Dear Dad and Grandpa,

Remember the many times we went fishing when I was growing up? Then I would watch (or try not to watch…) while you cleaned the fish up at the trailer? Or how bout those times we took video tapes of you guys cleaning the fish? Why did we even do that? Though the videos are hilarious so I guess it was worth it. J
Well, one of my favorite foods here is fish, especially the ones that are fried whole so you can eat the fins and everything. But I realized that I love to eat them but don’t know how to prepare them… So, when a few of the teens came over the other week we bought fish to fry. I decided to ask one of the boys to show me how to prepare them. Sleeves rolled up and equipped with knives, the two of us stood over the sink, the plate of slimy fish staring us down (literally). First I found myself gripping the slimy fish in one hand and using a knife to scrap scales off the fish. I learned that how you hold the knife is very important. After holding it wrong I had fish scales flying all over. Then we were cutting a slit in the bottom of the fish, squeezing out the guts and putting our fingers up the hole to make sure all the guts were out. Trying to appear unfazed, I pulled out strings of guts with my eyes half closed, and trying to keep the horrified looks off my face. Sitting down to eat that night, I couldn’t help but feel a small sense of self satisfaction that I had finally cleaned a fish. I must say, they were some of the most delicious fish I have ever eaten, except of course the ones from Twin Lakes.
Dad and Grandpa, thank you for introducing me to fish early on. All those hours in the boat fishing and cleaning paid off! I am sure I owe all the credit to you that I was able to complete this task with my dignity and appetite still in check at the end. J Thank you for preparing me well for the task God created me for here in Madagascar.
All my love,                             


Ampefy, Madagascar

Lost for words, I stood at the top of the waterfall, watching the water plunge down to a pool far below that was surrounded by greenery and rocks. The only words I could come up with were, “Author! Author!”
I went to Ampefy, Madagascar with the Alpha School students, three of whom are the teens I teach on Saturdays. They all study English at the Alpha School, and I go there to study Malagasy with one of the teachers, Haja. After several hours squeezed into a packed out vehicle, bumping along dusty roads that were far from smooth, we finally arrived. Climbing to the bottom of the waterfall, we were delighted to find that you could feel the mist from the water even from the far side of the pool.
After enjoying the waterfall, we went to some hot springs to eat lunch. The hot springs were beautiful! Pictures can’t do justice, but I thought I would share a few anyway. J
Surrounded by the magnificent beauty of nature, I felt comfortingly small and insignificant. It was a reminder that God is in complete control. That is comforting when surrounded with a new language and putting in a visa application with two weeks left until I need it. How thankful I am He is in control!
                                                                     Lily Waterfall

The bridge across the river made me slightly nervous....

 Claudia, Hasina and Lanto are three of the girls who teach Good News Clubs and 5-Day Clubs. They come over to my house every Wednesday to hang out. They practice their English and I practice my Malagasy. :)

Hot Springs

Haja is my language helper who teaches English at the Alpha School. Tatienne lives with me and has been amazing helping me learn the in's and out's of life here in Madagascar.


5-Day Club

Wait….Did that really just happen?? Did I just understand an entire sentence of the lesson being taught??
Myself, Tatienne and four of the teens went to Tsiroanomandidy to teach two 5-Day Clubs at the end of July. Clubs were a great place to listen to Malagasy, as they are more at my level then adult conversations. The teens were also helpful as they would tell me about the stories they were going to tell on the way to club and teaching me some of the words I would hear. Short conversations with kids at club, comprehension during lessons, being able to have mouthed conversations with the teens from across the room, and laughing with them over a Malagasy conversation was encouraging.
The best part of the week was seeing the kids who came to club and watching God work in their lives and draw many of them to Himself. As I sat in club, I couldn’t believe how blessed we are that God has called us to reach these precious children.
The week was a challenging one as well as a good one. I saw things that broke my heart and things that filled me with anger at what was going on and the lies that the children were being made to believe. I returned to Antananarivo with my eyes opened to the great need for the Gospel here in Madagascar.
                                  One of the teens teaching the Missionary Story at one of the clubs.

These are the children who came to one of our clubs.


Is it possible there is a light at the end of the tunnel??

Could that be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel??
My eyes widen in surprise as I lift the glass to my mouth and suddenly realize that I can read and understand every word of the verse (John 4:14) that is written on it.
Signs inside the taxi be and along the road have started taking on new meaning as, with great joy, I realize I can understand them.
My phone beeps with a Malagasy text message that I am able to respond to in Malagasy. Though, I must say, one of the teens gave me a crash course on Malagasy text lingo that totally went over my head. I am thinking they need to stay away from that for a while yet…. J
I still cringe when my phone rings and it’s someone who doesn’t know English which means I will be floundering for Malagasy words and straining to understand, but I can care on an easy convo!
Children at 5-Day Club excitedly ask me questions when they realize I am learning Malagasy. It was amazing to be able to talk to them in their own language, even if it is just easy questions, which I have been longing to do for years.
When I respond to people at the market and along the road in Malagasy I am met with comments like, “Ah, Malagasy” or “Malagasy Vasa!” (a vasa is a foreigner).
Maneuvering the market by myself for the first time on Friday and buying veggies and meat  by the kilo, pile, and cup was an exciting victory. Word quickly spread from table to table that they needed to give me the prices in Malagasy numbers not French as I moved around the market.
I hold on to the small victories as for each of them there are many frustrations.
One of the boys at club who had a learning disability excitedly ran up, grabbed my hand and began telling me how he had accepted Jesus. How I wanted to be able to understand everything he said and respond to him adequately!
One of the teens will sit down beside me or take my arm as we are out walking and tell me about something that is going on at home or at school or something that makes them sad or scared. In those times, more then ever, I long to fully understand them and talk with them.
Prayer Requests:
Please pray that my comprehension with come quickly when people talk to me. Often they tell me something, and I recognize all the words, but it takes a minute to come up with the meaning for each word and put it all together in my head.
Also pray that I will be able to remember the words I know and figure out how to respond to people quicker. Ten minutes after a convo I realize I could have answered in Malagasy.