Faithful Friends: Pastor Antonny and Sandy

Once a month we’d like to introduce you to one of our friends here in Madagascar. This month we’d like you to meet Pastor Antonny and his wife Sandy.

In 2013, Antonny and Sandy moved here to Toliara to answer God’s call to pastor one of the local Baptist churches here. Since then, they have faithfully served the church and the community. They’ve worked to learn the local dialect here in Toliara, as their original language is the “Official Malagasy” of the capital region. They have also shared regularly in our ministry to the Mahafaly area. During the two years we spent teaching church history stories and doctrine to the Mahafaly leaders, Pastor Antonny regularly prepared lessons and taught the curriculum. He and another pastor traveled to visit and teach the Mahafaly while we weren’t in the country. He and Sandy also taught and shared their testimonies during the marriage focus we did in 2018.

Pastor Antonny and Sandy also teach and lead weekly at their church, guiding the believers there in faithfulness to God’s word and service to their community. Sandy is discipling the teachers in the children’s ministry. They also have a ministry to the Masikoro people north of Toliara.

When we started putting the dialect Bible stories on the radio, Pastor Antonny and Sandy suggested that we put a phone number at the end of the broadcast for people to call if they had questions—and offered for this to be their phone numbers! Since then, upwards of 15 different people have called or texted with thoughts and questions about the stories. Many have requested visits and discipleship. Pastor Antonny has been following up on each one, as COVID restrictions allow. We praise God for this precious couple who are partners with us in God’s work here in the Toliara region!

Please pray for Pastor Antonny and Sandy and their daughter Chantal as they continue to serve God here in Toliara. Please pray specifically that those who hear the stories would put their faith in Jesus. Pray also for Pastor Antonny’s and Sandy’s interactions with those who call them after hearing the radio stories, that the people wouldn’t be surprised or confused that they aren’t from the south. Pray for mutual understanding. Pray for more believers to join in the follow up. Pray for God’s care and blessing over Pastor Antonny and Sandy and their family. 

Manuely

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been meeting with a couple young guys here in Toliara. We’re studying through the book of James as well as planning how to help the community in this crisis. I wanted to give them a chance to encourage you as well with what we’re learning. Here’s Manuely . . .

Transcript: Good morning, everyone! We thank God for this wonderful day he has given us, so that I can share with you what I have learned from God’s Word. I have been studying with Nathan Baker. Thanks to Nathan Baker for teaching me in English. If it wasn’t for God’s Spirit using Nathan, I wouldn’t be speaking English. I hope that you can understand me now.

The one thing I want to share with you today is about temptation. You know that we have a problem around the word because of this COVID-19, right? But that doesn’t mean we should stop preaching the gospel. Instead, we should communicate with our family and take advantage of this time to share God’s Word. Especially, we have a lot of churches not open because of this virus. Worshippers of God are discouraged, because you do not understand what has happened. People are asking, “Is this from God, or from evil?” But if you worship God, don’t be afraid.

James says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted by evil. And he himself does not tempt anyone.” What does that mean? That means, He is not testing you. Instead, he gives you a choice, to trust him or to blame him. But you should know, like James says, the good things you have are from God. Even if you blame him, he is good and he does not change.

For proof of that, you can read 1 Corinthians 10:13. It says, “No temptation has seized you except that which is common to man. God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can do. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way so that you can stand up under it.”

So for us, we should have courage and remember, God has given us a way out in Jesus. And even in COVID-19, we can stand strong in him. I guess, that’s all today. Thank you for listening and watching me. God bless you wherever you go and whatever you do. Bye!