Population: 22 million (2011)
Official language: French, Malagasy
Major religions: Christianity, traditional beliefs
IFES movement: Union des Groupes Bibliques de Madagascar (UGBM)
Located in the Indian Ocean to the east of the African continent, Madagascar is the third largest island in the world. About half of the population is Christian, but many are nominal and traditional beliefs are often mixed with Christianity.
- 10 public and 40 private higher education institutions
- about 500 GBU members
- 8 full-time, 9 part-time staff
- strong high school and graduates ministry
- largest group in Antananarivo (80 members)
- smallest group in Fort-Dauphin (3 members)
UGBM conducted their fourteenth national congress in 2012 with 1000 participants from all corners of the island. This is the largest number of participants since the first congress!
A strength of the movement is the graduates fellowship of about 500 active members who support the ministry. The partnership that has developed over the past few years between UGBM and SCF Mauritius is also a real blessing.
View from the inside
Benjamina Rakotomalala is General Secretary of UGBM. He writes, ‘I'm involved in the student ministry because I feel called to this valuable work. I see and believe strongly that students affected by the gospel are the future of our nation, who will bring light and hope for Madagascar. The word of God and my family feed my enthusiasm in the work so that I have the courage to go ahead and do my best!’
One of Benjamina’s favourite bible verses is I Corinthians 3:9a: ‘For we are God’s fellow workers: you are God’s field.’ He writes, ‘UGBM felt very small at the beginning but we have hope to become great at the end by working together to God's work and being very faithful as his servants!'
- for continued growth among Christian students;
- for outreach to international students;
- with thanksgiving for the strong support of the ministry by graduates.