Where Would You Like To Go?

July 29, 2012

Worship & Relaxation

We started off our Sunday morning worshipping at Mahavatse - needless to say we filled up the church!!

Then we drove down to Ifaty to do a little relaxing on the beach before 4 long days in the BUSH!!
our child can seriously put away some rice...as in plain/white rice with NOTHING on it!!

checking out the beach

Karen & Casey doing some "shopping" for Kaylee and Molly!!
Such a beautiful afternoon with absolutely lovely friends/family!

July 28, 2012

Not Returning Void

The Lord promises us in Isaiah 55 that His word will never return void...we are praising Him for how He spoke through all of us today in various ways to the people here in Tulear.  Please pray for those who heard the word of God (believers and nonbelievers alike) that they would hear His truth and it would transform their life.
Mike sharing Creation to Christ (Renee did too but I missed the picture!!)

Alanna & Karen passing out tracts
Renee & Mike talking with Brilliant (our amazing translator)
Casey spent all day at the seminary finishing out the book of Acts.  He did a fantastic job and the men & women who attended were very attentive and inquisitive!  There is a picture but we can not seem to get it on this computer!! Sorry!!

We spent the rest of our morning doing a little shopping
and then ended our afternoon at the Hailes' house for Baylee's 8th bday party!!
Ryleigh loved the water balloons!

What's the best thing to do after getting soaking wet?  Playing in the dirt of course!!

We are looking forward to worshipping at Mahavatse tomorrow and then taking a trip down to Ifaty!

July 27, 2012

Seminary & Prayer Walking

Friday was a beautiful day in Tulear.  We started off the morning pretty early at a local bakery.  We enjoyed some fresh croissants and Casey led a devotion for us.  I think the rest of our day could be explained through pictures - so I'll let them do the talking for the rest of this blog!
Casey teaching Acts for the seminary class in Tulear
Prayer walking around the block where the deaf school is located
Everyone agreed that the ice cream in Tulear is pretty tasty!

We ended our day with a homecooked meal and a board game - now we're just praying that everyone gets a good nights sleep!

July 26, 2012

Welcome to Tulear Day

Their 1st full day in Tulear, the team had fun trying out the local transport

We walked through all the fruit/veggie/meat markets and then ate at a local Malagasy restaurant (and they even said they enjoyed it!)
Next, we all took advantage of Ryleigh's nap time and had some "down time" ourselves.  Then, headed out to the craft markets to look for a few souviners.
We ended the night eating out with all of the SW team
overall it was a great day of fun, fellowship, and learning about Tulear and the Malagasy people - which clearly wore some of us out!!

They Arrived!!

After an hour or so delay - they arrived in Tulear safely!!  We were so excited to see Grandma after over a year AND the team from Vansant!!  Thank you for all of your prayers and please continue to lift up their safety and health as they are visiting here in Tulear. 

Today is orientation day and tomorrow Casey will start teaching at the seminary!  We'll keep you posted!

July 20, 2012

Ever Present Reminder

As you drive along the roads here in Madagascar, you are bound to see some tombs.  It seems to me that they increase greatly in number as you drive out through the countryside/bush and honestly some of them are pretty neat to look at.  Every tribe has a different custom or reason for burying the way that they do.  Some tombs have totem type poles that stick out from the top that tell the story of whoever might be buried there.  Others have their cattle killed and buried with them to show how wealthy they were.  Regardless of the tribe, the tombs have been serving as an ever present reminder of why we are here.  Driving to Besatra last week, this one in particular stood out to me.
This may sound ridiculous but it really hit me what I was looking at.  Sometimes, they seem to just be a part of the backdrop of the landscape - but they're not.  They are tombs.  There are people buried inside of them.  These people to the extent of our knowledge were and are lost.  They are in hell.  Tomb after tomb after tomb of lostness.  People who never heard the great news of salvation.  People who never experienced peace that is beyond explanation.  People who never felt the unconditional love of their Creator.  People who were not able to experience forgiveness of their sins.  Why?  Did they reject the Truth?  Some perhaps, but for the majority of them it's because
O Lord, use each of us so that ALL may hear.

July 18, 2012

Early Bday Trip

Since we were already enduring the 4 hour ride out to Besatra, we thought it might be fun to visit a National Park that's about 4 more hours down the road.  Before you think we're totally crazy, the road gets remarkably better after that 1st 4 hour part!  We drove on to the west coast to a town called Ambola.  It was gorgeous and that's only putting it mildly.  It was honestly the most beautiful beach I have ever seen.  The water was an amazing turquoise blue and incredibly clear.  The beaches were filled with clean, soft, & white sand.  Truly a masterpiece from the Creator.  You might have the tendency to be a little jealous over these views BUT remember it's a pretty rough 8 hours to get to them!!
we were so excited when we saw how beautiful it was!
playing with her daddy in the sand
at our hotel on the beach
loves playing in the sand
Even though it was hard to leave the gorgeous views, we did indeed drive to the town to see the park - so off we went.  It did not disappoint.  The salt lake in the center was filled with beautiful flamingos, we hiked up a small mountain that led to breathtaking views, and we found 20 + ringtailed lemurs who wanted to play!! 
she enjoyed watching the flamingos
see the hut at the top? yep we hiked up to it!!

with "grandmother" baobab - see how wrinkly it is?!?
there were lemurs everywhere
blowing kisses when saying "bye bye" to the lemurs
Overall, it was a fantastic day and a pretty unique birthday present!  I'm so glad Alanna was able to join us on this fun trip!
lovely sunset

July 16, 2012

We Made It Out!!

After an eventful trip ALMOST to the bush this past November, we were really looking forward to going out this past week.  It was just a short trip out to one of the main villages so we could introduce them to Ryleigh and to allow Alanna to experience "village life".  The road out to Mahafaly Land is pretty rough 4 hour ride but Ryleigh did great!  We are so thankful for all of your prayers and just wanted to share a few photos from our trip out.

The kiddos loved Alanna and her blond hair and thought it was pretty funny that Ryleigh enjoyed playing in the dirt.
One day, if the Lord works everything out, we will live closer to the villages so that the 4 hour trip will not be necessary everytime.  Until then, Ryles and I are planning on making trips out atleast once a month with Steve and are really looking forward to building relationships out in the villages!

July 11, 2012

Stepped on Toes

"There is no lie so sly as the one we tell ourselves...The self deception slithers in when we mistake appreciation for application or being touched with being changed.  The tricky part is that hearing, all by itself, really does lend a certain satisfaction.  The hearing itself can be satisfying...The Word of God, however, is meant to do more than penetrate.  It's meant to activate.  It can bore holes through obstacles.  It can tumble defenses.  It can plant wandering feet of clay in places of divine purpose.  It can sanctify the sin sick and steady the aimless and confused.  It can light a blazing torch in a black hole.  Simply put, the Word was meant to work.  And, through it, we were meant to bear fruit."
 - Beth Moore (James study)

This is Truth.  Truth hurts sometimes, but it's still the Truth. 
Praying for activation of His truth in my daily life.

July 9, 2012

What JAMES is teaching me

I'm currently in going through Beth Moore's study of James with Jodie & Tessa.  I've always enjoyed reading James - he's straightforward and to the point...not quite my style of attacking issues but it's usually how I need to be approached about things!  I just wanted to share with you a few of the things the Lord has been reminding me of through the truth of His words written by James.

* The testing of my faith produces steadfastness, which is needed for me to be lacking in nothing.
* When asking for wisdom, He will give it...but I must be asking in faith.
*Temptations in my life are born from my own sinful desires.
*His gifts are perfect and perfectly TIMED for His glory and the perfect completion of who He created me to be
*Be quick to hear and slow to speak - quick to hear and slow to speak - quick to hear and slow to speak
*That His implanted word in my heart continues to save my soul on a daily basis.
*When I am a hearer only of His word - I am decieving myself...change/doing has to take place!!

This is only from chapter 1!!  My prayer over the course of this study is that I do not simply nod my head in agreement with what the Lord is saying through James, but that I allow the Lord to make these changes in my life.  Oh how I love that His word is alive and active right here in July 2012!!

July 6, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Last year, we celebrated the 4th in Johannesburg and were VERY jetlagged.  This year, we've had plenty of time to get over the jetlag :)  We enjoyed a fun filled day with our Southwest team and REALLY enjoyed the cool weather that accompanied our day!!
Happy 4th of July!!
Ready to watch "patriotic" movies :)
Ry & Ty are pretty fond of "uncle" doug!
Ryleigh decided there had been enough photos - this was her "no" face
Love these ladies!!

Teaching Hannah via youtube how to make a smore :)