Brendan here, from Chosen Servant Ministries.
I say that, because it’s been a long time since I’ve written one of these newsletters! You may not remember me!! Work and preparation for our next trip has been full on. I’m definitely still learning time management.
Over the past nine months since our last trip to Madagascar, I’ve been working in Australia. When I arrived home from my last trip to Madagascar, I had a plan that I was going to organise the CSM paperwork, buy a car and then get a job. So I organised most of the paperwork, bought a car, and then within only a couple of days of having the car I had five really good job offers.
When I was just turning the age of sixteen, I started going out on mission trips. I had many people speaking down to me and my decision to go overseas to help people. It was the same thing when I started CSM. People said things like “There are so many people helping overseas already, you don’t need to go.” “You need to get a trade to fall back on” “You’re wasting your life and money.” Also comparing me to their children and others, etc.
I did hear what these people said - I didn’t disregard it straight away. But, after checking myself, I found that even though some of these things may have been true and fair enough, they were going against what i knew in my heart was right. I can testify to this fact; found in the Bible; Romans 8:28 “ ..in all things God works for good with those who love Him, those whom He has called according to His purpose.” God will never leave you hanging! One of my jobs in Australia was working with troubled teenagers and provides more money than any of these people who spoke against me. Chosen Servant Import/Export business helps fund the ministry and is definitely flourishing. CSM is growing and changing many lives. If I could choose any job in the world it would be exactly what I’m doing now. I say this because God is good!
Why this motivation for Madagascar? Madagascar is a very rich country, but 85% of the people are extremely poor and living on less than $2.00 a day. This is not because they’re less intelligent than westerners. I see that the majority of these people are disadvantaged because they haven’t been provided with proper education or opportunities and can’t get out of the extreme poverty they are experiencing. We westerners have opportunities that the Madagascans have not. They are born into it and give birth into it as well. Powers and authorities may not have been responsible in their decision making and other countries may have gone in and taken advantage of the poor. So, the poor keep suffering from the consequences of others, whilst the wealthy minority continue to get richer. We are bringing basic but practical western technologies into Madagascar. We are teaching Malagasy people how to use what they have with wisdom, how to get the most out of it and how to provide others with education and opportunities to succeed in life.
Since November we have been busy, organising many of the marketing/promotional tools for the ministry, such as: photography/video editing, logo’s, t-shirt’s, business cards, money tins, mission trips with CSM, brochures, and our website. We’ve been extremely blessed with opportunities to speak and people volunteering their services. It has been great being able to delegate certain things as the workload grows.
I’ve just arrived in Madagascar for a five month trip. All of our CSM staff are busy preparing projects on our lands and also preparing for our first ever mission trip! We have 12 definite people coming from Australia and possibly more will join them. It’s very exciting! I’m humbled to be a part of it.
Our projects for this trip include:
- Building at least one of many small orphanages which we will plant near schools around Madagascar. 10-20 kids in each. We see it very important to have that love, family relationship/connection. And so the staff can get more one on one with the children. We are starting this first orphanage in the district of Soavanindriana, on our land in Miavotra (which means “struggle to succeed in life”). Many young children are without family and living on the streets. We will build this one, make sure we can fund it, and then build another. It’s a process.
- Renovating/re-roofing two schools near our land in Miavotra and Ambohidanerana. We are also hoping to build an extra building with two more classrooms in Ambohidanerana, as the rooms are jam packed (you can see this on the CSM video, on the website or YouTube).
- We also aim to build a doctor and dental surgery on our land in Vangaindrano in the south of Madagascar.
- We are building and giving a house to a family of six in Mahajanga; a mother and five children. We have supported this family from the beginning.
- Lots of giving around Madagascar. Basic necessities that many people don’t have, such as: toothbrushes, soap, educational materials, paracetemol, vitamins, buckets and footwear etc.
On the 5th of April we have three women arriving. One specialises in film and has volunteered to come and film what we’re doing. One is a horticulturist and has volunteered to help us cultivate some of our land; set up gardens, farms, and irrigation etc. in order to help people in our program to be more self sufficient. We also have a nurse coming over to help in whatever way she can.
We have a couple more amazing groups coming soon too, but I will talk about them later on in the next news.
There are many ways that you can help out, such as:
- Request a money tin or several to put in shops/cafe’s/personal use etc
- Hold a fundraising event, We can provide info and DVD for you to do that
- Join us on one of our trips
- Contact to express your interest and we can work something out
We can’t do everything, but we can do something that will bless someone else’s life!
Check out our new video and website at csm.org.au.
Contact us at:
*Mob Mada: +261 324958533*
*Mob Aus: +61 421643676*
*Office Aus: +61 249705471*