great decisions for Christ, there were at least six teenagers who accepted Christ as their Savior. One missionary couple brought a van full of teenagers, half of them unsaved. It was their prayer that they would return home with a van full of saved teenagers. God answered their prayer!
Though our numbers this year seemed small compared to the millions of young people in this country, it is our prayer that this would only be the beginning of something God can mightily use in the years ahead in this needy country.
As for some other events in our lives, Rachael recently began her lessons in the Malagasy language. Though the beginning is always slow-going as you build a base of vocabulary words, we look forward to the day when we are fluent enough to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in the Malagasy language. We thank the Lord for those He has brought into our lives to help teach us. Their patience, perseverance and commitment to helping us is such a blessing.
Dan has had several occasion to speak with a Jehovah’s Witness who has been trying to “reach us” with their false faith. Whether or not this JW will see the darkness of his own religion is uncertain. But we are thankful for the opportunity to share the Gospel with him (and get him off the streets!).
The girls will be starting school next week (September 5th). They will be attending a French school near our house. Of course, new is always both exciting and daunting. Yet, the girls are looking forward to going back to school and meeting new friends. Rachael and I are also looking forward to the doors this opens and the opportunities it provides for us to meet new people, build relationships and then share the Gospel. It is still our prayer to begin a French Bible study in our home. We would appreciate your prayers concerning this matter.
Finally, we end with a cultural insight. Our guard was recently speaking with Dan about his family traditions concerning the famadihana, the Malagasy custom of turning the bones. He continued in some detail about this practice. It was eye opening to listen to this good catholic man talk about his involvement in such a dark custom. It reaffirmed even more in our hearts the desperate need this country has for the glorious light of the Gospel.
As always, we thank you for your faithful prayers and support. We are thrilled to be your representatives to Madagascar and are thankful for the part we can have in God’s almighty plan to reach the world with the good news of Jesus Christ.