sambatra

[sam-ba-chra] blessed to be happy|happy to be blessed

Weather Update!

Because everyone loves to talk about the weather!

As the First Day of Summer quickly approaches in the Northern Hemisphere (June 21); us folks down here in the Southern ‘sphere are settling into winter.  Since we live in Africa it is often hard to imagine what “winter weather” might entail for us.

During the past week our nights are in the upper 40′s Fahrenheit (in Celsius that is between 8 and 4 degrees).  Our days, when sunny, are in the mid 70′s Fahrenheit (26 – 21 degrees Celsius).  But a cloudy day can stay in the 60′s (F) all day.  With no indoor heating here in Madagascar, this makes homes quite chilly to be inside of.  So needless to say we are settling into our winter months and enjoying a break from the heat.

Happy Friday the 13th with a Full Moon (only happens once every 20 years or so!).  Make sure you go check it out tonight!

Lots of peace, love and soup eating,  Tanya

Blessings on Pentecost

Dubbed one of the largest churches in Africa, yes in all of the Africa, this FLM church has over 10,000 members.  At our service alone, starting at 6:30am (but our friend Sthela arrived at 5:30 to get us good seats), had over 5,000 worshippers, and the service only lasted three hours.  Worship today was full of celebration as the promise of the Holy Spirit entered and reentered into our hearts and faith.

Celebrating Holy Communion at 67 Hectors Malagasy Lutheran Church

Celebrating Holy Communion at 67 Hectares Malagasy Lutheran Church

Sthela has been worshiping at this church most of her life, and knows every hymn by heart.  The Malagasy sing with a robustness that I have never experienced in my life, there is such joy in all the music, and the sheer volume of 5,000+ voices in harmony is truly an amazing experience as we worshipped our One God.

After Worship With Our Good Buddy Sthela

After Worship With Our Good Buddy Sthela

After a celebration like that, Tanya and I came home to be with family and made a good ole Brunch.  And we’ll be giving thanks tomorrow as we continue to journey with the Sprit on Pentecost Monday, yep, it’s a continued holiday here in Madagascar.  Maybe we’ll follow the Malagasy tradition and go for picnic.

The Family on Pentecost

The Family on Pentecost

John 14:15”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another -Advocate, Holy Comforter, Counselor- to be with you forever.17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

-Austin 

Seeing the 7-UP’s during May 2014 Site Visits

Zach with his Host-Family in Mahajanga.

Zach with his Host-Family in Mahajanga.

Tom holding a Chameleon at a local park near his home in Antananarivo.

Tom holding a Chameleon at a local park near his home in Antananarivo.

Anna counting eggs at the farm.

Anna counting eggs at the farm.

Tanya and Austin working hard like always.  Bought a whole banana stalk during our travels.

Tanya and Austin working hard like always. Bought a whole banana stalk during our travels.

We walked the hills of Fianarantsoa with Karis.  She is pointing at her house and school in the distance.

We walked the hills of Fianarantsoa with Karis. She is pointing at her house and school in the distance.

Amboaloboka where Molly lives is the place of grapes.  During our time together we visited a monastery and walked through the vineyards.

Amboaloboka where Molly lives is the place of grapes. During our time together we visited a monastery and walked through the vineyards.

Adventures abound; found a natural swimming pool with Ian in Toliara.

Adventures abound; found a natural swimming pool with Ian in Toliara.

Anndi and Austin did some flip flop shopping in Fort Dauphin.  It's the most important footwear for the Malagasy.

Anndi and Austin did some flip flop shopping in Fort Dauphin. It’s the most important footwear for the Malagasy.

Mada-GASCAR

Here’s a short movie trailer we made from our recent travels to visit the YAGM volunteers:

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