'Til the Day I DieI 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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 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.