Assemblies of God World Missions has evacuated its missionaries from troubled Madagascar, an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa, reports Dan Wooding, founder of ASSIST Ministries.
Following months of threats and infighting for political position, Madagascar experienced a coup on March 17, as President Marc Ravalomanana apparently chose to step down.
“The military is divided as to who they are going to support,” explains Africa Regional Director Mike McClaflin. “The American Embassy very strongly urged American citizens to evacuate the island . . . and now the American Embassy has evacuated its staff.”
McClaflin says that Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM) leadership made the decision on March 14, at the recommendation of the U.S State Department, to take AG missionaries in Madagascar out of harm’s way and moved them to Nairobi, Kenya, for the time being.
“With missionaries now in 212 countries and territories of the world, almost no civil uprising, conflict or disaster takes place in the world that does not touch the lives of some of our missionaries,” states AGWM Communications Director Randy Hurst. “The unrest and government takeover in Madagascar affects four missionary families and well as one single missionary.”
Included in the list of missionaries evacuated are the families of Nate and Tammy Lashway, Jay and Carey Rostorfer, and Aaron and Heather Santmyire, Zach and Shellie Maddox, missionaries from East Africa who were visiting the Santmyires, along with short-term MAPS worker Ashley Masten, were also evacuated. The Manny Prabhudas family, who also serve in Madagascar, are currently in the United States on their itineration cycle.
Hurst adds that “Madagascar is an example of how so many of the crises in our world today demand that we as a church must commit ourselves increasingly to intercessory prayer for our missionaries and fellow believers around the world.”
Report from the Christian Telegraph