Dear Friends,

As we mentioned in
our last newsletter, Ashley and I have decided to send out a separate newsletter for each of the various places we ministered in and visited during our trip to Madagascar. We hope this will show you a little bit of what life and ministry would look like in Madagascar.

The first city we visited was Antananarivo, sometimes called "Tana". This is the city where we would likely live if we moved to Madagascar.
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A look at...

Antananarivo — Madagascar's Capital City

Video Trailer (1 minute):  ANTANANARIVO—The Movie
Antananarivo – the capital city of Madagascar
Queen Ranavalona I's castle is on the left. Shortly after missionaries translated the New Testament into Malagasy (1829-1830), persecution against Christians began. In 1835 Queen Ranavalona forbade Christian practice. She would execute Christians by having them thrown off the side of this cliff.
About 4 million people live in “Tana”
The U.S. Embassy was the largest and most well lit building in the city
What would life look like in Tana?
Fruit stands selling organic goods are on most streets
Buy tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, onions, and cauliflower here
It's common to see men pushing carts loaded up with coal through the streets
Get your furniture delivered by a hand-pulled rickshaw!
Even in the cities, not everyone has running water. In this neighborhood, water comes to this central location and families must fill up their own buckets.
These kids are enjoying a Malagasy kid's meal rice!
Very few people in Madagascar own washing machines or dryers. Most will wash their clothes in a nearby river and then hang their clothes out to dry.
Building construction in progress. Check out that scaffolding!
Street vendors often sell used merchandise or clothes imported from China.
The most modern facility we came across was a small indoor mall.
There are also a few nice French-owned grocery stores available.
A large Islamic mosque in Tana  Muslims represent 10% of the population
Madagascar is the 6th poorest country in the world. The poor setup their homes near garbage dumps in order to find whatever might help them.
The streets of Tana are packed with cars, buses, people, carts, and stray dogs.

A look at...

Ministry in Antananarivo

Ankadivato Biblical Baptist Church Faly and Lily's home church.
Each Sunday before the main service begins, communion is served to church members in a special service.
Our team was invited to lead the young adults' service that afternoon.
(Faly and Lily Ravoahangy, David and Ashley Ellingson, Scott and CJ Nelson)

We were able to preach, share testimonies, and do a Q&A.
This is our 3M Training logo
  • Mpitoriteny - Preacher
  • Mpitandrina - Shepherd
  • Mpanompo - Slave
We want the men we train to be better preachers of Christ's Gospel, better shepherds of Christ's flock, and better slaves of Christ and His Church.
Sharing my testimony and calling them to live their lives under Christ's Lordship.
Friendships were made with these sisters in Christ.
We were also able to counsel, encourage, and pray with those who knew some English.

A Note from David:

The believers at Ankadivato Biblical Baptist Church were such a blessing to us. They welcomed us warmly and a number of them shared with us the need for us to bring biblical training to Madagascar. We felt an immediate bond with these followers of Christ. We desire to see them again and work alongside them.

The Lord has been graciously working in our hearts to galvanize us for the task ahead. Though we are weak and feel inadequate for such a mission, we do not rely on our own strength, but on Christ's!

Is not the great commission of making disciples founded on the supreme authority of Christ over heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18)? Did not Christ promise to be with us always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20)? Does not our power come from the Holy Spirit as we are Christ's witnesses even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8)?

These truths give us the mandate, the motivation, and the means to proclaim Christ among the nations. May we press on towards such a call.


A Note from Ashley:

Everywhere we visited in Madagascar I was blessed by the bond of Christ that existed with the other believers. I felt like a stranger in a strange land, but not when I was with fellow believers. Ankadivato Biblical Baptist Church was no different. We received a warm welcome and found the believers were extremely grateful we had come. I had several of the ladies tell me how much they wanted more biblical teaching and would pray for us to return.

We did not find Tana to be a city that we would choose to live in. As you can see there are many challenging living circumstances. Trying to picture ourselves living there was difficult. If we move there, I believe we would have a house, running water, and electricity. However, it was very eye-opening for us to see what life would be like and the extremely different culture we would be living in compared to America.

I have found that facing these realities head-on has been an amazing opportunity for spiritual growth and heart evaluation for me. As I study Scripture and pray, I have seen truths in a new light and been convicted by God's Word. The Lord has also used conversations with other believers recently to really spur me on to keep seeking the things above and to value Christ as the greatest treasure. I have a quote on my desktop from the missionary, C.T. Studd which reads, " If Jesus Christ be God, and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." It's easy to say a hearty "Amen" when we hear a quote like this, but what I have really been asking myself is, "Is this really true in my heart?" I don't know where God will take us, but I want my heart to be ready to serve Christ as any cost.
We want to thank you for your prayers and support and ask that you continue to pray for us. Here are some specific requests that we would be so thankful if you would pray for.

Praise Report:

  • Praise God for the believers in Antananarivo. We look forward to serving the men and women of this church if the Lord wills.
  • Praise God for the Ravoahangy family who showed us around their home town. It would be a joy to be in the same city with them again.
  • Praise the Lord for His work in our hearts. The Spirit has been growing us and preparing us little by little for our future.
  • Praise God for the missionary families and elders at Grace Community Church who have talked with us more about missions and Madagascar.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for wisdom for our next steps in regards to Madagascar. We are especially wanting to plan out the best way to learn French before we would move to Madagascar (whether in France or in Los Angeles).
  • Pray for our visit to our home church this December (Christ’s Church of Tucson). David may have an opportunity to preach there on December 17th and share about Madagascar for the evening service.
I also wanted to let you know to checkout the ministry blog maintained by Faly. This has some pictures, video, and updates from each part of this trip:
View our previous newsletters here.
View our previous newsletters here.
Our mailing address is:
9657 Quakertown Ave
Chatsworth, CA 91311

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