Dan and Elizabeth Turk - October 2017 Update
We are in the U.S. now for a few months, where our two children are in college. Robert is a senior and Frances a freshman. We visited Frances’ campus as a family. She got the feel for where her classes will be, and now we know where she will be living for the next four years. We also enjoyed hearing about Robert’s plans for life after college, most likely graduate studies in counseling and art therapy.
In the next two months, we will be visiting as many churches as we can fit in, from Florida to New York to Iowa. Unfortunately, we won’t see all of you during our interpretation. So, here is a brief description of some of the exciting ways God is working in Madagascar to give you a flavor of the growth which we are blessed to be able to participate in with our partner church, the Fiangonan’i Jesoa Kristy eto Madagasikara (FJKM).
Update on Isoavina Water and Sanitation Project
How do you show commitment?
Members of the Isoavina community showed their commitment to getting clean drinking water by hauling sand and rocks by hand and digging all of the trenches for the water pipes. The area for the reservoir is located at the bottom of a steep hill, so materials could not be delivered directly to the construction site. The truck dropped materials at the top of the hill, and people carried them down to the reservoir site.
The reservoir and other components of the clean drinking water system are now complete, including nine new drinking water spigots. The piping and construction for the Isoavina FJKM Training Center water and sanitation system still need to be completed, as do the water and sanitation systems for the two community schools. Over 1,000 people will benefit from the safe drinking water project. Some funds are needed to complete the project. But providing safe drinking water alone is not enough to stop the cycle of disease. This is why part of this project includes training on using outhouses and washing hands. Simple acts, but lifesaving. In Madagascar, diarrhea is one of the top five causes of death in children under five. Members of the Isoavina community have been trained on the five most important times to wash their hands: after going to the bathroom, before fixing meals, before eating, after changing diapers, and before breastfeeding. This combination of providing infrastructure for clean drinking water and health education will change lives.
Dan and his colleagues Rolland Razafiarison and Germain Ranaivoson – both of whom work with him on the FJKM Fruits, Vegetables, and Environmental Education (FVEE) project – were invited to speak at a national meeting of FJKM school principals. The meeting was held in August at the FJKM Ambatomanga High School. At the meeting, the principals were introduced to the FVEE project, and Rolland and Germain helped them plant 36 native and fruit trees at the school. In October, Rolland and Germain will provide training for the 35 FJKM district school superintendents on how to plant and take care of trees at schools.
We are grateful for this collaboration and eager to see what will emerge. We anticipate that a plan will be developed to help large numbers of FJKM schools plant trees on school grounds for environmental education, beautification, shade, and fruit. I have shared with church partners in Madagascar that though the FVEE project is rich in trees and training capacity it has very limited funds, especially for transporting trees to distant schools. If the schools can figure out how to get trees from the central project tree nursery at the Ivato Seminary, then the FVEE project will provide trees – maybe an average of ten trees per school – as well as training in how to plant and take care of trees.
Opportunity to Learn More About Mission in Madagascar
The Madagascar Mission Network meeting will be held in Orlando October 12-14. Pastor Irako Andriamahazosoa Ammi, president of the FJKM, is planning to attend. The meeting should be a wonderful time for people to learn about what God is doing in Madagascar. It will also be a great opportunity to build up the Madagascar Mission Network so that it can help these ministries be more effective. For more information about the Madagascar Mission Network meeting, please contact Barbara Sayles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tragic Accident in Madagascar
Though ministries in Madagascar are progressing, we have some sad news to report. July and August are when most FJKM branches (Youth, Scouts, Women of the Church, etc.) hold their annual conferences. Tragically, a bus carrying FJKM youth and advisors on their way to FJKM conference meetings at Mahajanga crashed and burned near Ankazobe on July 31. Twenty people died, and many were injured.
Please pray for:
• the families of those who died and the people wounded in the bus accident
• FVEE project’s new collaboration with FJKM schools, that it will bear fruit leading to improved education
• completion of the Isoavina water and sanitation project
• our children, Robert and Frances, who are in college while we are overseas
Thank you for all that you are doing. We could not do what we do without your prayers and financial support.
Peace in Christ,
Dan and Elizabeth
Read more about the Turk's ministry by clicking HERE.
Outreach is seeking $10,000 for support funds for Dan and Elizabeth Turk.