THE MAMITIANA FAMILY
As a family, our mission statement is to reach Madagascar and the nations of the world for Jesus Christ by biblically training, equipping, and deploying a new generation of church leaders to spread the gospel and plant evangelical churches. Our vision is to train servant leaders of Jesus Christ through biblical teaching for the purposes of local and global missions, as well as discipleship.
"God is at work in Madagascar. It is so challenging to see how hungry they are for the gospel, how they love to worship, and how they have welcomed us … People are hearing the gospel and desiring for Jesus to save them.”
FOUNDER, SHEMA MADAGASCAR
TRAINING SERVANT LEADERS THROUGH BIBLICAL TEACHING FOR THE SERVICE OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE LOCAL AND GLOBAL MISSION AND DISCIPLESHIP
Natives of Madagascar, the Mamitiana family has been back in their home country since January 2020 as indigenous missionaries, having spent several years studying and preparing at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. As soon as they landed their boots on the ground in Fort Dauphin, in the beginning of February 2020, the Mamitianas began planting the First Baptist Church of Fort Dauphin which already has seen many people came to faith in Christ following with believers' baptisms. They also started the very first academic year 2020-2021 of the Shema Christian Academy school in the beginning of October. Lord willing, in January 2021, they will launch the Fort Dauphin Baptist Theological Seminary with the first year of college students. The work in Madagascar has been a joint effort between the Mamitianas, the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and American “champion” churches. Special thanks to their sending church in Fort Worth Texas, Hulen Street Church, and the anonymous donor who has given money for the land on which they will build the multipurpose buildings for the ministry. The Mamitianas continue to raise support for the ministry to which they have committed their lives since arriving in Madagascar.
THE MAMITIANA MADAGASCAR STORY
In 2012, then Southwestern Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson shared several phone calls with the then International Mission Board President Tom Elliff. A renewed charge had arisen among Southern Baptists to push through to reach the remaining unreached, unengaged people groups on earth with the saving message of Jesus Christ. Patterson told Elliff that Southwestern would take on the challenge by adopting a people group on one condition:
Find the most difficult assignment.
Southwestern Graduation Day - Nirintsoa and Tokinirina celebrate the earning of a Master of Divinity degree in front of the School of Church and Family Ministries on Southwestern's Fort Worth campus.
As Southwestern reported in a Sept. 8, 2014 article, Antandroy believer comes to Southwestern; plans future ministry in Madagascar, “Two weeks later, Elliff returned with a people group that met those conditions: the Antandroy people of Madagascar.”
Recalling the story in a Sept. 4 chapel, Patterson explained that Elliff described nearly one million people who comprised the Antandroy tribe also known as “people of the thorns.”
“There’s very little penetration of the Gospel, if any,” the article continues in quoting Patterson. “He said there’s nothing but mud roads, and it’ll be almost impossible to get there. And I said, ’That sounds like our kind of deal.’”
“Southwestern accepted the challenge,” the article said, “and over the past two years has sent teams to share the gospel with the Antandroy people. In that course of time, a missionary from Southwestern discovered that there was, in fact, an Antandroy believer in Madagascar, having been led to the Lord by another group, named Nirintsoa Mamitiana.”
After connecting with the Southwestern ambassadors during one of their trips to Madagascar, Mamitiana, who had already sensed the need for additional theological training to help him minister in his country, made plans with his family to move to Fort Worth to study at Southwestern. They sold or left almost all possessions and belongings to buy plane tickets to Texas, and ever since they arrived, God has faithfully provided their for their needs as they have committed themselves fully to the task of preparing for a lifetime of ministry to their native Antandroy people.
In the coming months, Nirintsoa "Mamitiana" will graduate with a Ph.D in World Christian Studies, and Tokinirina "Toky" will graduate with a Master of Arts in Christian Education. Upon graduation, the Mamitianas, with their four children, will return to Madagascar to plant a church, start a school and launch a seminary.
READ DR. PAIGE PATTERSON'S 2012 PRESIDENT'S LETTER ANNOUNCING SOUTHWESTERN SEMINARY'S
COMMITMENT TO REACHING THE ANTANDROY PEOPLE FOR CHRIST
MISSION, VISION & VALUES
CORE VALUES EXPANDED
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. Marriage is the foundation of family life. At the same time, we want to serve the millions among us who live as single persons. The New Testament picture of Christian love must be recaptured in our day, so that the unmarried, as persons made in God’s image, can experience full dignity, loving relationships, personal fulfillment in celibacy, and the best use of their gifts and talents. We believe that everyone single or married should operate as a unified community of servants, with men and women stewarding their spiritual gifts with fidelity and purity. This includes the concepts of unity, servanthood, spiritual gifts, and ministry callings. (Gen. 2:18; Gen. 2:24-25; 3:6, 8, 16–17, 20–21; 4:1; Neh. 3; Ps. 133:1; Lk. 10:1; Jn. 13:34–35; 1 Cor. 12 and 14; Rom. 12:10; Eph. 4; 1 Co. 13; 1 Jn. 4:7-11)
Jesus explained to his followers that their practice of leadership was to be distinctly different than the self-seeking, self-serving, and domineering style of leadership often found in the world: “Whoever would be first among you must be servant of all.” There are clearly defined attributes for the leaders of God's people. Leaders of God's people were most often described as servants of God anointed to do various tasks. Moses was the first to practice servant-leadership. Servant leaders strengthen the weak and empower those entrusted to their care, and also show compassion towards the disadvantaged and the lost. Biblical servanthood values followers' potential and achievement; promotes them before self. (Ezk. 32:11-14, 30-35; Ezk. 34:2-10; Mk. 10:42-44; Mt. 20: 25-28; Lk 22:26; Jn. 13; Phil. 2:5-8).
Intimacy with God
“Listen, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord alone, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being, and all your might.” -Deut. 6:4-5
We affirm that intimacy with God is more important than success in ministry. We will intentionally seek to set aside specific times for private, family and corporate prayer; maintaining a living expression of day and night prayer and worship. We love Him because He first loved us (Mt. 6:7; 1 Thess. 5:17; Jn. 15:4; Phil. 3:10; Gal. 2:20; 1 Jn. 1:8-9; Rev. 4:11; Ps. 27:4; Lk. 10:27)
Scripture Inerrancy and Biblical Authority
The sole basis of our belief is the Bible—the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible is a divine revelation, the original autographs of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit. We hold that the Scriptures, in their original manuscripts, are infallible and inerrant; they are the unique, full, and final authority on all matters of faith and practice. In all matters of faith and practice, Scripture is the final authority. In matters where Scripture is silent, believers should conscientiously seek to be led by God because it is to Him alone he or she is ultimately responsible. (Ex. 24:4; Deut. 4:1-2; 17:19; Josh. 1:8; Josh. 8:34; Ps. 19:7-10; 119:11, 89, 105, 140; Is. 34:16; 40:8; Jer. 15:16; 36:1-32; Mt. 5:17-18; 22:29; Lk. 21:33; 24:44-46; Jn. 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16.; 17:11; Rom. 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Pt. 1:25; 2 Pt. 1:19-21).
Biblical Discipleship is expressed as core values in three ways: Teaching and obedience to the word of God. Our approach to education is to use the Bible as the foundation for learning as the Bible contains the foundation for all truth. We are committed to make disciples that will make disciples of others. Salvation is a free gift from God but discipleship is costly. (Deut. 6:1-25; Hos. 4:6; Mt. 28:18-20; Mt.16:24-25; Mk. 1:16-20; Mk. 16:15-18; Lk. 9:23-25; Jn. 14:21; Jn. 13:35; Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Local and Global Mission
Our love for the gospel message compels us to share it both locally and globally. We faithfully support local and global works to reveal the nature and heart of the Father. When you have the revelation of the beauty of Jesus, you can’t help but share it with the world. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ. (Gen. 12:1-3; Ex. 19:5-6; Is. 6:1-9; Mt. 28:18-20; Mt. 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Lk. 10:1-18; 24:46-53; Jn. 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Rom. 10:13-15; Eph. 3:1-11; 1 Thess. 1:8; 2 Tim. 4:5; Heb. 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Pt. 2:4-10; Rev. 22:17.)
THE BAPTIST FAITH & MESSAGE
A confessional document outlining beliefs generally held among most Southern Baptists