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An Update from 2/27/13 by Bishop Todd McGregor

Just a quick update. I’m still without electricity but the victory hotel has a generator so I have come over here to respond to emails. I’m charging up my computer and telephones while here.

Electricity is being restored in some areas but we have heard the lines near our place have been stolen so it may be awhile before we have electricity.

I drove up north yesterday to see a few of our churches and to be an encouragement for our workers and parishioners. The one church in Andranovory (Christ Church) has lost its roof. The old church which they used for Sunday school was completely destroyed. They have lost most of their crops as well. One older women came running into the church and knelt down. She then started weeping and asked for a blessing from me. She then began to share with me her story about the cyclone coming and destroying her house. She said she had to go to the corner of the house to survive. She stayed there for hours praying that that corner would not fall on her. I asked asked her if she was scared and she said NO because she trusted in the Lord God to protector. I saw her house and the destruction which was done. What little faith I have and what great faith she has.My heart went out to her. The eye of the storm went through Andranovory. Lots houses have been damages or destroyed in Andranovory.

Then I traveled through Mahaboboka and saw they huge trees across the road and others on houses. I was just thankful we had not built the school at this place yet. It could have been just in vain given the destruction there.

Sakaraha was hit hard also. We lost a small part of the church roof, but the roof of the sacristy was totally lost. The old rectory collapsed completely.

We are still waiting to hear about Betaola which I’m guessing was hit really hard. This is between Andranovory and Mahaboboka. Hopefully, I will have a report from them within a week.

The Ambohitsabo church on the north side of Toliara, where all the flooding has been hit the hardest. I tried to go out yesterday but not possible by car. I will try again today but walk out there. My priest, Rev. Noely said it looks like a church on stilts. The ground around it has been eroded from the floods from the dyke breaking. He said he didn’t have a key to get inside but lots of mud was inside from the sand being washed inside. The inside was flooded. It sounds like there may need some reinforcement for the foundation and walls. Not sure how much damage to the furniture. This sounds very serious at this point.

Regarding our church in Morombe where the cyclone came ashore. We rent the building, so we thank God for that. The church part of the building was fine but the back side of the where the evangelist lives was partially destroyed. His furniture and belongings where damaged.

The rectory in Ankilifaly had damage as well. There was lots of leaks from the roof. Not sure how much was from old age or from the cyclone but the priest moved out most of his belongings and put them in the guesthouse next door. the rectory will need repairs, especially the roof. It may be best just to rebuild a whole new rectory.
Our administrator was constructing her house. The roof was the remaining part. She lost three of the four ways. She has been very discourage regarding this.

It is my intentions to have some figures by the beginning of next week regarding our Anglican community. This will include estimates long term for reconstruction of properties (church and personal) and short term such as food, materials and etc.
One bright spot through this all, the Anglican church in the south has pulled together. where ever I have traveled over the last few days, I have found homeless people living with our clergy or other friends from the church. Where ever I have traveled the church people have been out repairing the church properties. This brought me tremendous joy to see the maturity of the new diocese working together as the body of Christ.

Another bright spot was that people generally where upbeat and happy. They where thanking God they where still alive. I certainly thank God that I’m still alive given when the window blow out in the Kitchen. I could have been seriously injured but God by his grace has spared me. Praise the Lord.

We will get through this and God will be glorified.
Thank you for your partnership in Christ.

Serving Christ Together,

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Todd A. McGregor
Assistant bishop of Antananarivo
Area bishop of Toliara