ADRA and Church Engagement: Pastors from Madagascar Churches are trained on « Community Leadership Training »

ADRA Madagascar is growing; the same can be said of its engagement with the Adventist Church. From March 10 to 19, 2024, ADRA hosted a training especially organized for pastors from the church, which main topic was « Community Leadership ». It was targeted for local church pastors, conference presidents and administrators, and Indian Ocean Union Conference’s Administrators (IOUC). This training is part of a project designed for the church, which mainly aims to reinforce collaboration and understanding between the two entities, and to increase involvement of the church in ADRA’s work.

41 pastors from five conferences, mainly from the southeast and southwest regions where ADRA projects are implemented took part in this two-week training. The training was facilitated by high level leaders from ADRA and the church network, including Mario Oliveira, Director of Emergency Management for ADRA International, Dr. Ronald KUHN, Associate Director of the Institute of Mission of the General Conference; Dr. Ignacio GOYA, Director for Community Leadership Programs in Andrews University; Dr. Paulo MACENA, Leadership Director in the North American Division; Hannah Dungu, Emergency Coordinator for ADRA Africa Region; and Pastor Luis Miguel Acevedo, ADRA Madagascar Country Director.


The program started with a one-week theoretical training, followed by an emergency response simulation exercise. It covered various topics related to ADRA and the church’s missions, which are humanitarian work in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, emergency response, missional leadership, volunteer management, Christian leadership, and community projects. For the practical part, the pastors participated in a disaster response simulation exercise in one vulnerable community on the periphery of Antananarivo, the capital city.

The exercise allowed the pastors to be acquainted with different aspects of emergency management such as needs assessment, beneficiary identification, and aid distribution. It was also for them an occasion to experience the joy of serving the others and relieving the suffering of the needy. For Dr. Goya, it was an application of Christ method: “The pastors are learning and living the practice of that method that Jesus tell us to do: to go and heal the people, go, and preach with the hands. That is the model that we replicate here, not just in theory but in practical”, he said. For Pastor Bijoux Michael, one of the participants, the experience was impactful. “I give glory to God for this privilege to approach the community and to touch these people not only by our presence but by what we can do to improve their living conditions”, he said.

Simulation exercise in the community of Alasora, Antananarivo.
When the training ended, the pastors were happy to understand the mission of ADRA and how they can bring their contribution. « We have become aware of the connection between ADRA goal and the church’s mission, and we are more and more motivated to support the work for the community», said Pastor TSERETA Ludowic Natacha, President of the Southeast Conference.  The community leadership training, which was organized for the first time, was a significant step in the collaboration between ADRA and the church. “We are so happy to see it happening here in Madagascar, with the support of all the leaders of the church in the country. I have never seen something like that, I’m very excited to see how the church and ADRA can work together to impact communities with gospel of love, supporting others, as Jesus did”, said Pastor Luis Miguel Acevedo, ADRA Madagascar Country Director.
Pastor TSERETA Ludowic Natacha, President of the Southeast Conference.

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