Archive for the ‘In Madagascar’Category

Survey Trip Video

The above video is one I put together shortly after the trip to give a brief overview of my time in Madagascar this past August. We were finally able to upload the video this month. .


12 2009

Thoughts from Steve Hafler


My friend Steve Hafler is a veteran missionary who has spent ten years in Africa. He filled a crucial role in our Madagascar outreach last month through his familiarity with foreign cultures, sensitivity to unreached peoples, and motivating passion for souls. Below is an account that Steve wrote for his monthly publication, “Across Africa.”

As the helicopter hovered to find a “reasonable” landing pad, in an area where there seemed to be none, the entire village began to gather below us. What do you say to an entire village that was not expecting you today?  When you do locate the chief how do you explain why “you” just dropped out of the sky and why “his” village was chosen over hundreds of others we just flew over?  It gets real simple.  We are here as ambassadors of Christ to give you the most wonderful message in the world, and we are gong to leave you God’s Word to read even after we depart.


This is a glimpse of what happened when I recently traveled to Madagascar with Jim and Paiton Wiginton as we assisted Daniel Threlfall on a reconnaissance mission.  What we saw took several days to process and we remain staggered by the needs across Africa.  We went deep interior to this disturbingly vast island country that remains 70% animistic.  Many thoughts pierced my mind while ministering to these forgotten and unreached people. Thoughts like “why is no one here telling these people about Jesus?,” “do we as God’s children really believe that everyone will spend eternity somewhere?,” and “God is still looking for a man to ‘go.’”  These thoughts can lead to a “spiritual post-traumatic stress” unless we  remember, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Gen. 18:25).  Yet, the responsibility reveals our failure to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).  We looked into hundreds of dark Malagasy eyes gazing back at us who had never heard the Gospel – not even one time.  We were in villages where there is no  Bible – not even one copy.  I was reminded of the essence of missions – proclaiming to the world that Jesus Christ is the liberator of sin by grace through faith to all who believe.  I felt alive as our team taught from creation to Christ to entire villages gathered to hear “the Word of life.”


In one village far north on the sand dune peninsula surrounded on each side by the Indian Ocean the blind chief, after hearing the entire story from creation to Christ, said “be blessed in the name of our ancestors.”  Pray that he would be unfettered from animism.  We believe many did trust Jesus for the forgiveness of their sin.  Please continue to pray (1) for the Malagasy people to believe in Jesus Christ, (2) that God would strengthen the hand of national evangelists and pastors, (3) that missionaries who are already ministering in Madagascar would be encouraged and effective in their outreach, and (4) that God would raise up and send evangelists and pastor teachers to these lost people.

~Steve Hafler



09 2009

An Unexpected Stay in Johannesburg


I am writing this from a little Bed & Breakfast in Johannesburg, South Africa. The flight I was supposed to be on is probably somewhere over Namibia right now. Since the flight had excess luggage, and I was flying as a standby passenger, the excess luggage got to go, but not me. While waiting in line for the flight, I heard some American safari hunter bragging that he shot three animals, including a Cape Buffalo. If his trophies are on the plane, than it’s no surprise…

The little delay is a bit disappointing, because I was looking forward to seeing my family, and a 24 hour delay is…well…a 24 hour delay! I really can’t wait to see them. It’s been a long time.

On the other hand, I’m content to be here for a day, because God has a perfect plan for it–kind of like my Fort Dauphin misadventure. Everything about this entire trip has been evidently and beuatifully orchestrated by a sovereign God–each little detail.

My reason for being here may be as significant as the conversation I had with Kenneth, the shuttle driver. He told me, “I was raised a Christian, but I am not a born again Christian.” You can imagine the conversation that followed. The bottom line is this: Kenneth does not want to give his life to the Lord, because he is afraid of failing Him and falling away from the faith, disgracing Jesus Christ. He realizes the serious nature of a giving one’s life to Christ. Pray for Kenneth’s salvation.

And, if you don’t mind, pray that I’ll be able to get on the flight tomorrow night. Thanks..


08 2009

They Had Never Heard Jesus’ Name

Before Tuesday morning, these people had never heard of Jesus.


The village is located in an isolated area of Madagascar, nearly inaccessible by land vehicles. When we landed by helicopter, some ran in fear and some approached us with a nervous curiosity. We watched people swimming across the lake from neighboring villages to see us. Some of the children, seeing white men for the first time, screamed in terror and ran away.


That day, these villagers heard the good news, and we believe that God saved some from the satanic oppression of animism.


Since we recently returned from several days in the bush, I haven’t had any opportunity until now to provide updates. The rest of the team is either back home (Steve Hafler) or on their way (Jim Wiginton and Paiton Wiginton). I will be leaving Madagascar this weekend. In the next few days, I hope to give a more comprehensive update of what God did during our time here..


08 2009

“This is a Mac.”

Today, I spent several hours in the office of Helimission. I was there to meet several people and plan for our upcoming trips to rural villages.

This aviation map is a centerpiece in their office.

This aviation map is a centerpiece in their office.

Read the rest of this entry →


08 2009

Arrival in Fort Dauphin

I am currently in Fort Dauphin. I have been to some beautiful places in my life, but this has to be one of the most beautiful locations I’ve ever visited. The City of Fort Dauphin (otherwise known as Tolanaro) is situated on a peninsula that juts out into the ocean and rises several hundred feet above the sea level. Formerly, the peninsula was home to a French military base. I saw some of the ruins of this base during my walk around the city. Now a Malagasy military base operates on the tip of the peninsula.

FlyingIn Read the rest of this entry →


08 2009

Street Scene

Street Scene Near Tana

Street Scene Near Tana

Daniel sent me this picture of a street scene near Tana (short for Antananarivo, the capital). He’s leaving tomorrow afternoon for Fort Dauphin, and I don’t know if have opportunity to post before then. I know he would especially appreciate your prayers for 1) recovery from jetlag and 2)wisdom, clear thinking, and communicability in in Fort Dauphin, where he will be going alone without knowing anyone there and without knowing the language.

Most of us use “I’m waiting for God to reveal His calling on my life” as a means of avoiding action. Did you hear God calling you to sit in front of the television yesterday? Or to go on your last vacation? Or exercise this morning? probably not, but you still did it. The point isn’t that vacations or exercise are wrong, but that we are quick to rationalize our entertainment and priorities yet are slow to commit to serving God. –Francis Chan, Crazy Love



08 2009