5 hr church

Up at 6:30 to go to church. Duda, who is guiding me around, thought I would need breakfast. So we waited for about an hour for church to start. A bit cold. Everyone is wearing long pants.

Back in Tana

OK I got tired and couldn't get on the internet so I just went to bed. Custom on the clinic team has been to get up with coffee early in the morning, so I followed suit.

Now it is March 12, my computer is switched over to Madagascar time, so I know what time it is. Today I got on the internet at the hotel, but it is very slow, so I went to a cybercafe worked with them for an hour or so. Better but still slow. The hosting company for my website and email was apparently down, so I didn't get my email or my blog updated there. Sigh.

Changes in God's Plans

March 7: We traveled farther back into the village church of the Antsirabe synod. I traveled with the president, saw his farm (he hasn't been paid for 6 months), and got pictures of men working with their spades.

210 patients kept us busy and me tired! Talked to Pastor David Rakotonirina about our plans. There has been pressure from the LWF on the Malagasy church to eliminate all conservative influence, so Pastor Rakotonirina has been removed from the seminary and given a job in the Antananarivo synod. Now the new president doesn't want me to teach, so God has something new for me.

Rainy season

March 6: First day of mountain village clinics. 170 patients. I am now a sort of trained pharmacy tech. Since none of you kids would fulfill mother's dream of a pharmacist she will have to put up my work :) I read the doctor's handwriting, filled plastic bags with 21 iboprofen or 21 Amoxicillan, etc. We started out at 8 and got home about 5. I am told this is a short day …

Home in church

Coffee in the morning, but no sosoa (watery rice). Maybe tomorrow morning. Church was a great experience. The familiar liturgy, here too I felt back home. The singing of the congregation is wonderful with everyone knowing and singing. They had a large choir, mostly youth but a fair number of adults as well. The singing was wonderful.

Frist Travel

Woke up early during the nite – rain on the roof. Another blessing I have missed in USA. Dr Harrison and his wife are convinced I'm a Malagasy because I speak 4 or 5 words. Well some is coming back.

Mamy ny Mody

TSA,St Louis (MO) to NY city; change terminals; TSA NY city to Paris, France. A long flight shared with an Italian programmer (works with Microsoft); and an ex-German lady visiting home in Bremen for the first time in 15 years – for her mother's funeral. Time with God to establish a relationship, enough so that one or the other might write and ask about God sometime, in His good time. Thanks Mom for the business cards along.

One last Night

Morning we presented a mission talk for the children at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Fenton (MO). Everyone seemed to listen and enjoy what they heard. Emma was the star as she modeled for "Fatu" a typical African girl. She wore a wraparound dress (Fold out not in) and a head-tie. Fortunately, head-tie was poufy and up high so we knew she was in a good mood. She put her baby (doll) on her back, without dropping her, holding her head high to keep the fanner (or basket) with her groceries and purse up on top.

Final preparations

We visited the Head Quarters for GOOD NEWS magazine. It is housed in Dr Wallace Schulz's (ex-Lutheran hour preacher for us old timers) home. He has a spectacular view of the Missouri river (and occasions like last week for tremendous wind storms!). He asked me to speak to the FLM (Malagasy Lutheran Church) President and to the Anglican Church there who use Good News for a teaching tool. I have been tasked with taking some videos for them - I think they have unleashed a monster. They may get many more videos than they believed possible.

Getting Odds and Ends done

Rested late today, then did our usual Tuesday routine (I know it was Monday today, but this is the week before we leave). We visited our favorite used book sale at the Library (Jefferson County North West) GoodWill. Our oldest son, Rolph (and wife Cindy) replaced my one suitcase with 2 better rolling ones able to handle the increased capacity God gave us the other day. We moved everything I have to the 2 new suitcases, being prepared for whatever else, if anything, God has in mind. Had supper at the Texas Roadhouse.

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