Ellingson, David and Ashley

Ellingson, David and Ashley image

Ellingson, David and Ashley

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Serving in Madagascar

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Hello, our names are David and Ashley Ellingson. God has richly blessed us with four daughters: Isabella (6/2010), Lydia (6/2011), Anna (4/2013), and Clara (1/2015). We are currently seeking to partner with churches and individuals as we prepare to become missionaries to the island nation of Madagascar, Africa.

Madagascar

  • The island has a population of 24 million people
  • The land of Madagascar is the size of Texas
  • There are two official languages: Malagasy and French (we would need to learn both)
  • 6th poorest country in the world
  • Literacy rate: 64.5%
  • Population without electricity: 85%
  • 76% earn less than $1/day
  • Poverty headcount ratio: >80%
  • Madagascar has a youthful population – just over 60% are under the age of 25
  • Spiritual Poverty: Only 2% of Malagasy are evangelical Christians. Most Malagasy (over 50% of the population) have traditional animistic beliefs only, 38% claim to be “Christian” but have a false gospel or blend Christian teaching with ancestor worship (like Roman Catholics), and 10% of Malagasy are Muslim
  • Most Malagasy people would profess to believe in a god, but practice ancestor worship as well
  • There are parts of Madagascar where the people have never heard of Jesus Christ because they are so hard to access

Why Missions? Why Madagascar?

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 seminaries, books, internet, radio, churches, and resources. In comparison to most other countries around the world, we have a wealth of biblical resources. In Madagascar, there is very little access to biblical training or resources. Many Christians in Madagascar desire it, but there is a lack of training and resources available. The question, then, is: “How can we meet this great need?”

Seminary Preparation

David is in his final year at the Master’s Seminary (TMS.edu) and will graduate in May 2018. Ashley has taken all three Biblical Counseling courses and hopes to complete the coursework and 50 sessions of counseling, so she can become certified with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).

Ministry Trip to Madagascar

To see what life and ministry would look like in Madagascar as missionaries, our church sent us there on a three-week trip in August 2017. It was humbling to see how much the believers in Madagascar were willing to sacrifice to hear the Word of God taught to them. Many traveled two days over terrible roads just to be trained. Some even walked 25 miles on foot to receive biblical training. There is an immense hunger to be taught the Word of God.

Our Stewardship

In a special way, God has prepared both of us for such a need by placing us in biblical churches and a biblical seminary where we’ve been taught the truth and have been trained to pass it on to others. We believe we have a stewardship and we want to be faithful with what God has provided.

Future Plans

If the Lord wills, we are planning to return to Madagascar as soon as we are able. 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 life in Madagascar would be quite difficult. There are many challenges to daily life there. Additionally, our family would need to learn two languages — both French and Malagasy. Therefore, to make the transition to life in Madagascar 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.

Ministry in Madagascar

Strengthening the Local Church

  • David will serve at Ankadivato Biblical Baptist Church in Antananarivo by training, discipling, and identifying godly men for future leadership.
  • David and Ashley will also serve this local body of believers in biblical counseling and through hospitality.

Training Men for Ministry

  • David will have the privilege to train indigenous pastors in the Bible, theology, and in their ability to preach God's Word, so they would be able to properly feed and shepherd their flocks.
  • Our team will accomplish this training through regional workshops, conferences, and, Lord willing, through a biblical seminary in Madagascar, focusing on expository preaching.

Partnering with Malagasy Nationals

While in seminary, we were blessed to develop a close friendship with a family from Madagascar—the Ravoahangys. This sweet family returned to their country in August 2017 to begin the full-time ministry of training local church leaders from around the country. The need for solid biblical, theological, and pastoral training is great in Madagascar—but there is also a great hunger for this training amongst its churches. What a joy it will be to team up with the Ravoahangys in Madagascar for such a ministry.

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Visit Ministry2Madagascar.com for more information, photos, and prayer requests.

Partner with us financially (all gifts are tax-deductible). Here is how:

1. Credit Card Donation Online (one-time or recurring)

Make a one-time or recurring credit card donation by filling out the form at the top of this page. Type in an amount to give, then click the “+ Add to Giving” button, then on the next screen you can either create a new account or simply click the button at the bottom to “proceed as Guest”. Enter your credit card billing information, then click the “Submit Payment” button. Thank you!

2. Setup a Direct Deposit to Give Automatically (*preferred option)

To set up a monthly direct deposit, print this form and follow its instructions (Use missionary/project "Ellingson – Madagascar, Project #080507"). GMI Direct Deposit benefits you because there is no check writing, no postage costs, easy to track donations, and it's easy to start, change, or stop. This method benefits us as missionaries because donations do not get delayed, lost in the mail, or accidentally forgotten. Since credit cards expire, donations can stop unexpectedly. But direct deposits stabilize our support and allow us to stay focused on ministry.

3. Mail in a Check:
  • Send a check payable to: Grace Ministries International
  • Write on the memo line: Ellingson – Madagascar, Project #080507
  • Then, send check to:

Grace Ministries International
13248 Roscoe Blvd.
Sun Valley, CA 91352
(818) 909-5701

4. Setup Bill Pay through Your Bank

Contact your bank and set up an online monthly payment to "Grace Ministries International", 13248 Roscoe Blvd, Sun Valley, CA 91352 - be sure to include "Ellingson - Madagascar" in the memo or reference field.