Dan and Elizabeth Turk (PCUSA) - July 2014 Update
Greetings from chilly Madagascar!
Our year of transition progresses well. Robert graduated from the American School of Antananarivo on June 6th. On June 14th, we had a small ceremony with Malagasy friends and colleagues to mark the end of Robert’s childhood in Madagascar. It was wonderful to have those who have been a part of his life since he was 1½ be there to pray for him and send him off.
Robert will be attending Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA this August. We will be in the States briefly this summer to get Robert established. Because of time constraints, we will only be able to visit a few churches this summer. However, we will be on home assignment starting in July 2015 and look forward to meeting with many of you then.
We are transitioning in work, as well. Dan is now involved in a new project working with several branches of PC(USA)’s partner church in Madagascar, the FJKM. The new project will help the church explore how it can help protect creation and how it can implement innovations in growing fruits and vegetables so that they can benefit pastors, congregations, and branches of the church. The new work builds on the course in practical gardening and growing fruits that Dan and colleagues have taught at the Ivato seminary for the past seven years. As part of that course, new pastors received fruit trees to plant at their new churches. A new component will be the installation of intensive vegetable gardens at the Ivato seminary to both help the students get good, healthy food and to help them improve their gardening skills. Training will be extended in 2014 to the Fianarantsoa seminary. Other training will take place in regional synods and for meetings of various branches of the church. At churches, church schools, seminaries, and other church properties, native trees will be planted for beautification and environmental education to help people know about the wonderful world that God created in Madagascar and the need to protect that creation from extinction. Another new component of the project will be follow-up with pastors after they graduate from seminary. The new project will work with some of the pastors who received training in the past to explore how their skills in growing fruits and vegetables can best be used to help the work of the church and surrounding communities.
Pastor Benja Rakotondrainibe, Evangelist at Analalava
Pastor Benja is one of the pastors who will benefit from the new project. Pastor Benja graduated from Ivato seminary in 2011 and became an FJKM evangelist pastor in Analalava in northwest Madagascar. The following year, he came back to Ivato to get his ten fruit trees to plant. Unfortunately, on his trip home his bus had an accident, and Pastor Benja returned to the capital in a coma with a fractured skull. Fortunately he recovered. He got new trees and planted them near the church at Analalava. The existing FJKM church is three km from the town of Analalava and serves a community of believers mostly from outside the area. Pastor Benja is reaching out to the Sakalava people of the Analalava area and will be planting the cornerstone of a new church in downtown Analalava later this year. There are many Sakalava who have become Christian and who have been ostracized from their families. Pastor Benja sees the need to help the ostracized Christians develop sources of income and recognizes the potential of fruits and vegetables to be helpful in his evangelization efforts. Later this year, Dan and colleagues will visit pastor Benja at Analalava to better determine how the new project can be of help. Pastor Benja and his wife, Ihary, are currently staying at the Ivato seminary waiting for Ihary to give birth. She has had some complications during pregnancy and needs to give birth at a large hospital.
-for Robert as he heads off to college
-for us as we adjust to having Robert an ocean away
-for Dan and colleagues and the new project
-for Pastor Benja in his evangelism efforts among the Sakalava
-for a safe delivery for Pastor Benja’s wife, Ihary
-for students in Madagascar as they take important exams in July and August
-for the country of Madagascar as it seeks to recover from the post-coup crisis
-for the leaders of the FJKM church as they seek to share God’s love and promote reconciliation
Thank you very much for your support of PC(USA)’s mission efforts in Madagascar and for us as mission co-workers here. Without your prayers and financial support, we would not be able to minister as we do. Together in partnership, we are helping to share God’s love and abundant life.
Peace in Christ,
Dan and Elizabeth Turk
Amount needed in 2014
The Outreach Foundation seeks to raise at least $10,000 for support and program funds for the Turk's ministry and $2,300 per month for FJKM Ministries and Outreach. To make a donation, click the Donate Now link in the sidebar.
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