Madagascar 5: At the Indian Ocean

Early morning came a cab going to the bus station traveling to Tamatave. Morning rush hour, smog, finally arrived and took our place in the Mercedes bus.
My neighbor was Mariane, our fantastic translator, friend, guide in the Malagasy life.
The trip was 8 hours, at noon was interrupted because of lunch. I did not dare to eat in the local restaurant, but Polly immediately discovered the fruits shop full of fresh coconuts.

I have never eaten fresh coconut before. What we can buy in Hungary is mature, brown coconut, insight no water just the hard pulp.
But the fresh one is outside green, inside full of water, and the pulp is soft, creamy, you can eat with "spoon".
Inside, it's clear liquid is sweet and sterile and composed of unique chemicals such as sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes.
Coconut water has been generally offered to patients with diarrhea in many tropic regions to replace the fluid loss from the gastrointestinal tract and to reduce the need for intravenous therapy.
The osmolarity of tender coconut water is slightly greater than that of WHO recommended ORS (Oral Rehydration Therapy) solution.
Ideal drink to rectify dehydration conditions.
The coconut water has proportionately better composition of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc than some of the fruit juices like oranges. This liquid is also very good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folates and a small amount of vitamin C. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the human body requires them from external sources to replenish.

Late afternoon we arrived to Tamatave (Toamasina), the chief seaport of the country at the Indian Ocean. The landscape was absolutely different also on the way and the city is also different than Antananarivo. Around the capital city everywhere rice fields, brickmakers, here rather banana trees, coconut trees, the houses are made not from bricks but from brunches of the trees.

As our bus stopped at the station, the local cabs (tuck-tuck) descended on us. After long bargain we could depart to the YWAM base.
Beautiful building almost at the seaside. Now a Discipleship Training School is going on with 10 students. We had a 4 beds room with water, electricity, internet!
God is good!
We got the BEST again!

I loved soon this city. It has 200,000 inhabitants, the second biggest city of Madagascar, the most important gateway of the country to the Indian Ocean and to the world. In spite of this the atmosphere of the city is lovelier than the capital city. There are lots of tuck-tuck (cab), push-push (bicycle cab), but the ear is not too polluted.

Everywhere were hills of coconut. The   salesman cut the top of he coconut, I could drink the water than the seller cut in two the nut, cut off a piece of it's shell and with this piece as a spoon I could eat the pulp. Wow!

Here are not so much garbage like in the capital city, I did not feel the constant smoke rather the salty smell of the ocean. The meaning of the name of the city, Toamasina is "salty".
In the evenings I just used to see from the balcony the white clouds on the dark sky, the dark silhouettes of the coconut trees in front of the white clouds, listen to the voices of the ocean, enjoy the warm breeze from the ocean with the salty smell. Some of the students used to play a guitar in the evenings sitting on the bench in the court - I really liked this atmosphere!
It is so beautiful!  

This picture was made in the afternoon, my camera could not take good night picture. But you can image these white clouds on the dark sky and the dark silhouettes of the coconut trees before the white clouds.                                              

Here getting dark very soon (after 6:00 p.m.) and the electricity is often off, so we could enjoy the fellowship just sitting on the bench, telling stories, listening the voice of the guitar. No running, no internet, just the light of the kindles and the head torches. I really learned the lesson: Slow down!

I loved soon the students of the Discipleship Training School. There were morning persons like me, got up early morning and were immediately cheerful, were laughing, singing in the kitchen. I had very good time with them in the mornings. They helped me to make fire in the special stove making my coffee. 

They taught me Malagasy dance, we took pictures and laughed a lot. The Malagasy people pretty short, I was taller than they although I am really short in my country. (That's why I liked to be in Madagascar?)

Than we started to teach them, we could get to know them in fact. They were not just optimistic, cheerful always, they were really hungry for the knowledge. 

We taught the Bible overview and the Inductive Bible Study Method. At first we used to teach the inductive method theoretically,  than used to walk through one of the Bible passage or one of the small book of the Bible. 
In this group I walked through on the Paul's letter to Philemon. This journey was really excited, enjoyable. They were very eager students, recognized fast the coherencies, discovered the treasure of the book.  They discovered the message which was important for Philemon in Colosse around 60 AD, but which is important for them today in Madagascar. The Bible is the Living Word of God, relevant in every historical time, in every geographical place for everyone!

I really enjoyed teaching them! They knew that in December and January they will teach the Bible in the bush, so they really wanted to study, to grow in their understanding.

Our ministry in Tamatave was teaching the students of Discipleship Training School, teaching on a Sunday morning service and teaching in two different Bible reading groups the inductive method.

                     This picture was made after the Sunday morning service.

Teaching in one of the Bible reading groups was really interesting.
Around 20 enthusiastic people after work in the dark evening. They did not have Bible. Many of them were illiterate. Polly started to teach - the electricity was immediately off. The light of the kindles and head torches ....and suddenly the lights go up in the heads. The lights go up in the hearts!
Such an experience the Power of God's Word!

No matter that no electricity!
No matter that many of them can not read!
They understood that God created them in His image!
They understood that God loves them. He loves everything, everyone created by Him.
They understood that God knows their every desires, thoughts, sins - and He loves them with these.
They understood that God is waiting for them.  
They need to seek Him.
They need to accept His love.
They need to give Him admittance into their hearts.
God is knocking on the door of their hearts.
God is knocking on the door of our hearts.
Do we give Him admittance?

Our ministry in Tamatave over, we traveled further, to the bush.

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