Sandy and Yolande love working as Global Mission pioneers in the western highlands of Madagascar.
The couple learned their new dialect while working in the fields with the villagers among whom they live. Sammy helped the people plant and harvest their crops, and Yolande braided the women’s hair. Then the couple invited their new friends to learn about Christ.
They started a literacy center to teach the villagers to read and write better. Yolande teaches the younger children and youth while Sandy teaches the adults. They hope that soon the people will be able to read the Bible for themselves. They include worship as part of their literacy program, and they’ve found great interest in getting to know Jesus.
Recently Sandy and Yolande held evangelistic meetings in a village known for its rough gangs. One night they were startled to see a group of gang members who were carrying guns enter the meeting. Sandy knew that the gang would make trouble if they felt that he was imposing on their territory.
Haja, the gang leader, was tough, and it was obvious that the other gang members respected him. But Sandy and Yolande weren’t afraid. “I talked to Haja and asked him to make sure his gang members were there every night,” Sandy said.
And Haja and his 20 gang members did come to the meetings every night. In fact, Haja was one of the 31 people who were baptized at the end of the meetings. He’s no longer the gang leader. Instead he’s preparing to become a Sabbath School leader. He’s still influential among his gang friends and encourages them to come to church.
Sandy and Yolande face many challenges in their work. Dirty water often makes the people sick. Many of the villagers want nothing to do with Christianity. Some believe in witchcraft and fear a woman who is the local witchdoctor. Alcohol is prevalent.
But this Global Mission couple isn’t discouraged. “We love the people God has sent us to minister to,” says Sandy. “We praise Him for the 60 people who have joined God’s family and the two churches we’ve been able to start here. But there’s much more to be done. Please pray that we can overcome these difficulties to bring God’s Word to the people here.”
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Sandy and Yolande Andriatahina share their faith in Madagascar, an island nation off the eastern coast of Africa.