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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
The new church building at Ambondronmifehy taking shape
Photo No. : P071027-1
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The bishop's car trouble provided exciting entertainment for these children
Photo No. : P071027-2
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The bishop with confirmation candidates at Marodimaka
Photo No. : P071027-3
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Mothers’ Union members at Anaboran Ifasy present their gifts of rice and eggs to the bishop and his wife
Photo No. : P071027-4
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Confirmations in Anaborano Ifasy and Marodimaka
By Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza
 
ANTSIRANANA 071027-1
October 27, 2007

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza, accompanied by his wife Alice, visited the two big parishes of Anaborano Ifasy and Marodimaka in the rain forest. These two parishes are quite a long way into the mountainous area, with 60 km of winding roads.

A serious accident nearly caused a major episcopal standstill. As the bishop's car went through the sapphire town, he heard a loud bang and saw a wheel hurlting away on the left of the car. The bolts of the back left wheel had become unscrewed and the wheel just came off. Fortunately the bishop had just paid a visit to the new Simon of Cyrene Mission Church that is being built in Ambondronmifehy, and the road at that place was going slightly uphill - and the car was not going too fast. Praise the Lord for his wonderful protection! The car dragged the wheel-less drum nearly 15 metres and stopped in the middle of the road. There was no car coming in the opposite direction and no one was hurt. Hallelujah!

The bishop finally reached the Sunday service late, but a post-communion confirmation service was held for the 85 confirmation candidates in the parish of Anaborano Ifasy. After lunch, a 50-metre-wide river had to be crossed to reach the neighbouring village of Marodimaka, where an afternoon service was held to confirm another 60 candidates. The congregations gave the bishop gifts of eggs and rice as a token of gratitude and appreciatoin of his adventurous and caring spirit. Bishop Roger's predecessor, Bishop K Benzies, had to walk to these remote villages, so the car, which was a gift of CNECPI Australia during the time of the Director Canon David Cohen, has been a great help, even with limited servicing facilities in Antsiranana.

A new project of building a presbyter's house for Anaborano Ifasy has started with a donation of 15 bags of cement for the flooring of the new house. At present the parish priest, Revd Arsene Andriamahazo, and his family of two children are staying in the house of a faithful parishioner quite far from the church setting. The parish of Anaboran Ifasy has also benefitted from a rice mill project which is bearing much fruit for the empowerment of the laity especially the women. A new mission church will also be built in Bobansetra in the parish of Marodimaka. The Revd Raymond Joel has been newly ordained deacon for ministry there.

Please pray that the mission will continue to grow as Jesus Christ the Saviour inspires us in this new development of the Church's witness.