Our team drove in from the bush last night, exhausted but happy with the week. Here’s an overview of our time in the bush…
After a very bumpy 12 hour ride, we made it to Bekily. On the way there, three of us lost our bags off the top of the truck, but it turned out to be an opportunity for God to show us his amazing provision. Julia lost her necessary thyroid medicine with her bag. We “happened” to be in a town where Chandler knew the Italian doctor who worked in the hospital there. We went to the hospital, and she was there that day. She said it’s impossible to get the medicine in Madagascar that Julia needed, but she “happened” to take the very same medicine. She had a reserve of pills at her house, and we went there so she could give us enough to get through the rest of the trip. She said we were very lucky, but we knew better. Losing our bags also brought the team together as we shared with each other the toiletries and clothes we needed to get through our week out there.
We spent each night in Bekily, a bush town, and drove out to village of Bedona (pronounced bay-DOON-ah) in the mornings, about 45 minutes away. We spent the first day talking with the people and sharing the gospel stories with them. They were attentive and eager to learn, and we presented to a group of 55-60 Antandroy. At the end of the day, we gave them an indestructible soccer ball, and they couldn’t believe that it didn’t deflate when Chandler kicked it into the cactus to show how tough it was. By the time we got back to the village the next morning, they had erected sturdy goal posts in the field and had a full fledge soccer game going on.
Our time in the village of Bedona was fruitful, but Satan was attacking us at every turn. During the week, the gendarme (Malagasy military) harassed us and intimidated the people in Bedona. This made our storying difficult, but we were still able to cover the entire Creation to Christ story and go into detail with several more gospel stories. We planted many seeds and are excited to see what happens as Chandler goes back there to follow up and disciple the men.
We left Bekily a day early and headed to Ambagnezagne, a village where Chandler has been working for over two years. We were able to spend time with his close friend and believer, Mahazasoa. We shared the story of Pentecost with him, appropriately on Pentecost, and he had a lot of penetrating, thoughtful questions. It was encouraging to see this phase of work that Chandler had reached as it gave us insight into what Bedona may experience as we continue our partnership with him to reach that specific group of Antandroy.
Michelle spent the week helping Kelli with the girls as we were out in the bush. This was a tremendous help to Kelli, and Chandler was able to have a peace of mind knowing she was there with them as we were gone. Thank you all so much for your prayers this week as we were in the bush. God was so faithful to bring us through some tough obstacles we faced, and his word went forth! We will wrap up our time in Ft. Dauphin on Thursday morning and be back to Atlanta Friday evening.