Jurgen and Katja Hofmann

Vanya, Issa, Abbey, Dani and Simeon

Sent from Evangelische Gemeente ‘De Ambassade’

The Hofmann family have lived among the Tanala people of Madagascar since 2015. They began their ministry by studying the local dialect and culture so they can communicate the gospel in the heart language of the people. They have already translated 40 Bible stories in Tanala language. They are now using these stories to tell the gospel from village to village, and are working on translating the books of Luke and Acts.

It is the Hofmanns’ passion to tell the good news of Jesus Christ to those who have never heard; to give them the chance to believe and be saved; to see lives – a country – transformed.

The Tanala are among the least reached people groups and are eager to hear the gospel. On the most recent survey the elders of a village expressed: ‘If the Bible is good news our people need to hear it!’ And then: ‘When will you come?’

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Latest Prayer News

The Hofmanns are currently on Home Assignment in the Netherlands. “In general, we just continue with what we normally do. The children do not have a summer holiday like most children in the Netherlands. That is not as sad as you might think. It is impractical to stick to the normal Dutch school holidays because we travel back and forth a lot. Katja tries to adapt the schedule to the situation as much as possible. That way, the children don’t have to panic because they don’t finish their work before the holiday starts… Jurgen is digitising the gospel of Luke in the Tanala dialect. This is quite difficult to do. He cannot go into the village to ask how to pronounce a certain word. The Tanala dialect is still largely unwritten. Jurgen writes the words phonetically but that is not an easy job.” Please pray for the Hofmann family as they ‘work’ from home. Pray for Katja as she teaches their children at home, and for Jurgen as he works on translating Luke’s gospel remotely.

The Hofmanns are currently on Home Assignment in the Netherlands. “We, as a missionary family, are not unknown to the lifestyle we have now. We are fairly isolated in Maroamboka and are therefore somewhat used to it… we follow the situation on Madagascar with sorrow and concern in our hearts… Most homes in large cities are not affordable, so the whole family lives in one room… Because of the (often) bad conditions in which people live, even young people are vulnerable… one-sided nutrition and unhygienic homes plagued by rats and parasites are a recipe for a weak immune system. In addition, many Malagasy are simply terrified and have a very fatalistic attitude… [We would love them to] realise that the Almighty is not far away but has come to the world to save it. Saving from Corona? Saving from the plague? Possibly, but I’m more thinking about the boldness that comes with the confidence that Jesus has saved you for eternity.”

“Our village is a stronghold when it comes to witch doctors. We do have eight, two of them are very important. These two ‘ombiasy lehibe’ (‘great witch doctor’), are so well known for their ability that we have people from the capital (590 km away) coming down to our village to make use of their services. One of them has already heard one of the Bible stories when Jurgen told them in another village. He once asked Jurgen when he would tell them in Maroamboka. At that time he just had just a new house in the making in Maroamboka. It was agreed that Jurgen would come to the new house and tell the stories. The house is ready! Jurgen has started, and the witch doctor, together with his sister and wife, listen carefully. It is an interesting appointment that has not gone unnoticed in the village. Jurgen was asked whether he wasn’t afraid of the witch doctor or to tell the gospel in his house. Someone said aloud: “Tena evangeliste ianao!” (You are a real evangelist!).” Praise God for this opportunity to tell the gospel! Please pray that through hearing it this witch doctor, his family and many others in Maroamboka will come to saving faith in Jesus.

“…we wanted to write a post about all the delicious fruits we have here and eat every day. What a life! Fruit in abundance, sunshine and a veranda where, at sunset, you can sit down with a good glass of wine… Romantic? No, not really. Unless you’re going to sit under a mosquito net. We admit it, we like the heat (if it’s not too barren). We also enjoy the space on the veranda. It is a wonderful place for the children to play. But it gets more difficult when you have to take into account the scary creatures. During the day there are the tiger mosquitoes and at night the kind of mosquitoes that might transmit Malaria. Then there are the spiders… Another nasty creature is the sand flea. This creature crawls (unnoticed) under your skin and starts nesting there while feeding on your blood… Living here has its advantages when it comes to discovering new things. Whether you really want to discover those things is a completely different question.” Please pray for the Hofmanns in the practical challenges of living in Maroamboka, including learning to live alongside the local wildlife!

“The lion’s share of Jurgen’s time is invested in translation right now. Jurgen has good hopes of finishing the gospel of Luke before or during our Home Assignment [next year], so it can be used for preaching after our Home Assignment. Menja, our translator, has made Luke speak Tanala; Jurgen reviews the work critically regarding translation choices and theological content, digitalising it in the process. Menja, meanwhile, is finishing the book of Acts as a logical continuation on Luke… After our Home Assignment we hope to find more ways and openness for using the Tanala-materials. We have spoken with our supervisors and it might be possible to bring a mixed team of Malagasy and foreigners into our area for a programme of training and evangelism, taking four months. The Bible stories could be used by this team as one of the various methods of reaching the Tanala. We have asked a Malagasy friend living in Tana to consider leading this team with us. He is proficient at both Malagasy – including a related dialect – and English, and last but not least, he has a good biblical foundation.” Please keep praying for Jurgen and Menja’s translation work, and please pray for opportunities to use the materials once they have been completed so that more Tanala may be able to hear and read God’s word in their own language.

Madagascar

Madagascar. The world’s fourth biggest island boasting flora and fauna that exist nowhere else on earth. 92% of the population exist on less than £2 per day. 41% of the population identify with Christianity, 7% with Islam, the majority follow Traditional African Religions. LEARN MORE

Outreach & Evangelism

We long to let all Africa's people know that they can have life, in all its fullness, for comfort rather than being in fear of breaking taboos or working to earn favour in the eyes of their gods. LEARN MORE

Church Planting

Our desire isn’t just that there will be individual Christians among every people group in Africa but that there would be Christ-centred churches among all African peoples. LEARN MORE
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