Chosen Servant Ministries

News

  1. Something Brand New For The Youth

    What are the youth of Ambodanerana to do for recreation and educational support? Dental and medical facilities are also lacking among other short falls in this far flung village as well as those around it. This village is situated about 7km from the town of Soavinandrina and features a single tarred road that runs through it, a couple of ox-cart tracks and ample foot paths. It is fortunate to have 2 schools, churches and various convenience stores but there is little else to recommend it aside from the people and the scenery. It is a village based on rice – its main produce – tobacco and to a lesser degree other vegetable farming.

    In this entire village of about 7 000 there are 2 fusel tables, 1 soccer field and plenty of alcohol for entertainment and alcohol wins out in most cases. The youth generally go to school until primary school has been completed (if family demands do not intervene before this), drink, get married early then start the same cycle for the next generation: they become the drinking parents whose parents need their kids to supplement the family income or look after younger siblings while the parents work. 

    In a stroke of pure inspiration Chosen Servant Ministries (CSM) has started building a Youth Centre at the edge of their property in Ambodanerana. CSM realized that alcohol and lack of education are crippling the youth and sought a way to combat the social ills while giving alternatives and thus the birth of the Youth Centre. The building is being carried out with and under the supervision of Lovanirina (Lova) who received building training and is the current manager of CSM Soavinandrina. Lova has the support of the chief and most of the community and they pitched in to help dig the foundation as they saw value in this undertaking.

    The Youth Centre – which has been mainly/partly funded by the Australian government and Northside Community Church in Sydney. Will provide a venue for various sporting activities and other recreational activity options as the alternative to alcohol abuse. The basketball court is finished, and ready for use as a court for games and also for parking. The centre will also boast the first library in the area for much needed educational support and general information centre. Marked out on the building’s foundation is also a dental/medical facility to help get those proud smiles shining and the bodies in great working order. All these will be situated at the back of a fair sized auditorium where educational workshops for the youth and the community as well as other light presentations will be hosted.

    Thanks to Brendan (CSM founder) and the hard working staff supporting him, not just the community of Ambodanerana is excited about this uplifting project but other’s hearts have been stirred and they have opened up and offered donation. Without the donors the work would not have commenced and without donors the work will stop. So as CSM and the community of Ambodanerana give praise and thanks for all the outside help and support, there is also a request for more help to sustain future projects. Already sewing machines and some sporting equipment are waiting for the opening of the Youth Centre. 

    The Youth Centre should be operational in November 2014 – from there on it will be a matter of watching as the wise young take full advantage and rewrite their futures to the better.

    The Chosen Servant Ministries’ Youth Centre program is well underway and is set to change the lives of an entire village’s youth and adult. You can contribute to initiating and sustaining projects by giving of your time as a volunteer and/or donating funds and items.  

    For more information please visit www.csm.org.au or email Brendan@csm.org.au. 

    08 Oct 2014
  2. Lights Off;

    Everyone Is Home
    The road meanders as it follows the undulating terrain that leads from the cramped capital city of Antananarivo – in Madagascar – to a small town of Soavinadrina and from there to a small village of Ambodanerana. Our destination is here, in this village of about 7 000, on the side of the only tarred road cutting the village in half is the plot that has been allotted to Chosen Servant Ministries (CSM) for their orphanage (home of The Children of the Light – The Lights) by the community.

    There is no fence around the plot – just a sense that the CSM area is the space that is well kept. The main building is a rectangular building, where there are spacious rooms for The Lights, with a path leading to the single shower and separate toilet. The path then continues to the kitchen and large dining area with simple yet practical concrete eating and food preparation counter along the inside of this circular building. There is a vegetable garden with staff quarters and storage on the one edge of the plot. To the back is a tarred basketball court with the construction of the new Youth Centre coming up behind it. It is all proof of what can be achieved when people from different walks of life work together – it is beautiful.
    The view of the village around is breathtaking but it also reveals that there is not a single electrical pole to be seen in any direction. The village and the The Children of the Light wake up with the sun and go to sleep not too long after it sets. Charcoal is the main source of fuel and is used for cooking and heating bath water. For safety at The Lights’ home candles are not used by the children but rather handheld, battery operated torches are used for light during devotion, studies and in the rooms.
    Solar powered panels would be an ideal solution as they use a natural resource, are green friendly and will cut future operating costs. The long term effects of using torch light to study are only better compared to using candle light. A good sized solar panel is about 1 000 000 Ariary (USD500), a small some for some but a life changing amount for the kids and staff in Ambodanerana. More than one solar panel is required to keep The Lights in the light but one is a good start.
    The Lights however live up to their name as they continue to smile, study, eat, do their homework and those too slow even shower in the dark with torchlight without complaint. This is just another hurdle in their short lives thus far and the care, love and support they receive compensates for the lack of electricity.
    As the sun descends the activity at The Children Of Light’s home increases as everyone tries to get as much done without additional light to help preserve battery life and also to be able to achieve as much as possible with ease. As they rush to and fro they joke and laugh like only kids who have found a place where their inner lights can be supported can.
    You can bring light to The Children of the Light’s home, their lives as well as help change the lives of other children and youth from the Ambodanerana area: you can pray for us, volunteer on a short or long term basis and/or donate to help sustain the various projects aimed at bringing light into lives, minds and hearts.

    For more info contact us at: mail@csm.org.au

    14 Sep 2014
  3. Better Not Embittered

    Solange – or rather Mama as I prefer to call her – always smiles and laughs. She is full of energy, life, as she bustles around in the kitchen, mans the Chosen Servant Ministries’ (CSM) mini stall, helps the children or simply takes a walk during her free time. She is kind, considerate, courteous but fun – it is hard to tell her past by just looking at her.

    She first met Brendan – CSM’s founder – when he was doing his internship with Teen Missions at the school her kids were attending. Solange was destitute having finally split from her abusive husband and taking care of her 4 boys and 2 girls. Brendan was drawn to this prayer warrior and had compassion for her and her little ones and therefore brought them food and clothing.
    You see, Solange had been married to her husband for years and withstood a lot of abuse from him especially when he was drunk. His drinking was excessive and he did not like his wife and children going to church – these among others issues made things very difficult for Solange to bear but she held on. In all this she says that she did her best to remain humble and submissive all the while praying that GOD intervenes somehow. Her husband eventually left her but he left her destitute and without any support for their children. The only relatives she could call upon for help were his family and they refused her help or to intervene.

    Solange’s prayers were finally answered in the form of a young Australian with the heart like Christ’s. Not only did Brendan offer her a hand when she needed it most but, when the time and opportunity were ripe and the orphanage opened, he also offered her a job that seems tailor made for her. Solange is now the cook for The Children of the Light and gathers all the children around her like a proud mother hen. The love and care she lavishes on the children – her own and all others – is something that seems to pour naturally out of her.

    As Solange speaks of her distressing past a trace of sadness crosses her eyes but oddly bitterness is lacking; this looks like a woman who has put her past behind her – she has not been tainted by it but rather took her lessons and moved on from there!

    There are many ladies who find themselves in Solange’s former situation and you can help You Chosen Servant Ministries change their lives one at a time by donating, volunteering and sharing your experiences and/or sponsoring our upliftment programs.
    For more information please visit www.csm.org.au or email us at mail@csm.org.au.

    03 Aug 2014
  4. Hello! Can you hear me? 

    Toky is a fresh-faced 12 year old whose friendly smile and calm yet energetic manner do not reveal that both his parents died about a year apart. Their deaths resulted in Toky being looked after by his financially battling sister. His life involved school then hanging around with friends before going home to a poor meal in the capital city of Madagascar, Antananarivo.

    In the latter part of 2013 Toky found himself being shipped off to a little village 7 kilometers from the town of Soavinandrina to become one of The Children of the Light (The Lights) – this is the name of Chosen Servant Ministries’ (CSM) orphanage there. Toky is currently the second oldest of all the kids there and the oldest boy and this gives him some responsibilities that he seems to be enjoying.

    With The Children of the Light Toky now continues his schooling but with the necessary parental support. Sure he still has time to hang around but he also has chores and is given responsibilities. He is now guaranteed 3 meals a day, clothing, love, care and daily devotions in this well simulated family unit.  When asked about the transition Toky responded by saying that he enjoys his new home and therefore did not battle to fit in – he also said that he enjoyed his life now with The Lights in rural Soavinandrina better than he did his old life in the city.

    With all the above Toky also receives much needed medical care which resulted in an unexpected discovery. All his life Toky has been hard of hearing but no-one had bothered or could not afford to have him tested. His studies and general communication have suffered greatly as a result of this oversight. The staff at CSM, however, picked up on the problem and had Toky sent for an ear examination where it was found that this future policeman – with incredible dance moves, yes you need to see him dance – needs to get a hearing aid. With all the care and love that Chosen Servant Ministries can give Toky and the other Lights, the 1,000, 000 (USD $500) required to purchase a hearing aid is above our means. 

    Toky believes that his future is better served at CSM and CSM believes that too and that is why we are doing all we can to help Toky acquire that hearing aid. General medical care and expenses are usually seen to by Chosen servant ministries as it is part of looking after the kids overall well being but Toky’s need is far greater than what could have been anticipated. There is no amount one can place on their hearing and if Toky’s hearing is not seen to soon his schooling will suffer even more resulting in him having difficulty furthering his education and becoming employed. All these chain reactions can be averted with a hearing aid.

    If you feel you want to help Toky get a hearing aid, sponsor a child at The Children of the Light orphanage or be part of feeding children from very impoverished families please think and pray about then get in touch with us. 

    For more information please visit www.csm.org.au or email us at mail@csm.org.au

    21 Jul 2014
  5. Led By Love

    The first time I met her I sensed an energy and humour that were kept in check by propriety. She was the one waiting for us together with some of her children when we arrived in Ambodanerana – I say children because she is mother to all The Children of the Light (The Lights) even though she only bore 2 sons. She welcomes us with pride countered by hope that we will find their home adequate. She is Nicole, wife to Chosen Servant Ministries’ (CSM) manager at Ambodenerana near Soavinadrina and mother to The Lights.
    When I asked why she is working for CSM, she simply smiled a kind of ‘you know nothing’ smile, shook her head slightly and stated what she sees as obvious: ‘I follow my husband.’ The reason I had asked this now obviously foolish question is that she is so dedicated, so involved – passionate – and very personal about The Lights and the work CSM is doing in Soavy that I thought that she and her husband had met while working on one mission or another.
    At times it is hard to tell which two are biological kids but at the same time she realizes the import of giving them their own attention so that they grow up balanced. She is the first one out and the last in as she makes sure that all the kids’ needs – physical, emotional, spiritual and safety – have been seen to and satisfied. She doesn’t work alone as her husband and another staff member help but she is the mother and that responsibility very seriously.
    As I get to know her the humour behind the eyes starts dripping out as laughter and the energy is released but under relaxed control. She and the kids banter gently as they do chores together, she joins as we play on the court, puts her energy to use as she helps when there is planting to be done or rice to be processed and also does the finances for the entire centre. The other day I saw a picture of Nicole helping her husband with building The Youth Centre behind the home of The Children of the Light.
    When I asked what drives her to do her work with all the passion she answered simply, ‘Love,’ – this time I did not have to ask her what she meant as it was all around her.

    ©Amiel Mathebula for CSM 2014

    You do not have to leave everything to be part of the Chosen Servant Ministries team but you can support Nicole and the children through finances and/or donations.

    For more information please visit www.csm.org.au or email mail@csm.org.au.

    11 Jul 2014
  6. Our Mission and Vision

    Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries. Since a coup in 2009, the country has been in political turmoil. The majority of foreign aid has been suspended and budget cuts to investment in infrastructure have caused the deterioration of roads, power, water supplies and health facilities. Poverty has increased dramatically and approximately 70% of the population lives in absolute poverty.

    The mission of CSM is to reach and work with the poorest people in Madagascar. Their mission is not just to feed the poor, but to teach them how to feed themselves, providing education and opportunities for people to succeed in life. In the process of providing opportunity, CSM affirms the love of Jesus Christ for all and actively promotes the Gospel. CSM works under the vision statement, ‘provide education, provide opportunity’, seeking to equip individuals and communities with resources such as education, employment, health care and material support that enable them to break the cycle of poverty.

    Chosen Servant Ministries projects aim to:

    1. Make the Good News known

    2. Partner with individuals and communities

    3. Provide sustainable sources of income for families and communities

    4. Provide opportunities for local Malagasy people to develop practical skills

    5. Increase access to education for children living in poverty

    6. Increase the accessibility of healthcare to communities

    With this vision and mission in mind, ‘CSM Environment’ aims to implement sustainable environmental protection programs to educate communities about protecting their environment, sustainable living and provide opportunities for income generation to Malagasy people.


    Please support CSM Environment. Donate to the below account!

    Thank you very much!

    Account Name: CSM ENVIRONMENT
    Bank: Westpac
    BSB: 032 524 
    ACC: 219 229

    21 Nov 2013
  7. Volunteering in Madagascar with Chosen Servant Ministries


    Traveling to Madagascar for the first time I knew little about the country, what it’s people are like, or really what to expect at all. After a short visit in 2012, I returned to CSM for a longer period of time in 2013. I was not surprised or shocked by the levels of poverty in Madagascar in 2012 as I had seen that kind of thing many times in my travels elsewhere. But in 2013, as I gained a real understanding of the situation, my eyes were opened to the great lack that people had in that country. Many, as I learned lived on less than AU$1.00 per day. It was during my time this year that Madagascar was declared the poorest country in the world with 90% of the population living on less than US$2.00 per day. The situation is more than overwhelming. That’s why it has been such a blessing to not only make a small difference through CSM, but also to see the heart that Brendan, Diary and the team have to see the lives of the destitute changed. And I saw this time and again while I was in Madagascar. As a need was presented, that need was almost always met. The staff at CSM were an amazing blessing both times I was there. Not only are some of them escaping poverty through this work, but in turn they are helping to change the lives of their own people. CSM is not about some white people coming into the third world to do something for them. It’s about local Malagasy people having an opportunity to change their own back yard for the better of all. I can’t imagine not going back again!

    Ben  

    10 Nov 2013
  8. This girl’s name is Tantely, which means “honey.” If i remember correctly she is 22 years old. Tantely’s parents had just walked for around 6 hours from their home in the country into the city of Soavinandriana to the hospital and from there they stopped in at Chosen Servant Ministries. And after that, had another few hours to walk to get home. Tantely was sick with the flu, so the parents walked her into the city to get some medication. They carry Tantely on their back, as you can see she has mangled arms and legs. I cant remember whether she was born with this issue or not. But it was heart wrenching to see her life and situation. Tantely’s parents heard that CSM may be able to help them, so they stopped by to ask. They told their story, that they were getting old and worried about having to carry Tantely in the future. They asked if we could help find a wheelchair for Tantely. We said we would. Please help us buy her one ASAP. We told her parents to come by again in 2 weeks from now. We have heard its around $300-$400 for a good wheelchair. My wife Diary Singhdeo is looking for one now. Thank you very much! God bless. Email: emergency@csm.org.au Please donate to below and reference “Tantely” Account name: Emergency Relief Fund Bank: Westpac BSB: 032524 ACC: 216693

    14 Aug 2013
  9. How Cool! To be on TV making a difference! We are giving 800 children school packs in this video. 6 exercise books, a pencil case full of pens, pencils, an eraser, a sharpener, and a set of rulers. This will help to take pressure off their families to provide these things. We cant do everything! But we can do something! Which will bless someone else’s life!  

    09 Mar 2013
  10. We are on TV!! Check us out! We are growing Australia! Doing more and more to help the people of Madagascar.

    09 Mar 2013
  11. This video is CSM on TV in Madagascar! Telling them about what we are doing there!

    09 Mar 2013
  12. Meet Tolotra, he is 14 and lives near @Chosen Servant Ministries base in Tana. He had a brother and a sister who were killed with their mother. About a month ago it was bed time and Tolotra’s step father came home and was very angry at his mother about something, and so he poured petrol over her and the bunk bed with the brother and sister still in it. He locked the door of the tiny little house made of wood and tin, then lit it on fire. Then he ran away.

    Young Tolotra was so courageous to jump from the bed and kick the door open to get outside. His mother was trying to protect his brother and sister and got stuck inside and they were burnt to death. It was a massive fire and Tolotra was badly burnt. He suffered multiple burns on his face, arms, and back. They were so bad he couldn’t make it to the burial of his mum, brother and sister.

    @Chosen Servant Ministries has provided him with some medicines and medical (wound treatment) supplies. As well as, new clothes, shoes, a school kit, and some toys to hopefully bring him some joy.

    Tolotra came from a very poor family, and pretty much has no one left but his grandparents to care for him who are also very poor. He still needs medical care, and a mattress to sleep comfortably. And more.

    If you would like to help us help young Tolotra get surgery and basic necesseties. The bank details are below, and please put in the reference bar “Tolotra”. We will make sure he gets proper care. Chosen Servant Ministries

    Account name: Emergency Relief Fund 
    Bank: Westpac 
    BSB: 032524 
    ACC: 216693

    For overseas donations: 
    Swift code: wpacau2s032524216693

    Bank name: Westpac

    Bank Branch: Lake Haven

    Account name: Emergency Relief Fund

    Organisation: Chosen Servant Ministries

    Contact Person: 0421643676 Brendan Singhdeo

    31 Jan 2013
  13. Our last group of volunteers were so great! They worked so hard to bless Chosen Servant Ministries, and the people of Madagascar! They taught health and hygiene, and distributed hundreds of health care products, toothbrushes, vitamins, and 
    betadine etc to the most needy. They helped set up a garden at our Children’s home, and painted most of the internal rooms at the Childrens home. They sanded, varnished, and helped install the outer doors of the Children’s home. They painted educational and fun things on the walls of the school CSM built. They taught new sports and games to the local communities. They helped us give out almost 500 school supplies packs to poor children in Tana, before the new school term starts. They taught us to work on new programs on the computer, and helped us to write applications to receive aid from the Australian government etc. And we worked on preparing new development programs for the future, helping mothers living on the streets to learn new skills and succeed. We had such a great time with each one of these volunteers! Sarah AndersonSusan Hudson,Neridah MorrisJessie SkellyAbigail JohnstoneMike Gibson,Rachael Kearns

    Now on the 15th we have the lovely Marion Griffin arriving to volunteer and give out hundreds of handmade pencil cases and carry bags etc made by the wonderful residents at the Feros Byron Bay aged care facility!
    10 Sep 2012
  14. This little girl doesn’t have a big stomach because she eats a lot of food. She has a big stomach, because the food she eats is not enough and its not hygienic, neither is the water she drinks. She is malnourished and sick. Her mother doesn’t know any different, she has never been taught about health and hygiene, she doesn’t have money to buy medication or to provide a balanced diet of healthy food.  

    We can’t do everything, but we can do something! And the “Something” Chosen Servant Ministries is doing is teaching health and hygiene, and distributing healthcare products to those in need. We are treating the sick, providing healthcare by trained doctors, and emergency relief. We are distributing clothing to the cold. We are teaching new adaptable farming techniques. And we are providing jobs for programs we run to help CSM be more self sufficient.  

    We can all do something! That little girl only needed some vitamins and a few worming tablets which costed a couple of dollars, and she was better.

    Please support CSM to run. We need more continual support. Thank you

    28 Aug 2012
  15. This boy came to one of our free healthcare clinics in Vangaindrano, South Madagascar. He has no parents, and the local church had been caring for him for many years. He is 15 years old, and has been suffering for 12 years with a tooth infection. You can see in this picture that the infection is weeping from his jaw.  It’s so sad that the cost of the medicine and treatment to heal his cheek was less than $10. To suffer for such a long time is just mind blowing! This should not happen in this rich world! But it does! 

    For less than $10 we were able to be an answer to this boys prayers, and be a part of healing his tooth infection for good!  

    This is just one emergency case. Please remember to support CSM’s Emergency Relief Fund. So we can be an answer to more peoples prayers. Thank you. 

    Account name: Emergency Relief Fund 
    Bank: Westpac 
    BSB: 032524 
    ACC: 216693

    For overseas donations: 
    Swift code: wpacau2s032524216693


    23 Aug 2012
  16. CSM August 2012

    How good it is to be ALIVE FOR A REASON in 2012. Check out some of the work CSM has been doing in 2012….

    15 Aug 2012
  17. They are very well behaved kids these who are starving..
    They don’t talk with their mouth full, they do not spoil their bread..
    They do not make small piles at the edge of their plate…
    They do not complain, dont say “I dont like this”..
    They do not make faces when you take away their plate
    They do not throw a tantrum to get sweets
    They do not give to the dog the fat of their bacon
    They do not run around through your legs and do not climb everywhere
    Their hearts are so heavy that they live on their knees…
    for their meal they wait quietly, they cry sometimes when it takes a long time…
    no, no don’t worry, they wont scream..
    those kids are really good kids
    they cry without making noise, you cannot even hear them
    they are so small that you cannot even see them
    they know that they cannot expect much from their mothers
    they frantically look for rice in the dirt
    but they close their eyes when their stomach twists, when the pain stop their bodies from moving…no no be sure they wont scream
    they dont have the strength anymore, only their eyes can still talk
    they will cross their arms on their bloated stomachs… they will pose to make a good picture
    they will die without making noise without disturbing you, 
    they are good, really well behaved these little kids.

    Chosen Servant Ministries

    (one of my favorite french poems that i tried to translate)
    from Diiary Ratiambahoaka

    This is a picture of two orphan boys in Miavotra, Soavinandriana. The one has a ball in his hand from Barbara Peerenboom one of our volunteers.

    28 Jul 2012
  18. From Barbara Peerenboom one of our volunteers! “Madagascar has been so many things so far. Daunting, beautiful, sad, & fun. We are amongst such dedicated and caring staff at Chosen Servant Ministries who love God & people so much. It’s a privilege to be amongst them. So much poverty is deeply disturbing, yet amidst it all, God is here. A smile is so welcomely accepted & lollies don’t go astray either. It was so great to see & be a part of progress on the orphanage and school in Soav & now we are looking forward our next adventure in Mahajanga. Our family has become so much closer & this is an experience that will be with us forever!”

    23 Jul 2012
  19. A note from some of our volunteers! 
    It’s our last week in Madagascar, it has been such an amazing experience iv seen and done so much in the last two months and have loved every minute! We have taught English every night to the staff and hearing their English develop has been amazing! We have taught health and hygiene, brushing teeth and basic first aid to small communities and gave out tooth brushes and water purifying drops! A few weeks ago we took baby Ana to the doctors as she had been sick for a while and we got her medicine using the CSM emergency relief fund and she has improved so much. We have given out so many books, toys, cards, bubbles, balloons, and so much more!! While in Mahajanga I met my sponser child Julivana and her beautiful family and saw where she lived and went to school, it was such an amazing experience and a memory I’ll never forget! I have loved this experience and learnt so much from it and I plan to come back to Madagascar next year!

     

    27 Jun 2012
  20. We Keep moving forward!

    Providing Education and Opportunities for people to succeed in life.

    Let us know if you’d like to get involved.

    Email: mail@csm.org.au

    Website: http://csm.org.au/

    Like us on Facebook: Chosen Servant Ministries http://www.facebook.com/chosenservantministries

    Follow us on Twitter: ChosenServantM

    https://twitter.com/#!/ChosenServantM

    Thank you for taking the time to see what we’re doing with the poor in Madagascar.. God bless!

    Brendan Singhdeo

    President

    10 Dec 2011