A look at our ...

3-Day Pastors' Conference
& Women's Sessions

in Ampitambe, Madagascar

Early in August 2017, we landed in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Our mission: to see what life and ministry would be like as missionaries to this island nation of 24 million souls.

Indeed, we did get a taste of life and ministry in Madagascar. If you haven't already, be sure to:
This newsletter shares about the highlight of the trip—our 3-day Pastor's Conference and Women's Teaching Sessions.

The bottom of this newsletter lists our most recent prayer requests.
— David and Ashley Ellingson
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Pastors’ Conference - Ampitambe
Video Trailer (1 minute):  Pastors' Conference — Ampitambe, Madagascar

Praise Report:

  • Praise God that we have been accepted as missionaries with Grace Ministries International and can begin raising funds to move overseas!
  • We met with the Outreach Elders of Grace Community Church on November 7th to share our desire to officially become missionaries to Madagascar.
  • We shared that the Lord has been working in our hearts to give us a willingness and desire to share in the sufferings of Christ and to be willing to serve the Lord, even in hard circumstances.
  • We praise God that they decided to support us as we make preparations for the mission field.
  • We now have a financial donation page at:

Partnership Opportunity

In the coming weeks, will you prayerfully consider joining this ministry to Madagascar by partnering with us in prayer and financial support?

On Friday, December 1st, we will share with you the various ways you can specifically be a significant part of our ministry team. There are many ways to "hold the rope" and come alongside us in this mission.

Pastors’ Conference in Ampitambe

We had about 90 attendees for our pastors’ conference

A Note from David:

What joyful memories I have from this conference. From the moment we arrived at the church, we were given the warmest greetings. Though we were from opposite sides of the world, our common love for the Lord Jesus Christ bonded us together. Here, men from all over Madagascar had come to be taught the Word of God from men much younger and less experienced than them. Many of these pastors had been in ministry for decades, but they humbly and earnestly came to hear faithful expositional preaching.

Every man I saw took detailed sermon notes. Our Q&A sessions went until it was too dark to see our Bibles, but the men still asked for more Bible teaching even though we had no electricity. The men would sit from morning until evening (for six sessions) on hard wooden benches. I imagine that's what any Christian would do if they were desperate for the truth.

These pastors love the Word of God and earnestly desire to understand what it means by what it says. It was the highlight of my time in Madagascar to bring these precious men the most precious truth from God's Word. To God be the glory!
— David Ellingson
Our conference took place at the Biblical Baptist Church of Ampitambe
Team Madagascar ready to preach!
The pastors gathered to hear us preach from God’s Word from 8:30am until 6pm for 3 days straight.
We preached expositionally through the book of Titus in 15 sermons. We were each blessed to preach 5 sermons.
The Malagasy language is spoken by virtually everyone in Madagascar, but many also speak French (the language used for education, business, and government documents). Because of your generous donations, every pastor who could read French was given a free copy of Spiritual Maturity (written by Alexander Strauch's ministry)
All of the men had a hunger for the Word of God and wanted as much teaching as we would give them.
They would take detailed notes of everything we taught from God’s Word.
Some of these men were so hungry for the truth that they were willing to spend two fulls days traveling as far 350 miles over terrible roads just to attend.

Q&As with the pastors until it was dark

The men had questions on:
  • how to handle couples who married without the legal paperwork
  • how to deal with cases of “flawed” leadership
  • what does and what does not qualify as “above reproach”
  • the specifics of church discipline and membership
  • questions about women in leadership
  • and more ...
Our normal schedule was 3 morning sermons, lunch, 2 afternoon sermons, and then a Q&A session into the evening.

Fellowship and Friendships

Ashley enjoyed trying to speak Malagasy with the ladies and learning how they prepare rice.

Multiple meals were served each day

Every grain of rice must be de-shelled before it can be boiled and eaten. These ladies worked hard to feed the conference attendees for all three days.
All meals were cooked over the open fire.

Women's Sessions

Many ladies crammed into this little school room to be taught the Word of God from our wives.
Our wives taught on the role of women in the church, on the women’s role in marriage, and on biblical parenting.
The women had many Q&A times. The women had questions:
  • regarding submission
  • about specific ways they could serve in the church (e.g., "Can women serve communion?")
  • on whether contraceptives are okay to use
  • and more ...

Private Counseling and Prayer

One woman after another came for biblical counseling. One village woman said her husband came home drunk and was physically abusive. One wife asked about biblical remarriage because her unbelieving husband left her and now a Christian man wanted to marry her.
One lady asked for counsel because her husband was unwilling to provide for her and the kids. Another woman was unsure of her salvation and so Lily was able to go through the gospel with her.

The Need & Desire for Training Confirmed

The conference was the highlight of the trip and it confirmed two things:
The need for training and a hunger for it!

A Note from Ashley:

The three-day conference was a major highlight of the trip for me as well. I was blessed to see the eagerness and desire of the men and women to be taught from the Bible. They both were willing to sacrifice time and money to travel there. I did not expect the ladies to be so eager for teaching. The ladies wanted to spend all day hearing from us, so we had to prepare additional teaching and hold more Q&A's. I was very blessed to be able to teach on biblical parenting. I loved their openness and excitement.

A few things that were impressed upon my heart during the conference:
  • I was convicted over my lack of enthusiasm for hearing God's Word compared to the believers we encountered. When I came home, I especially had a new appreciation for my church.
  • I've taken for granted the access I have to preaching, books, materials, and other means of spiritual growth.
  • The Spirit unites us from different backgrounds and cultures as we worship and love Jesus together. I was amazed by the spiritual unity of Christian brothers and sisters from across the world.
  • Watching the amount of biblical counseling Lily did inspired me to pursue my Certification in Biblical Counseling. I saw Lily using all that she had learned and practiced while getting her certification and I felt compelled to do the same, so that I may serve the body of Christ more effectively.
Their thirst for God's Word reminded me of 1 Peter 2:2: "Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation."
Ashley Ellingson

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for churches and individuals to participate with us in ministry to Madagascar through prayer partnerships and through financial giving.
  • Please pray for Ashley to persevere in working towards the Biblical Counseling Certification.
  • Pray for us as we work on learning French.

Partner Financially with the Ellingsons
View our previous newsletters here.

Faly's Ministry Blog:

We also wanted to let you know to checkout the ministry blog maintained by Faly:
View our previous newsletters here.
Our mailing address is:
9657 Quakertown Ave
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Partner with us financially (all gifts are tax-deductible):

1. Credit Card Donation Online (one-time or recurring)

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3. Mail in a Check:
  •     Send a check payable to: Grace Ministries International
  •     Write on the memo line: Ellingson – Madagascar, Project #080507
  •     Then, send check to:

Grace Ministries International
13248 Roscoe Blvd.
Sun Valley, CA 91352
(818) 909-5701

4. Setup Bill Pay through Your Bank

Contact your bank and set up an online monthly payment to "Grace Ministries International", 13248 Roscoe Blvd, Sun Valley, CA 91352 - be sure to include "Ellingson - Madagascar" in the memo or reference field.

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