Letter from Dan Turk in the United States, home from Magagascar
June 22, 2012
Greetings from Decatur, Georgia. We have a lot to be thankful for as we prepare to return to Madagascar. In May, Elizabeth had unexpected surgery to remove colon polyps. There was no cancer and her recovery is progressing well. Robert and Frances finished school in fine form even though their mother was in the hospital. Thank you very much for your prayers.
We are set to return to Madagascar on August 9. Although it will be hard to say goodbye to family and friends, we are excited to be getting back. Please send regular mail to our Madagascar address (SAF/FJKM, B.P. 623, Antananarivo 101 Madagascar) starting in August. Our email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Skype (robertdaniellturk) addresses will remain the same.
We are very grateful for Mission Haven, which has been a superb home away from home while we have been in the U.S. Having a furnished house available in an area with good public schools has been a blessing for our family. Thank you very much to all those who contribute to making Mission Haven available to PC(USA) mission co-workers while on home assignment.
We have had a wonderful time visiting supporting churches. We regret that we were unable to visit with all of you to share about the FJKM church and the great work that is going on in Madagascar. Your prayers and support are making a difference. We have prepared a 30-minute PowerPoint presentation with subtitles that could be used with Sunday Schools, youth groups, or other groups. Please let us know if you would like for us to send it to your church via e-mail. We recently did a Sunday School presentation with a supporting church in Iowa via Skype from Decatur and could potentially do something similar from Madagascar.
Cyclone Damage Update
Cyclone recovery assistance for Madagascar is urgently needed. Madagascar suffered considerable damage from Cyclones Giovanna and Irina, which crossed the island this past February. The two storms resulted in over 100 deaths and damage to several hundred thousand homes as well as considerable crop damage. The PC(USA)’s partner church in Madagascar, the FJKM (Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar), also suffered damage to churches and school buildings.
The cyclone damage comes after several years of economic crises that have left most Malagasy people with very few reserves to meet a natural disaster. Many people are no longer eating three meals a day.
The FJKM has prepared an appeal for assisting with emergency and longer-term recovery measures. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is accepting donations. Checks can be made out to PDA with account number and description “DR000152 – Madagascar Cyclone Relief.” These gifts can be given through your local PC(USA) congregation or mailed to the lockbox at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700, or you can donate online. Further information can be found at http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/pda/madagascar-cyclone-giovanna/
Contributions to help rebuild churches and FJKM school and development buildings can be made through the PC(USA), using account number and description ECO E052045 — FJKM cyclone building reconstruction. Gifts for ECO E052045 — FJKM cyclone building reconstruction can be given through your local PC(USA) congregation or mailed to the lockbox at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Individual Remittance Processing, PO Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700, or you can donate online.
Youth Peer Educator Training
Over the Easter school break three separate trainings took place in the capital, on the east coast and in the middle of Madagascar, to train 40 youth peer educators. The youth learned about what the Bible has to say about how we should live, the dangers of drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, how to make good decisions, and how to communicate effectively with their peers through conversation and skits. Please pray for them as they begin sharing with their peers.
Fruit Tree Ministry
Once again we will be taking fruit trees back to Madagascar. Breadfruit, dragonfruit, green sapote, and abiu are among the exciting fruit trees going in our luggage. By growing selected breadfruit varieties new to Madagascar, farmers should be able to harvest breadfruit throughout the year, thus improving food security in areas where cyclones often damage annual crops. As before, all trees being brought in will have import permits and phytosanitary certificates. The new trees will join others that are already contributing to improved food security and helping farmers get out of poverty.
Recent news from Andramasina is that several of the farmers who received training several years ago are earning income by grafting trees for other people in their communities.
Please pray for:
• Our transition back to Madagascar: daily life, school, and ministry.
• The PC(USA)’s partner church, the FJKM (Fiangonan’i Jesoa Kristy eto Madagasikara) as it holds its General Assembly August 15-22. Church officers will be elected for a four-year term.
• A peaceful and democratic solution to Madagascar’s ongoing crisis.
• The FJKM Development Department and its personnel as they share God’s love in tangible ways to help bring families out of poverty.
Peace in Christ,
Dan and Elizabeth Turk
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 110
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Caption for photo Cyclone.jpg:
FJKM School administration building damaged by Cyclone Giovanna
Caption for photo 23 June 12 Peer Eds.jpg:
Peer Educator Training