That’s the question we asked ourselves just over two years ago. We had been following the work of our good friends, Jamie & Alissa Shattenberg, for the last several years and found ourselves growing increasingly interested in what they were doing.
Jamie & Alissa are missionaries in Mahajanga, Madagascar and they have three beautiful children. We have known them for years – in fact, Rachel went to high school with Jamie in Kenya at Rift Valley Academy. We are still amazed at the scope of their ministries: Jamie has orchestrated the planting of over 80 million trees in Madagascar and has helped to lift over 1,200 Malagasy people out of extreme poverty. Alissa runs the Sarobidy Maternity Center and the related Sarobidy Creations employment program. The maternity center provides free maternity care to women who are not able to obtain adequate care elsewhere. They both lead bible studies within their programs and have shared Christ’s love and forgiveness with countless people.
In one of their project updates 2.5 years ago, Alissa shared that they needed a physician to assist with deliveries at the maternity center. Maternity care is Rachel’s passion and she has delivered close to 1,000 babies. We started discussing “what if” we went to serve in Madagascar. We decided to meet up with the Shattenbergs in California 2 years ago while they were on furlough and we had a great time together. Our kids became instant friends. It was during this trip that Mark learned of the Sarobidy Creations employment program and Jamie’s need for administrative support in his reforestation projects. Shortly thereafter we decided that even though we could have a million reasons to justify not going, we were going to serve God and his people in Madagascar.
We are serving because the door is wide open and the physical and spiritual need is clear. With all its beauty, Madagascar still ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world. Learn more here
We have been anticipating working in a longer term missions capacity since we were married 15 years ago and now is our time. We are planning to arrive in Madagascar in July 2016 and will be working there for 1 year. We look forward to keeping you posted on our preparations and sharing our experiences with you during our service there.
– Mark & Rachel