Rev. Joseph Randianasolo, a pastor with the Lutheran Church in Madagascar, has an established relationship with the Mid-South District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The District has helped with the Lutheran Institute of Managerial Enterprise (LIME) in Madagascar of the past four years directly. Prior to that time, there has been support for building churches, gaining transportation for the ministers, securing computers for teaching at LIME, securing internet access for the college students at LIME, helping with room renovation, and this most recent project to upgrade their building. LIME is an upper division education facility that teaches college level courses for Lutheran students that they may compete in a very limited job market, and become church workers for the Malagasy Lutheran Church. Their Lutheran presence in Madagascar is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Lutheran Church this year, 2017. They have grown from a handful of a few families 150 years ago, to over 3 million members in one of the fastest growing Lutheran bodies in the world.
The actual Malagasy Lutheran Church (in Malagasy it is known as FLM: Fiangonana Loterana Malagasy), under the leadership of its newly elected President, Rev. Dr. David Rakotonirina, is a Lutheran denomination established in 1950 by the unification of 1,800 Lutheran congregations in central and southern Madagascar. The oldest of these congregations was founded in the early 19th Century, leading to this year’s celebration of that Lutheran presence on the island nation. The growth of FLM is due in large part to an indigenous revival movement, known as Fifohazana, that has worked through the church since the early twentieth century. Most of the church leaders are members of the Fifohazana movement. In addition to serving over 5000 member congregations with only 1,200 pastors, the FLM also boasts a health care program of nine hospitals and thirteen dispensaries. SALFA, as it is known, is a community-based primary health project with special initiatives that cover child survival, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and, providing missionaries who serve in Cameroon and Papua New Guinea.