Short-term service 2009—Report by Evelyn
Provisional translation by the webmaster:
The mission trip to Madagascar has caused a positive change in my life and I was able to visibly experience God's work as never before.
I had terrible school years, an apprenticeship dropout, and thus had just been through a frustrating period of my life when I came to know that my brother Alexander was planning to make a short-term mission trip to Madagascar. As I had no future prospects or career plans at that time, I quickly decided to do something totally crazy (for me) and to fly with.
Already shortly after arriving, I realized that the next month will bring many exciting things with it. Someone had told me that Antananarivo (Madagascar’s capital city) is just a normal big city. No way! Whenever I was looking at the people who were on the roads, I felt like watching a documentary about developing countries on TV. On the 13-hour long journey to Port-Bergé I did not even want to sleep 10 minutes, because even in the night, there was an awful lot of new things to see.
Linguistically, I had a small disadvantage, because I was the only one who possessed knowledge neither of French nor of Malagasy. Amazingly, this did not pose an obstacle and yet the members of the Madagascar team were trying tirelessly to converse with me. Especially with regard to the children we were dealing with, it became clear that communication does not necessarily need words.
In Port-Bergé we visited the animal facility and the restaurant. That meant for us to muck out stables and serve guests, which despite the heat and dust has made a lot of fun. In Ambohitsara we have dedicated ourselves to the active construction of school buildings, the registration of future students as well as other smaller tasks. Soon half of our group was racked with headaches, stomach pains and nausea, but as we slowly got familiar with the climate, most of it disappeared quickly.
Together with the seemingly inexhaustible good-tempered “construction workers”, it was a lot of fun to bind the bamboo canes on the wooden posts or to dig holes. For physical reasons I may not have been exactly suited for the construction of houses, but I nevertheless hope that my presence was not for nothing :)
I was particularly surprised by the warmth of the people there. Always and everywhere everyone was constantly strived to provide us with as many amenities as possible. Everyone was ready to shed an encouraging smile or a kind word.
I keep without exception good memories of Madagascar and if it is God's way for my life, then he will bring me back there one day. With best conscience I can recommend such a mission trip to anybody, even to those who (like me) could never imagine a thing like that for themselves.