During staff meeting on Tuesday I was asked if I finally knew where I would be living and what I would be doing in Madagascar. Again, like many times before this moment my answer was, "no". I promised soon as those around me were growing just as impatient as I was for my placement. We continued with our staff huddle (it is basically a small group Bible study) about listening to God's voice and what gets in our way to do that. I can't remember the context that the story of God calling Abram out of his homeland came up but it did and it was my kairos moment for the day! Here is where I am referencing,
The Lord has said to Abram, "Go from your county, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." So Abram went, as the Lord had told him...
God told Abram to leave his country, his people, his father's house and God would show him new land. Think about that. God asked Abram to leave everything he knew to go to where? A land God would show him. Abram didn't even get to know where he was going! Yet, in verse 4 it says, "So Abram went, as the Lord had told him." Abram followed God's command, packed up his family, and started moving. That is such an incredible act of faith and obedience. Abram didn't know where he was going, what amenities would be provided, where he and his family would make a new home but without any hesitation he listened to God's call. Abram had confidence in God. What I want to know is where did the confidence come from? The Bible doesn't tell us that Abram and his family were followers of God. There is nothing that supports they knew and worshipped the true God. That being said, wow! Abram barely had a relationship with God yet he still listened to His call, all that he is promised by God and goes as he is told. Incredible.
After processing through all of that I felt convicted. I so desperately want to know exactly where God is calling me to be in Madagascar. I want to know all the details of what I will be doing and where I will be staying. I never paused to think that maybe I should just trust God and not have such a desire to know all the details. I know I have been called to go but it is if I am saying, "I'll go Lord...but I need a detailed itinerary before I will actually move my feet". I yearn for the same confidence in God that Abram had to just be obedient and do what God asked without any hesitation.
Right when I became comfortable and at peace with trusting God and following where he led, the long awaited email came with my placement! It is as if God was waiting for me to fully trust him before he would reveal his plan. God's perfect timing is great.
I will be serving in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar.
Fianarantsoa means "place of good learning". Fianarantsoa is the 4th largest city in Madagascar! Honestly, I am still in the research phase so I do not know a whole lot about the city but I will continue to learn more each day. Feel free to do your own research too!
My responsibilities while I am in Fianarantsoa will take shape when I arrive but I have a general idea of where I will be working. I will be teaching English, working with SALT Seminary, a school for deaf children, and a women's center for young Malagasy women. I will be living with a family at the women's center.
I cannot even begin to contain my excitement for all of this! Thank you for taking this journey with me. I couldn't do this without your prayers, love and support!
In 2011, I worked at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp with a great friend, Laza, who is from Madagascar. I shared with him that I will be living in Fianarantsoa and found out that this is where he grew up! Although he no longer lives there, his sister does, and he plans to visit while I am there! I am looking forward to seeing him again! As we were talking this morning he reminded me that I had promised to at some point to come to Madagascar and visit. I must admit, it was a bit of an empty promise at the time. However, I'd venture to guess God smiled when I said that knowing two years later the promise would be fulfilled. God is Good!