Stories of hope

April 2022, FRONTLINES

God Is Faithful Even During Disaster

On January 22nd, 2022, Tropical Storm Ana swept across the island nation of Madagascar, right through the capital of Antananarivo. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes due to flooding and landslides.

Four days later, Children’s Hunger Fund church partners were mobilizing to provide aid. Food was purchased and delivered to shelters. Rolls of fleece were purchased to make blankets. Clothing was donated, a baby was transported to the ER to receive care, and our partners were able to hold a small church service.

In another area of town, church partners were able to purchase 2.7 tons of rice and deliver it to three different shelters. Though there was only enough rice to provide two pounds to each person, the people cheered loudly at being able to receive even this small amount. All of this happened in just one day.

Food distributions continued in this same way over the next few weeks. Faly Ravoahangy, one of our partners, shared his heartbreak at seeing multiple families sharing a single tent, families living on the side of the road in huts formed out of tarps and sticks, and overcrowded shelters with as many as 250 people sharing a single room.

But through it all, God provided opportunities for families to experience hope. On the second week of relief efforts, a young man named Luca came to receive rice for his family. While he waited in line, he was approached by a missionary named David, who started talking to him and shared the gospel. As they spoke, Luca shared his story.

Luca had just recently converted to Islam and had convinced his family to do the same. As he was new to the faith, he still had a lot of questions.

Faly joined the conversation and shared with him about the priest Ezra, who was a great leader for the Jews during a time of chaos. Luca shared that he wasn’t even supposed to be at the food distribution that night, but his sister was sick and could not come.

While he was talking with David, Luca had removed the taqiyah from his head that symbolized his Muslim faith. After praying with David and Faly and hearing the gospel, he didn’t want to put it back on. Luca made plans to meet with Faly and study Scripture.

Since that first conversation, Faly has met with Luca on several occasions. Luca is employed by Muslims and lives on a Muslim compound, making it difficult for him to come to church to study Scripture. He is making plans to find a new job and move his family to a different, safer location.

Our partners have expressed their joy in being able to share the gospel with the people in Madagascar despite the chaos left by the hurricane. Thank you for your support that allows local churches to be a light in dark and uncertain times.

Recipient names are changed to protect their privacy.

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