madagascar / africa

Spiritual Climate

Political conflict and environmental troubles continue to threaten any progress made in politics or the economy and, in turn, cause the people of Madagascar to suffer. Although many people claim to be Christian, it's very common for a lot of them to practice witchcraft and old beliefs and have little or no knowledge of the gospel or contents of the Bible. Biblical training and discipleship are the church's greatest needs.

Ground-Level Perspectives

There is much spiritual darkness on this island and yet I have encountered many who are alive in Christ and yearn to share the love of God.
— Jonathan Casurella

The friendly hospitable nature of the Sakalava people is entangled with a mysterious spiritual knowledge that reaches into every aspect of life, creating an intensely exciting yet uncertain mission field.
— Jamie Shattenberg

The Malagasy people are deeply spiritual and deeply in need of the one true spirit. The grip of animism holds people in the bondage through fear, both Christian and non-Christian.
— Mandy Casurella

More about Madagascar

A Couple Raw Facts


The world’s 4th largest island – 1,600 km long in the Indian Ocean 600 km off the coast of Mozambique..

Dollar Illustration

Madagascar is locked in a battle with poverty, even though it is often called the “8th continent” and is rich in ecology, ethnicity and history. The majority live on an average of less than $1US/day and survive by subsistence agriculture.


History & Future


WorldVenture History in Madagascar

WorldVenture History in Madagascar WorldVenture’s work in Madagascar began under the guidance of an existing association of Baptist churches. In the late 1960s, a Bible correspondence course ministry was started. By the late 1980s, a full-time Baptist seminary was in place. Until the early ‘80s, most church growth had occurred in rural areas. A home cell group ministry was started to facilitate evangelism and church growth in urban centers. Later the focus was on teaching— at the Evangelical Training Center for the Indian Ocean, the Bible English and Computer School, as well as an elementary school, the Love School, for impoverished and developmentally disabled children. Currently, WorldVenture workers are more focused with a social development approach by helping to alleviate poverty through job creation, large-scale reforestation, micro-finance loan programs, and women's artisan training. Furthermore, compassion work focuses on teaching english to youth and providing midwifery care and education for pregnant and postpartum women and their babies at the Sarobidy Maternity Center.

Today &

Madagascar Team Goals

The current team goal can be removed and this field vision statement can take it's place: "Partnering as servants of Jesus Christ with a holistic approach to sustainable and transformational healing in Madagascar.

5 Global

WorldVenture Global Objectives

  1. Evangelizing the Peoples of the World
    • Relationships being cultivated with non-believers
    • Decisions to follow Christ
    • Believers baptized
    • People engaged in intentional discipleship
    • Bible verses translated and Christian resources created or translated
  2. Extending Grace
    • People helped through development assistance
    • People provided with medical and health assistance
    • People helped toward justice who are in illegal, immoral, dangerous, exploited circumstances
    • People helped directly through disaster relief
  3. Establishing Churches
    • New churches established
    • Daughter churches established
  4. Equipping Leaders
    • Leaders being trained for ministry through formal contexts
    • Leaders being trained for ministry through non-formal contexts
    • TCKs (third culture kids) being equipped
    • 360º leaders being equipped
  5. Encouraging Mission Movements
    • National Christians preparing to become cross-cultural missionaries
    • National churches engaged in cross-cultural missions
    • National church groups engaged in cross-cultural missions

Living Here



Fish, lobster, crab, shrimp, mangoes, pineapples, papayas, bananas... oh my!
— Alissa Shattenberg


The Malagasy people are known as the 'laughing people,' and it's true! Despite much hardship, adversity and pverty I am amazed at their love for life, love for each other, and ability to have fun, laugh, joke, and make the most of life despite their circumstances.
— Crystal Ross

Without knowing when it happened, it feels like where I belong. Home is where God has placed you. The people are very loving and eager to learn. I love how I can walk down the road and have everyone know me, smile and greet me with sincerity.
— Sandi Horen



Madagascar is a beautiful country with exotic animals, beaches, highlands, baobabs and mangroves.
— Elizabeth Hunt

Madagascar has white sandy beaches. Who wouldn't want to serve God here?
— Mandy Casurella



Madagascar is the 'worst economy in the world for 2011' (according to Forbes Magazine). As a result, ministry possibilities abound in every arena.
— Alissa Shattenberg

Beautiful beaches, piles of trash. Luxurious hotels, abject poverty. Large churches, ancestor worship. This island is rich with contrasts that highlight its spiritual, emotional, and physical needs.
— Jonathan Casurella

Local News

The following is a live news feed mirrored from an independent news service, and offers a current stream of headlines coming out of the country. WorldVenture does not control headlines, but only "mirrors" them from other websites.

madagascar source:bbc - Google News
Madagascar plague outbreak kills 40, says WHO - BBC News

BBC News

Madagascar plague outbreak kills 40, says WHO
BBC News
The WHO warned of the danger of a "rapid spread" of the disease in the capital, Antananarivo. The situation is worsened by high levels of resistance among fleas to a leading insecticide, the WHO added. Humans usually develop the bubonic form of the ...

Saturday, November 22, 2014 12:04:20 PM

OMS: detectan brote de peste bubónica en Madagascar - BBC Mundo

OMS: detectan brote de peste bubónica en Madagascar
BBC Mundo
La Organización Mundial de la Salud reportó este viernes un brote de peste bubónica en Madagascar. Desde agosto se han registrado 40 muertos y se han reportado más de 100 casos. La plaga, que es una enfermedad bacteriana, se propaga ...

Friday, November 21, 2014 12:30:29 PM

"On ne tuera plus à Madagascar" - BBC Afrique

"On ne tuera plus à Madagascar"
BBC Afrique
Le Parlement malgache a adopté, mercredi un projet de loi portant sur l'abolition de la peine de mort. L'ex-président Andry Rajoelina avait signé en septembre 2012 à New York un traité abolissant la peine de mort à Madagascar. Le projet de loi avait ...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 7:32:28 AM

Madagascar ex-president Ravalomanana arrested on return - BBC News

BBC News

Madagascar ex-president Ravalomanana arrested on return
BBC News
The former president of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, has been arrested on his return to the country after five years in exile in South Africa. Tear gas was fired and security forces were seen outside his house before he was detained, a BBC reporter says.

Monday, October 13, 2014 7:02:37 AM

Muted opening weekend for epic Moses - BBC News

BBC News

Muted opening weekend for epic Moses
BBC News
Spin-off animation, The Penguins of Madagascar, is number three at the box office, with takings of $7.3m (£4.6m) - just ahead of the weekend's other major new entry, Chris Rock comedy Top Five, which took an estimated $7.2m (£4.5m). "We got the launch ...

Sunday, December 14, 2014 9:10:54 PM

This feed has 5 articles on 1 page


We're Open to New Ideas

We have many opportunities requested by our teams, but we're open to new ideas. God has moved us into over 60 countries by bringing us people with vision, passion and calling. If you don't find an opportunity that fits, or doesn't fully fit ... let's talk. Our first priority is relationship (i.e. "Are we a good fit for each other? You and WorldVenture"). Once that is clear, we will walk with you into almost anything.

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Missionary Team

Sandra Horen

Facilitating in Madagascar

Jamie & Alissa Shattenberg

RED ISLAND RESTORATION-- Restoring Health, Forests and Hope in Christ in Madagascar

Evangelizing the Peoples of the World

With respect for people and their cultures, we communicate, by word and deed, the full scope of biblical truth and, especially, the gospel. We make disciples of Jesus Christ among all peoples through different kinds of evangelism..

Relationships Being Cultivated with Non-Believers

We seek to build and nurture authentic relationships with people who have no knowledge of Jesus Christ with whom we can share our faith. Paul asks, 'How are they to believe in the one they have not heard of?' Romans 10:14. The answer is that they can't. It is our desire for those who have never heard the gospel or never understood it to have the chance know God. Many times a true opportunity to hear the gospel requires an environment of trust and friendship first.

Scriptures: Matt 28:18-20, Rom 10:14, 1 John 4:19.


Decisions to Follow Christ

We recognize both the internal conversion of the heart and external profession of faith as milestones in the journey of obedience to Jesus Christ. We encourage new believers to identify themselves as Christ-followers in ways that are recognized as authentic in the local context.

Scriptures: Romans 10:10, Matthew 5:14-16, Eph. 4:20-24, Mark 16:15 .


Believers Baptized

Baptism is another external milestone in the journey of obedience for a new believer. We encourage new Christ-followers to further identified themselves with Jesus Christ and the local community of faith through baptism by immersion.

Scriptures: Romans 6:3-6, Galatians 3:27, Matthew 28:19-20.


People Engaged in Intentional Discipleship

We nurture reasonable steps taken to pursue spiritual growth and evangelism from Christians and non-Christians. This often looks like greater depth in comprehending biblical truths and expressing their growing faith in ways meaningfully in their own culture.

Scriptures: Hebrews 10: 24-25, Eph. 4:11-17, Matthew 28: 18-20.


Bible Verses Translated and Christian Resources Created or Translated

We actively invest time and talent into Bible translation and creation of Christian media knowing that these investments will expand and deepen the influence of the gospel in a culture.

Scriptures: Acts 2:8-11, Philippians 2:9-11, Acts 13:47-49, Acts 8:26-39.

Extending Grace

Following the example of Jesus, we address human suffering and practical needs everywhere we share the gospel, whether it be through individual acts of mercy or community-wide programs.

Helping People through Development Assistance

Lasting community development is only achieved by insiders. Meaning, we assisted people in their own development efforts in the areas of acquiring sustainable food, water, shelter, literacy, vocational training, education, and employment. Our explicit goal is empowerment, dignity, and community ownership.

Scriptures: Deuteronomy 10:18, 1 Samuel 2:8, Psalm 145:15-16, Luke 12:33.


People Provided with Medical & Health Assistance

The grace and blessing of medical care where there is no other access to medical help is one of the longest standing outreaches of WorldVenture. Our hospitals and rural clinics dot some of the most difficult locations in the world.

Scriptures: Jeremiah 33:6, Isaiah 40:29, Matt 19:2.


Justice for those in Illegal, Immoral, & Dangerous Circumstances

We seek out those who have become vulnerable and fallen to the advantage of other people. We advocate for them within available legal systems, or we build exits and avenues for them to leave their circumstances.

Scriptures: Isaiah 43:2, Psalm 72:4, Isaiah 51:4-5, Ezekiel 34:15-16, Psalm 82:3-4.


Helping People Directly through Disaster Relief

In large scale disasters which are within locations we have workers and churches, we bring help directly to the people effected by the disaster. Our networks are often the most established in the communities to the point that larger relief organizations will defer to us on the ground. Yet our strategies always extend past the immediate response to include some form of rebuilding and restoration.

Scriptures: 1 Cor 16:1-4, Psalm 145:15-16, Philippians 4:19.


Establishing Churches

Building his church is central to Jesus’ purposes. We strive to establish healthy local churches that will establish other churches, resulting in church planting movements.

New Churches Established

Recognizing that church planting is typically more of a process rather than a one-time event, we speak of a church as being "established" when the local church and its local sister churches recognize it as such. We value real growth of the church, and use milestones like this to give us benchmarks to celebrate.

Scriptures: Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 15:20-21, Matthew 18:20, 1 Timothy 4:13, Acts 16:4-5.


Daughter Churches Established

 Another milestone we encourage as a mark of a maturing church is the multiplication of daughter churches. More than anything this is a sign of the outward growth and maturity of the faith community.

Scriptures: Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 16:4-5, Romans 15:20-21, Ephesians 2:19-22.


Equipping Leaders

We develop leaders who are able to lead others in contextualizing and maximizing their Kingdom impact – locally, regionally, and around the world.

Leaders Being Trained for Ministry through Formal Contexts

Leadership Development

Our workers staff numberous formal seminaries and bible schools as teachers or administrators. We know that people being equipped in and for ministry through formal degree/diploma granting institutions is an investment in the future health and vitality of the church.

Scriptures: Proverbs 2:10-11, Luke 2:45-47, Proverbs 1:1-7.


Leaders being Trained for Ministry through Non-Formal Contexts

Leadership Development

In addition to formal academic training, we encourage leadership development through non-formal ministry training seminars, courses, and programs. These programs are equally as powerful for deepening and establishing churches through informed and mature lay leaders.

Scriptures: Psalm 32:8, Psalm 119:105, John 10:3-4.


TCKs (Third Culture Kids) being Equipped

Experience has taught us that some of the most natural and effective future missionaries come from the children of our current missionaries. Not only does the investment in these children make it possible for their parents to work in remote locations, most of the international schools in which we partner encourage the personal ministry and impact these children can have while on the field.

Scriptures: Deuteronomy 4:9, Matthew 18:2-5, 1 Timothy 4:12.


"360º Leaders" being Equipped

Our 360° vision for impacting societies recognizes that there are a handful of key roads to impacting in any given city or provence or people group. For example, business and media are key influencers in a society, but often fall outside designated leadership tracks like pastors and teachers. We encourage the development of Christian leaders who will influence society through business, politics, medicine, media, social justice, and family and community development.

Scriptures: John 17:15-19, Colossians 3:23-24, 1 Corinthians 14:12, Romans 12:6-8, Matthew 25:23.


Encouraging Mission Movements

We will encourage individuals, churches, and church movements everywhere to connect with each other and other organizations, creating international relationships for networking, collaborating, and partnering to do missions “from everywhere to everywhere.”

National Christians Preparing to Become Missionaries

We encourage the natural progression of a maturing national church by advocating for the training and development of national Christians to become missionaries. Crossing-cultures is always difficult, even for those who are born and raised in multi-lingual, multi-cultural environments, and preparation can be a key element in the succeess of a national missionary.

Scriptures: Psalm 144:1, Galations 3:28, Psalm 32:8, Isaiah 61:1.


National Churches Engaged in Cross-Cultural Missions

In addition to individuals going out as missionaries, we encourage national churches to engage in missions.

Scriptures: Romans 10:15, John 15:1-27, Matthew 9:35-38.


National Church Groups Engaged in Cross-Cultural Missions

From the individual to the church and then finally to the multi-church association, we encourage many national church groups and church associations to engaged in missions. We seek a culture of outward movement and self-sacrifice as a healthy part of a national church.

Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 8:1-7, 2 Corinthians 9:10-12, Romans 10:15.




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