Here is the first installment of a 4-part log of the trip we did between November 16th and 19th. I was invited to speak at a regional conference in a location 180 miles towards the East coast of Madagascar. I took Hasiniaina, Onja and Joeny with me, 3 youths from our home church eager to serve.

After 11 hours on the road because of multiple stops scouting hotels for another project, we finally made it to the village of Mahatsara. Tranquilin and his wife welcomed us warmly. They recently responded to the Lord’s call and became missionaries. We were able to be updated on what the Lord is doing in this region and were given basic instructions as to the way to minister to the natives. The 3 youths are unfamiliar with the local vernacular and got to learn a few key words in the Betsimisaraka dialect.

Missionary life in the countryside involves people coming at your door at all times of the day and of the night, asking for food or for help. One of the highlights for me was the visit of Jocelyn and his wife. Jocelyn has been struggling for a few years now in deep spiritual warfare. During his darkest hours, he is suddenly grabbed by forces giving him supernatural strength, in such a way that 4 or 5 men cannot hold this 5-feet man. These spirits also push him to hurt himself and anybody standing in his way. He has attempted to commit suicide a few times, but it has failed each time. “God does not want you dead yet until you come alive to Him”, says Tranquilin. Amid his spiritual struggles, Jocelyn has been looking for God. He often comes to Tranquilin for advice and comfort. This time he brought his wife to have her as his accountability partner on the path he wants to take to seek God. Tranquilin has repeatedly, and once more yesterday, taken him to the cross of Christ, the only way to God. Jocelyn leaves after an hour or so. The battle still rages on in his heart for its control. We pray that the Lord in His time will sovereignly grip his heart and that He will surrender his life to Christ and be freed. Another day ends on the field with mixed emotions; hope for Jocelyn as he has once more come to inquire about God, and anxiousness because of what he might do and who he might hurt until God changes his heart. Pray for him and many like him, in such need of the gospel to deliver them from the bondage of sin, whatever form it takes.

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