Building Up… June 2015 News

Building Up… June 2015 News

If we had to pick a theme to describe the last 18 months here in Madagascar it would be that of “building up”.  The amount of construction projects that we’ve overseen and completed have been many!  Here’s a quick glimpse…  to read the full newsletter and see TONS of photos of transformation, click here Like it? Share it!ShareEmailPrintGoogleTwitterLinkedInFacebookLike this:Like Loading...

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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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STOLEN at the Sarobidy Maternity Center

STOLEN at the Sarobidy Maternity Center

We’re super sad to report that the Sarobidy Maternity Center was broken into just before dawn on Sunday morning.  Every-one is OK.  There was no threat to life or injuries for which we’re extremely thankful after a few other burglaries in our city this weekend where this wasn’t the case!!   Nonetheless, it comes with a whole host of emotions… anger, frustration, sadness, the sense of violation and an underlying...

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Westmont 2014

Westmont 2014

Just a few days ago we said veloma to four wonderful Westmont College students that were with us for four weeks through the Emmaus Road program.  They joined a team of 25+ Malagasy young people… most of whom work with us either at the Sarobidy Maternity Center or with Eden Projects or who are friends or are friends of friends.  It was an intensely fun time together as we had the privilege to bring together two worlds that we love; our...

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Heartline in Haiti

Heartline in Haiti

Earlier this month, Jamie and I (sans kiddos), traveled to Haiti with our awesome new teammates, Neal and Danielle Carlstrom and their wee one, Jolie.   Though our time was short in Haiti (Tuesday morning to Friday), our time was rich– full of learning, conversation, encouragement, ideas, prayers and oh so much more.  The major goal of our trip was to visit the Heartline Maternity Center, one of the maternity center’s that...

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It Takes a Village…

It Takes a Village…

We often think of the remainder of this line as it takes a village to raise a child… this is indeed the case in Madagascar and we love this aspect of Malagasy community life.  This last year, we’ve been blessed and encouraged to find that it also takes a village to open a maternity center. The community– both our Malagasy friends within Madagascar and internationally, our American friends living in the USA, the Philippines and...

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Josy Update #4

Josy Update #4

    It’s been several months since I last wrote an update about Josy.  If you receive our monthly newsletters, (or if you don’t and want to… sign up by dropping us a line here) you know that his health has stabilized, he’s been receiving dialysis 3 times a week while living in Tana which is a 12-hour drive from his family.  Life has returned to Josy… to his body, to his eyes, to his spirit.  Back in...

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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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Ministry Giants…

Ministry Giants…

Do you have know those people that you totally look up to?  Those that are doing awesome things?  Doing awesome things as they allow God to use their giftings and their passions?  And while at the same time, making a Kingdom impact as well as an impact on the lives of others… the lives of people who are born into extreme poverty and will very likely live their entire lives in poverty?  Do you know what I’m talking about?  Do you...

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Part of the Solution to Poverty…part 1

Part of the Solution to Poverty…part 1

“Part of the solution to poverty is doing whatever it takes to get your heart to stay with the poor.”  ~Ann Voskamp Back in July when we were still in the States I had all these thoughts swarming around in my head.  Thoughts of extreme poverty and extreme wealth.  Of injustice and justice, of ignorance and knowledge, of faith and action. We had just come from 2 impoverished countries (Madagascar and the Philippines) and then...

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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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Choosing Poverty

Choosing Poverty

These two words don’t seem to make a lot of sense when put together… why would someone choose poverty? Why when someone has lived their entire life in poverty, married into poverty, birthed their babies into poverty and currently are raising their kids in poverty, why would they choose to continue to live in life debilitating extreme poverty? Why when given an opportunity to enter a women’s training program where they can make money...

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Sissy and Vanna

Sissy and Vanna

The Story of their Lives…                     Sisters, Sissy (16) and Vanna (14) are the oldest of 5 kids.  We first met Sissy and Vanna in the remote fishing village of Mahabana in 2000.  At the time, they were young girls but their lives were already on the common track in such areas to be married at 13 years old, most likely pregnant by 14 and abandoned shortly thereafter, leaving...

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Clarisse and Andry

Clarisse and Andry

The Story of their Lives… Cousins, Clarisse (16) and Andry (13) have experienced a dramatic turn of events in their young lives.  Clarisse is the 3rd child of six.  She grew up in the small town of Anjijia, a farming community in the countryside of Madagascar.  Life in Madagascar is hard, and even harder in rural areas like Anjijia.  From an early age, children are taught and expected to help their parents to plant and tend the...

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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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