Twenty-seven Million Souls

Twenty-seven Million Souls

Probably, for most people, Madagascar is solely defined by Ben Stiller and Chris Rock in the hugely popular ‘Madagascar’ movie franchise. For any country to be conspicuous when placed beside the massive African continent, is a feat unto itself. All appearances are that Madagascar is a land of extreme contrasts for the 27,000,000 souls living on this large island. My interest was piqued in recent years when I read that they still have outbreaks of the plague. I searched the news and found little comment and even less interest. I couldn’t get my head around the reality of its acceptance, especially in the 21st century. I should have been warned when a good friend of mine told me years ago: “You don’t want to go to Madagascar, there is nothing there for you.” It was ominous. He is well travelled and no bigot. I guess he was suggesting that, despite its unique beauty, it is a place that even he couldn’t understand.

What do you do about places that are of stark difference to your own? Should you go and learn French and join a mission team? I have never met anyone from there and known only one person who has visited. I did have brief correspondence with a missionary who has come and gone from Madagascar for years. A nice guy. Though I wondered if he has had to field questions from others ‘caught in a passing interest.’ He is getting on with the work at hand—bless him. Dozens of counties, with teaming millions, are out there. I am asking you and I (again) to think about the possibilities of serving for the Lord in distant lands. I think the least we can do is to give it some serious prayer. Lost souls are serious business! Jesus said, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). God bless Madagascar.

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