Elizabeth Macaulay was called to Madagascar after retiring from Further Education teaching in 1997. She looks back on sharing life with Malagasy friends, students and missionary colleagues.
I went to Madagascar to teach English to students in a church English club and also to help with home schooling missionaries’ children. Later, I taught English at a Bible school for pastors, and became the teacher at a small school for missionaries’ children.
God was at work through our English teaching. We introduced them to the Bible, reading and discussing it together, and the students had a real thirst for the Word. When we taught missionaries’ children, we used a Christian curriculum with lots of Bible input. We shared our lives with both of these sets of students and had lots of fun together in a Christ-centred setting. Because of that, I felt that our witness to them was genuine and many of the children and young people have gone on to serve the Lord.
The team in Madagascar were so close, loving and supporting one another, that I felt welcomed into a family. They worked mainly with a church founded to minister to the poor. I joined various preaching trips with team members who were teaching pastors in rural areas. The team produced Bible booklets for the local pastors, who lacked a good education. Several of us helped with the production, doing the collating and stapling with our somewhat basic office systems. During the long journeys into the countryside, we used to pray together. Our Malagasy colleagues, hearing our prayers, began to pray in a different way as they realised our Heavenly Father is interested in all of our lives.
God worked in our missionary community, drawing people of different nationalities and mission agencies closer together through our common goal of spreading the good news. The late Colin Molyneux started a Missionary Fellowship which met together every Sunday evening in different houses to worship, pray and hear the Word, whole families together. Sharing food and fellowship together was a great blessing as we encouraged one another in God’s service.