François and Florence Andriantsalama are Malagasy missionaries from the Vezo and Masikoro people groups. This is their testimony, told by Rosina Ferdinand, AIM’s Unit Leader in Madagascar, of how God has guided them in his mission.
When François and Florence felt God was calling them into mission, their church recommended a Bible study course in Antananarivo, and encouraged them to think about joining an AIM led Training in Ministry Outreach (TIMO) team.
So, in 2003, together with their two children Francia and Franco, they joined the TIMO team led by Brian and Kathy de Smidt in Besakoa, a Bara village. After the TIMO team finished, they stayed on to continue the work. There were a small number of believers and a small church building was being built. But the couple felt lonely and isolated because their home church had forgotten about them—they received no visits and no support. They also felt the struggle of raising their children in Besakoa and supporting their studies at school—especially as they now had a third child, Francis.
Their Christian friends in a nearby town, Toliara, helped a lot by welcoming their children into their homes, caring for them and supporting their studies. It is a miracle to them to see their children succeeding in those studies: the eldest, Francia (21), now studying at the University in her second year, Franco (17), is about to finish high school. Meanwhile the youngest, Francis (11), is still with them at their own home.
In God’s providence, after their seventh year in Besakoa, Florence got a teaching job in a school at a different village called Antsohamadiro. Now they have three homes to think of: Besakoa, Antsohamadiro, and Toliara, where their eldest two children are based.
Recently, in God’s goodness, they have been provided with a one-hectare field where they can plant cassava. This will help their finances. Meanwhile, the ministry in Besakoa is growing—there have been a number of baptisms, and now there are two couples they can share the work with, taking turns with François to care for the church.
In Antsohamadiro, the door is open for the gospel too. A Bible study has started, a group of believers has been formed, and now they have been given a plot to build a church.
François says trials and preaching the gospel cannot be separated. He says his part is to remember why he is there and whose work he is doing. He says that in these last 17 years God continues to show them his faithfulness and goodness.