Video: Christian youths in Madagascar sing, rap and plead for their friend’s life
On the island of Madagascar, a small group of Christian youths wants to tell the world about their friend, Andry — a strong-willed believer who needs kidney dialysis to live.
The youths all grew up at Betikara, a children’s home supported by Churches of Christ. Most were rescued from the streets of the island’s capital city, Antananarivo. Andry, now in his early 20s, grew up at the orphanage. He speaks four languages and ministers to new generations of orphans at the children’s home and church.
“I personally thank God for placing me here at Betikara, for he is the one who ensures and takes care of me,” one of the youths “raps,” in the Malagasy language, as he tells Andry’s story. “He always thinks of me in my need. Even if I am far away, he still died on the cross for me.”
Andry’s kidneys failed a few years ago. Now he relies on dialysis that costs nearly $30,000 per year. The orphanage’s staff seeks funds to continue dialysis as they consider options for long-term treatment, said Barry Rosie, a missionary in Madagascar and co-director of Betikara.
Church members Ryan and Dorris Jones have provided funds for continued dialysis and launched a “Please help Andry now” Facebook group and awareness campaign for Andry. The couple used to live in Geneva, Switzerland, where missionary Doyle Kee invited them on a mission trip to Madagascar. There they met Andry.
“Doris and I both feel that Andry’s story — along with the larger Betikara/Madagascar story — is very compelling,” said Ryan Jones. The couple now lives in Germany. Though glamorized by the “Madagascar” movies, people on the island struggle with poverty and related health issues.
So far, church members have raised enough money to fund Andry’s dialysis through September 17, 2013, according to the Facebook page.
The Church of Christ at Three Chopt Road in Richmond, Va., supports the orphanage and is collecting funds for Andry. For more information, or to donate, contact the church or contribute via PayPal through the Betikara Orphanage website.