We left Antananarivo at about noon, and as we were traveling, we had to do a lot of stopping as we had to use the bathrooms. We are thankful for the trees and bushes because they were the only bathrooms along the way. While on the road the team was amazed at the landscape of Madagascar and of course, took a lots of pictures. We had a stop at one place where the team attracted the attention of the people, so they got out of the bus and did some singing. You can tell already that they already have the heart of missions by trying to socialize with them. Jane Young always finds a baby from the small crowd and she would hold the Malagasy baby lovingly, and the mother is admiring the scene.
Finally we arrived at the Mahajanga base at about 3 in the morning, and didn’t get to bed until about 4, as we had to unload the bus and assign sleeping arrangements. We let the team sleep until noon, and then the never ending busy day started as we were trying to get settled. Of course Linda, our head lady leader, took charge of setting up the kitchen, she would not be satisfied until the place was practically sparkling. Every one was working hard, but after all that effort, it feels so nice to be out of our boots and just in our socks when inside, since it is culturally appropriate here to remove shoes when entering the building, which also keeps it cleaner longer. Then the team took turns taking a shower, an actual shower with running water and every thing!
Sunday morning was much more relaxed, since we had wake up at 7:00. We walked for about half an hour to get to a local church. It is a custom at this church for everyone to pray out loud at the same time, and passionately, but the team was not used to it so as we were waiting outside, they thought that the people were arguing. I had warned leader Brian Meaden that the church where we were going would ask us to preach, so they did. Brian gave a sermon on how to use the authority from God to defeat the devil. I (Liva ) was enlightened as I was translating for him.
Sunday afternoon the team had an opportunity to socialize with the Malagasy BMW ( Teen Missions Bible School students). It does not take long for the team to make friends with the national people, especially Hannah Parnell, Emily Rosak, and Jane Young.
The weather is perfect during the day, it gets cooler toward the morning, and we all are enjoying it here—you can tell by the endless laughter, and we really praise the Lord as He has made us to be a family.
Donglin (Linda) Zhang-The second day we arrived to Mahajanga, we visited a church at a nearby village. I was amazed at the energy and enthusiasm the Malagasy people displayed for God. Walking back we were greeted by so many many warm and light spirited people. I am really enjoying my time here and I am getting really close with the rest of my team”.
Emma Weme-It has only been a few days here but I have experienced a lot. I have learned to be really bold with my faith. I have had the chance to meet new people and talk to them. It has been great to do all this with others that are passionate for our work, here which is really encouraging.