Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Mamre, Madagascar (annual report 2020)

Please take the time to read the annual report from the Sisters in Mamre (Madagascar) - it's a long but very interesting report. Please remember Sister Angeline and the sisters in your prayers (and share in your communities). 

If you want to send an email with greetings and encouragement, you can email them at 

The Sisters of Mamré are happy to greet you and wish you all the best for 2021 with this blessing from our Lord God. May He fulfil this blessing in each and every one of you throughout this year: in our joys and in our struggles, which are the two sides of our lives during our earthly pilgrimage. 

On this day as I write: on the one hand, I feel that time is passing very quickly, but on the other hand, it is slowed down by the worries of daily life and national and global news, which provoke sensitivities and anxieties in the hearts of human beings. Here is a concrete example of our experience. Because of the acute poverty in Madagascar, violence reigns throughout the island. Our community has been a victim as well. In August 2020, our three houses in Ambavahadimitafo were burgled several times. In Mamré: they stole our two large tortoises Soky and Lova, who had been our close friends for a long time; they took benches that we use to accommodate those in need of listening and prayer; pots of orchid and anthurium flowers were stolen; they even killed our cats. In Moria: they stole the children's white bean supply for a year and materials for the garden and laundry. In Bethel: they were able to open our iron gate and the doors of the house. They broke the padlocks on Mathilde's two iron trunks and took everything they wanted. We had to empty the house by transporting the remains of her luggage to Mamre. We don't have a tenant for this house yet and we are looking for someone to replace her. For this reason, we had to install security systems for our two houses but that still does not prevent burglars from entering. 

Coronavirus still exists in Madagascar; the anti-Covid rules are still very strict. These are the other consequences of the pandemic here at home: Closing industries that causes unemployment to rise; cost of living inflation; insecurity; Rape; corruption etc...

So, life becomes scary. Community life is gradually returning to normality. We resumed our community meeting on 11 September 2020 after those six months of confinement, a joy to be together again. Each took six days of retreat according to their own time. The theme in this retreat was for each to review her consecration retreat.

Sister Josephine and Sister Elienne had the opportunity to holiday with their families on September 19 for a month, while Sister Lanto left for her vacation later, on October 02. After her vacation, she stayed for a month in Zoara to help the sisters with different cultures: transplanting rice, vegetable crops, chillies, ginger, etc. Sister Berthine took a French course from September 17 to November 6.

The four senior novices (Minah, Dina, Pierrette, Fara) continue their training through their research project. They are living across the three houses: in Horeb, Mamre and Zoara. The two young people: Lalatiana and Tatamo still stay in Horeb to consolidate their lives together. The two aspirants: Hélène and Nadiah are well integrated into their stage of life by gradually following the community rhythm. Together with Sister Elisabeth and Sister Pelagia, they visited a new college run by a very committed Christian couple in our parish. They started with very few children and minimal materials. The sisters were surprised at the evolution of this college and the way in which it was run.

Almost all the sisters are healthy except for a few who are still undergoing treatment: Sister Pelagia, Sister Danie, Sister Elisabeth, Sister Angeline. Each of them is getting better.

The third Sunday of October is still Mamre Sunday. We had to do two services at the same time. One was broadcast on the radio of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, guided by Sister Danie with Sister Elizabeth preaching. Dina and Pierrette shared on a program on the same radio about their choice of vocation – it was a strong testimony for them. 

The other service was televised. We did the recording at our parish of Ambavahadimitafo with the congregation on the Thursday before the Sunday. Four entities worked together: a representative of the F.J.K.M headquarters; the Pastor and the deacons of the parish; Pastor Yvette and Pastor William our only two advisors; and the Mamré community sisters with Sister Angeline who explained the community. Sister Alexandrine led the worship at our own parish that Sunday morning.

We were able to resume our services with the children of the canteen in early November and evangelism at the prison. There are a few groups that are gradually coming for hospitality and we are starting to take orders for the sewing of pastoral and deacon’s robes.

Pastor Yvette called the consecrated sisters to meetings with the two counsellors 2-9 November to elect a new group of counsellors.

Georges and Henri: aspirants from the community of Cistercian monks of Maromby began their internship in Zoara: our farm in early November. This internship will last three months or more. Father Jean Chrysostom, their prior, has accompanied them so far in our campaign. When he is in Tana, he always enjoys giving lectures to young people. The presence of Georges and Henri helps us in every way: improving the health of our two cows by the quality of their food and their care that gives an increase in milk. We not only sell milk now but we also sell cheese. We have startedraising three hens, each of them has ten chicks. They also help in the improvement of our different crops with effective techniques:in the vegetable garden, with cassava, rice, pili-pili peppers, gingers, peanuts etc. ... they have made level curves of this terrain. They follow the community rhythm. The two communities hope to continue this bond and mutual aid that had already been forged by our elders from the foundation of the Mamré community according to Father Jean Chrysostome's explanation. We have two calves this year.

On December 18, the children of the canteen celebrated the Christmas party, they had the festive meal after the celebration, all were thrilled with the feast. There are 108 children for this school year. 

We had the audacity to do our annual retreat on December 28, 29, 30 with the theme "Inner Healing" according to an excerpt from the teaching of RAZAFINDRAKOTO Victory, entitled ".... Be transformed by the renewal of your intelligence... (Roman 12:2b). This woman is an international psychologist, who studied in America. Each of us took advantage of these three days for personal reflection and to revise our inner healing. 

Mrs. RANAIVOSON Faramalala, the widow of pastor RAKOTOHARINTSIFA Andrianjatovo (Pr Tovo) deceased, advisor of Mamré, died on November 15, 2020 after a long illness and almost total paralysis. She left Mialy: their only daughter and Miaro their grandson. We invite you to pray for them. 

At the end of this chronicle, I am always in amazement and full of wonder at our gracious God at the end of each year, for God's incredible works during the year, despite all the difficulties, through the various trials that each and every one of us has had to endure. God is always present in our past, in our present and in our future, and this divine presence gives us the impetus to walk and move forward with God. I invite you to thank God for his divine presence. Emmanuel: God with us.

On behalf of the Mamré community, I offer our gratitude and warm thanks for all your support for the   Mamré community and its work. May God the Trinity: Father-Son-Holy Spirit keep and strengthen you.

Sister Angeline and all the sisters

Please pray for the security and well being of Madagascar’s people.
Please pray for the FJKM church as it seeks to witness for peace and justice in the midst of deep political divisions.
Please pray for safety for the Mamre community of sisters. 
Please pray for the leaders of Madagascar that they will make wise and fair decisions that will promote stability, healing, and reconciliation for the nation.
Please pray for the Malagasy security forces that they will exercise restraint and respect the rights of the people whom they are charged to protect.

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