David and Ashley Ellingson are currently building a prayer and financial support team as they prepare to become missionaries to the island nation of Madagascar. God has richly blessed them with four daughters: Isabella (June 2010), Lydia (June 2011), Anna (April 2013), and Clara (January 2015). If the Lord wills and their support team is in place, they plan to leave for the mission field by the summer of 2019.
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
If the Lord wills, we plan to join our team in Madagascar as soon as possible. We will need to have solid churches and individuals partner with us in prayer and financial support to make that happen, but we are confident that the Lord will abundantly supply.
During our trip to Madagascar in August 2017, we learned that daily life in Madagascar would be difficult for us—especially if we moved to the country without any way to communicate. As you know, we will need to learn two languages—both French and Malagasy. Therefore, to make the transition more successful, we are planning to learn French before we go to Madagascar.
On our way to Madagascar, we plan to attend a highly-rated French language school in Albertville, France to immerse us in French during the one-year program. This is a Christian-run program which has trained many missionaries. One key benefit to this program is that we will also learn some biblical and theological terminology in French—which will be very useful for future ministry.
Our ministry in Madagascar will focus on two key areas:
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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