Hello from Ranamafana!

The Madagascar Eyeglass team is on the move.  We are in Ranamafana, which means “Hot Water” in Malagasy, for 2 nights.  It is so beautiful! It is a lush jungle area where the team has seen spiders the size of a dinner plate and tried new and unique foods. But I get ahead of myself…

Wednesday morning the team rose early to prepare to leave the Southern Madagascar base for Teen Missions.  It was a bitter sweet departure.  All of the Malagasy staff & students showed up to wish us off.  There were many hugs shared and long goodbyes.  We will miss their cheerful spirits and helpful nature.

We then proceeded on a 12 hr drive to Ranamafana, our home for 2 nights.  Along the way we took a quick stop at the Indian Ocean.  Everyone was so excited to finally have the opportunity to see and feel the ocean.  It was Lydia’s first time visiting the ocean & it did not disappoint.  Risa & Grace both bought fresh coconuts and drank them & other team members bought souvenirs for home.  It was a quick stop (only 30 minutes because we had to keep moving) everyone had the opportunity to “dip their toes” into the ocean. Although the leaders told them to only go up to their ankles, there were a few team members who pushed the limits and ended up with wet pants 🙂 I wish you could have heard the squeals as we ran out onto the sand.  

Today we are in Ranamafana exploring this small tourist town.  The team enjoyed spending the morning shopping for souvenirs for home.  Many were excited to find vanilla beans.  Right before lunch we visited the local hot springs.  The hot water was so refreshing after a summer of bucket bathing with cold pond water.  It was amazing to watch the dust and dirt fade away.  After lunch we returned to our lodging and spent the afternoon just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.  For dinner the team was treated to a Malagasy dinner of rice & chicken.  Everyone enjoyed it.

Tomorrow we will get up early and being our 13 hr drive to Tana.  Saturday we will visit the local zoo and go souvenir shopping, before boarding our plane on Sunday morning.  I am not sure we will have any more opportunities to send in reports from Madagascar before we arrive at Teen Missions for debrief on Monday.  So on behalf of the leadership of this team, I want to thank you for trusting the Lord and sending your children this summer.  They have been such a blessing!  I don’t think we could have had a better summer.  Their positive attitudes, desire to seek & follow the Lord and care for others has been evident throughout the summer!  Please pray for the team as we travel.  Pray that we will finish well.  Pray that the team will continue to focus on the Lord & the summer ministry experience instead of looking ahead to going home.  Already, the team is saying that they don’t want to leave yet & that they will miss each other.  This is such a blessing.  We pray that you will see the work that the Lord has done in your teen this summer, because we have had the privilege to witness God’s hand in mighty ways on their lives throughout the summer.  THANK YOU!

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