Getting Caught Up

We have arrived safely in Antananarivo, where we will remain until the little one is born, God willing. It has been a few weeks since our last post, so let me get you caught up…

Our team held another gathering in December, and it was the first one in the main fishing village of Ambatozavavy. We were able to tell the story of Jesus’ birth and how He is the fulfillment of God’s promises to mankind. Because of the translation work of Rosina and her team, we were also able to read the story of His coming from Matthew. A challenge was issued by Jed for the people to decide if they were more like the wise men, seeking to worship and honor Him, or more like Herod, seeking to destroy Him.

1As the sunset faded away and the darkness arrived, our gathering ended with a story and a song. Rosina told the people that the coming of Jesus was like a light coming into the darkness. As she slowly lit her lone candle, she shared with her neighbors the gospel message of hope that can never be overcome by the darkness. The rest of the team began lighting their candles and passing the flame onto others. Ladys and the band began playing the Sakalava version of “O’ Holy Night,” and soon 300 people were singing the chorus at the top of their lungs. It was a great ending to the final gathering of 2014, and we are excited to see what will happen to the hearts of the people who have now heard about The Light.

Here is the translated version of “O’ Holy Night,” called “Haligny Masigny,” which is “night holy” in Sakalava. We now have 10 songs in the local language!

2We spent the Christmas holiday at a nice villa on the other side of the island with our teammates. This trip also marked the end of our 5th unit of curriculum. We are taking a break from curriculum for the next 6 months to focus on the gathering and our other ministries.

3New Years was spent with our Sakalava family at their house. We had a delicious meal of chicken, duck and goose, with many other sides (Ladys is about to dig into the Sakalava potato salad!). Cynthia (next to Rebe) is also pregnant and the due date is really close to ours.

4The journey to Tana began on January 9th with a 45 minute boat ride across the sea. On the other side we were met by our driver, who drove 5 hours to a little town where we spent the night. The next day we left early and drove 12 hours to Tana, slowly climbing from a tropical climate to the highlands. It is the rainy season, so almost the entire trip was through the rain. The rivers were raging and the bridges were sketchy, but we made it, praise God. Much of the drive was through open country (completely open!), and it was special to be able to see more of the country we have called home for the past 2 years. This picture is of the highlands, about 3 hours outside of Tana, during a break in the rain.

– Bryan