Merry Christmas from Madagascar

Here in Nosy Be the rainy season has come early. January is normally the month when we start to receive daily downpours, but we have had rain each day now for the past three weeks. December is one of the hottest months here, so we welcome the cooler temperatures that come with the rain. But for most of our neighbors, this is just one more unexpected disruption in a year full of unexpected disruptions. Those that grow rice plan for January rain, and so this very early flooding is coming too soon; and those that are traveling for Christmas and New Year’s must deal with muddy, flooded, and washed-out roads. One thing about Madagascar that is hard to properly describe to someone who has never been here is the roads… they are just the worst. There is a beautiful area on the mainland that we would love to visit over the Christmas break. It is up in the mountains, the air is cool and crisp, there are pine trees everywhere and a beautiful lake. And the distance from my doorstep to the wonderful cabin I can see in mind is not far. On a good highway our family could be there in six to eight hours. But the reality here is that it would take us three days! And that’s all-day driving on roads that turn your kids’ stomachs into rock tumblers. I love this country and I wish I could see more of it, but the roads make it almost impossible.

The roads that connect our village to neighboring villages where we have established ministries are just as difficult, but that didn’t stop everyone from coming together this past Sunday to celebrate Christmas. The churches in Ambatozavavy and Bemonondrohely, together with a large group from our church plant in Andrafia, were able to worship together for the first time in over a year. And while I helped Jean prepare his sermon, this was the first time that I had nothing to do with the planning or leading of a large gathering like this. Rebe and I watched with joy as the church matured before our eyes. We are blessed to be able to see God at work here amongst the Sakalava people. Please continue to pray for all of these new believers, and for the church leadership and Malagasy missionaries that we work with.

Merry Christmas from all seven of us here in Madagascar. It’s amazing to think about that night so long ago when Christ came into the world to be with us, and even more amazing to think ahead to that day when he will return to make all things new. May the joy that comes with faith in these truths be with you during this season.

As this year comes to a close, please remember us in your end-of-year giving. In addition to giving to our family’s ministry, you can also give towards our church land/building project.

Click here to give to our family’s ministry

Click here to give to the church building project

– Bryan