After God’s Own Heart
It’s 10pm on Friday night here in Madagascar. As I type this, voices of our kids and their Malagasy friends fill our home as they speak a conglomeration of Malagasy, French and English. There’s 9 teenagers and 4 younger siblings having a sleepover at our place… a normal occurrence when we’re back on the Red Island.
As we sit fully emerged in this world, it’s a hard to believe that just a week ago, we said farewell to the 17 boys that have been within our care for the last 10 months in Kenya!
That’s a Wrap…
Last week, the 2022/2023 school year came to an end at Rift Valley Academy. And with that, came all the end of year events– final games and performances, celebrations, Bible Studies, dorm parties, study breaks, exams, and emotional goodbyes as we helped to get all these kids back to their families spread across 10 countries on the African continent. (Highlighted in dark green).
Over the course of this school year, we focused on the theme of Being Men of Integrity with the dorm guys. The relatability of this theme with high school boys is quite profound as they wrestle through friendships, trust, honesty, boundaries, attraction, gratitude, accountability, sportsmanship, discipline, initiative, self-reflection, self-control and their walk with the Lord. Multiple times throughout the year, we asked them to reflect on various topics and to jot these down. During our final dorm meeting last week, we gave each of the guys a locally made journal with a handwritten note in it that read…
May these pages be a safe place where you reflect on the Lord’s deep and profound love for you.
A place filled with words of gratitude and praise as well as struggles and questions.
The Lord wants all of that… He wants all of you!
We pray that you continue to fall in love with Christ and be all that He desires for you…
a man of integrity
a man after God’s own heart.
We love you and we’re so proud of you!
When we pick up the new school year with them, we’ll also pick up these journals and continue to study, reflect and write together.
We praise God for this year with these young men! We praise Him for the growth we’ve seen, for the relationships of trust that have been built, for the ways He is working in their hearts, minds and lives! We praise Him for allowing us to be with our own kids during their years at RVA– while continuing in ministry, both in Kenya and in Madagascar– truly, what a lavish gift that we never saw coming!
Change of Gears…
After saying goodbye to the guys last Friday, we flew to Madagascar on Tuesday, made the 12-hour drive home on Wednesday and we both began working on Thursday. The change of gears and mindset is a bit boggling! From Third Culture Kids in an English context to Midwifery and Reforestation in a Malagasy and French context. We look forward to the next several weeks at home in Madagascar, working alongside our national teammates and the ministries that are so dear to our hearts!
Please pray for our time here… for protection, for health, for the time to be slow as we soak it all in, for relationships to deepen, for opportunities to speak the Lord’s Truth into areas of darkness and deceit, for wisdom in difficult situations, and for sweet moments with loved ones.
Invitation to Education…
Over ten years ago, as we were just beginning the Sarobidy Maternity Center, we asked a well-respected physician who has her own full-scope clinic, to be our back-up physician. During our earliest years, though she was supportive and willing to help us, she also thought we were crazy with the way we provided care for women and babies.
Over the years and from a distance, this physician has observed the difference in the way we provide care at the Sarobidy Maternity Center and in like manner, she has seen the difference in our patient outcomes. In talking with Rota, our National Director, this physician noted, “our patient populations are the same and yet, your outcomes are drastically better”. And with that, she extended an invitation for us to come teach her and her midwifery staff!
Alissa has been working on this lesson for the last 3 months… planning, writing, translating. TOMORROW, she and Rota will teach this class to our back-up physician and her team of 9 midwives.
Please join us in praying for this time together! For a sharp mind as Alissa juggles three languages (Her notes are in English, the powerpoint presentation and outline are in French and she’ll teach in Malagasy!) Please pray for receptive hearts and a willingness to implement new practices that support mom and baby to ensure the best outcomes and health for both. Please pray that this would continue to open more doors for education in our community!
Thank you for standing with us, for covering our family and these beloved ministries in prayer, for rejoicing with us, and for partnering with us as we serve in Kenya and Madagascar!
Alissa and Jamie, Isabella, Eliana and Gavin
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