A great big “hello” to all of you from all of us! Thank you for praying for us each day. We praise God for all He is doing and for the privilege of serving Him each day. We ride out to the Sunday Schools Wednesday through Sunday with the circuit riders. We have to go on the main road, then turn off onto to dirt “roads” to reach each Sunday School. It takes anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours to reach our destination. We have had to go straight through the middle of town, Mahajanga, during the busy hours of the day and return in the evenings again through the busy streets. The dirt roads have plenty of sand that slows us down, along with ox carts and sometimes small herds of cattle. We have ministered to over 560 people with over 50 decisions. This past Saturday we did a presentation in a village where over 200 people gathered around to hear a presentation of the Gospel. Liva, the TMI Madagascar coordinator, translates for us each day. While at the Sunday School, we tell the Bible story, sing songs with the children, do English phonics and play games. We minister together with the Circuit Riders who don’t speak any English. Our 250cc motorbikes are holding up as we go forth each day in the name of Jesus! Praise the Lord!
Monday and Tuesday we are looking forward to a short camping trip. We will travel by truck about seven hours away to a place where we will get to hike through some caves and see some lemurs. Monday night we plan to camp out under the stars and enjoy a cookout, including hot dogs and marshmallows over the campfire. Tuesday morning we will explore the caves, see a waterfall and maybe even go swimming inside the cave, before we drive back to TMI in time to meet the other Circuit Riders before heading out on the new Circuit on Wednesday.
A few words from the team:
Marinna Potts – Our first Sunday School was on Wednesday. So we set out not knowing what to expect. We arrived at the meeting tree to find 50 kids. We did not have a translator, so our team played games and sang songs. One girl stands out in my mind. At each Sunday School you make contact with a specific child and a bond is formed. It’s absolutely wonderful. This girl taught me a game with her friends and she would mimic all my facial expressions and random words. I talked to her a bit in French, but other than that we had no verbal conversations, just laughter and love. Sometimes those are the best conversations ever.
Heidi Gerstenkorn – Friday morning we walked down to the Nirina school at the base near to where we stay. We gave our presentation right on top of a roof so all the children could see us! We sang songs, used puppets and a skit to share the message of Jesus Christ! God is doing amazing work in Madagascar!
Bella McKay – Hello world! Friday morning our team was asked to perform for the Nirina school. When we got there, we didn’t know we would be standing on top of the roof over everyone. It was a strange experience but a lot of fun.
Hayley Sampson – Saturday we started on our way to the Sunday School, but God had a different plan for us. After making it over the river, we ended up in a village with no time left to get to the Sunday School location. So we did a presentation right where we were in the village. The whole village got into the music and after a little speech, many, many people accepted Christ. God had us right where we were needed!
Hannah Williams – Hey guys! Well, on Friday we got the privilege to visit two Sunday Schools! It was great! When we got there, the kids were all excited and sooo happy! They didn’t have a building, so we did the Sunday School under a nice big tree. We did songs with lots of motions for them and they loved it (they laughed quite a bit at us)! Then we played games. Oh, how they love to play games! Especially duck, duck, goose! All went well and I really enjoyed myself playing with the kids. God’s really moving through our team. God bless.
Hunter Hebenstreit – Yesterday was a great day on the Circuit! Although we never actually reached the Sunday School, we were able to give our presentation in a village we drove through. Over 40 people raised their hands to accept Christ! Even though our plan failed, God’s plan never did.
Wyatt Castle – With the time I have been at Teen Missions, God has really been showing me how, even though I thought I was living a life for Him, I was really living a life of excuses in my faith. So with two weeks left in Madagascar, I can see what I need to change. Now it’s just time to make the choice and live out the life God has set before me.
Elizabeth Toney – On Friday we had two Sunday Schools to go to, which made for a fun, but very challenging ride. The team made it to the first Sunday School a bit late because of bike complications (flat tire), but once we finally got there, we made the most of our time. The kids love to play duck, duck, goose, and even some of the adults came out to join us as we sang. After saying goodbye, we headed off to the next location. This is when things got interesting. We had our first experience with one of the log bridges we’d been warned about, and it was truly sketchy. Don’t worry, the team is all still here. The highlight for the kids was the puppets. After lots of games, songs and pictures, we started our drive back to TMI. It was getting dark, so the circuit riders decided to take us on a safer path.The only thing we could see, because of all the dirt, were the brake lights from the bikes in front of us. It took us twice as long to get home as it did on our way there. My faith grew tremendously that night as I relied on God to be the “Lamp unto my feet and the Light unto my path”.