‘Emphasizing the power of Christ’ in Madagascar

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A Q&A with Jade Marlin:

A short-term trip can lead to long-lasting influence. 

This was certainly the case for Jade Marlin, a junior studying global studies and business at The College at Southeastern. In 2016, she had the opportunity to serve with a team from Southeastern in Madagascar. During this time, she worked in the bush, learning how to teach the Bible through stories with the book of Ephesians. 

The trip so impacted her that she decided to go back through the International Mission Board’s (IMB) Hands On program to serve with Grant and Jodie Waller, Nathan and Tessa Baker and Ben and Erin Sprankle in Tulear, Madagascar for the Fall 2018 semester. She shared about her experience working in the city and how the Lord worked during that semester. Read her interview here: 

ladies posing for the cameraWhat was the difference in the ministry you did on Southeastern’s trip versus the IMB?

The first time, it was on a short-term scale, so we had to prepare a lot beforehand. We did Bible storying that week, so we were teaching through Ephesians. This time around, it was learning about the people, learning how they learn, what they already know and learning more about their background in animism. 

How did you contextualize the gospel for people in Madagascar?

We talked about the power of God and the power of Christ because they worship their ancestors. Their ancestors work in between their lives. They go to witch doctors so they can cast spells on people, or people are casting spells on them. It’s really demonic. They’re fearful of all these different things because these spirits have so much power in their lives. Not thinking about that lightly allowed us to share the gospel better because we knew emphasizing the power of Christ was key – that they have freedom in Christ to be released from all of these things that are pressing down on them. They don’t have to sacrifice anymore because Jesus is that sacrifice. 

Did you see anyone come to Christ during your time in Madagascar?

We saw a few people come to Christ. There was a girl we did a Bible study with on Saturday mornings. She was always really faithful to come and loved to be there. She never really understood God’s Word well and didn’t understand how God could change her life. Through a series of events, her youth pastor pouring into her and us praying for her, she came to know Christ. She has talked about how Christ is her joy in life even though crazy things happened around her. Her family is going through really hard things and life is really hard, but she can find joy. She got baptized the Sunday before I left. 

What’s one of the biggest takeaways from your time there?

Learning to pray boldly for God to move. I just saw God’s hand move all the time and it was really neat. I would pray to have friends, and the next day I would get invited into someone’s home. I would pray about engaging a Muslim family that just moved into town. The next day, I got invited to dinner. It was just neat to learn that it’s not bad to ask for things, especially things that are near to the Lord’s heart like people coming to know him and people being healed. 

How did your education at Southeastern influence your time in Madagascar?

Southeastern has helped me learn to ask good questions and think well about the things that I’m doing. It helped in learning a different culture and what other people believe. 

For people considering going overseas, what would your encouragement to them be?

Definitely do it and continue to trust God in all of it. Know that you’re not the one who is putting all of these things together; you’re not the one who’s saving people. It’s God who puts all of it together. 

How can people at Southeastern be praying for the people of Madagascar?

Be praying that people would hear the gospel. A lot of the island still hasn’t heard. Be praying for the local believers. The national church is on fire. Be praying for them as they learn how to share the gospel with their neighbors and with the tribes around them, not necessarily doing it the same way the missionaries are but finding their own identity in Christ. 

*Edited for length and clarity 

*For more information on degrees offered through The College at Southeastern, visit thecollegeatsoutheastern.com. If you would like more information on trips offered by the Center for Great Commission Studies, visit thecgcs.org



From our local community to the outermost parts of the world, Southeastern students and alumni are reaching people with the gospel by fulfilling the Great Commission. Using the model of Acts 1:8, we want to highlight these stories of how our Southeastern family is serving in North Carolina, North America and around the world. Acts 1:8 Stories create a collective and consistent way to tell the story of Southeastern, one person at a time. From local pastors to missionaries among the unreached, God is doing a great work among students and alumni. Where are they now and where are they going? We can’t wait for you to find out! 

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