Rochelle - Madagascar - November 2010

November 6th - Rakoto & Dadasy went to Mahasoabe in 1993, our 9th special meeting was held there. There was a family living across the road from them. 5 children and their father, Fulgence. He had an important place in the church but was a drunkard and beat his wife etc. As a result his wife Aimee left him and their 5 children. The brothers knew nothing of Fulgence but the children used to come to the Gospel mtng. One day the children persuaded their father to come to mtng. He came and never stopped. After a while Fulgence came to the brothers had asked them, ‘How can I receive salvation?’ The brothers encouraged him to first put things right with his wife, they asked him to write to her. He wrote but just couldn’t get himself to post the letter!! The brothers said, ‘Give it to us and we will post it.’ In his letter Fulgence must have told Aimee of the changes that had come into his life, a week later she wrote back asking him to send her the bus fare so she could return. Aimee came home, Fulgence professed... it was time for convention, Fulgence went to his first convention on his own. Workers returned to the field after Convention and his wife made a start then. The Mahasoabe special meeting was held in a tent in their front yard, the workers in the field use the ground floor of their home as their ‘lodge.’

About 3yrs later the workers moved to another village near by. A young girl who was coming to mtgs said she has a friend named Kala who is crippled...how could she get to the mtng? Rakoto told her, ‘You carry her on your back and bring her and we will take her back.’ After the first day the brothers took turns to bring Kala to the mtng (on their back) and take her back home. Within a year or so Kala expressed her desire to give her life to God, her family were against it and did nothing to help her. They wouldn’t let her have a candle or light to read her bible at night, on full moon days she would ask them to carry her outside so she could read by moonlight. Somedays, they just left her out there for hours and hours. The end of the story is a happy one, in the process of time her Father, mother, brother and sister professed. Now, instead of being an outcast in the family Kala is respected and loved much for bringing the Gospel to them. It was so nice to see Kala and her family at special meeting, may be there are other family members professing...I can’t remember them all. There is a lot more to Kala’s story, but this will suffice for now. At some point in time the brothers made Kala a ‘rickshaw’ so she would be mobile. For 4 years Bruno pulled this rickshaw with Kala in it so she could get to the Sunday AM mtng. The journey took 2hrs one way. Bruno was from the same village. In 2004 he started out in the work.

Our 10th and last special meeting was on Sunday the 7th at Bendambu, about 1.30hrs drive from Antananarivo. This is Joyce King & Ernestine’s field. It was a special finish to our round here. From the very first message in the morning till the last was spoken in the afternoon, one thought and theme continued.... The Spirit of God. It was so nice. Three were given opportunity to make their choice known. One older lady in her testimony mentioned, ‘Even though God gave the children of Israel liberty from Egypt he still led them into the wilderness experience. Liberty doesn’t mean being free from wilderness experiences.’ The special mtng was held on the property of Dada Rabemila, who died some years ago. He is the father of Jaosoa Rabemila and grandfather of Johary and Josia Rabemila (cousins), all of whom are on the staff here in Madagascar. Four of the Rabemila children (boys) heard the gospel and professed. Their parents didn’t show much interest. Dada was a doctor and Neny (mother) was a midwife. They often got called out at night because of their work. Dada and Neny had to pass through the boys bedroom on their way out, they would see that the lights were out... but the boys were not asleep but on their knees praying. They realized that their children had something more real and more meaningful than they thought. Dada and Neny wanted to know more about what their children had found. It was the beginning of days for them.

And so.....after 27 days, more than 2828 kms, more than 72hrs of sitting in the landrover, over 50 hrs of sitting in mtngs, our very encouraging, inspiring and enjoyable days on the Red Island came to an end....as all good things must. Soon we will move on... many things we must leave behind but glad for the precious things we can take with us in our hearts...the lessons learnt, the impressions made and more than anything...thankfulness, that God thought to include me in His Way, His Family & in His Work.