Madagascar

Madagascar was the final country added to ITEM list of targeted countries. ITEM Founder, Dr. Steve Van Horn, met Pastor Julien Mvemba in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the early 2000s. Pastor Julien was with Campus Crusade for Christ. A few years later Campus Crusade sent Julien to Madagascar to assist in Campus Crusade’s ministry there. Julien immediately began asking Steve to bring ITEM’s ministry to Madagascar. The first seminar was conducted by Pastor Bob Allen, a French speaking American pastor about 2009. Steve made his first trip and conducted his first seminar in Madagascar in 2011.  Madagascar is now one of the ten countries in which ITEM will begin to train other trainers who will be able to conduct ITEM seminars beginning in 2018.

Julien Mvemba is the ITEM Coordinator in Madagascar. ITEM president, Steve Van Horn, first met Julien when Julien was with Campus Crusade for Christ. Campus Crusade sent Julien to Madagascar a few years later. Julien started asking that Steve bring ITEM training to Madagascar. The first seminar was conducted by Bob Allen who was a volunteer with ITEM at the time. Steve himself conducted the second official ITEM seminar there in 2012.
Julien and his wife Charlotte.
On one of our day’s off we visited one of the historical sites in the capital city of Antananarivo. This is the historical site, the Queens Palace. The young man who served as our guide was explaining their traditional religion and told us that he prays to his relatives and that he sees his relatives like we see Jesus as our mediator. He also told us that in times past when the queen died they would bury slaves below and other above her grave believing that they would serve as her guards in the afterlife.
This is a small church on the top of a hill outside of the capital looking down on a valley below. Actually this is in an area that is growing and there will soon be homes all around the church.
This is actually a Sunday School class room just down the hill from the church.
This is a view looking down over the hillside over the top of the Sunday school class.
This is a view of the attendees at a seminar in Antananarivo. There are women in the class. Some believe they are pastors and we welcome their attendance so they can hear what the Bible says.
The same class. Once again you can see how much people rely on the notes we give to them.
Reading the Scripture as it is being taught and taking notes.
Looking closely at the notes we provide.
Here is the group picture like the ones we take at each seminar.
Pastor Phillip Bartell from Bakersfield, CA was a part of this trip. He helped with the lectures and preached at two evangelistic meetings.
After many seminars the trainees present us with gifts. After the seminar in Madagascar they gave Pastor Phil, Julien, our interpreter and I traditional hats and clocks.
This little girl was around during the time we gave certificates. She was the young daughter of one of our trainees. I requested that she sit by me so we could take a picture together and she did.
Most places we go in Africa the weather is warm and we need help to stay cool at night to be able to sleep. It was different in Madagascar. It was so cold in our room in the morning that we turned on the toaster oven and warmed out hands by the heat coming from it.
In countries like Madagascar you may find yourself in a traffic jam with the traffic being created by animals and carts as much as with cars.
When you look for brown bread this is what you might find. White bread is overwhelmingly the choice on the market's shelves. In this case brown bread is referred to as "American Sandwich."
Rice is one of the main cash crops in Madagascar. This is a rice paddy being prepared and planted.
This is a rice paddy in the middle of the growing season.