But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

The First Great Task

What should be the first great task of any new missionary family?  If a missionary family is to be effective throughout the duration of their ministry in a foreign country, their first task and most important priority must be to learn the language of the people! This is foundational.
Experience has shown that missionaries who devote significant time to ministry efforts before having a solid grasp on the local language hinder both their language development and ministry efforts.  
  1. Their ministry is less effective because their language skills are underdeveloped or they must rely on translators.
  2. Their language development is limited because they are not dedicating sufficient time to language study. The longer a missionary learns to get by with translators, the less motivated they become to learn the heart language of the people.
We plan to prioritize language learning in order to enhance our:
  1. Productivity: In order to build lasting relationships, communicate the gospel, make disciples, and train leaders among the Malagasy people, we must have a solid foundation in the language and culture of that people.
  2. Longevity: It's understandable that those who fail to learn the native language will feel increasingly lonely, have difficulty getting practical needs met, and will be hindered in developing close friendships.
As we have begun to prepare for life on the mission field over the last few years, others have repeatedly counseled us to prioritize language study and dedicate the first few years on the field to this first great task. 

Funny Language Moments

Before we went on our exploratory trip to Madagascar in August 2017, Ashley and I decided that it would be helpful to learn some basic Malagasy vocabulary and phrases from our Malagasy teammates (Faly and Lily Ravoahangy). I learned that if you want to express that your stomach is full after eating, you can simply say: "Voke be" (pronounced: vookie bay). Easy enough, right?

Well, after I was done eating a meal with them, I wanted to tell them: "I'm full." Well, the words got somewhat mixed up in my mind and instead of correctly saying "Voke be," I said, "Be voke!" That may sound like a harmless mistake, but immediately Lily erupted in laughter. Apparently, when someone says "Be voke," it means "I'm pregnant!"
— David Ellingson

French Language School

Prior to moving to Madagascar, we plan to attend a highly-rated French language school in Albertville, France to immerse us in French during the one-year program. This is a Christian-run program which has trained missionaries since 1967. One key benefit to this program is that we will also learn biblical and theological terminology in French — which will be very useful for future ministry.

Our goal was to have 75% of our monthly budget raised by the end of August, but we are not yet there. We trust the Lord for His timing and purpose in all things. If it is God's will for us to postpone and not go in January, we know that He has ordained that timing. Praise the Lord for His perfect will!
We recently applied for passports for our girls. These have got to be the cutest passport photos ever!

A Note from Ashley:

Friends, thank you for your faithful prayers, encouragement, and support. Our desire is to be faithful as we prepare, plan and move forward towards the mission field, and we trust God for the right timing. Recently, God has been using His Word, the testimonies of faithful missionaries, fellowship, preaching, and hymns to really turn the eyes of my heart to gaze at His glory. I truly want to spend and be spent in my brief life, not pursuing the fleeting pleasures of this life- but serving Christ. As the hymn says, we are “facing a task unfinished, that drives us to our knees, a need that undiminished rebukes our slothful ease, we, who rejoice to know Thee, renew before Thy throne, the solemn pledge we owe Thee, to go and make Thee known.”
— Ashley Ellingson

A Note from David:

I have been richly blessed by God's work in my own heart as our family begins to discuss future ministry together. God has kindly replaced concerns about the future with an increasing trust in Him and His steadfast love and care for my family. Over and over again, I have experienced God's faithfulness in my lifea fact which regularly strengthens me for the days and years ahead.
— David Ellingson


  • Praise God that we have had a reasonable purchase offer on our home in Tucson, AZ. Pray that the closing process would go well!
  • Praise God that we've had three new churches contact us recently with interest in hearing about the Lord's work in Madagascar and our future plans there!

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for Ashley’s continued progress as she works towards completing her biblical counseling certification. She is about 2/3 of the way through her class work and exams!
  • Pray that God would give us an abundance of wisdom for the year ahead.
  • Pray that we would be prepared for whatever timing the Lord decides to move us.
  • Pray for additional monthly partners and churches in coming months.

Partnership Progress

Praise God for the generous gifts that have contributed significantly towards our one-time outgoing costs and for the new monthly partners!
Partner Financially with the Ellingsons — 100% of your gifts go towards the ministry!
Our Monthly Supporter Team provides for the following: Language Training, Living Expenses, Vehicle Expenses, Medical Expenses, Clothing, Ministry Expenses, Furlough Travel Savings, and more.

One-time Gifts provide for the following: Shipping Container, Plane Tickets to France & Madagascar, 4x4 Vehicle, and other startup costs whenever you move to a new area.

• 100% of monthly partners committed before we can leave for the field.
• 100% of outgoing funds raised before we can leave for the field.
Partner with the Ellingsons today:
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All Glory Be to Christ,
David & Ashley, Isabella (age 8), Lydia (age 7), Anna (age 5), and Clara (age 3)
View our previous newsletters here.
View our previous newsletters here.
Our mailing address is:
9657 Quakertown Ave
Chatsworth, CA 91311

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Ministry2Madagascar · 3827 E Mount Kimball Pl · Tucson, AZ 85718 · USA

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