Tim joined eleven adults from Ankazotsara and hiked to Ambalafasina on Wednesday. The path between the two villages is less than a mile, but one that crosses water, forcing you to fill your boots with water and ascends a steep mountain that must be descended on the other side. The path was not a beginner’s mile. The lapa, or great room, in Ambalafasina is Tim’s favorite because they made the wall out of flattened bamboo that they thatched together letting in a lot of light and did not feel like being inside a cave like the other village lapas. The king had prepared the lapa for us with newly woven mats. He and the elder men called the people to join us.
After exchanging socially expected greetings then using a “mediator” to discuss our intentions to the king, Ramano, Low-low and another woman shared their testimony; Tim preached the gospel. After preaching and calling for a decision to be made, the king, following tradition, spoke as a representative for the people. He explained that everyone had already heard the gospel I was preaching and believes. He went on to explain that some present were either Lutheran, Catholic, or just “protestant.” He told us that they do not need another church in their village (though no prayer gatherings exist there). We thanked them for receiving us and our message and hiked back to Ankazotsara.
Tim forgot the rainfly for the tent. This is what he woke to Thursday morning.
To summarize the impact of last week’s trip… We have group studying through Acts. The believers are beginning to embrace Acts 1:8 and God’s mission to reach their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the end of the earth. Some of those believers took action and decided reach out to a village in their “Judea.” Though the village responded that they already believe, those in our group are seeing that the gospel preached by the Lutheran and Catholic churches here in Madagascar does not match up with Peter’s sermons in Acts.
To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
*All pictures taken with an iPhone.