The Last Newsletter


'Til the Day I Die

      I made a potentially critical mistake when I moved back to the States in June. I said goodbye to my home, friends, and ministry; preparing to follow God in the new direction He has been leading me. When I arrived in the States, just having left everything I love, I started down the road of thinking that I could never be happy living in the States and wondering why God had once again called me to a new mission field that required so much sacrifice. I had forgotten my one true passion and it took a song on the radio to remind me that I was heading down a dangerous road. The song talked about our passion that keeps us running and swinging for the fence no matter what happens in our lives. That passion isn’t a place or even a job, it is Jesus Christ. My passion had somehow shifted and become all about me and what I wanted. As I listened, I remembered that my true passion has never been Madagascar. No, the passion that is deep in my heart and has never changed is my Savior, Jesus Christ. I realized in that moment that it didn’t matter where I lived or if I was in full-time ministry in Madagascar or a special education teacher and foster /adoptive parent in Spokane. He and He alone is my  passion. Which means that I can find joy wherever I am. I can swing for the fence no matter what God asks me to do. The song continued: 
‘Til the wheels fall off
‘Til the spotlight fades
I will lift your banner high
And til the walls crash in
For the rest of my days
I'll lay it all on the line
Til the day I die
It's Your name I'll glorify          
As I listened, I knew that for the rest of my days, until the day I die, I will follow my Savior and do anything He asks me to do. I will wave His banner and glorify His name wherever I am and in whatever I do. Over the last seven years, you have partnered with me to reach the children of Madagascar and train the next generation of missionaries there. It took all of us to make it happen and it was amazing to watch God work. I hope that you will continue to pray for CEF Madagascar and passionately follow our Savior wherever He may lead and however He may want to use you. Let’s commit to waving the banner of Jesus wherever we are and living to glorify His name, until the day we die.

The Whirlwind

Three days. Three days after coming back to the States, I was offered a teaching job in Cheney. The interview was set up the night before I had even left Madagascar. Not that I have ever doubted, even once, this past year that God is leading me in a new direction, but it was further confirmation that I am right where God wants me. When the school year starts I will be teaching special education at Betz elementary.           Three weeks. Three weeks after returning, God led me to the perfect house for my family on the north side of Spokane. I put in an offer which was accepted and the closing date is at the end of July.       Three months. In September, when I will have been back in the States for three months, I will be going to orientation with Antioch Adoption, which is the organization I will be adopting through. By the end of July, I will have finished my foster parent
classes, just in time to start teaching in  August.            During this crazy whirlwind, I have seen God’s hand guiding me every step of the way. I can’t wait to see how He will continue to work.          I would love to stay in-touch with you through this new journey. My new email address is tararachelle@gmail.com, and of course Facebook is also a great way to stay in touch. You can also find CEF Madagascar’s Facebook page to stay up to date with the ministry there!

This is Not the End      

    I have always felt that programs and organizations run best when they are nationally run. So the first year of Christian Youth in Action I asked God to show me the people he had chosen to one day run CYIA so that I could work closely with them and train them. Within a few weeks, I knew that God had chosen Rinoh, Landry, and Hasina. I invited them to join me in running CYIA. They agreed and we not only became a team and worked together, but became best friends as well. Over the last few years, as I first felt that God might move me on, and this last year when I knew for sure, I have slowly been transitioning out of CYIA, giving them more responsibility and making sure they were a part of every aspect of the training. By last year, I was there, but let them run everything. As I left Madagascar, I knew that with them leading CYIA, it would grow like never before. Over this last month the reports have been coming in.          The National Conference is in September and the Child Evangelism Fellowship® directors noticed that a lot of chapters will be bringing their CYIA teens to conference and other chapters will be bringing teens because they want to start CYIA next year and want their teens to meet Rinoh, Landry and Hasina and get a feel for CEF. So for the first time, there will be a large number of teens at National Conference. The CYIA team was invited to do pull out sessions for these kids and also do a presentation and promotion for CYIA during the conference. CYIA in Moramanga this year is from July 21—August 1 and CYIA in Ranomafana is from August 11—22. Both of these chapters have been very active in CYIA and have large groups of teens who come every year. Each year, the team puts on two CYIA camps, rotating between the chapters who request them. As I think back on how God has used CYIA these last four years and the incredible things He has done in the lives of the teens and the children who have been reached with the Gospel, I must say that I am so glad it doesn’t end here. This is really only the beginning. Whenever you are reminded of Madagascar, remember to pray for the CYIA leadership team, the ministry they are doing and the many teens whose lives have been impacted through CYIA. I will post updates and prayer requests from them on Facebook so that we can continue to partner with them through prayer and encourage them in the work they are doing for our Savior! 

We had a great year of Good News Clubs! Hundreds of  children were impacted as they heard the Gospel and learned to grow in their faith.

We have spent a lot of time this year preparing for and planning CYIA. They learned computers, made visuals, prepared 5 Day Club kits, and created schedules.

Rinoh, Hasina and Landry love the ministry of CYIA and are well equipped to lead the program!

He’s here! Landry and Nirina’s
baby, Nokasaina, was born at the end of June.

Hasina is at Childrens Ministries Institute until September.

Prayer Requests
Pray for the team as they have two CYIA camps this year. CYIA Moramanga is July 21—August 1 and CYIA Ranomafana is August 11—22.
Pray for the teens who will be attending CYIA this year, that God will work in their lives and give them a heart to serve Him.
Pray that the CYIA promotion at the national conference in September is God glorifying and gets new chapters excited about CYIA.
Praise Reports:
Praise God for the CYIA team He has raised up to take over the work.
Praise God for each of the Good News Club prayer partners He provided over the school year. 


January 2016 Newsletter

Heart Change
   I walked into one of my new junior high Good News Clubs in October and was taken completely by surprise. My students whispered continuously. They couldn’t stay in their seats and constantly interrupted with silly, off topic questions.  This scenario repeated itself over and over  at my many junior high clubs. I quickly realized that these clubs brought special challenges. I decided my goal for the year was for them to fall in love with their Savior and to be grounded in the Word of God, knowing how to study the Bible and how to feed themselves spiritually.

   We started having ‘quiet time’ together at the beginning of club. We would read a verse, then ask ourselves questions about it, finding out what message God had for us. I was surprised at the changes that began to take place. They begin to love this time. They would see things in the verses that I hadn't even noticed. They found application for their own lives, and when I mentioned they could bring their Bibles to club to read, instead of reading the verse visual, the idea was met with enthusiasm. In just two months, many of these clubs have changed. They have an excitement to study the Word and even share what changes they made in their lives over the week to follow God. I am so thankful for how God is working and can’t wait to see what the next six months hold for these junior high students.

These three seventh graders participate in Good News Club with enthusiasm
and are beginning to have their own quiet times during the week. 
Passing the Baton
   While I was preparing to serve overseas, I was given a baton at a CEF conference and challenged to ‘pass the baton’ and raise up the next generation of missionaries. Since then, that has been my goal. I don’t want to run Christian Youth in Action here in Madagascar forever. I want to give it over to the Malagasy workers. God has blessed me with an amazing team of young people to train up. Slowly they have been taking on more responsibility. This year, Rinoh, Landry and I are co-running CYIA. Over the last year, I have realized it is time for me to pass the baton on to them. They are ready to take over completely and I need to step back and let go. I have seen their integrity. Their love for God. Their passion for CYIA. And I have seen their wisdom as problems have come up during CYIA and they figure out the best way to solve the issues. This year, we decided, in
preparing for me to step back, that we would get together once a week and talk about everything CYIA and make sure they feel completely ready to run the program without me. I am so excited to see what God will do with CYIA as my team takes over and I thank Him for these young people who I know are more than ready to take on this new responsibility.
Seasons Change
  I remember wondering two years ago, while I was in Washington on home assignment, what in the world would ever make me leave Madagascar. I hated being away from “home” and spent my time counting down the days until I could go back to the one place in the world were I feel most at home, here in Madagascar. It was when I got back here that the Holy Spirit began whispering in my heart that living here isn’t forever.
   I spent six months trying to drown out His voice. But it kept getting louder and more insistent. He began to revive a dream I had while growing up, of working with foster kids. He showed me that my work here is done. My team is ready to take over and He has a new job for me. I began to accept the idea, but decided that it was probably still a few years out, which I was totally okay with.
   Then in July, I noticed that my visa is up in September 2016. Horrified, I realized this was God telling me that I had a year left. I begged Him to let me extend my visa. Even just another six months. But the answer was clear. My job here is done. As my team and I traveled around putting on CYIA camps over the summer vacation, I was still struggling with the idea of leaving my job, friends and home, all which I love so much. In a last effort to stop the inevitable, I told God that if He really wanted me to leave all that I love, again, that He would have to change the burden in my heart.
   For ten years my driving passion and burden has been reaching the Malagasy children and training up the next generation of Malagasy teens to love and serve God. Ten years. If God could take away that burden, which has never changed, and give me a new one, then I would accept that all this was from Him. It happened. One day in August, I read Isaiah 58:12 which says, “Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.” God whispered in my heart that I had a new job. To restore that which is broken.
   It was then I realized He wanted me to, not just work in the foster care system, but to adopt teenage girls in the system who probably have no hope of having a forever family at their age. And in an instant, God replaced the burden that had filled my heart for ten years with a deep love for my daughters and a desire to do whatever it takes, even leaving all that I love, to raise them up to be passionate followers of Jesus and mighty warriors who enter the fight and serve their Lord.
   This summer, I will be heading back to the States and preparing to do things I never thought I would have to think about. Things like finding a job as a special education teacher, buying a house and car and living in the States again. While the prospect is still intimidating, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is calling and I am simply following Him. So while I am sad to see this season of living in Madagascar go, I am excited about the season ahead of continuing to follow God and seeing Him transform my daughters’ lives. 
The views as we travel from one school to another are stunning.
Madagascar is truly a beautiful island!
This is one of my new Good News Clubs of second and third graders that
Hasina and I teach at a small private school.
Fanja (Pastor Diavolana’s wife), Hasina and I often teach at the same schools.
We took a vacation together over Christmas break and went to the coastal town of Morondava on the south western side of Madagascar.

We got to see spectacular baobab trees, which none of us had ever
seen first hand, go to parks in the area, and best of all, spend a lot of time together.

Prayer Requests:
Pray for wisdom for me as I prepare to hand Christian Youth in Action® (CYIA) over to my team this year.
Pray that God will continue to prepare Rinoh, Landry, Hasina and Nirina as they take over CYIA.
Pray that the hundreds of kids who come to Good News Club® each week will become passionate followers of Jesus and grow in their walks with God.
Praise Reports:
Praise God for the CYIA team He has raised up to take over the work.
Praise God for each of the Good News Club prayer partners He provided over the school year.