tolo_holy's blog

And more rain

I was promised a desert, but its really a rain forest! Its now Sunday nite, and we have been on the road since Friday. The rains continued until Wednesday and then tapered off. The Elson's tried to come to Tsiombe, but had the car break down. By the time we (Elson, Hanitra, Steve, and myself) left, the sun had dried out a lot of the road. Fort Dauphin (Tolonaro) was still closed off, so we left directly north through new country to see it and drive directly towards Antananarivo.


We had planned to got to Fort Dauphin (Tolonaro) Sunday, stay Monday, and come back on Tuesday. But God has different plans. It has been raining since just after we got back on the bicycles (in the dark) on Saturday, through Sunday, and now all day Monday. Saturday nite the word came. The road is totally blocked with mud and trucks stuck in the mud. No one will go (taxibrousse) east to FD.


Unable to get onto internet. Tried several ways with Steve connections. None of them recognized my machine, so I will get emails and blogs updated when I get to Tolonara (Fort Dauphin).


Found the ocean here, closer to Tolonaro. We took a side trip, Elson, Hanitra, the local Deputy to Madagascar congress, myself, and Steve's John. We traveled through piles of sand, to Faux Cap right on the sea. Walked down to the beach. There is a barrier reef about a hundred yards out, so perfect swimming with the waves splashing up on the reefs. Calm, shallow inside. No swimming suit, along. But pictures and the feeling of being at home.


We traveled from Ejeda to Tsiombe. The road changes from a hard clay, reset into messed up road by the combination of rain (to mud) followed by big trucks making tracks not safe for a car. Then the land changed to have a covering of sand. That was sometimes 3 to 4 inches deep, but we could travel much faster. We got to Steve just before dusk, after asking several times in town. Most people knew right away who we were looking for.

Bible Studies

Watched Bible studies tonite. Haitra taught 2 pastor's wives from the Good News magazine (#34). Finally able to video a teaching session. I talked to the local pastor, the husband to one of the wives, using the English copy. He liked what he saw. He and the Chaplin are both from the local area and are interested in translation. The three women want to use the magazine for the teaching at the synod (read district) LWML meeting in August – 160 women from 4+ tribes coming together. And I didn't know if I would get to see Ejeda!

Always more surprises

Today was lazy in bed day. Dr Elson was operating 2 hours before I got up. Breakfast was Madagascar tea (I hope to bring some back) and bread - locally baked, something like thick fingers. Then I realized it was time for lunch. The WWF sends volunteers here for 3 months of working on promoting good ecological practices here. These are young college students, with varying interests meeting people and working with them. I met a young Mexican man with whom I hope to keep in contact, especially if I can think up an excuse to visit Mexico City.

Another Day Filled by God

This morning chapel was a continuation of Q/A. What about Christians whose lives don't reflect their being Christians? What was the first religion, Christianity or the pagan? (Think of Adam). What about communion for sinners? Good questions, including the one where I told the question asker he had just answered his own question! He and the rest dissolved in laughter.

Church and Travel

Last night they asked me to preach on Sunday morning, and then asked me to assist for communion. So I asked for the text for the day, and did not sleep well. However, Dr Elson translated well, I made it through the sermon, the auction (for offerings of plant products), the offerings walk around the altar, and 400 or so communicants. After church we waited an hour for a 10 minute meeting and then had lunch with the local pastor, his wife, and one of the 2 other doctors on staff here. The reports back said they understood and liked the sermon.

Teaching God's Word

Today I got to talk in chapel, mostly to the hospital staff. We talked about Matthew 5 and how Jesus is speaking about the contradictions between God's ways and man's ways. It is interesting talking with an interpreter.

There are several baobab trees on the hospital grounds, which I have pictured, even if the connection is too slow to upload to a website. There is a huge one east of here (I won't get to it). I'm told that it is 14 meters through. that is very large. Said to be the largest in Africa.
Got a chance to talk to Mother today. That's a real morale booster for me.

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