Many Hands… (and pictures!)

Many Hands… (and pictures!)

Many Hands… It’s simply amazing to witness the many hands of the numerous talented, passionate and gifted people that the Lord has brought together to accomplish so much here in our little corner of Madagascar.  In doing so, the Lord has woven our lives together from various backgrounds and nationalities, and as such, has strengthened the strand that brings us together to serve Him and the people on the Red Island. Here are treasured...

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Of turf wars and helping babies breathe…

Of turf wars and helping babies breathe…

Turf wars… Just 30km north, Antsanitia is a small fishing village and is Eden Projects closest dry deciduous planting site to our city. Eden has hired 22 women and men from Antsanitia village to replant the quickly disappearing forest due to charcoal production, clear cutting and fires. For years, there’s been a turf war between Antsanitia and another village further down the beach, Ampanjoany where many villagers make a living...

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“I never thought it possible…” January News

“I never thought it possible…” January News

“I never thought it possible…” Those were the words spoken by Josy nearly four years ago when he thought about living to see his 40th birthday. He didn’t think he would make it. He was literally at death’s door and given just days to live by the doctor when we received the phone call telling us to come quickly if we wanted to see our dear friend before he passed away. Immediately we made the 12-hour drive to the...

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In Closing…. December 2016

In Closing…. December 2016

2016 by the numbers… Yet another year is drawing to a close and the hopeful anticipation of a new year is upon us. We’re typically not ones that look back on the year but we’re thankful for this forum of newsletters that cause us to pause and replay all that the Lord has done here in Madagascar and in our lives.     A glimpse into 2016 by the numbers…  * 584 employees hired by Eden Projects, Sarobidy...

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Ministry Video Update– October 2016

Ministry Video Update– October 2016

It’s been a really, really long time since we ourselves have created a ministry video update.  We both enjoy capturing the footage but the act of putting it all together into a short video is another story.  We’re thankful we have a teammate here, Mark Bright that loves and is good at that stuff!!  So without further delay, our 2016 video update!     To view this update and/or past Red Island Restoration updates, click...

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It’s so much more… September 2016 News

It’s so much more… September 2016 News

More than just trees… September has proved to be most likely our busiest month this term in Madagascar. Amongst a sea of other things, we received and hosted a major Eden Projects group, including Steve, the founder and president of Eden, two board members, six major donors and two cinematographers. For 9 days this large group plus Jamie, Neal and our Malagasy crew traveled by helicopter to visit 3 mangrove planting sites, 5 dry...

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A Special Invitation to Create Lasting Impact…

A Special Invitation to Create Lasting Impact…

New Life Abounds…     We’ve received dozens of visitors over the last few years as they come to visit the work at the Sarobidy Center– some have specifically come to see the reforestation nursery, some have come to see the maternity center, while others have been friends, family, bosses and potential future teammates. The common observation that people share with us as they leave is that the center is a place where NEW LIFE...

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Growing Up (an update in pictures!)… May News

Growing Up (an update in pictures!)… May News

Growing Up… Five and half years into ministry here and we’re so thankful the various ministries are continuing to grow up– new opportunities, project expansions, growing in skills and knowledge, and adding a few more wrinkles to our faces along the way! Ultrasound Arrival!    We recently received a grant for a portable Ultrasound machine that we’ll soon begin using at the Sarobidy Maternity Center. This amazing piece...

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Putting Out Fires– April News

Putting Out Fires– April News

Deforestation in Madagascar is estimated between 88-90%– quite the staggering rate!  The two largest culprits of the continued destruction of the forests are 1) charcoal production to be used for cooking and heating purposes and 2) slash and burn farming.  When traveling on the two-lane national highway during the dry season, one can easily count 15 or 20 plumes of smoke from various areas dotting the landscape.  Of course with...

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New Life and a Chance for New Beginnings… January News

New Life and a Chance for New Beginnings… January News

Thank you for praying us back to Madagascar earlier this month!  We arrived after only one hiccup due to a passport at the airport which caused us to spend an additional 3 days in the USA.  In the end, the extra time in Santa Barbara was such a gift!  We slept, walked on the beach, went surfing, had additional time with friends and family and even were able to pick up prescription medication for the kids that hadn’t come into the...

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Sharing Our Burden… October News

Sharing Our Burden… October News

Twins x 2! Last month two mama’s-to-be in our prenatal program went in for their first ultrasound… both walked out with surprising news– both expecting TWINS, both with the same expected due date of February 22nd!  Elizabeth and Nathalie, the special mamas and these four babies are the first twins in our program!  They have begun receiving dual care– continuing to come each week to the Sarobidy Maternity Center to...

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Creating Beauty… September News

Creating Beauty… September News

Thank you so much for your prayers as Jamie returned to Madagascar for a 2-week work trip with Eden Projects!  Within 12 hours of being in country, they were already out in the remote fishing village of Kalamboro, meeting with the people and employees of Eden Projects.  During their days, they collected important scientific data but even more importantly, they sat with women and men who have been employed with Eden Projects and they listened...

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Replanting the Forests of Madagascar – a featured article

Replanting the Forests of Madagascar – a featured article

We’re excited to share with you that our work with Eden Projects in Madagascar was the recent featured article in the Inside WorldVenture magazine!  To quote the article, “WorldVenture missionaries are leading one of the largest reforestation projects in the world, alleviating poverty and changing hearts as they go”. Take a look at this awesome article by clicking here, then use the arrow to start reading at page 17! Like it?...

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Finding Freedom from Debt Bondage– May 2015 News

Finding Freedom from Debt Bondage– May 2015 News

Jean Paul is a character– full of life, witty and quick to offer a heart-warming smile.  For years, this father of six did all that he could to provide for his children, however it was never enough.  For several years, Jean Paul cut down thousands of mangrove trees to later be transported to larger cities for use as lumber for houses and fences.  This work was labor intensive, resulted in less than $2.00 a day and too often, Jean Paul...

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A Village Transformed– Maman’i Kambana

A Village Transformed– Maman’i Kambana

In late 2006, the first mangrove propagule went into the mud in the mangrove channels that surround a remote peninsula in the village of Mahabana on the northwest coast of Madagascar.  It was an experiment.  The propagule grew, and grew, and grew.  A team of 8 Malagasy friends planted an additional 100,000 propagules.  They also grew.  Now, 8 years later, millions and millions of mangrove propagules have been planted in Mahabana and other...

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and the winners are….

and the winners are….

Last week I posted our first giveaway, thanks to the guys over at TenTree. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect… would people be as stoked to enter this as I would be or would I need to recruit friends and family to enter?  A bunch of you entered, some of you doubled and tripled your chances by liking Red Island Restoration on facebook or signing up to receive our monthly newsletters.  In fact, there were six nationalities...

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TenTree- a giveaway!

TenTree- a giveaway!

Back in August we hosted a great group of Eden Projects supporters for 8 days of crazy travel to remote villages, planting sites, the tsingy (limestone forests), grabbed hours of professional video footage, drone teaching and flying and lots of just good conversations.  It was one those packing-everything-you-can into 8 short days type of trips.  But it was a good one. Keep your eyes peeled for some awesome short videos of the Sarobidy...

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Through their Eyes

Through their Eyes

We recently got to hang out with Josh and Amanda, some Santa Barbara friends who came to visit us and the ministry here in Madagascar.  It’s always a joy when our two worlds of Santa Barbara and Madagascar merge and this was no exception. Often times what stands out to visitors has become just normal life stuff for us so we often walk past it without a second glance, thought or even an awareness or appreciation of how different life is...

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Introducing Paquerette’s Baby…

Introducing Paquerette’s Baby…

Meet Paquerette.  We’ve known Paquerette and her family for at least 2 decades, in fact we’ve known Paquerette since she was a little girl…and now she’s a mom.  She and her husband Haja welcomed their first baby, Cesar Gabriel into the world on August 27th.  Paquerette is extra special because not only is she our co-worker, ministry partner and friend, she is also the National Director for the dry...

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Celebrating Forests–

Celebrating Forests–

Happy Earth Day/Arbor Day week!  We’re super stoked that Jamie is the International Director for Eden Projects here in Madagascar.  This organization is over-the-top amazing in their commitment to planting trees, restoring habitat, and saving lives through employment!  Take 1 minute (literally) to watch this video below and be inspired by all that has happened in Ethiopia, Madagascar and Haiti in these last 10 years— 72 million...

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Video Ministry Update- October 2013

Video Ministry Update- October 2013

We’re excited to share with you our newest ministry video of 2013 as God restores health, forests, and hope in Madagascar! Restoring Health– through the Sarobidy Maternity Center as we strive to empower impoverished women with truth, education, and culturally sensitive and compassionate medical care during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the newborn period. Restoring Forests– through the planting of over 55 million coastal...

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Around Here

Around Here

Around here, life has been intense.  Our days have been beyond full and our nights of sleep sometimes a little a lot too short.  Around here, our minds have been swirling with the need-to-do’s, the want-to-do’s, the must-do-nows, and the emergency-do’s.  Around here, our bodies sometimes feel like they are keeping up simply with the force of adrenaline and a little afternoon caffeine. Around here, our hearts have been heavy...

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A Photographic Journey

A Photographic Journey

Over New Year’s we went to Antananarivo for some cooler temps, some fellowship with other English speakers, some play, some work, and alas, some shopping.. though shopping for stuff like Oatmeal and Sundried Tomatoes is not necessarily what I consider exhilarating shopping. The beauty of this rugged landscape that is Madagascar never ceases to amaze me.  Every time we make this 10-hour drive, I stand in awe of God’s awesome creation...

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Year-End Newsletter

Year-End Newsletter

It’s that time of year again… time for families and friends to share Christmas letters and cards, photos of how the kids have changed and stories of their latest news, accomplishments and/or tribulations.  So… we decided to do the same…               Like it? Share it!ShareEmailPrintGoogleTwitterLinkedInFacebookLike this:Like...

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Lost in a Forest!!!

Lost in a Forest!!!

I could not wait to see what nearly four years of new growth would do to a devastated section of a mangrove forest.  My eyes leapt with excitement as we approached a wall of fresh green over 8 feet tall.  As we stepped off our canoes onto a piece of land that was once stripped of its forest and slowly bleeding its muddy surface into the ever expanding canal, we were enveloped by a new forest. The tallest of these trees stood over 12 feet tall...

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Ranomafana

Ranomafana

Two weeks ago, over Pentecost, we had a long holiday weekend… after all, doesn’t everybody have Pentecost Monday as a national holiday?  Along with our guests, we went to a lush rainforest, Ranomafana (literally translated as Hot Water because of the natural hot springs).  It’s one of the “must see” tourist sites on the island.  A large rainforest with a river meandering through the valley floor, full of lemurs, chameleons,...

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