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Our Latest Updates from the Mission Field!!

  

Please continue to keep the McGregor family and their ministry in your prayers as Patsy and Todd are now back in Madagascar once again serving among the Malagasy people.

Patsy’s latest  book,  The Detour:  An Off-Road Safari,  is now available!!  Please contact Barb Johnson, via email bjohnson9238@hotmail.com, to order your copy!!  The books are $25 each.  Please also include $3.50 cash with your order for shipping.

Here are a few special updates: 

This summer, Andrew Somers, an Elon University student and member of the Chapel of St. Andrew’s in Florida, is joining Patsy and Todd in Madagascar as Todd’s assistant.  He will be shadowing Todd to gain experience working with the priests and evangelists, overseeing projects and programs in the new diocese, and helping to define and update the ministry vision and mission.  He will be assisting with the two agricultural co-op projects in Betaola and Sakaraha and assisting with plans for the Miaraka Resort and Spa as well as the new school planned for the area.

                                                                                                  

My Summer Plans–by Andrew Somers

http://andrewpssomers.blogspot.com/   Be sure to follow Andrew on his blog!!

               This up-coming summer, I have the most unique, fitting, and incredible opportunity to work alongside Bishop Todd McGregor in Madagascar and do interning research related to economic development in developing countries. I have had so many amazing experiences in my life already, many due in part to this scholarship fund, from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to building relationships in Honduras. However, I feel confident in saying that this opportunity has more than enough potential to be my most memorable experience yet. I am so blessed to have such a distinct opportunity this summer, when my original plans were to simply stay home and eventually figure out if I were going to work or not. It is amazing where God is pushing me sometimes.

               What I intend to get out of this summer is, besides general experiences of living in Africa for over a month, to gain a better knowledge of how economic development can improve in developing countries. Once out of school, one of my long-term goals is to help open up the global business market. From research that I have already done about the issue, it seems that most developing countries do have a need for business – if done the right way. Although many people think that they have nothing to spare, many of the people in those countries just do not have opportunities to either buy or sell anything, and therefore I want to help give people that opportunity. The research we will be doing in Madagascar, I am sure will give me more than enough information to figure out the exact direction of my career.

               I know none of these experiences are simply given to me and for that I am so extremely grateful towards the JCW Fund for allowing me to, essentially, build my career. It should seem impossible for someone of my economic status to be able to do the things that I have done. I am certainly not poor, but I am certainly not wealthy either and it is this realization that only leads me to thank God for everything that I am able to do.

Andrew Somers – JCW Travel Fund Scholarship – 2010

Please pray with us for Board Members, Syd and Laura Verinder, who will be traveling in  August to Madagascar.  They will be focusing on

  • Helping McGregor’s move the diocese offices to their new location;
  • Review progress of two women-managed agricultural cooperatives; evaluate the experience of the past growing season and needs for moving ahead; discuss any Charter revisions for the coops; review ways to make the businesses better, meet training needs; encourage the women of Betaola for their next crop; and talk about steps to prepare for starting savings groups
  • Establish another cooperative and conduct a Christian business principles training course; formalize a Charter for the new business (funding pending)
  • Being in community with English language classes and church services
  • Participate in final phases of planning for construction of the new Soalara secondary school
  • Explore possibilities/needs for starting a bakery business and other small business ideas in Toliara and possibly Fort Dauphin
  • Explore possibilities of starting a savings group as the initial step towards a microcredit program at St. Luke’s Church, Toliara

Have you ever felt a calling to go to the “ends of the earth” to work for the spread of God’s kingdom?  The Verinders are open to the possibility of leading a small mission team for all or part of their journey.  Contact Syd at sverinder@hotmail.com for more information.

In addition, with great thanks, we welcome Rev. Howard and Peggy Hess from Church of the Ascension in Knoxville, TN, who will also be traveling to Madagascar in late July and early August.  They will be a great encouragement to Patsy and Todd as they work alongside them in the upcoming weeks.  Additional teams from  St. Mark’s, Geneva, IL and  Ursinus College will visit this summer as well as a team from SE Florida will be with the McGregor’s from 9/18-9/30.  For additional information on the SE Florida mission team trip, please visit http://onesteppublishing.com/madagascar. Praise be to God for these wonderful short-term missionaries and their love of the Malagasy people!!

The Gathering Place construction continues to go well with the outside shell and 2nd floor now complete as well as the foundation now laid for a 3-room building to house student evangelist and clergy trainees.  The roof work began the week of March 26th and now is near to completion (end of May).  Patsy and Todd held Easter service inside, with a confirmation ceremony and two churches coming to worship together.  Prayers and praise also for the groundbreaking on March 27th for the Ft. Daulphin church plant, called St. Gregory’s.  The first service consisted of 25 baptisms and confirmations, with many families coming to Christ together.  Pray for the construction over the next 8 months. Photos are included in our photo gallery.  To God be the Glory!

UK Friends/Donors:  Please see our”contact Us” or “Support Us” pages highlighting new ways you can make arrangement to provide support via cheques, direct debit or bank transfer. 

Please continue to keep the new Diocese in your prayers as meetings, approvals and paperwork processes continue to unfold in the coming weeks. 

Here’s a link for a u-tube video of Todd preaching regarding ChurchArmyAfrica, as they prepare to bring two missionaries from Africa to work in Madagascar.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_aLm2GeqAU

Pauline’s Travels (by Patsy) March 27, 2010

Somebody recently has given me great advice for the next 3 months of travelling – to think of myself as Pauline spreading the gospel everywhere I went. So on this trip to Ft. Dauphin my travels began. On the plane the lady next to me asked me to pray for her as her sister just died and she was going to the funeral. As we held hands and prayed, I remembered the advice I was given. She must have had the clue that we were Christians from the big cross around my husband’s neck.

And also yesterday, when the car broke down for the 5th time and therefore we walked into a rural village with only a few bamboo huts and were greeted by singing Christians who normally walk over 10 miles to church. They were estatic as this time we came to greet them in their village. In that village, there was a child, under 1 year old, suffering from what must have been water on the brain or something like that. She had a head the size of a helium baloon and her eyes went back into the back of her head and all that I could see was the white of her eyes. It was so sad. I thought of Corbi and the papers she has been writing for health class. We prayed for her and asked God to meet their needs even when a situation seems hopeless. 

Afterward we went to a park and saw many sifaka and brown lemurs and fed them out of our hands with guava we picked off the tree. It was cool.

Today was a very busy day. Beginning at 8:00 am going to lay the cornerstone for the 1st Anglican church in Ft. Dauphin. From there we went to have a baptismal service for about 20 newly baptised chirstians, finally finishing morning services at 1:00 pm. During the service I was amazed to think that whole families are coming to know Christ. Father and sons, mothers and daughters were being baptised together. Serving Christ and seeing His work in people’s lives is such a priviledge. 

Then we went over for rice and chicken with cucumber and carrots marinating in vinegar at the priests house and enough time to take my shoes off and lay down on the bunk bed and sleep for 20 min before the ecumenical memorial day service at 3:00 pm. I am glad I was the bishop’s wife and not the bishop as I could come back to the house and rest and shower. My husband on the otherhand had to listen to two more hours of confessions before tomorrows confirmation service!

So that is an update on the Pauline travels thus far.  We serve an awesome God!

 Our Visit to Morondava (2/3/10)
 
Just this week we are in Morandava where our experiences have been a true adventure.  This past weekend, Todd baptized 88 persons and confirmed another 59 and performed a beautiful wedding ceremony.  Patsy stood for hours as she held the Bishop’s staff, helped preach, assisted with communion and prayed over the children.  Between those services, we were the two key speakers for a women’s conference, teaching on Faithful Women in the Home, Faithful Women in the Church, Women in Evangelism and How to Respect Your Husbands. 

We have seen lots of friends who have walked over 18 miles to get here. Todd has met with clergy, church leaders and evangelists and had a 3-hour interview with Malagasy elders for his Doctoral research thesis.  We have endured a tropical depression, had to make a bridge through the water to get to church, worked around 3 car breakdowns, eaten lots of rice and loaka in rooms full of flies and been hosted by a loving Malagasy family.  It’s amazing how much the Bishop can pack into 72 hours!

 

 

 

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