2017 Video Update!!

2017 Video Update!!

Nearly seven years since our return to Madagascar as a family and like a good and loving father, our God is so gracious! This powerful video captures the essence of the ministry that the Lord has allowed our team to be a part of as we seek to restore health, forests, and Hope in Madagascar. If you’re a cryer, grab your tissues…. I know it makes me shed a few tears each time as I see the Lord’s goodness and His mercy in our midst. Special...

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Earth, Wind and Fire….

Earth, Wind and Fire….

Winds of change… We’ve been back in the USA for two months and thankfully, the winds of change are lessening and life is starting to feel normal again as we juggle the new routines and rhythms of American life. Home assignment is intended to be a time set aside from the demands of ministry on the mission field– a time to be with friends and family, a time to be refreshed in your native language, a time to catch up with...

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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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From two sides of the globe…

From two sides of the globe…

Here and there… As I type, we’re on our last day in Madagascar for 2017… late tonight we head to the airport for our 1:50am flight to Paris and then on to Los Angeles. I would be lying to say that it wasn’t with mixed emotions that we’re leaving. peace– we have peace with the place that we were able to leave each of the ministries and peace knowing that the Lord has raised up an amazing ministry team that...

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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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Goodbye’s, hello’s, repeat, repeat, repeat….

Goodbye’s, hello’s, repeat, repeat, repeat….

Goodbyes… Thank you for your prayers for the three families– the Bright’s, Gough’s, and Jensen’s that left Madagascar earlier this month. The last year has been a gift in so many ways for us personally, as a field, ministry-wise and for each of the families and those they interacted with daily. Goodbyes are never easy but the sadness and tears are truly a testimony to the intensity of the life shared...

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Across the board…

Across the board…

Life on the mission field brings an array of emotions across the board… this letter hits a bit on a few of these. Heavy… (This is part of an original blog post that can be found here….) A first-time mom with joyful expectation of delivering a healthy baby boy at the Sarobidy Maternity Center had been struggling with the results of her 20-week ultrasound that showed her baby had short legs. Unbelieving of the news, she received a...

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Heavy…

Heavy…

It’s been months, if not going on years, since I’ve actually written in this space.  My heart aches to write and too often I push this desire aside to complete the unending list of tasks and self-imposed deadlines. Alas I’m putting it off no longer… there’s too much to say, too much to share, too much that I want to invite others into to better understand what full-time life and ministry in Madagascar is really...

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Ten on Ten- April 2017

Ten on Ten- April 2017

Ten (or more) pictures over the course of 10 (or so) hours on the 10th of the month.  This month is extra special as my mom is visiting us from Santa Barbara… she traveled solo half way around the world to be with us for two weeks! We continued our daily routines as much as is possible with folks visiting… workouts, maternity center, eden work, artisan work, school… and all the extras of extra games, teaching grandkids to...

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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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Even in riots and betrayal… (and a video update!)

Even in riots and betrayal… (and a video update!)

 In all things and in all ways… give thanks!    Give thanks… even in the riots    The month of November started amazing as we were wrapping up a much-needed vacation with my folks and our teammates on the beautiful island of Nosy Be!  You can read more about that here.        Our vacation abruptly came to a halt when we found ourselves at the center of a riot on the drive home. Literally. The 14 of us...

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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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Ten on Ten- September

Ten on Ten- September

Ten photos a day on the 10th of the month to capture the beauty in the daily life. This month on September 10th we had a filmmaker from the USA helping us to share what’s happening here in Madagascar.  Chris is ever-so-talented and has made some films in the past for us– you can check those out here, here and here. These quick-snap iPhone photos taken by several different people simply captured the behind the scenes magic of this...

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Final Days…

Final Days…

Growth!    The week is just starting at the Sarobidy Maternity Center and already the place is full! This morning brought 8 new women applying to be in our prenatal program. One new first-time mama will come back into the postpartum program on Thursday after having her baby at the center two weeks ago. At the same time on Thursday, 3 women and their 4 beautifully chubby breastfed babies will graduate with diplomas and another 6 months of...

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Ten on Ten- August

Ten on Ten- August

Ten of Ten– 10 images on the 10th of the month to capture the beauty of the simple dailies.  This month a baby was born in the early morning hours on the 10th and so after 34 hours without sleep, I finally crashed and re-picked up the camera a day later. Linking up with Rebekah Gough for this great little project– and a fun fact– Rebekah’s sister-in-law and brother-in-law are arriving in Madagascar later this month to...

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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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Unsurpassed Love… March News

Unsurpassed Love… March News

You may remember towards the end of 2015 that many of you gave generously for necessary renovations at the Sarobidy Maternity Center.  All these renovations and improvements are in preparation for when we begin deliveries at the center later this year.  A few have asked us, “why the improvements? or “doesn’t the center function now?”.  While the answer is Yes, the center does function… the more important answer...

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Unexpected… February News

Unexpected… February News

Unexpected birth… It was 11:15pm and amazingly, we were already in bed and had just fallen asleep. I received a phone call from Rota, the Malagasy midwife at the maternity center.  She was talking fast and was a bit winded as she walked down the dark dirt road telling me that Elizabeth, who was pregnant with twins and at term, was laboring at her home and progressing quickly.  I texted Danielle, our American ministry partner, threw on...

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23 Pieces of Luggage…

23 Pieces of Luggage…

     23 pieces of luggage…. that’s how many pieces of luggage we brought back with us to Madagascar!  That of course, is not including our checked luggage of which we had five pieces plus an additional three backpacks for the kids, my purse and a computer bag for Jamie.  So if you’re the math type… that’s 33 pieces!  Oh and a carseat…. 34 pieces total!  Perhaps it gives a whole new branding name to us...

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Combatting Lies with Truth… November News

Combatting Lies with Truth… November News

   For years we have been praying for like-minded ministry partners to join in the growing work in Madagascar.  In 2014 and early 2015 we hosted several individuals, couples and families that came to Madagascar for vision trips.  Now that we’re back in the States we’re meeting with the same folks as they work on returning to Madagascar to serve with us– some for 6 months, some for a year, some for as long as God keeps them...

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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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“Sorry Madagascar, Your Problems Aren’t Hot Enough…”

“Sorry Madagascar, Your Problems Aren’t Hot Enough…”

ISS- AKA the Institute for Security Studies, recently published an article on October 7th about Madagascar written by Simon Allison.  The title: Sorry Madagascar, Your Problems Aren’t Hot Enough.  The title basically sums what we’ve been saying for years, Madagascar is a forgotten corner of the globe that is often overlooked and neglected.  The truth hits hard. The words written in the article, sobering.  We see the reality of...

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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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Mother’s Day Campaign 2015

Mother’s Day Campaign 2015

Mother’s around the world are pretty much amazing!  They are our mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and girlfriends. Because we treasure these ladies in our lives, we would like to give you the opportunity to honor them in a unique way this Mother’s Day.  The Sarobidy Maternity Center will be honoring women all over the world with a Mother’s Day campaign.  With your donation of $20 or more towards women and mothers at the...

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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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Images of SMC

Images of SMC

This space has been way too neglected for way too long.  The desire to write, share images and stories of life and ministry here is not to blame… in fact, I’ve got about 8 blogs swirling around in my mind.  The problem is the time to get all that’s in my head onto the screen to share.  So for today, I’m not going to neglect this blog or my desire to share but rather keep my words few and the images aplenty.  Images of...

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This is Madagascar– donating blood edition

This is Madagascar– donating blood edition

We experienced a devastating loss last month when one of the ladies from our maternity center experienced a ruptured uterus during labor. You can read about that tragic story here.  We praise God that we didn’t lose the mama in addition to the sweet baby girl who never took a breath.  A ruptured uterus is a total obstetric emergency and this case was no different.  Massive hemorrhaging, loss of life, total hysterectomy. In the past, it...

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Exposure…

Exposure…

“Uterine rupture stands as a single obstetric accident that exposes the flaws and inequities of health systems and the society at large due to the degree of neglect that it entails”.  –Ghana Medical Journal (A Two-Year Review of Uterine Rupture in a Regional Hospital) Tuesday: February 17th, 12:15am. I’ve always known there is abuse on multiple levels to women during labor and birth worldwide.  I’ve always known...

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Every Mother Counts

Every Mother Counts

In 2014, we completed our first calendar year at the Sarobidy Maternity Center.  The year 2014 was all about growth.  Our staff has grown together, our programs have become stronger, our knowledge about maternity care in Madagascar has increased.  Our programs have become increasingly popular and have grown in the number of women attending and graduating.  We’ve added a family planning program that is open to anyone in the...

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Sarobidy Maternity Center- a video

Sarobidy Maternity Center- a video

We opened the Sarobidy Maternity Center just shy of 18-months ago.  Nearly 18 months that we’ve had the privilege to provide compassionate medical care for women during their pregnancies, deliveries, and postpartum period in addition to well-baby care until their little ones are 6 months old.  Nearly 18 months that we’ve been able to share life-empowering education with women each week.  Nearly 18 months that we’ve been able...

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