Called: Ralambo Tiffanie – no longer lonely
By Mercy Kambura
I faced a lot of suspicion when I first arrived as a missionary on the Island. Unknown to me, some Malagasy single women who arrived before me were involved in prostitution. It was tough to settle as a single Malagasy girl on an Island that had already determined I couldn’t be legitimate, let alone be a missionary. I struggled to make friends and was very homesick. But I stayed for the sake of the Gospel.
As a middle born in a family of seven children, I was the poster child for self-pity. Words of affirmation and quality time are my love languages, and I was missing my dose of them. My family was as tight as a constrictor knot, but my young mind couldn’t help feeling I was among the least in my family. Despite their efforts to offer love, I still felt it wasn’t enough. Nevertheless, this knot kept me going when I eventually ventured out as a missionary. Despite being a young, single girl, my family was convinced that the Lord had sent me. We promised to send each other news from time to time. This was a sharp and blessed contrast to my experience as a child.
I met the Lord while at the university. I attended a University Bible Group (UBG) fellowship, and the first thing that captivated me was the Bible study. I had never heard the Word of God so clearly. Despite growing up in a Christian home, I wasn’t yet a child of God. I wanted to become one, so I gave my life to Jesus.
My family backs me up and has never objected to any of the missions I have done.
The Lord renewed me and gave me joy; I was no longer sad and angry with my family. When I began to bear fruit, they were amazed that I was taking an interest in the things of Christ. I heard about missions through UBG. I observed and witnessed the sharing and was amazed at how fired up the young people were for God. I said, “Jesus, when I grow in my faith, I will also go somewhere in Madagascar to preach your Good News.”
I started participating in missions a year after my commitment. By participating, I got to know about missionary life. I later went as a missionary with Africa Inland Mission to the islands in Madagascar to serve among an unreached people.
The mission field had some shocks waiting for me. I hadn’t had time to prepare. I had jumped onto the mission field’s tarmac from the moving van that was my life. I learned everything on the ground, even the stuff I should have known in theory. I was the only Malagasy on my team, and loneliness started creeping in. Sometimes, I wanted to run home and cry, and the meals weren’t improving the situation. I was homesick, and I also no longer had sufficient financial support. After one year, I returned home to a prodigal-son-like celebration from my family.
Back home, I started working with an NGO that helps women develop inwardly and outwardly. I also volunteer with people in need. We have a project called Karama which aims to share the Gospel with Indians here in Madagascar. I have been discipling an Indian woman of Muslim origin who is the only believer in her family. I have understood God’s heart for the nations and now look beyond cultural biases. I also understand that my life is for the Lord, and I choose to use it for something that will last forever.
If the Lord calls you, go. Don’t wait. I no longer feel lonely. The Lord settled me in His heavenly family, and my relationship with my earthly family is better than ever. My sisters are becoming more interested in having a real relationship with Jesus. My family backs me up and has never objected to the missions I have done.
- For my next steps, open doors, and God’s will; my heart desires to return to the mission field. Please pray that the Lord will direct me in everything I do.
- For my family and me to grow in our love for Jesus Christ.
- For my extended family to know the Lord; we are the only Christians on my father’s and mother’s sides.