Thank you for visiting. 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 churches and individuals that will partner with us as we prepare to become missionaries to the island nation of Madagascar, Africa.
- Madagascar 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 countries around the world, we have a wealth of biblical resources. In Madagascar, however, there is very little access to biblical training or resources. Many Christians in Madagascar desire it, but it’s just not available. The question, then, is: “How can we meet this great need?”
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.
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.
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.
This Web Site
Thank you for your participation in this Gospel ministry. May Christ be exalted!
For the Glory of God, David and Ashley Ellingson
Teaching Trip : August 2nd – 21st 2017
We left for Madagascar on Wednesday August 2nd. The 11,354 mile journey took over 27 hours. We arrived in the capital city, Antananarivo, on the evening of Thursday Aug 3rd.
Antananarivo — Madagascar’s Capital City
The first two days (Friday/Saturday, Aug 4th/5th) we spent time in Antananarivo to learn about the city where we would likely live and where we hope to one day open a training center.
See our pictures of what life and ministry are like in Antananarivo here.
The Countryside Village of Sakalava
On Sunday Aug 6th, we got up at 4:30am to travel to the rural country-side church of Sakalava where we would lead the church service. We left Antananarivo that morning and during on van ride, the pastor of the church in Sakalava called us and said that due to the rain the past few weeks, the 9 miles of dirt road leading to his church would not be passable with our vehicle and that if we wanted to still come, we would need to hike the 9 miles of muddy roads.
Our team decided to make the trek and so we packed only what we could carry on our backs and set off for the countryside village of Sakalava. It turned out to only be a 7 mile hike. As soon as we arrived, our team began the church service. We slept in the loft area above the church and then the next day (Aug 7th), we hosted a Youth Outreach Event.
See more pictures of our ministry in Sakalava here.
3 Day Pastors’ Conference in Ampitambe
On Tuesday through Thursday (Aug 8th–10th) we provided a three-day pastoral training conference to the pastors, elders, and church leaders of the Bezanozano region. Our goal was to model expositional preaching and to encourage them through the book of Titus. We had over 90 attendees.
Through our 15 sessions in Titus, we explained the character and qualifications of godly leadership, the structure and characteristics of a biblical church, and explained the Gospel message in detail. We also had four Q&A sessions where these church leaders would ask many practical questions on applying biblical doctrine in their own churches.
Our wives also wanted to encourage the women in this region and the pastor’s wives who attended, so they taught on: The Women’s Role in the Church, Biblical Marriages, Biblical Parenting, and on Older Women Teaching the Younger Women (Titus 2:3-5).
See more pictures of our ministry at the Ampitambe Pastors’ Conference here.
Lemur Island in Andasibe
On Friday Aug 11th, we visited a wildlife park in Andasibe to see some of the unique animals and plants of Madagascar — especially the lemurs.
See a video of our visit to Lemur Island here.
Coastal Village of Antanimenakely
The next day (Saturday Aug 12th), David preached to believers in the church in the village of Antanimenakely. This church is located right next to the beach on the east coast of Madagascar.
On Sunday Aug 13th, we will preach in a local church in the port city of Toamasina in the morning and then provide the church with biblical teaching that afternoon.
Then, on Monday Aug 14th, after almost two weeks of exhausting travel and intensive ministry, we will have a few days of downtime in Sainte-Marie before traveling to Foulpointe on Thursday Aug 17th. We will spend the night in Foulpointe before taking the long drive back to Antananarivo on Friday Aug 18th.
Saturday Aug 19th will be a day to have to be introduced to life in the capital city of Antananarivo. This is the largest city in Madagascar and potentially where we would live and conduct much ministry.
On Sunday 20th, we will visit the main local church of the Biblical Baptist denomination, Ankadivato Biblical Baptist Church, as well as the Betongolo Church plant. Ankadivato Biblical Baptist Church is the denomination’s key flagship church and also Faly and Lily’s home church.
On Monday Aug 21st, we will depart Madagascar to return to the USA.
To learn more about this trip or our plans for future ministry in Madagascar, please utilize the contact form or contact us through our personal email addresses.