I went to Madagascar in March of this year on a mission trip with Downline Minisrites. I have been working on writing a recap letter (took me long enough, i know) but i thought i would share some snippets with you:
It was so cool to go and teach to the Malagasy! They were SO HUNGRY for it. Each person at the conference had been chosen because of their dedication to Christ and because of their influence on their community. I could see it in them during our sessions. They were so diligent to be there on time, take notes, ask questions, and spend time in conversation until they understood EVERY point. I defiantly struggled through my 1st session, I didn’t realize how hard it really was to speak through a translator. But I was able to regroup, pray and be prepared for my 2nd session.
The Malagasy are so loving and so giving. I know you can say that for many cultures in the world, but I hadn’t seen this before. A member of our team gave one of the children a piece of gum, and the first thing he did was rip it in pieces and call all of his friends over to share in the experience. That is the complete opposite of what the kids I know would do. It is not a burden to knock on someone’s door to borrow something, they rely on each other to survive. They are truly joyful givers.
The Morning Commute
There is one paved road in Toliara and it runs 300 miles from north to south of Madagascar. So travel by car is not the most popular. Lots of people travel but cart pulled by Zebu (in the picture below) or by foot. There was a man who attended our conference named Donae, he walked for 3 whole days to get to us. That blows my mind, It only took us 2 days to get to Madagascar, and all i did was sit in a seat.
The Word of God
I own 5 Bibles, one in my car, one at the office, one I use all the time, my teen study Bible… never have I been in a situation where finding a Bible is a hard thing. Well getting a Bible in Madagascar cost 7 dollars, which to them is 3 days wages. Many of the people at the conference didn’t own one. We bought a bunch and got to hand them out to who ever didn’t have one. It was one of the coolest moments of my trip. I got to hand mine to an older lady, as she approached me I saw her trembling, with tears in her eyes she reached out for the Bible and kissed the cover and thanked God for it, and gave me a hug. I was blown way at how she cherished the Word of God like I never had!