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Although December has just arrived with all its excitement and business, we did not want to wait to the end of the year to share how God has blessed our church with some incredible growth throughout this year. As we look to the past, we are thrilled to reflect on all the evident spiritual growth our church has seen. People have been saved, new believers have been baptized, and many have started or recently finished discipleship. It is obvious that God has been working in the hearts of our people as they have taken many wonderful steps towards a deeper or more meaningful relationship with their Savior.
Fitahiana and Nomena
Those are the names of two young men who faithfully attend our church. We reached both of these teenagers through our English classes. Soon after coming to the classes, they both started attending the church. Since then, both have accepted Christ and have been baptized. They have also started bringing their families to church.
Several months ago, these two young men approached me (Dan) and said they wanted to use our English program at a local middle school. Their goal was the use this tool to reach the students for Christ. After getting permission from the school, the two young men set a time and date to begin. For their first class, there were over 50 middle school students in attendance. The program has continued to progress over the last two months and these two young men have faithfully taught and invited students to our youth group. Four youth have recently begun attending youth group and church services because of the influence of these teenage boys.
In October, we had the privilege of baptizing one newly married couple and one lady. The couple has been sporadically attending church for over a year but never seemed interested or committed. In the last several months however, an evident change took place their life. When we made an announcement for the next baptism, they expressed their readiness to be baptized. As we talked about baptism and salvation, they said they had both accepted Christ within the last few months through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word! It has been such an encouragement to watch this young couple grow in their love and commitment to the Lord.
In Madagascar, there is no sparsity of babies or children. It is estimated that nearly 40% of the population is under 18 years old. Finding children in the streets and the towns is never difficult. Finding parents who are committed to raising their children for God, however, is much more of a challenge. At the end of November, our church had its second baby dedication. There were eight babies dedicated to the Lord on that day. What a wonderful Sunday we had as we encouraged the parents to commit themselves first to serve the Lord and secondly to raise their children for God’s glory. Please pray that God would help these couples be the godly parents God desires them to be.
These are really just a few of the many stories we have witnessed throughout this past year. We could take several more pages and tell you more of what God is doing here in Madagascar. It is truly our privilege to serve Him and be your ambassadors to this island.
It has taken no effort to fill our schedules in the month of December. Much focus is being placed on the Christmas day services as the children and youth prepare for their presentation of the Christmas story through song and drama. We had a great turn out last year for this event and are praying that God would bless this year with many visitors as well. Please pray with us that the Gospel would be clearly presented, hearts would be truly impacted, and that souls would be saved for God’s glory this Christmas season.
As always, we thank you for your prayers and support.
The Browns to Madagascar
“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38