Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope all is well with you. I am also doing well here, by the grace of the Lord., I hope you have a great start to the year, and wishing the best in 2021 to be a better year than 2020.
"Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert."
During the morning prayers, the Lord guided my perspective on leading the Leaders I lead in the mission field to be more successful. So that I have the confidence to believe in them to grow, multiply, make decisions, independent, be a leader, have a vision, and fulfill their callings lead by the Holy Spirit.
In this first quarter of 2021, we train 80 leaders to train leaders for the Bible Study Group program from three different regions in the rainforest. They are to train 250 group leaders, who will lead Bible Study groups in their villages in the rainforest.
In the trainers' initial training, because of Covid19, I could not travel, but I participated via WhatsApp myself along with the regional coordinators and Pastors in the rainforest.
They have now returned to their respective Regions to train group leaders to lead the Bible Study Group.
The regional leaders have now trained 160 group leaders. The Bible Study group has already started, with about 10 people attending each group in their respective villages, 70 villages, and 1,600 people now reached and disciple.
The BS group begins offering CBS Community Bible Study as they mature and desire to expand their Bible study and Church planting activities.
We are amazed that so many children join the Bible Study group, they love it, and many of them have already received the Bible. Children Bible Study groups are already training 30 more leaders to train new group leaders.
Thank God that the risk of Covid-19 disease in the rainforest and rural areas is low. The work is expanding and progressing.
The covid-19 disease is rampant in the city, but pastors who have churches are surprised when Sunday church meetings are reopened, and the church is growing.
Our Church in the City reopens after the Covid-19 lockdown, the number of the member increases.
This was due to BS and CBS small groups being able to continue during the lockdown of Covid-19 and causing the church to grow when it reopened.
The Church of my mother, a Pastor in the capital city, church she runs, increased the number of believers by 30% when the church reopened after the Covid-19 lockdown.
This is due to the DMM principal BS groups and CBS's implementation during the Covid-19 lockdown, and hundreds of families have adopted BS in their homes.
The essential tool for carrying out this work is the Bible in Malagasy, a real problem because people cannot afford to buy the Bible. There is no Bible to buy in the countryside, and it is limited to the city because it is imported from South Korea.
According to IM estimates, there are about 4,000,000 Christians who need a Bible in Malagasy. Where IM works, 95% of people in rural areas need a Bible. Each family member, If they are a Christian, they have only one Bible. When they get married in a church, they are given a Bible as a gift from the church, so that what they have.
Thank the Lord for the 3,000 Malagasy Bibles donor support IM for his work and just arrived end of December 2020 from South Korea.
1,800 Bibles are already distributed and in the hands and hearts of people who follow the BS group and the church. 70% of them have just had their own Bible for the first time in their life.
The Bibles are from our warehouse in Antananarivo. The Regional leaders or Group leaders orders the Bibles by sending the lists of people who need a Bible and are already attending BS / CBS, the distance is up to 500 km or 311 miles away to send the Bibles, some take a bush taxi, and then by motorbike, cross the river by canoe, by foot up mountains carrying the Bibles, before reaching the rainforest villages, it takes hours and days on foot sometimes to reach a village in the rainforest.
From the Mission Center office in Tana, our field Regionals Leaders, far away in the rainforest, are constantly sending out hundreds of names lists of the people who need a Bible and news reports to the Office Staff. We believe that will be distributed 3,000 Bibles by the end of March 2021.
The Mission Center office in Antananarivo and Staff: Tolotra is Field Reporter; Mickael responsible for IT / Warehouse, and Rova is Admin and CBS Coordinator and translator.
People receive Bibles with joy, and we are so grateful; we thank and appreciate the donor. May the Lord bless you more abundantly for supporting this ministry. Jesus said, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4: 4.
We still trust in the Lord for more thousands of Bibles so that we may reach more thousands and millions of people to His Kingdom.
This is a testimony of Angela, who received the Bible. She committed herself to the Lord in a church branch of Angoja village. She longed to learn the Word of God, but she did not have a Bible. It was not enough to hinder her, and she decided to go to her uncle, an evangelist, to read the Bible often, though he lives far from her village. She had to walk a long way to get there, but now that she received her own Bible, she can read it from her place.
She is grateful for that, and this will change her life greatly because she will know more about the Lord and Word. She said thank you to those who make this possible to her to have the Bible. Glory to God!
Please Pray for:
Thank you for your continued Prayers, Blessings, and Support.
We appreciate you.
In His Services.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
I trust this mail finds you well.
We are trying to live in our normal day-to-day lives, despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown regulations.
In Madagascar, the number of confirmed cases has increased substantially, posing a higher risk of infection. There are multiple cities that are under lockdown, restricting the movement of people, because of the number of cases. This has caused a lot of problems, both economically and socially, in the lives of the people of Madagascar.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs, and because of this people are starting to sell most of their personal belongings, if not all of their belonging just to survive daily; some are even going to bed on an empty stomach.
In collaboration with the FCC Church of Hopkinton, seven Churches in the capital of Madagascar (Antananarivo), are helping with a food relief program for the needy families, during this pandemic crisis, as part of the Peace Plan Project, organized by Islands Mission / Madagascar Mission.
We thank and praise the Lord for the completion of translating the New Testament into 12 different languages in Madagascar: Betsimisaraka North, Betsimisaraka South, Antambaboaka, Sihanaka, Tanala, Tsimihety, Antakarana, Antandroy, Antefasy, Antemoro, Antesaka and Sakalava.
The Old Testament Translations has started already in May 2020. We are grateful for the collaboration with Wycliffe Associates for helping and making this possible.
In partnership with Wycliffe Associates, 180 translation team members have received food assistance during this COVID-19 crisis.
The Children Making Disciple movement is flourishing, and now Children are taking the gospel and sharing it with their friends and parents. This has positively increased the Church's growth, leading more souls to Christ. More groups and families are now starting to learn and study the Bible at home. Three thousand children were trained and have received a children's Bible (which contains: 50 key stories of the Bible, from Creation to Revelation, for evangelism and discipleship), and 150 Bible study groups have started. Praise the Lord!
Air Travel is now still very challenging and almost impossible; we are on standby ready to do more training and dispatching of the rest of the children's Bibles in the field.
Bibles are essential for learning the word of God, but many Christians in Madagascar lack the means/funds or do not yet have their own Bible. Most of the Christian in families share a single Bible amongst all of the family members.
Despite this, we thank God, as we managed to dispatch 250 Bibles to many families this month, that were donated IM.
We call him Mike, he is a friendly and humble staff member here at IM in Madagascar. We thank the Lord for answering our prayer, for a monthly supporter that supports Mike so that he can serve and help as full-time staff at Islands Mission.
Hello, I am Mickaël. I worked voluntarily for Islands Mission Madagascar since 2017, but recently have become a full-time staff member.
A year after I graduated from the University of Antananarivo, I got a license called English for Specific Purposes "E.S.P." In the beginning, I worked as a translator, and now I am working on all the technical stuff for IM; for instance, in the IT department, I make sure everything is running well during training. I am also responsible for the stock and stock-keeping in the warehouse.
During my spare time, I love playing video games and playing basketball. I also like traveling, to understand and meet different cultures.
Thank you for supporting me, God Bless,
We are grateful to the Lord for helping us complete the New Testament translation in 12 languages.
We are thankful to the Lord this month, allowing us to dispatch 250 Bibles.
Thank you for your continued Prayers, Blessings and Support,
I greet you in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ,
I trust this mail finds you well.
We are doing good while still trusting God to help us overcome this COVID-19 pandemic.
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name." Psalm 91.
The work at the Mission Center in Antananarivo continues to support the teams in the mission field. During this COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in confirmed cases of this virus, the government has decided to close the national traveling route from city to city so we cannot travel to the mission field. However, due to the excellent mobile network coverage, we can reach out to 80% of our Team by mobile phone and can send funds and support to them by mobile money.
The furthest group in the remote rainforest, are walking to a nearby village, to buy food and medicine and where they can also meet their coordinator leader.
We thank God for what he is doing. While we are still in this COVID-19 pandemic, people are turning to God to seek prayer, families are beginning to read and do Bible Studies, and our facilitators assisting them with the study; Islands Mission managed to give a Bible to every 40 families that have started.
Saholy is now one of the new Bible Study facilitator leaders. She has seven children with no income due to the COVID-19 crisis, yet she is passionate, willing to facilitate, and is leading the Bible Study for six families and God always with her during times like this. Her children are not going to sleep without food. Praise God, Amen!
Economically and socially, both in the urban and rural areas, this pandemic has severely affected people's livelihood, and the government has to face many challenges with the limited resources that are available, in managing to fight the virus pandemic. The people in Madagascar already live an impoverished life, and more people are losing their jobs on a daily basis. It is very sad to see people and their families suffering. A lot of children are going to bed without food.
We trust God for a miracle and intervention during these tough times.
We are thankful for the generous donations and gifts, three more Churches that were built in the villages, nationally, only 50 individuals are allowed to worship and gather in a single Church as per the government regulations during this COVID-19 pandemic.
We admire this couple as a friend and family in Christ. Pastor Rambelison has passed on went to be with Lord; he was a hard-working Church planter in the past 25 years, we are going to miss him a lot; he was a friendly man and loving person.
Please pray for his wife, Esther, she is still serving with us and was part of the Bible translation. Esther is serving Lord, with us as a Church planter and translator
• We are thankful to the Lord for what has done in our area. We could only give one Bible each for 40 families, so please pray for more Bibles to share amongst families that are involved with CBS around our center. We disparately need more Bibles, at least 1000 Bibles every month.
• Please pray for all our teams, leaders, church planters, and all the people involved in the mission field.
• Please pray for communication, training, and resources for this mission.
• Please pray for blessings and support upon the Churches in the mission field, so that they can bless and support their communities and people.
Thank you and Blessings
Greetings in the name of Jesus.
I trust you and your family had a joyous Easter celebration.
1 Corinthians 6:14: "And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power."
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world, Madagascar and Comoros are part of the world's least developed countries. Millions of people are at risk from coronavirus and lack the economic resources and medical infrastructure, to combat it.
One of our Church planters in the rainforest named Levelo with his family is in a challenging situation, with the COVID-19 pandemic. Levelo has children to look after. He collects firewood to make sure that he gets what he needs for his family. He said life is too difficult because of shortages of food. They have been in the rainforest since the government lockdown. They are concerned about how he and his family are going to survive without food during this pandemic.
Printings, Bibles And Materials.
We are in continuous contact with the team leaders in the field to touch-base and assess progress of the work done.
We are busy printing 4,000 OBS Bibles during this time of the lockdown at the Mission Center and started to print New Testament Bibles in 6 new different languages that have just been translated. This has never been complete in their own language of the Bible NT before.
We have enough stock of paper at our warehouse and ink for the printing, but soon we may need more stock to print more Bibles.
We are continually serving at the center to support the work in the field, to reach the unreached people groups with the Gospel. We provide them the Bibles in their languages that they may follow Christ, obey the words of God, and help in spreading the word of God in the villages and the surrounding areas.
Discipleship leading to healthy Biblical based Church.
Small group leaders in the Eastern region are, leading small groups within 10 to 12 people for weekly Bible Studies in different villages.
Pastor Gervais is one of our regional leaders in the northeast rainforest of Madagascar among an animism people group. He and his team have reached many villages with his cluster leaders. They've reached 30 villages in their region, 7,200 people received Christ and 5,000 were baptized.
Praise be to the Lord, Amen!
Please pray for the families of our leaders during this COVID-19 lockdown and pandemic. Because of the poverty in the country; this became more challenging for us. Food is a problem; we have 120 families in need at the moment. The governments' aid supply is limited and does not reach them.
Please pray for the need of Bible Texts, (20,000 Bibles needed).
Please pray for Bible translation. With 12 languages, our translators are doing some of the translations while they are at home, during this lockdown.
Islands Mission President and Founder.
W.A has been working with Islands Mission since March 2016, when their leaders heard Regional Director Al Hawthorne speak at a MANI conference in Ethiopia and approached Dinah Ratsimbajaona about a partnership. Dinah formed 20 local Malagasy translators qualified with degrees in English and Malagasy languages in Madagascar.
It is determined that Other dialects Language translations on the island would require a Gateway Language project. That Gateway Language, Plateau Malagasy, now has a New Testament and the Old Testament translation work plans until September 2019 for completion.
This will open up many other languages and dialects to translation. Pastors from the rainforest and different regions whom Islands Mission met with in November last year are eager to get started, with several MAST events planned for this year.
MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation) MAST is a collaborative translation method which enables teams of national translators to translate books of the Bible simultaneously and at a faster pace. With MAST, the entire Bible can be accurately translated faster than ever before.
Based on proven linguistics principles, MAST engages national translators and local church leaders in the drafting and checking process. Checking takes places continually throughout the translation process, greatly increasing the accuracy of the final translation. MAST can be used even with small groups of believers in the most remote locations
Zoïubaïda was raised in a Muslim culture, because her father is a Comorian from the Comoros, and her mother is Malagasy of Madagascar, there are 6 children in a family and all are Muslim.
She experienced through hardships, and her husband abused made her suffer and she felt tortured and had insufficient needs in the household. After some time there was a time, a team from our Discovery Bible Study visited and comforted by sharing the Love of Jesus to her, but she didn’t care much, as the only one what matters to her is Muslim “Allah”. The servant of God didn’t give up and kept encouraging her and inviting her to come to the group Bible Study. In that group, she was invited to learn the Discovery Bible study program, if she is interested. However, once the study began, she did accept to join the group and she was welcomed with love.
When she joined the group, she began to discover that whatever she did learn from the Bible study program seemed to be contrary to what the Quran did say. In the Quran, it says that “eye for an eye” in Muslim terms it is to fight and revenge, but in the Bible Study, it is taught to forgive and love and she had learned a lot from the Discovery Bible Study which brought to transformation and blessings in her life.
Now she completed the program Bible Study and she testifying to her neighbourhood that Jesus transformed her life completely to be a better blessing and she started sharing her faith in Jesus to her Muslim friends, little by little on her own. She didn’t go back to her faith as a Muslim anymore as she knows that the true way which is the only way is Jesus Christ, although her husband did receive Jesus and joined the Bible Study and now both love and respect each other, her family became new in Christ, Jesus became the centre for their life.
Zoïbaïda is thankful and appreciative towards the Bible Study program and they have received their own text Bible in Malagasy from IM and partner.
Zoïbaïda's Family is one of the 18 Muslim Comorians families recently transformed and became a follower of Christ and beginning the Bible Study program. Praise and Glory to Jesus!
The reports from our leader's coordinators field ministry IM team, that we are reaching 1,000 people monthly in total that have been disciplined with the program Bibles Study and received scriptures (Bibles).
Yet we should reach more, and at list to start 200 Bible study groups monthly (we can not do this without text Bibles and Audio Bible for illiterate, blind and oddly people)
People cannot afford to buy their own Bible for 5 USD, it is very expensive for them, and it is not available outside the city.
As they said; Christians in Madagascar only have a Bible every 10 people! Discovery Bible Study is a simple but very powerful discipleship process centred on opening the Bible with someone who doesn’t yet follow Jesus. It is sometimes so simple that people walk by it and miss its power – yet thousands of churches have been planted using this methodology.
A session begins with prayer and thanksgiving. The Bible is at the centre – the disciple is empowered to discover the truth in God’s Word for themselves, rather than being taught by the leader.
The disciple commits to apply and share what they are learning. In most situations, it is best to start a group with two or three (or more) people – reaching a community, not just an individual. Jesus disciples people in groups, and it is the best way to learn. The group also has the power of accountability and multiplication. The focus is on discipling pre-Christians by allowing them to discover God’s Word for themselves, rather than trying to get people ‘saved’ upfront (usually by saying the sinner’s prayer) and then discipling them. It takes time; we are not in a hurry. In this process, we let people discover God’s story, the big picture.