Leaning out the window of the taxi be, I handed 200 ariary to the man standing on the side of the road holding a stack of newspapers. In return I was given my first Malagasy newspaper. Stowing it carefully in my bag, I wondered what kinds of things I would find written inside.
Upon arriving at my house I eagerly took out the newspaper, hoping that I would be able to decipher at least some of the contents. Starting in on a relatively short article that appeared to be filled with words I knew, I began reading. My eyes widened in surprise as I read. What was this?? I carefully went back and read it over again in disbelief, hoping that maybe I had read it wrong. Coming up with the same thing the second time through, I decided that maybe the handful of words I didn’t know changed the meaning drastically. Hoping this to be true, I took the article with me the next day to read with Haja, figure out the words I didn’t know, and hopefully get the meaning straightened out.
As it turns out, I had understood the article just fine the day before and the words I didn’t know only added more flagrant details to what I had read. The article seemed like it should come out of a sci-fi movie not real life. It told about a house that was haunted and killed seven people each year. From others things I had heard, seen, and experienced here, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the article was true. What should have been fiction certainly wasn’t.
As Haja and I talked about things he had experienced as a child and beliefs held by many people here, I was reminded that my beautiful island home is hiding secrets. Secrets of darkness that I am not accustom to seeing or experiencing in the United States. The rest of the day, I thought about the great darkness here and the great need of the people who live here. I thought back to the sermon on Sunday when Pastor D had talked about how once we are born again we have God’s power living inside of us and Satan has no control over us. The verse “…the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”( I John 4:4), kept coming to mind as I prayed for my country. I was also reminded that the challenges I face are related to the fact that Satan wants to keep Madagascar for himself and will do anything to keep the people in darkness. When you think of Madagascar, please pray that the Light will penetrate the deep darkness. Also pray for me and each of the CEF workers here that we will stand firm and faithfully share the Good News that frees those living in fear and bondage.