News from our CMS partners


latest link letter from Derek and Jane, June 2020

Message from Madagascar Lent 2020

We are in the same boat now!

Dear Friends,

Coronavirus has arrived.  On March 20th, the President announced the first three cases in Madagascar. We were in the middle of a series of clergy meetings at the time.  These were quickly halted as clergy packed and rushed to the bus park to get home.  Overnight, schools were closed, worship services stopped and transport restricted.

Our hope and prayer is that decisive early action will control this outbreak. If not, the poverty, overcrowded living conditions and poor health services mean that many will suffer here.

Jane and I thank the Lord for good health.  The Cathedral compound where we live is on the edge of Toliara.  It is surrounded by a wall so few people come and go.  Our own home is well situated apart from other buildings.  We can meet people on our large veranda and keep the rest of the building for ourselves.

But we are concerned for friends here, in the UK, in South Sudan, and those who are refugees in Uganda, for our family, especially our children and grandchild (though we thank God for good internet), and for where we might find treatment if we became ill.

We feel cut off.  This is unsettling but we know that you are experiencing the same.  You too are cut off from friends, family and church.  You share our anxieties. Where do we turn?  We would love to hear your sources of comfort.  Here are two thoughts:

Turning outwards in acts of gentleness, kindness and generosity.  Under stress, it’s so easy to take the oppositive path of turning inwards.  So we are asking ourselves how we can practise gentleness, generosity and kindness amongst our brothers and sisters here even when our movement in restricted.

Turning Godwards.  For us this takes the form of regularly saying the daily offices of the church, on our own and together.  Often it is the psalms that speaks most clearly to our situation, giving us words to cry out to God, and then listening to his reassuring promises. We recommend a psalm a day!  Here is a promise to start with:  in Psalm 75:3, the Lord says,

“When the earth totters and all its inhabitants, It is I who keep steady its pillars.”

With our love and prayer,

Derek and Jane

Latest News from Derek and Jane ( June 2019)

Message from Madagascar 2019 June

( November 2018) Two Into Three Goes – Just!

Dear Friends,

We had set off at 6.30 a.m. and finally arrived in Morombe at 7.45 p.m. It was only 180 miles but the road was non-existent in places. We were shown our room and the single three foot bed for us to share for the next five nights. We could hardly complain as Hanitra, a delightful young trainee evangelist, had given up her room for us and was now sleeping on a concrete floor with four others. We survived and even slept a little.

We had gone to lead the second of nine conferences around the parishes of our large diocese. The aim of these conferences is to train leaders of disciple-making groups.  These groups will use the Rooted in Jesus course. The training is intensive lasting from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. for three days but we are lifted by the enthusiasm of the participants and the joyous Malagasy singing. We were thrilled to have Derek’s new assistant, Evangelist Florent, with us for the first time.   Since then we have completed a third course and a fourth starts on November 22nd  in Betioky, another long drive.  For these conferences Jane does much of the organizing and Derek the teaching, though Florent will increasingly share the teaching. Please pray that those who have been trained will start discipleship groups in their local churches.

Between conferences Jane has started teaching English. She is much in demand. It seems that everyone here wants to learn English.  With the backing of Bishop Todd, she has chosen to focus on particular groups. The first priority is the Diocesan staff working on the Cathedral compound – six in all, of widely varying ability – which makes teaching a challenge. They all come to her classes with big smiles and lots of enthusiasm.  Please pray for wisdom and skill for Jane.

As we approach our first anniversary in Toliara we thank God for his grace and that we have made significant steps forward in our roles.  Our prayer is that God will be glorified in who we are and what he calls us to do.

The peace of the Lord,

Derek and Jane

Dear Greg

I’m writing with further news about Derek and Jane Waller. I’m glad to say that, following a period of discernment and reflection, they will be taking up a new role with Church Mission Society in Madagascar! To find out more, please read the letter from Derek and Jane below.

We are so grateful for your church’s ongoing financial support for Derek and Jane. Please do continue to pray for them as they start out along a new path – I know how much your prayers have helped them through the time of transition they have been passing through.

Best wishes

Katie Jenkinson

Letter from Derek and Jane Waller May 2017

Dear friends,

One door closes, a new door opens!

We are going to serve in Madagascar!   How have we got from South Sudan to the world’s fourth largest island?  The short answer is through many tears.  These past few months, we have been grieving over the ending of our time in South Sudan, the friends we will not see and the work we will not complete. The nation of South Sudan and its suffering people will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Slowly we have been finding the Lord’s healing through your prayers and the loving counsel of friends.  We have begun to look forward.  A chance meeting with Bishop Todd McGregor and his wife Revd Patsy (American Anglican missionaries) in Northampton in January eventually led to an invitation to the Diocese of Toliara (pronounced Tulear). We accepted this invitation a few days ago.

The first Anglicans began gathering for worship in Toliara in 1974.  In 2006 Todd was consecrated as Bishop to oversee the missionary area of Toliara. It became a full Diocese in 2013.  Bishop Todd is a passionate evangelist and the Diocese has grown rapidly (11 churches in 2007, over 80 today with around 8-9,000 Anglicans).  Derek will be Diocesan Coordinator of Disciple Making encouraging the many young Christians to grow in Christ.  Jane’s role is flexible – she will support Derek but develop her own role too. We plan to stay for three years. We are excited by this new challenge.

The Diocese of Toliara is at the southern end of Madagascar. It is larger than England and Wales put together and has 1000 km of coastline.  Journeys across the Diocese can take up to six days! Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries and the south in particular is very poor, suffering from a chronic lack of rainfall. Alongside evangelism, the Diocese engages in vital work of education and economic development.

We would greatly value your prayers for successful applications for our visas, for the arrangements involved in leaving family and home and for our relationships, accommodation and language learning once we arrive in Toliara. Our aim is to leave the UK around the end of June.

We go forward, offering all that has been to the God, as we also discover day by day that his grace is more than sufficient for us. Thanks be to God!

With our gratitude for your love and prayers,

Derek and Jane

Letter from Derek and Jane Waller March 2017

Dear friends,

A Sad Decision: An Uncertain Future

A quick resume to start – just in case you are confused!  After five months on home leave we spent three weeks in January in Arua, N. Uganda. We went seeking an opening to train South Sudanese Christians in the refugee camps and to begin BATC in Uganda.  We were so glad of the prayers of many as we set off.  Though the need was evident we could not see a way in which we could meet this need.  We longed for God to confirm his call but it did not come.  So we returned to the UK for discussions with CMS. After much agonizing we wrote to Bishop Hilary last week tendering our resignation from BATC and Yei Diocese.

At present it feels as if our dreams have crumbled. We grieve for friends we will not see and work which remains unfulfilled.

What of the future? We are weary. For a long time we have lived with our concern for the South Sudanese. Since November our own future has been up in the air. So next week we will go on holiday.  Once we return we will look with CMS at alternative opportunities for service. We are in God’s hands. He will keep us and lead us.

With our gratitude for your love and prayers,

Derek and Jane

Link Letter

Derek and Jane’s Link Letter no 7

Not the Link Letter (11) Epiphany 2017

Dear friends,

Moving forward

Africa calls once more. On January 8th we fly to Uganda for three weeks. Bishop Hilary has invited us back, not to Yei which is still too insecure, but to Uganda where many of his people have fled. In fact there are probably more people from Yei in North West Uganda than in Yei Diocese – over 300,000 and still rising.

We greatly appreciate the Bishop’s call (“We can’t let you go”) but much remains unclear as to our possible roles. So we are going to explore with Bishop Hilary, Revd. Peter Taban (BATC principal) and others what we might do. We will look at the possibility of BATC reopening in Uganda.  In addition, we will see if there is a role training church leaders and discipling Christians in the refugee camps.  We shall also be visiting students and friends in Uganda.

If the way opens we will come back to the UK on January 29th to apply for Ugandan work visas and pack up our home before returning to Uganda for another period of service.

Can we ask you to pray for God’s leading for the Diocese and for us?  Our hearts are with the people of South Sudan and we long to serve them and share fellowship with them but the challenges are daunting – our natural temperaments mean that we like to know where we are going!  As we step out in faith please accompany us with your prayers – it means so much.

With our gratitude and best wishes for 2017,

Derek and Jane

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