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New Update From Bishop Todd

Dear Friends and Partners in Christ,distribution ankilifaly for ambohitsabo Bishop Todd with President eating rice

I'm writing to follow up on the cyclone relief in Toliara and surrounding areas.  Thank you for your interest, prayers and support.

Recently, I was able to visit St. Phillips church in Ambohitsabo.  This church is located on the north side of city where the dyke broke and devastated the area.  I  was still not able to drive all the way to the church because of the devastation of the road.   After driving as far as possible, I continued my journey on foot.   It was then that I began to notice the putrid smells of the village.   I discovered the smell was coming from a newly formed (because of the dyke braking) lake which now replaced the road.  The lake had a lot of debris in the water and it was clear the water was not moving.  I did not want consider what may be in it.

 It began to turn my stomach.

Upon arriving at St. Phillips where 50-60 people had gathered for the service,  I immediately noticed a waterline inside the church approximately 18 inches up from the floor.  It was as if someone came into the church with with a muddy stick and marked the walls.  It smelled a little moldy. Then I looked up to the ceiling and noticed that one whole side of the roof had been separated and raised up about 8-10 inches. It was just a miracle that it didn't detach and go flying during the storm.  It is clear that we will need to repair this ASAP.

The service went very well and I shared with them how happy I was to see my congregation alive and that they had not been injured during the cyclone.

At the end of the service, the vice president of the church council got up and said, "Bishop, we need your help.  We are suffering.  Some of us have lost everything.  Our homes were destroyed and everything we had has been washed away. We have nowhere to sleep. Some of us sleep outside on the dirt. We have no food to eat and nothing to cook the food.  Please help us because we are suffering."

I reassured him that we will help him and very soon. I immediately said for those who don't have homes, they can live in the church until we get some temporary housing for them.  I estimate that we have about 70 families either homeless or had their houses damaged as a result of the cyclone.  We hope to begin distributing materials for temporary housing and rice in Ambohitsabo this Saturday.

As you can imagine, with all the standing water, debris, etc., health issues continue to be a concern. I've heard that seven people have been diagnosis with cholera.  Please continue to pray for us.

How can you help?

Pray for peace for the Malagasy people during this time.

Sends funds which would cover the following, reaching out to over 1,000 people living in 14 communities.
         $21,000  – Rice distribution.  Five kilos for 1,000 people will last two weeks (we need to assist people for at least three months since crops have been destroyed).  $3,500 will provide rice for two weeks.
         $   4,000  –  Medical supplies to help people.
         $   1,500  –  Generator – to be used in these areas where there is no electricity
         $   4,000  –  St. Phillips church destruction repair in Ambohitsabo
         $   5,000  –  Christ Church repairs to roof destroyed, Andranovory
         $   5,000  –  Repair of destroyed rectory in Sakaraha

         $   1,500  –  Sakaraha church repair
         $   5,000  –  Sunday school school building  leveled in Andranovory.
         $ 14,000  –  70 temporary houses for 70 families
         $  3, 000  –  Cooking supplies and utensils
         $   2,500  –  Clothing

         $   3,000  –  Roof in Priest house in Ankilifaly
         $ 14,000  –  Seeds for agricultural purposes. We have 70 families who have lost their crops as a result to the cyclones.
         $   5,000 for transport

 With your help we are hoping to raise $88,000.  We are excited and thankful to report that we have already received several large donations. 
In God we trust we can do all of this through Him who strengthens us.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Todd A. McGregor

 Assistant bishop of Antananarivo
Area bishop of Toliara