David and Ashley Ellingson are missionaries to the island nation of Madagascar. After one year of French language school in Albertville, France (2019-2020), they will join their GMI teammates Faly and Lily Ravoahangy in Antananarivo, Madagascar. David will have the privilege of training indigenous pastors in the Scriptures, theology, and preaching God’s Word, so they will be able to properly feed and shepherd their flocks. His team will accomplish this training through regional workshops, conferences, and, Lord willing, by establishing the first biblical seminary in Madagascar focused on expository preaching. David will also serve in a local church where he will identify, train, and disciple godly men for future leadership. David and Ashley will also serve this local body of believers through biblical counseling and hospitality. Pray for the Ellingson family as they proclaim the fame of Christ’s Name to the nations.
God has richly blessed them with four daughters: Isabella (June 2010), Lydia (June 2011), Anna (April 2013), and Clara (January 2015).
We are sometimes asked, “Why missions? Why Madagascar? Don’t we need more biblical churches and training at home?”
Yes! There is a great need for sound theology and biblical churches here. The difference is that we have access to biblical churches, radio, seminaries, books, internet, and other resources. In comparison to most countries in the world, we have a wealth of biblical resources.
In Madagascar, there is very little access to biblical training, resources, or even Bible-preaching churches. Together, we can meet this great need by equipping Malagasy pastors to be biblical shepherds, theologians, and preachers who can feed their churches and the nation.
In preparation for this ministry, God has provided training to both of us.
David has been trained at The Master’s Seminary (M.Div., May 2018) to faithfully exposit the Word of God, shepherd the flock, and train others.
Ashley is working toward a biblical counseling certification through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). She has taken all three Biblical Counseling courses and is now working to complete the 50 supervised counseling sessions.
In August 2017, our church sent us on a three-week trip to see what life and ministry would look like as missionaries in Madagascar. The trip confirmed both their need and desire for biblical training.
We observed an immense hunger among the Malagasy to know the Word of God. Believers were willing to travel two days over terrible roads just to be trained. Some even walked 25 miles!
God prepared us for this ministry by placing us in biblical churches where we were taught the truth and equipped to pass it on to others. Our stewardship is to be faithful to “entrust these things to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”— 2 Timothy 2:2
Training Men for Ministry
Strengthening the Local Church
While in seminary, we developed a close friendship with a family from Madagascar—the Ravoahangys. This like-minded family returned to Madagascar in August 2017 to begin the full-time ministry of training local church leaders in Madagascar. What an asset it will be to team up with Malagasy nationals! What a joy it will be to work alongside such good friends!
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