Photo Highlight Reel…

Photo Highlight Reel…

Highlight Reel… My brain and heart haven’t been in a place to write a newsletter…. usually my head is spinning all month long with what I want to share. This month it just hasn’t. We decided a highlight reel of images from this last term in Madagascar would be a fantastic substitute… I mean, who doesn’t love photographs– it’s honestly one of my love languages! Easier said than done though–...

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Ten on Ten- July 2017

Ten on Ten- July 2017

Ten (or more) images a month on the 10th of the month in an attempt to capture the ordinary of life wherever we may and whatever we may be doing at the time. This month the 10th fell on a Monday– a Monday during our kid’s summer vacation, a typical Monday of prenatal program at the Sarobidy Maternity Center, a Monday just two weeks before our departure from our city of Mahajanga to begin the journey back to the USA.  In other words,...

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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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Expect the Unexpected… July 2016 News

Expect the Unexpected… July 2016 News

Expect the Unexpected…    That’s what we tell all people coming out to Madagascar, whether to visit or to live…. “expect the unexpected”.  Things can change quickly here–sometimes at a drop of a hat all plans for the day are flipped upside.  Maybe it’s because of a birth, or a death, or thievery, or an unplanned meeting with one of the minister’s of health or water and forestry. Sometimes...

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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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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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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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Holding Her Head High…

Holding Her Head High…

Nearly all of the women at the Sarobidy Maternity Center have led difficult lives.  Abject poverty, physical and emotional abuse, lack of education or total illiteracy, children from multiple fathers, prostitution, rape, oppression by their society and government, and women without a voice in their communities.  The hardships are unimaginable and they.are.so.real….. click here to read the rest of this story as written in our April...

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Maman’i Josy

Maman’i Josy

In Madagascar, parents are known by their children… Maman’i Josy is Josy’s mom.  Sometimes Josy’s mom also goes by the name of Maman’i Dina or Maman’i Redy… or any of her other 4 children.  She’s a sweet women who has seen a lot in her nearly 80 years of life– an age well past the average life expectancy in Madagascar.  After nearly 60 years of marriage, she’s seen her children...

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SMC Sings…

SMC Sings…

A few weeks ago we started singing with the ladies before and after our class sessions.  It’s amazing how singing breaks the darkness and the staleness of the air and replaces it with life and refreshment.  We’re singing about the great love of Christ and singing about God’s grace for us.  Some of the women in our program are Christ-followers.  Some are not.  Some are Muslim while others may worship their ancestors and...

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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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Opening weeks…

Opening weeks…

On Monday, May 13th, just 1 day after American Mother’s Day (Malagasy Mother’s Day is actually the 26 of May), we officially opened the doors of the Sarobidy Maternity Center.  What a feeling!  We received the first 5 pregnant women that day and the joy in the air was palpable. The second week, we added the education component to the prenatal program.  As you can see from the picture… we started with the...

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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!SharePrintGoogleTwitterLinkedInFacebookLike this:Like...

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12 Years Of Transformation

12 Years Of Transformation

Flashback to October 9, 1999– I stepped off a Malagasy sailboat and into life within the village of Mahabana. A village barely touched by the outside world and so entrapped by the vices of poverty on every level. A village where 30% of the population controlled the other 70% simply due to ownership of canoes and fishing supplies. A village were many of the desperate 70% were enslaved to the manipulating 30% through debt bondage, as...

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One Days Wage

Some exciting news was released yesterday.. One Day’s Wages is partnering with Eden Reforestation Projects who is partnering with us, Jamie and Alissa Shattenberg, to plant 100,000 more trees in Madagascar!  If you don’t know about One Day’s Wages… you should. Taken from their website, “One Day’s Wages (ODW) is a new grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global...

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Mahabana: A History

Mahabana: A History

Mahabana is a small yet growing fishing village 120 miles south of where we live in the large city of Mahajanga.  When Jamie first went to Mahabana in 1999, the village consisted of just 100 people; today, it’s home to close to 400. After living there, Josy, a good Malagasy friend, took Jamie to Mahabana for the first time in 1999 with the hopes of good fishing and the chance to share the sweet message of Christ.  Just prior to their arrival...

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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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Field Trip to the School for the Visually Impaired

Field Trip to the School for the Visually Impaired

Yesterday our Malagasy class took a field trip to a school for visually impaired children.  The purpose of such field trips is to not only to be able to listen and speak in Malagasy but also to raise our cultural awareness.  I love these field trips and find them absolutely fascinating.  This school is the largest center on the island of Madagascar.  It was started in 1924 and moved to it’s current location in the town of Antsirabe in...

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