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Ripping Away the Charm

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This past month, we have been privileged to encourage new believers as they follow Jesus in baptism.At one of these celebrations, we were all waiting in anticipation as the candidates for baptism lined up.We had walked almost 4 ½ miles through thick sand along the cactus lined pathway to get to the ocean.One by one the new believers walked out into the water as three church leaders baptized each one.The whole group was singing praises to God and many of the ladies danced their way back onto shore after identifying with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.About half the group had gone when it was time for another young lady.She walked out into the ocean and as she got to the right spot she turned around.Suddenly, her sister’s in Christ started hollering from the shore, “Charm! She still has on a charm!”Without prompting by the church leaders, the girl reached up, ripped the charm from her neck and threw it down into the water!Her actions made such a statement about her faith, …

Press On While There's Still Time

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Time. In some ways it flies by! In other ways it takes forever!Think about it.I’ve almost been married for 20 years.How is that possible?Yet, we have been through so much!

Time. No one has enough of it.We all want more of it.But God is above it.For us, right here, right now, we are seeking to make the most of it!We press on.
We’ve faced many hindrances along the way. I fear in listing them I will likely forget some, but here’s a few:sickness, surgeries, meetings- offering us a chance to get off the island which is crucial to our survival, but also include days of travel, the basic challenges of caring for yourself and your family in a place where nothing is easy or convenient, language and cultural barriers, disappointments, deaths of co-laborers here in Madagascar, as well, as family and friend in the States.Many times we don’t get to attend funerals.The physical needs of the people here are enough to drowned out any joy.It’s one mother with a sick child after another with no food to e…

Tides

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Having the privilege to serve the Lord in the South of Madagascar has some perks.  One of those is that we have some beautiful scenery's to look at.  One of our favorite spots is looking out over the cliffs at a local hotel.  We have been there numerous times now but the scenery never gets old.  The one thing that we truly love is watching the tide come in and seeing the waves crash into the coral and rock.  It is truly mesmerizing!  We have and still could just spend hours watching this scene and observing the power of the waves but the resiliency of the coast.

This is our lives over these past few months and years.  We have sought to be resilient in the midst of changing tides.  One of the obstacles has been our physical and emotional health.  They seem to work in unison.  As we feel physically able to perform and live within the changing tides of what Madagascar offers we find ourselves doing well mentally as well.  However, we have always sought to do things as a family so whe…

Hailes Travails

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Life on the mission field is one of difficulties to say the least.  This isn't to say that our friends at home don't have difficulties but when you are dealing with things with a limited infrastructure it creates more challenges.  It is many times in the midst of these difficulties that we find ourselves growing in the Lord but it isn't always easy or pleasurable.  Despite these difficulties we have grateful hearts for what the Lord has done. 

One things is for sure about our time on the field.  The constant separation from the family causes great stress on us.  We do better when we do things together.  We have learned to function within the circumstances we currently live in but they do wear on us.  This past month we have had many days apart.  These days were for a good reason as Suzie was able to visit Phoebe and Emma but all the trips add up.  We are thankful that our kids get to study at a great school and they are happy but honestly not being all together is a sore …

Extreme

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It seems that we have come the end of another month and as we look back it doesn't seem like we did a lot even though we have been under a lot of stress.  And then, we begin to look back over it all and realize that the Lord allowed us to accomplish more than we often felt like we could handle.  So, we gladly say to you all "The Lord is good all the time".  We know that there are many of us feeling uncertain about what the future holds.  We would like to just say that even if the worsts scenarios take place God is still good.  Therefore, don't worry about tomorrow but let us all strive to live a life that displays the Lord's goodness in all that we do.  We are living as Toby Mac says in "Extreme Days".



You may be asking yourselves what have you guys done that is so extreme?  Honestly, we don't feel like we are very extreme at all.  What we will say is that our God's love and care for his people has allowed us to accomplish extreme things for Hi…

Even to Odd but Same Job

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As we start up a New Year we have found ourselves looking ahead while at the same time looking back.  This has been healthy, encouraging and discouraging, challenging, and full of hope for us.  We have been amazed at how the Lord has done so many amazing things among the people groups here in the South of Madagascar.  In particular how He has allowed us to be a part of His work among the Tandroy and Tanosy peoples.  As we see His hand at work we continuously find ourselves being humbled as we are so unworthy of the many blessings that He has poured out on us.  Not just with some of the fruits of ministry but with the love given, kindness shown and prayers prayed on our behalf.  We are most definitely unworthy of it all.  So as we close out this even year of 2016 and enter into an odd year of 2017 we say to you all that our job hasn't changed.  Our desire is to make much of Jesus Christ the King of Kings and to see His Kingdom come.  So as we push forward we turn our eyes, thoughts…

Leading from the Outside in an Inside Community

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This past month has been one of many trainings.We started off the month by doing trainings with our national partners and continued with some language training, and finished with a time of learning how to better work within our master strategy plans, while packing in time for Suzie to have surgery on her leg.This has been a busy month and it has entailed a lot of traveling.Praise the Lord we made all our flights and we have stayed relatively healthy through it all.
As we have participated and led out in these trainings we have realized that we still have a lot of work in becoming native with our people.We love the Malagasy people, we attempt to live life in a way that shows honor to their culture (food, lifestyle, business practices, greetings, etc…), work hand in hand with them and speak their language. However, we have also realized that it might be that we will always be outsiders in an insider community.
What does this mean?It means that in most the places where we have invested ou…