The Republic of Madagascar is an island located in the Indian Ocean off the south-eastern cost of Africa. It’s one of the poorest countries in the world. About 85% of the population, (estimated at around 20 million) live on less than two US dollars per day. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar, (587,000 square kilometres) and a few small islands around it.
Sunday, 27th March was a special day for the church, in Madagascar. About 2.800 people attended the service, many gathering outside because there wasn’t enough space in the church itself.
Bishop Marcelo Pires who is currently in charge of the evangelistic work in South Africa visited Madagascar to open “the 21-day Fast of Daniel,” a drive to bless people and fulfill them with the Holy Spirit.
In the book of John 14:16-18, “Jesus promises that He will send us a Counsellor, the Holy Spirit who will be with us forever. In fact, it doesn’t matter if we have cars, houses, and health … because those who don’t have God have the same things. Only the Holy Spirit makes us different. That’s the reason for the 21-day of Fast of Daniel. It is a fast to stay away from entertainment and to have a closer relationship with God. We have to put God in the first place, before everything,” said Bishop Marcelo
Before the service finished, Bishop Marcelo asked Pastor António Lobato, who is in charge of evangelistic work in Madagascar, to come to the altar with his wife to be consecrated as a bishop. It was a great moment and a huge blessing for the church to witness the first consecration of a bishop in Madagascar.
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Madagascar is situated at Rue Dr. Joseph rasset, Andraharo Antananarivo.
Helpline Number: 00 261 40 843 32 53
Name: António Coelho Lobato
Place of birth: Lisbon
Wife’s name: Goreti
A Pastor since: 1994
Places you have served as a pastor: France, Belgium, Switzerland, Holland and Madagascar
What was you life like before you joined the church? When I joined the Church, my life was in a deep hole. I was sick, separated from my family, with no work, no direction and no hope. I grew up in a noisy family. The fights between my parents made me sad and depressed. I tried to hold tight onto something but it was all like a curse upon my life. Violence was the common denominator in my family. Because of these problems I began to smoke and to drink a lot. I finally met someone that I decided to marry. But after four months of marriage, talk of divorce went round and we didn’t have any peace.
I became sick and stressed because of what I was undergoing in my family and my marriage. The doctors said this problem could cause cancer. Life seemed to be against me.
One day when I arrived home, I found it empty. My wife was not there. I was stressed and I drank two glasses of whisky. I listened to the radio. That night I heard a message on the radio — “If you are in suffering, you must know that there’s a solution: Jesus!” I was puzzled because it seemed as if the person who was talking on the radio knew he was talking to me. I never believed in God but this message gave me hope to hang on to. I looked for the church and I began to attend the prayers on Tuesday and Friday for deliverance.
I was released from my addictions to alcohol and tobacco. I was also healed of my sickness without surgical intervention. But it was when I began to go frequently to the Sunday meetings, that my life was totally changed. Now, I’m married to a marvellous wife. I thank God for this great life, and the transformation in my family.
When did you start attending the church? When I saw my life was an empty hole in 1993.
What was your personal experience of God? Do you know the sensation when we awake from a nightmare? It was like that.
What about your calling? I answered, “Here I am”
What is your love life like ? Each day, it gets better. How could we live apart?
Tell us about the worst moment in your life? It was the moment when God showed me my sins, and I had to change.
What is your favourite Bible verse? Isaiah 6.8
What is your dream? To save more souls for the Kingdom of God
Please give us your views on: challenges, the work of God, the meaning of family, and life without God.
Challenges: To find disciples is really a challenge.
The Work of God: The way, the truth and the life.
The meaning of family: After the Holy Spirit, the greatest blessing from God is family.
Life without God: No life at all
And a final word: Hold on to God no matter what.
By: Ayanda Monyela