“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
In 2009 your Society featured a story on the front page of The Messenger about the Rev. Patsy McGregor (center of the top picture and a SAMS Missionary serving in Madagascar with her husband Bishop Todd) mentoring young women. One of those women named Nolavy desired to be an evangelist, but her father, the local shaman at that time, forbade her to be one. Nolavy and the McGregors prayed persistently, and eventually, her father gave her the blessing to go to Kenya to prepare to be an evangelist. Another beautiful aspect of Nolavy’s testimony in her own family is that shortly before her father died he, too, gave his life to Christ.
Despite living in poverty and facing many obstacles, today Nolavy is the first Malagasy woman from the Diocese of Toliara to receive her Bachelors in Divinity. Upon completing her studies with the help and support of SAMS Senders, Nolavy said, “By the grace of God, I have finished my schooling and I have returned to Madagascar. I could not hold tears from falling down my eyes when I was writing my final college paper. It was beyond my imagination that I could one day get a chance to study for a Bachelor of Divinity!” She currently serves as the Diocesan Children’s Ministry Coordinator and Diocesan Evangelist.
Nolavy knows firsthand that the Word of God is not merely confined to the mud and rice-straw thatch she usually inhabits when preaching the gospel. She knows that the people will take it out in their hearts and souls to serve their community. She serves people who, in turn, go on to serve others. This, for Nolavy, defines the joy of Christian service.
Recently, in recognition of her faithful and tireless service, e the Anglican Communion selected Nolavy to represent rural women in the Province of the Indian Ocean at the United Nations. She is coming soon to the USA in order to participate in the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Rural women and girls face unique needs in every nation, often suffering from lack of attention compared to women in cities – resulting in fewer registrations at birth, minimized opportunities for education and work, more likelihood of forced early marriage, early childbirth, increased rates of maternal mortality and infant mortality, neglect of opportunities for learning, earning, and loans, and a greater chance of neglect in old age. Please pray for Nolavy’s cultural adjustment, her husband and two children at home, and her testimony to the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Next month there will be an opportunity to meet with Nolavy. If you are or will be in the vicinity of Southeast Florida, she will be at the following churches:
Thursday, March 1 – ECW – St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church Boca Raton – 6:00 PM Please call if you will be attending. (561) 395-8285
Saturday, March 2 – St. Mary’s Episcopal – Stuart – 5:00 PM Followed by PowerPoint with Q & A (772) 287-3244
Sunday, March 4 – St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church Boca Raton – 8:00 AM (561) 395-8285
Sunday, March 4 – Chapel of St. Andrew Episcopal Church Boca Raton – 10:30 AM (561)-271-7151
Tuesday, March 6 – ECW at Chapel of Saint Andrew Boca Raton – 6:00 PM simple soup and salad dinner. Please call Cheryl Harman at 561-271-7151 if you are attending.
Wednesday, March 7 – St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, Boynton Beach – 5:30 PM Supper followed by a Lenten service, Power Point and Q&A. Please call the church if you will be attending. (561) 732-3060
The Rev. Patsy McGregor and her husband, the Rt. Rev. Todd McGregor, minister in Toliara, Madagascar. They live in sometimes difficult circumstances among the people they serve. Through evangelism and discipleship, the Diocese of Toliara finds many coming to love and serve the Lord Jesus.