More About the Willards...
A LOT has happened here in the last couple days. We need your prayers! A young man in our village came over yesterday to talk about some of his questions about who Jesus is, protection from ancestral spirits, release from taboos, and how to trust in the unseen God. We spoke for several hours and he said he wants to trust God even though it's difficult. I told him many Bible stories and personal testimonies. At the end, I encouraged him to seek God directly for himself, to ask for the Holy Spirit to reveal himself.
At the same time, everyone else in our village was preparing an ancestral spirit possession ceremony, to try to appease the spirits that are possessing and causing great pain to the headwoman in our village. They went all night yesterday and all day today. As a result, several more people, including the "king" of Nosy Mitsio (from our village) and a headwoman in a team member's village, are now also possessed by spirits. The headwoman from our team member's village went into a wild trance that severely frightened many others in her village. Some people there asked our team members to pray for her, but one woman, attempting to care for the possessed lady, vehemently refused any prayers to Jesus, because the spirit possessing the lady said it was frightened by the team members and demanded they leave.
We need your prayers! Please pray for Vazaha, the young man from our village who is seeking God. Please pray for a power encounter with the spirits of Nosy Mitsio, that the Holy Spirit would demonstrate his presence in power and love for the Antakarana people, by freeing them from the spirits which oppress them. Please pray that all of us here would have wisdom and discernment to know when and how to speak up for God and when to challenge the local spirits that torment the Antakarana people, even if it might be in opposition to some local people (and the spirits which possess them).
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The Antakarana of Madagascar
Our team's short-termers ("TIMO Questers") have arrived in Ambilobe! Only one day late, so not bad. They'll spend the next month shadowing our team members, learning about long-term church planting to the unreached, learning a new language, etc. It also gives our team members a great chance to grow in their discipleship/training skills. Please pray for good health for all and a productive time during the next month.
Our little boy is growing up fast! Hard to believe he's already five! We had a great time celebrating as a family on Nosy Mitsio on Sunday. Matimu says he's eating enough food these days (thus making him grow) that he'll turn six before next year comes around. haha! What a great kid!
Some of our new missionary colleagues, spent the last month visiting us and our team on Nosy Mitsio. They made a great video about their visit. It has lots of footage about our lives and team work here that we haven't had a chance to show you guys yet. If you'd like to see more of what things are like here, then you'll enjoy watching this!
Yesterday, Lora fulfilled one of her lifelong dreams of riding on a giant turtle! David also got a ride, though I doubt he'll remember it. And since Matimu already took his turn, he just faked a smile for the camera before he could run off and look for smaller turtles.
We’ve spent over a year now living in a village among the Shangaan (or vaTsonga) people in the former Gazankulu area of South Africa. Most of what perplexed or surprised us during the first few weeks and months and which sometimes caused considerable amounts of anxiety for us and the Shangaan people we lived closest […]
The best pictures from our 2 years and 4 months of Peace Corps service in South Africa.