Thursday, September 1, 2016

Time


As we look over the past couple of months we have realized how precious time is.  Time is fleeting.  We have traveled back to the past and then to the future again.  We have lived/stayed in different time zones and visited multiple countries and States.  As we made all of these travels and events we learned that adjusting to time and all of its changes can be challenging.

We enjoyed our time in the US but as we look back it was just a Texas tornado.  It came and it went and it was a wild ride for the entire time.  It was so nice to see some friends and family but we mixed in so many things that by the time it came to pack up to leave we were exhausted.  This is not to say that we wouldn’t do this again but it is to say that we have learned a little from this time spent in the US.

Time teaches us things as well.  As we have been here in Madagascar we have realized that time has taught us many things about our Malagasy friends.  We have learned so much about the culture and we are forever different because of it.  We have also learned to try and make the most of the time given to us.  There are so many things happening around us that if we don’t just take some time and breathe it begins to overwhelm us.

Working in the front lines of missions we have learned that time can stand still as well.  Time means so much to us as Americans but to our nationals it isn’t as big of a priority.  In church planting we tend to try to work on timetables but one thing the Lord has shown over and over through his word and throughout history is that His timetable is not our timetable.  He doesn’t work according to our desires.  We have a responsibility to submit ourselves to Lord and to His desires and His timetable. 

What does this mean?  Trust in the Lord and believe that He has a plan.  He holds all things together and He is in charge of time.  The Lord will bring about the harvest in His do time and provide the workers.  We are to just be faithful servants.  As we go through time the only thing that really matters is that we are being obedient to the Lord and His calling.  The accolades of man and any earthly rewards don’t matter if we aren’t walking in the Lord’s plan/timetable.


Praises:
We had a great trip to the US and enjoyed time with friends and family
Phoebe and Emma had a good time in F/D and have made it back to RVA safely
We have seen the Lord use His vision to motivate others to want to serve Him
Our Hands on Girls and Diana have arrived safely
We think the Land Cruiser is back in working order.

Prayer Request:
For the upcoming events happening.  Trainings, bush trips, friends coming and going, and family times.
For our Church leaders to stay motivated and committed to the Lord
For the extreme drought taking place in the South of Mada.  May we have wisdom on how to proceed with help
For Phoebe in her Senior year of High School, Emma in her Junior year of High School and Baylee as she works on 6th Grade.
For future plans for universities for P and E, financial blessing to pay for said universities and for Baylee and River to continue to grow in the Lord.

 We were able to see a few sights in London

 We enjoyed some really good food in the States

 Catching up with some SoMad peeps. 
 Sweet times with family

 Good byes are so hard but thankful for Grace at airports

 Visited Church in Toliara

 Two men from Androy land finished their Biblical Training program

 New Workers for SoMad Team

 Everyone headed their separate ways once again.

Shared at the CEIM Convention

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Pressure

We have had a great month of ministry and seeing the Lord at work.  It seems hard to believe that the Lord has done all that has been accomplished in just one month.  We are so thankful for how He is working and we desire to give Him all the glory and the honor for all the good things that are happening here in the South of Madagascar.  We have reached five years of service with the IMB and we are reminded many times of why we came here in the first place.  We have been reminded of the urgency to see the Lord do great things. 

Thus, we do find ourselves living under pressure.  We feel it in many different ways but one of the issues we face is how much time do we really have to work here in Madagascar?  How long will the Lord wait until He comes again?  The answer is simply that we don't know.  We just seek to be faithful to the gift he gives us each day here on earth.  We also are people of vision, planning and strategy.  We want to do things at the right time, for the right reasons and to make much of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  We also just don't want to follow commercialized methods of ministry but be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading.  So we find ourselves asking this question:  If we knew Christ was coming back in six months what would we do differently?  We hope and pray that many things would be the same but there are also little simple daily actions that we would absolutely change.  We believe that we are in a very important season of seeing the Lord's work flourish.  We have more leaders trained, more believers, more baptisms, and more churches than ever before here in the South of Mada but there is so much more to do.  We haven't even begun to shatter the silence.

We were able to watch the final of the Copa America and see the penalty kick shootout.  We as Argentina fans were ecstatic when Romero stopped the first Chilean PK but then we as so many others were just speechless as we saw the best player in the world miss his kick.  It was evident that he stepped up there wanting to make the kick not just for himself but for all the Argentines.  The inner-pressure and the external pressures were just too much and he over did it.  In our ministry here in the South of Madagascar we just have to remember to be faithful in the moment.  We don't do things for our church, convention, family, friends or even ourselves.  We do them to make much of Jesus Christ.  We don't want to step beyond where the Spirit of God is moving.  We don't want to over do it or under do it.  We have to trust that God is in control and that He will work things out according to His good, perfect and pleasing will.  We have to remember that it is not about us but it is us just being willing to take those steps of faith that will allow God's Kingdom and His will to come here on earth as in heaven.

Praises:
The trainings in Fort Dauphin went very well.  People have been taking what they learned and are sharing and training up others.
Phoebe and Emma have finished up another school year
We had a safe bush trip.
We have some teammates from different organizations joining us

Prayer Request:
For our national partners to stay founded in the Lord and willing to share and train others
The famine in the Madagascar and Sub-Saharan Africa
Baylee as she starts 6th grade
New career teammates to join us here in the South of Madagascar.  We will be working alone for a while.

Teaching out in Beloha

Visited a new village and cast vision and shared out of Mark 1

Praising God for time with the Kayiuki's.  They are a neat couple

 Closing Ceremonies of SWBTS Class

Serve to Lead
 Gathering to Head out and share



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Lord is Moving


As we shared last month, the Lord is moving!
It was a great time of celebration on May 16th as 15 people were baptized from 3 different locations.  The villages came together and worshipped as the men and women were baptized.  Praise God there was water and that His Spirit continues to move.  Pray for water so 30 more can be baptized soon.
There are a number of preaching points that are very close to becoming church.  Pray for the leaders in these areas and for faithfulness on their part to step out and follow the leading of the Lord.
As a family, we have been going with the flow.  Car trouble early in May left us without a car for over two weeks.  We were thankful for our national partner, Rado, and the team from Kentucky as they were able to go out and fulfill some of the trainings that Adam was going to do, as well as give us a much better idea of the individual needs of villages around Androy.  Further, Adam was able to rent a car for the weekend to celebrate the baptisms of the 15 and encourage those villages.
Now we are waiting in anticipation to see all the Lord is going to do in the near future!
Southwestern Seminary  is coming to train many of our national partners.  It will be a full two weeks of training and ministry.  The seminary class will be May 30-June 9 and will have a celebration upon completion.  There is one class for the men and another for the women.
PRAISES:
*Baylee completed 5th grade
*Our Hands-On students completed their term
*Phoebe and Emma are doing well as they finish up their Junior and Sophomore years at RVA.  (They’ll finish July 12th.)
*There are many exciting things going on with volunteers and missionaries coming and going.  Also, the way the Lord is moving in the national conventions here in Madagascar.  We can’t wait to share more in the coming months!!
*15 were baptized from villages surrounding Tsihombe
*About 30 are waiting on water in order to follow in baptism
*New churches are forming

PRAYER REQUESTS:
*Travel mercies and logistics for both the SWBTS mission team and our national partners traveling from the bush villages
*The families of those traveling, specifically the national partner’s families to be taken care of while they’re away for 2 weeks.

*Teacher’s who will be presenting the material to the students.  And student to receive the teaching clearly.  I am praying the following verses for all those involved.

o   Psalm 25:4-5 “Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
    teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God of my salvation;
    for you I wait all the day long.

*Adam as he continues to work out the details and leads all the people involved.

*Suzie, Rachel and the kids as they help out as needed.

*Good health for all

Let us know what activities you and your church will be involved in this summer so we can be praying for you too!
 Water!


 Farewell to our Hands-On Students for a Job well done!
Sweet siblings!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Hardships Amidst Exciting Times


The Lord is at work in South Madagascar!  Here are a few things going on this month:

11 students are attending THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION BY EXTENSION courses here in Fort Dauphin

4 students are attending SEMINARY in other parts of the island and will be returning soon

3 Malagasy students are attending SOUTHWESTERN Seminary and will return to lead their fellow countrymen

80 Malagasy partners will be TRAINED by Southwestern Seminary this month

8 were BAPTIZED in Tsihombe

16 are awaiting TRAINING ON BAPTISM around Tranoroa

2 groups are ready to BECOME CHURCH PLANTS around Tranoroa

3 NEW MISSIONARIES are headed to serve alongside us from USA and Ecuador
When we sit back and look at all the Lord is doing we are amazed! 
We have been in Fort Dauphin for 3 years now and it blows our minds how much the Spirit has moved, how many have been saved and how many are serving the Lord whole-heartedly now.  Lives have been changed, churches have been planted and the Word of God is spreading!  This doesn't come without hardships and struggles.  We returned in early April from medical appointments and a meeting.  We had a few ailments that we needed to get checked out and then were refreshed at our cluster meeting.  Some health issues returned a good report, while others brought more concern.  The biggest news is that Adam will need to have back surgery.  He will have a disc replaced and another fused.  The doctor is amazed at all Adam has been able to continue to do despite the degenerated and prolapsed discs, but gave him the go-ahead to wait on surgery until October.  Suzie will also have a less serious procedure as her great sephanous vein is no longer working.  She will get radio ablation frequency to collapse the vein and hopefully prevent further varicose veins in her left calf.  Fortunately, Suzie's procedure is also non-urgent and will be done in October.  Both surgeries will be in South Africa.  We'll keep you posted on the outcomes! Other hardships are in the hands of our nationals.  With the drought, lack of financial support and spiritual warfare, some of our partners struggle daily to stay the course.  Pray alongside us that they would "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called them heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:14)
Praises:
*God is moving!
*Phoebe and Emma had a good break and are working hard to complete their third and final term of this school year. (Finish in July)
*Baylee will finish 5th grade this month
*There has been some rain in Androy!  Some crops were replanted and should yield a small harvest.  Pray for at least one or two more good rains to ensure a plentiful harvest!
Prayer Requests:
*Health concerns
*Perseverance for us and our national partners
*Plans for new missionaries to fall into place
*Details of volunteer teams to work out
*Southwestern trip and training to go well
*Travel mercies for volunteer teams and national partners coming into Fort Dauphin for the training
 Baptism in ocean
 Celebrating with those who were baptized
 (Above and below) Family Vacation

 (Above and below) Pastor's and Wives' Prayer Retreat

Childcare for the Pastor's and Wives' Prayer Retreat

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Prayer Walking Drive


Almost four years ago, a group of 12 volunteers raised a couple thousand dollars each in order to come and pray over a vast area of Southern Madagascar.  They yearned to speak the truth of the Gospel, but a majority of the 40 hours they spent on this trip was traversing bumpy, harsh, taxing curves, rocks and sand whilst praying.  Upon arrival in a town where they could rest, they would struggle out of the vehicle, regaining mobility in their aching bodies and attempt to recoup in order to do it for another 10 hours the next day.  Amidst the discomfort, the group would pray in each village along the main road of Androy (South Madagascar):  Tranoroa, Beloha, Tsihombe, & Ambovombe.  Turning back after the third day of travels, they faced deep, wet mud holes.  The rain was a miracle because Androy is a desert and doesn't get much rain.  In each village the volunteers had prayed in as they passed by, it had rained.  The Antandroy people were amazed and excited.  They knew there was something different about our group.  Now, there is a group of believers meeting in each of these villages.  Two of these villages have churches that have been planted.  Here's a picture of a few of the pastors in the area:


The underlying component to these new believers, new groups and new churches was prayer!

Prayer has continued to be the power behind the Holy Spirit moving among the Antandroy people.

If you would commit to praying alongside us for the Antandroy people, let us hear from you!  I am fasting lunch on Tuesday’s.  If you are so led, fast alongside me and let’s see how the Lord opens the floodgates and brings the nation of Madagascar to Himself.  Also, let us know specific ways we can be praying for you!
Praises:
*New believers are being baptized and evangelizing among surrounding villages
*We're enjoying being all together as a family this month while Phoebe and Emma are on break from school.
*We enjoyed a time of worship and preaching at our meeting we just finished.
Prayer Requests:
*Sweet time together and in doing ministry together as a family.
*We would be faithful in sharing and discipling new believers.
*We'll be having a prayer retreat for our national partners and their wives next week.
*Diana- a co-missionary coming from Ecuador to work with us.
*Preparations for short term teams coming in the next few months.