In the middle of a thick forest in Eastern Madagascar, the people in Marolambo had waited for years to have the “JESUS” film in their language, Malagasy, Southern Betsimisaraka. Their town was so remote that, from the early 1970s until 2006, there had not been a single vehicle in the village. The road had been impassable for decades and even now, it’s rare for a car to make the trip.
A small plane was able to bring the “JESUS” film team carrying the new language and film equipment, thanks to a partnership with Mission Aviation Fellowship, who built an airstrip by shearing off hilltops for the plane to take off. The team was joined by delegates from Wycliffe Bible Translators, who had worked for years to translate the Book of Luke into their language and leaders from several of the local denominations.
Before they began showing the film, several of the leaders gave speeches about the significance of this event. To have the “JESUS” film in their language was incredibly special, each one emphasized. “This is a most precious richness for this region,” Pastor Tovonelina said. He shared that he felt happy and satisfied to help reach his people for Christ. “This is my inheritance to leave for the Betsimisaraka people,” he explained.
Although quite remote, Marolambo is a hub for the region, with hospitals, schools and a few large church buildings. The team held the “JESUS” premiere inside one of the churches, but even that venue was not large enough for the crowd, so people clustered outside each window to see the film.
As Jesus began speaking in their mother tongue, the crowd was amazed and delighted. Smiles broke out across their faces and they sat in rapt attention. Even the local authority and his wife were captivated by the film. When it finished, the leaders gave an invitation for anyone to receive Christ, and 200 people came forward to pray.
The team knows what a gift this is for the local church. “This will help them to reach target areas and their surroundings,” said one of the pastors. “Church planting becomes easy through the use of the ‘JESUS’ film in their mother tongue.”
Additionally, close to 100 DVDs were also distributed in Marolambo that can be used to bring family and friends to Christ.
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