Category : Madagascar

(Telegraph) ‘They’re killing us slowly’: sandstorms and drought stalk Madagascar

The mother of four shakes the grubby plastic jerry can and sighs. “It’s not really enough,” she says, gesturing first to the almost empty five litre container, then the skinny children peering through the doorway. “But it has to be enough for now.”

Not so long ago, water was plentiful in this hot and arid part of southern Madagascar, an island some 250 miles off the coast of Africa. Then the drought descended.

In the last two to three years the price of water has jumped 300 per cent, in a region where 91 per cent of people earn less than $1.90 a day. Incomes here are inconsistent at best, but a family selling two to three bags of charcoal a month could expect to earn between 20,000 and 30,000 Malagasy ariary – $5 to $7.50.

Horariby and her children have a choice: they either trudge 12 kilometres on foot to collect water from the nearest large town, or buy it at twice the price from a cattle drawn cart that comes to her village, piled high with yellow jerry cans.

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Posted in Climate Change, Weather, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Madagascar

(CC) Phillip Jenkins–Reconcilers in Madagascar

Christianity didn’t arrive until 1818””a bicentennial is imminent””but the first be­lievers were very determined, and took seriously their pledge to resist apostasy. Their efforts brought them into sharp conflict with the equally motivated pagan queen Ranavalona I, whom early mission histories recall as a diabolical persecutor, a female combination of Nero and Caligula. Catholics speak of her rule as “the time when the land was dark.”

You get a sense of the country’s Chris­tian origins in the capital city Antananarivo (in popular usage, Tana), where no fewer than four cathedrals commemorate early martyrs. One of these, Andohalo, stands on an intimidating cliff, which in the mid-19th century was the site from which stubborn believers were thrown to their deaths.

Persecution faded after Ra­navalona’s death in 1861, leaving a small church im­mensely strengthened by so many re­cent stories of martyrdom. Some of Ranava­lo­na’s successors required Chris­­tian participation quite as fiercely as the old queen had prohibited it. Since then, Christianity has grown by means familiar throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Church History, Madagascar, Missions

(Langham Partnership USA) God’s Word for God’s People in Madagascar

It’s the 4th largest island in the world. It’s ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world, with 90 % of the population living on less than $2 a day. And while nearly half of its 22 million people identify as Christian”“the vast majority lack the biblical resources needed to help them understand how God’s Word speaks into the reality of life in Madagascar””until now.

To bring God’s Word to the people of Madagascar, Langham partnered with a team of 12 translators, 7 editors and several other organizations to translate the Africa Bible Commentary (ABC) into Malagasy, the language spoken by the vast majority of Madagascar’s people.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Adult Education, Africa, Madagascar, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture