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Developing partnership between LHM Madagascar and Fianarantsoa Synod with Rev. Dieu Donné RANDRIANARIVONIRINA

LHM has made a commitment to contribute to the Malagasy Lutheran Church goal, namely “one  Christian should bring an unconverted person into the Church, every year “. It is thus important for LHM to make every congregation member be aware of LHM initiatives : Equipping, Engaging and Proclaiming.

This blog is intended to provide the testimony of Rev.  Dieu Donné in his faithfulness and perseverance in partnership work he has done in the Synod of Fianarantsoa. This partnership started in the District of Fianarantsoa (he was Pastor in the Parish of Amontana at that time) in 2009 and which has extended in the District of Andohamatsiatra in 2010.

The partnership started with Ambatofinandrahana District in 2008

The first ETS was held in Ambatofinandrahana  (Ambatofinandrahana District / Fianarantsoa Synod in Central Madagascar) in May 2008. Seven churches participated, each congregation sending 5 representatives making a total of 35 participants. Four pastors, in charge of four parishes within the District, also participated.

Rev. Dieu Donné Randrianarivonirina (in charge of the Amontana Parish / Fianarantsoa District / Fianarantsoa Synod) was visiting through and had the opportunity to participate in the first module of the ETS workshop, dealing with LHM Ministries. He was personally interested in the LHM information outreach and inquired about the possibility of having such training in the District of Fianarantsoa.

The expansion of partnership in Fianarantsoa in 2009

Correspondences with Rev. Dieu Donné started then. Partnership with Fianarantsoa District was in the agenda starting with the Amontana Parish. As a result of this, an ETS seminary was completed on April 30 through May 2. Cooperation started with a training session that gathered participants from six congregations and some staff from the local prison chapel. They did treasure all the information and training offered pertaining to sharing the Good News and establishing outreach working plans. The meeting was attended by 31 people. The closing ceremony and certificate awarding took place on Sunday May 2, 2009 upon the local pastor’s request.

Rev. Dieu Donné addressed  the participants

A team work in action

The whole congregation was full of joy while attending the event. The LHM staff had the opportunity to make the Bible Correspondence Course program known to the community.

Following this event, the ETS volunteers got to work in their respective congregations and over 80 applied for the BCC program, in total, after a few months.

By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit kept working in the heart of those who have been classified as ‘responses’, from whom many became ‘referrals’ later; some of these became even ‘connections’ later.

Group Photo ( LHM staff and  the participants )

Partnership reached the Andohamatsiatra District

By the end of 2009, Rev. Dieu Donné  was appointed to move to Andohamatsiatra District / Fianarantsoa Synod, located 40 Km south east of Fianarantsoa. Despite the rural new situation, Rev. Dieu Donné continued to encourage the people to apply for our BCC program. He got 70  interested students and he himself offered to be the local LHM-Volunteer, taking up the charge of  being the link between LHM office and the students.

Soon after this, by mid 2010, he was appointed again to pastor Ambondrona church which is the capital of Andohamatsihatra District. In addition to that, he  became  the  District president, responsible  for the whole District. By God’s grace, he is the pastor of Ambodrona and the president of Andohamatsihatra District. He continues to work with LHM and in addition to the BCC program, general evangelism activities were  taken up.

Following joint meeting with Rev. Dieu Donné on August 31, 2010, the ETS workshop took place at Ambondrona Lutheran church on October 8 and 9, 2010. This inaugurated the new partnership between LHM and Andohamatsiatra District.

Andohanimatsihatra District ETS, FIanarantsoa Synod, October

8-9 2010

Ambondrona Lutheran church in the beautiful small village

The  third ETS workshop for the Fianarantsoa Synod was completed on October 8-9 at Ambondrona Lutheran Church, Andohamatsiatra District. A total of 34 participants from six congregations from Isomotra and Ambondrona parishes attended the training session.

Local pastors also were present, namely Rev. Randrianasolo jean from Anjanomanana Parish, Rev. Ramaharavo Jean of Anjanamahasoa Parish, Rev. Rasolofoniaina Jean Emmanuel from Ambala Atsimo Parish, all within the Andohamatsihatra District, and the new District president, Rev. Dieu Donné as well.

The latter took part in the training. He declared how important such event is for the area. It will be naturally followed by evangelism outreach. It has to be reminded that the area is still one with inherited local pagan practices.

Audience Relations Officer explained about outreach program and reporting method

Just as it was done for Amontana Parish and upon Rev. Dieu Donné request, certificates were awarded during the morning service on October 10, 2010.
Rev. Dieu Donné offered the certificate to a participant

The commissioned volunteers  sang a special song to praise the Lord

The awarded showed their determination to go on and respond to ‘the call’ of bringing the lost back to the Church. The next step is to move from the ‘Referrals’ status toward becoming ‘Connection’. This was testified in a special song that they sang.

It is worth mentioning here that both Ambondrona and Isomotra Parishes are not equipped with electricity yet, and that they are of a very difficult access due to bad roads.

All participants had to walk many kilometers to attend the ETS meeting. It was thus agreed that in order to keep contact with these trainees, Rev. Dieu Donné will be in charge of keeping the link between them and LHM.

Meeting with the ETS Volunteers in Fianarantsoa District (October 10, 2010)

After Ambondrona ETS, the  director and LHM staff visited the Fianarantsoa ETS Volunteers during the afternoon of October 10. As stated above, they were the fruit of Amontana ETS in April 2009. There were 12 of them and the appointed new pastor, Rev. Rafidimalala Apollinaire, was also invited. The latter already attended Ambatofinadrahana ETS, held in May 2008, therefore it was a great pleasure to meet him again.

This was an opportunity to evaluate  what was done in each church following the ETS as well as to freshen up to them about the new version of detailed reports making :  touched, reached, response, referral and connection.

The causes of the rupture of activities in some churches were then identified. They seem to be related to communication issues and insufficient “materials”.

The solutions for such problems were found together and it was decided that partnership will continue again for 2011 with the 4 Lutheran congregations involved, namely Antanifotsy, Amontana, Lalazana and Ambalatambina.

All the Glory to our Gracious GOD The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit.