More About the Willards...
Our most recent newsletter is now up on our website! Lora writes about how Jesus can show up even in the middle of a ritual sacrifice being offered to the ancestors. Let us know what you think!
The Sacrifice | Madagascar Missions
Adam Willard: I'm back to the land of internet today to meet someone in town and I see all the Thanksgiving posts from all our friends! Lora and I nearly forgot it was Thanksgiving, being so far removed from everything on our island, Nosy Mitsio. But we remembered just in time to make some eggplant pasta for dinner, which was quite a treat for us. And we finished it off with some awesome candy sent by our awesome friends Nate and Cailyn Gustafson and Linda Devin - thank you guys for giving us a great treat we definitely couldn't have had otherwise! We're thankful for all the great people in our lives, all over the world. We're especially thankful to God for always taking care of us and leading us in the indescribable grace of Jesus!
We've moved all our furniture into our home and we're still arranging our stuff - it feels great to finally be settling! As you can see, we also occasionally have cell/internet reception in our home (depending a lot on weather). Having a home is a great thing - all 400 square feet of it!
Had a great time at the "entering the cave" ceremony of the Antakarana people! Only once every 5 years, they build a temporary bridge so they can access their ancestral cave. There are strict rules about entering: no shoes of any sort, only traditional cloth wraps, and you can only see by the light of burning leaves. For all that, hundreds of people still crowded in to walk the half-mile barefoot to the exit of the cave where they held some ceremonies celebrating and praising their ancestors, offering them gifts, and dancing/re-enacting past wars. One older man got lost in the cave, but they went in and rescued him the next day. It was an enjoyable time (especially the cave - I LOVE caves), and I learned more about the Antakarana worldview that I think will help us in our mission to reveal God's work to redeem them!
The inside of our house is now finished and we've just moved in! Still no porch (waiting on more wood flooring for that), but it's great to finally move in. We're enjoying the extra space already, especially not having to duck really low to get into the house (like how it was in our temporary hut). We'll move some furniture to the island soon and we'll finally really start to settle!
Also, our friend Linda had a great visit and she made it safely to and from Nosy Mitsio and will be heading back to the US soon. Now we're ready for our next visitors. Who's coming?
Adam Willard: Excited to have our friend from Tulsa, Linda Devin coming to visit us! She should be arriving tomorrow and staying about a week. We're ashamed our home still isn't finished so that we can accommodate her better, but I think we'll all have a great time regardless. Thanks to Joe Chedly Phanoella for helping her along the journey! Please pray that transport works impeccably for her during this time so we can be sure she doesn't miss her flight back home!
Our newest story is now on our website: about the week-long festival that just happened at our village, full of cow sacrifices, ancestor worship, and spirit possessions. What were the results? Read more about it on our website:
Death and Life | Madagascar Missions
It was three days before the day we’ve long waited for: the day we’d leave town, take a long ride in a van, go about one hour upriver by canoe, then three hours over hills and through rice fields by foot, and finally arrive in the village of Ambodihazina, where we’d begin a new work – making relationships, learning village life in Madagascar…
Lora and I have been living and working in our rural village here in South Africa for several months now. Before arriving, we were hoping that people would be glad we’re here and available to help. We even expected a bit more attention than we were used to, for a variety of reasons. But we [...]