While it is true we live in a rainforest, it is a deforested rainforest. The canopy is gone and only small pockets of trees remain in the area where I spend most of my time hiking to villages. The rainforest with canopy and Lemurs is about 25Km west of our house and is protected as Ranomafana National Park. If that section was not protect I truly believe that it too would look like the photo below. You can see sections of hillsides that liquified during the Cyclone in March and ran down the mountains.
Many of you already know Ramano and pray for him regularly. He is growing in faith and knowledge of the Bible. I am beginning to see him integrate his faith into his daily life. He is more openly sharing his faith with his friends and family. His family has become a light in a gospel-void place.
Once I arrived in AKZ, we drank coffee and talked about the need for a lesson on church discipline. A situation occurred on Sunday that warrants a study of 1 Cor. 5, 8, and 11 coupled with commands from Matt. 18.
Yesterday Angeline came by Ramano and Lolo’s house because she knew that we “pray with the Bible.” She lives in Ampitambe (APB), a village neighboring AKZ. Her father openly prays to an idol to receive protection and blessing such as good crops and good health. He forbids her to go to a church or have a Bible. Lolo is the first person to tell her the gospel. I sat and watched Lolo (pictured left) share with Angeline (pictured right) and could visibly see Angeline bearing the heaviness of her sin. She said she understands and believes the gospel to be true and wants to follow Jesus, but that her sin is too great.
Angeline could not believe that salvation is free and that God would forgive her of all her sin. She didn’t provide details but she made it sound like she was a horrible person and wrestled with the idea that she could be forgiven. This brokenness was a sign to me that she really understands that she is dead in her trespasses and sin. She has heard the gospel and is wrestling with Truth.
- for Ramano and Lolo to be encouraged as they continue to witness to others.
- for Angeline to respond to the gospel in repentance and faith.
- for Ramano as he obeys Matt. 18 and goes in private to a brother who has sinned against him.