We made it to St. Marie in the middle of February. Things have not gone as smoothly as we planned or would have liked.
Before I tell you about our adventures getting here, let me introduce two people to you. Both of the nationals are named Hery, one is older and one is younger. Bro. Hery, the elder, has been a great help to us during our time in Madagascar. He is a mechanic and has helped to make sure that we have a working vehicle. Bro. Hery helped us make the move from Tana to St. Marie. Without him, things would surely have been more challenging and difficult.
The other Hery, the younger, we met at one of the local churches in Tana. He as been interested in the work we were planning on doing in St. Marie, and he prayed for the Lord’s direction in coming to St. Marie with us. He speaks English, and has studied to be a tour guide which is a job he can do one the island.
We left on February 14th from Tana with both Herys. The trip from Tana to the coastal town of Soanierana-Ivongo took 15 and a half hours for us to do. Our night was less than comfortable in the hotel, and we got up early the next morning to get our things on the boat. At this point our plans began to unravel, and we were beginning to feel frustrated. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of the frustrations.
Prior to leaving the US from furlough, we had rented a house in St. Marie online. According the the description and pictures, it looked that it would work well, but sadly that was not the case once we arrived there. We had very uncomfortable nights, and ended going back into town several times for the next couple weeks in order to get some needed rest at a local hotel.
We started looking for a new house to rent, and finally found one that looks like it will work well once we get all the kinks worked out. There have been a number of frustrations and unexpected expenses that have added to the our stress levels and extended our time of transition.
Through all of this, we keep coming back to the call that we have from the Lord in regards to being here in Madagascar and specifically here in Ile Saint Marie. One thought that has helped keep me going is if we are able to suffer a little bit in order to tell the people of St. Marie about the gospel of Christ then they will not have to suffer for eternity in Hell separated from God.
Please keep us in your prayer as we continue to work on getting settled here and beginning our work here. There is a more detailed account of our trip and time getting settled in St. Marie on our website. You will be able to access it with the button on the right side of this letter.
Paul, Laura, James, Andrea, Javan, Evelyn, Ingrid, Jowan and Joram.
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We thank you for your prayers and financial support toward reaching the people of Madagascar with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.