Hello again from Nosy Be, Madagascar. We have a big announcement to make, but first here is a short video update highlighting the different ministries going on right now during this rainy season…
At the very end of the video you may have heard Rebe say this will be our last year in Madagascar. With mixed emotions we have decided to end our time here one year early, and will be returning to the states in April. There are several reasons for this, and some of them cannot be shared publicly, but it mainly comes down to this is the right time for our family to say goodbye to Nosy Be. Here is a portion of a letter we recently sent to our financial partners:
In 2013, after serving for four years in South Africa, we joined a mission team to Madagascar. In the eight years we have been serving in this small fishing village, we have seen the development of Sakalava believers who have come to Christ, and now worship Him throughout the week and gather for corporate worship every Sunday. Our family has been richly blessed to pioneer, cast a vision, and implement the establishment of a church network on the island of Nosy Be. Additionally, both the Sakalava Music Ministry and the start-up of Mama Vao Vao’s business has provided us with joy and hope in the ways in which God grows His Kingdom among the nations through unique and practical means.
We arrived back in Nosy Be last year, in February 2020, while Rebe was in her 6th month of pregnancy. It was at that same time the pandemic made its way across the globe, and has plagued the world with more challenges than we could have expected. Following the birth of Ivy, our family found ourselves in a situation we had not foreseen. A tragic event happened in our village, and our family was greatly affected.
With this story, among the unfolding of countless others, it has become clear that our family’s time in this ministry location has come to a close.
Rebe was talking with me recently about how eight years ago, when we arrived here, are kids were ages 4, 5, and 9. They loved their lives in the village, playing marbles, jumprope, and climbing trees, but now they are 12, 13 and 17 and of course our family grew with the addition of Hudson and Ivy. My point is that our teenagers, my wife, and family are in a place where God has done amazing things that we have had the opportunity to be a part of, and now it’s time to move ourselves to a location where they have a community that is able to support them in their faith. Rebe and I want to give our kids the chance to make a Christian friend, interact socially in their first language, and be part of a church community that is able to love, teach, and encourage them. While a small fishing village in Madagascar has been an incredible place to raise young ones, it lacks the help we need as we raise, disciple and educate our teenagers.
We therefore will be leaving Madagascar on April 1, 2021 and moving to the U.S. while we pray and decide the steps we will take next. Our plan for years has been to establish a missionary training hub in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We considered going straight to Ethiopia from Madagascar, but the timing does not work out for everyone involved in making the decision. Also, Camden starts his senior year of high school in August; he will be applying to colleges, needs to obtain his driver’s license, and would like to get a paying job before he arrives at university. There are many factors playing into our decision to return for a home assignment in the U.S.
Our plan is to remain with Mission to World, and prayerfully consider how God is calling to use us in this new phase of our family’s lives. Our fifteen years with MTW has proven to equip, refine and challenge our faith in ways we never could have imagined. Now it’s time for us to take another leap of uncertainty as we explore our future in His Kingdom mission. We are sad to be leaving our AIM family… we have been blessed to be a part of a group of people who are never hesitant to give everything to Christ and the advancement of His kingdom.
We want to deeply thank you for your prayers and support of our family for many years, for partnering with us in the work of making disciples of all the nations, and joining us in pioneering new roads in areas where there is little church presence. God is good and He is faithful to redeem His children from every land and every tongue.