Family, Friends and a Return to Madagascar

Posted by on March 20, 2024 in Blog | 0 comments

All in the Family…

There have been some sweet births at the Sarobidy Maternity Center lately as new babies have entered into the world and joined the growing and extensive Sarobidy family! These particular babies are extra special… 

Notiavina is the younger sister of Elina, one of the Sarobidy Maternity Center midwives. With confidence in the care she was receiving, Notiavina experienced deep peace throughout her pregnancy and delivery. When Notiavina went into labor, her older sister, Elina, was right by her side and ushered her sweet nephew into the world. The sheer joy that filled this sacred space was palpable. 

In 2015, Albine was a first time mom in our maternity program and welcomed a little boy. For years, she and her husband prayed for another child but year after year, they struggled to get pregnant, despite consultations with specialists. Fast forward six years, Albine began working for the Sarobidy Maternity Center as our finance director. Each day she saw pregnant women and newborn babies being cared for and the desire to have another baby began to grow after years of disappointment and heartache. She and her husband began to pray once again. Last year, to Albine’s great surprise, she was pregnant! Albine and her husband welcomed a baby boy on the first day of 2024! 

Elina, the same SMC midwife that helped to bring her nephew into the world, was set to have a hospital birth because of a blood clotting disorder. Despite her wishes, the doctors wanted to induce her. We all prayed and prayed and the day that she was to be induced, Elina went into natural labor. A few hours later, and without complications, Elina brought a BIG and healthy baby boy into the world.  

Zalestiny, one of the very first women in our program back in 2013, and one of the Sarobidy Creations artisans, welcomed her fourth baby, a little girl, earlier this month at the maternity center. What a special privilege it is to walk alongside women as they grow their families, one baby at a time!! 

And on International Women’s Day, Christina, one of the SMC midwives, welcomed a baby girl, surrounded by her beautiful and strong midwife sisters at the Sarobidy Maternity Center. This is Christina’s second baby girl born on International Women’s Day, exactly two years apart! These little ladies are going to someday be a powerful force in the world around them! 

We praise the Lord for these women, babies and families and the way He brings deep community to people that were once strangers through the Sarobidy Maternity Center! 

Tahirin’ala Nature Center…

You may remember the Tahirin’ala Nature Center that we’ve mentioned in past newsletters. This forest sanctuary has been a dream project that we started nearly six years ago as a way to protect and preserve the last canopy forest in our city of Mahajanga. 

For the last six years, the Tahirin’ala Nature Center was generously funded by Eden Reforestation Projects, however, with the change of direction of the organization, this site is no longer sponsored by Eden. With a deep desire to keep this gem going, Red Island Restoration has taken over the monthly operations to ensure that this project continues. Unfortunately, at this time, the ongoing operational costs are not in our budget and we’re therefore seeking financial sponsorship for the Tahirin’ala Nature Center. If you are interested in partnering with a tax-deductible special gift or a regularly occurring donation, please click here

Prayers as We Return Home…

Term two of the RVA school year is quickly coming to a close and with that, the 20 dorm guys that we care for daily will be heading home to their families at the end of the week. We’re thrilled to be heading home to Madagascar on Sunday for this upcoming term break! We’re even more thrilled to be taking several of Isabella’s closest friends!! As a family, we have talked about this for years as Jamie often brought RVA friends home to Madagascar and it was such a fun and special time for all. 

Many of you who have journeyed with us for the last 13+ years know that more often than not, we experience some type of hindrance as we try to return to Madagascar… illness, injury, visa issues, passport issues, etc. On Saturday,  March 9th (Isabella’s 18th birthday), Eliana sustained a serious concussion while playing in a soccer tournament. (You may remember that last year she sustained a horrible injury while also playing soccer- just two days before we were to travel to Madagascar). With a moderate risk of a brain bleed and severe concussion symptoms, we’ve been monitoring Eliana closely while receiving daily medical checks. We’re so thankful that she’s progressing in her recovery and we ask for your prayers for continued healing!

We would also ask you to pray for Josiah, one of Isabella’s friends who has been dreaming of coming to Madagascar for the last year. Josiah has been extremely sick for over two weeks with recurring high fevers and a host of different symptoms. Despite excellent medical care in Nairobi with multiple specialists and testing, a diagnosis has not been made and he remains quite ill. Would you please join us in fervent prayer for Josiah– for the Lord’s divine healing of his physical body that has been ravaged by unknown sickness!!

Finally, we covet your prayers for our time in Madagascar- for traveling mercies, for protection from the schemes of man and the evil one, and for sweet moments of connection with our dear Malagasy friends and family. For wisdom as Alissa teaches the midwives and engages in daily life at the maternity center and for Jamie as he forges ahead with rebuilding the team to continue planting and protecting forests in Madagascar. 

Thank you for standing with us in praise and prayer as well as for your continued support and encouragement as we seek to serve the Lord in both Kenya and Madagascar! 

With love, 

Alissa, Jamie, Isabella, Eliana and Gavin

** To read this newsletter in it’s original format, click here. **

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *