Thanks be to God!
40 teachers and over 100 children graced the Cathedral Complex for Sunday School workshop and receiving Rooted in Jesus teachings. The Holy Spirit was flowing. Each District/Church presented plays, skits, songs…..there was tremendous joy all around praising God!!!!!
The World Bank’s estimate is that 70% of Malagasy live on less than $1 a day. SAMS Missionaries have been called to serve the people of Madagascar.
The Malagasy community is all too easily forgotten by most of the world, but your generous monetary contributions have allowed churches to be built, families to be fed, children to go to school, and student evangelists to spread the Gospel.
You might believe that your donations are minuscule but be assured they are not. Recently, a local priest approached the Rev. Patsy McGregor and thanked her genuinely for a clerical collar she had given him years prior. She was astonished he was still able to remember the small gift that she had completely forgotten. He proceeded to tell her how the collar was damaged by an electrical fire that destroyed 300 homes in his village. His eyes were sad and Patsy could tell the importance of the collar to him. He was so grateful, and to him this was a great treasure to possess for his calling and a reminder of hope in his life.
This priest’s story is an example of how even a small and seemingly unimportant gift to us can change the trajectory of another human. Your Missionaries in Madagascar were only able to give to this local priest because of the sacrificial donations from people like you. Someone like you first gave the McGregors extra collars and subsequently they could give collars to those in need.
Today Jacky Lowe a SAMS candidate is preparing to serve in Madagascar alongside the McGregors. After serving as a short-term Bridger, the Lord has called her long-term there. She will be working in the Women’s Center in the Diocese of Toliara teaching skills like sewing and cooking in order to help women start their own businesses. Would you prayerfully consider supporting Jacky and this ministry? May the Lord bless you all and guide you as you continue to be a blessing to others. Thank you for changing people’s lives in Madagascar.
God calls us to mission. We are chosen. How we answer the call is the important part of the equation.Jacky Lowe
By Kevin & Rev. Donna Steckline – Christ Episcopal Church, Gilbertsville NY, Episcopal Diocese of Albany.
When we arrived in Madagascar and got off the plane, we immediately saw poverty, garbage strewn streets, blank faces and stares at each street corner. We realized the reality of the starving world right in front of us, the same as if we were in Sudan, Haiti or any other third world country.
The same feelings well up inside me bringing me close to tears as in times past, asking the Lord, “How can I help these people? What can I offer in order to help this mass of poverty and illness that is before me?”
We soon arrived in Toliara, the 5th largest city in the country but has limited industry, and the poverty is starkly apparent, even more than it was in the Capital. Bp. Todd and Patsy started with 3 churches in 2006. They have established 80 churches in 10 years in a diocese that is the size of Florida. It takes 6 days to travel through the diocese. Unfortunately, the ratio is only one priest for 10 churches and transportation is mostly by foot or bicycle. The Diocese of Toliara has 1.5 million people who are “Food Insecure.” This means they do not know where their next meal is coming from, which became very apparent when examining the children and the elderly in the medical clinics.
We traveled to five different locations for the clinics, serving the many people who came for care. Many of the patients, both young and old had diseases that have progressed well past the available treatments. Many needed diagnostics that just are not available in the local area and people cannot travel to the capital nor could they afford to, so they suffer. We saw mothers with malnourished children with no social support systems to obtain food or formula for their babies, so they are fed a rice gruel that has minimal nutritional value.
We witnessed children who were 1-2 years old, not yet walking with flaccid extremities and could hardly keep their head up to nurse due to malnutrition.
Despite this turmoil, there is a community of hope, set in the midst of deep darkness and despair, severe poverty and starvation. It is a community which has been planted by Bp. Todd and Rev. Patsy McGregor as they planted this new diocese of Toliara. Today there is a cathedral and gathering place in the diocese. Malagasy have come to worship, learn skills to start their own business, and participate in training for evangelism. They are filled with the hope of Jesus Christ and they grow in their faith and come together as a community.
The Malagasy people, as a population are in the same situation across the diocese. Their faith gives them hope for the future. Perhaps God’s ultimate plan for us is a ministry of presence. We walk alongside our brothers and sisters assuring them that their toil is remembered by us, we have not forgotten them; they remain on our hearts. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen,” (Hebrews11:1) so we remain hopeful.
Click here for original story and more about Madagascar.
New official parish link between St. Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Toliara, Madagascar and Walmer Parish Church, Deal, Kent UK was signed on July 19, 2017 by Rev. Patsy McGregor, Rev. Seth Cooper and two Church Wardens.
Once again we are testing the “subscribe to post notification” button to see if the alerts are reliably reaching those who have signed up for them. We want to be sure the alert system is working properly before giving it more publicity in future email blasts etc.
Once again this post will be on the website for short while. If you receive a pop-up notification pop-up because you have already clicked on the “Subscribe to Post Notifications” button, please email Sue Babbs (email@example.com) as soon as possible and tell her OneSignal is working!
Thank you for your assistance
Thanks be to God!