The recent increase in the number of plague victims in the outer provinces of Madagascar triggered the temporary evacuation of the Madagascar missionaries. Notified by the mission department of The Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints, as a precautionary measure, 69 missionaries including senior couples were transferred to other missions.
Those who were near the end of their missionary service were sent home. One of those missionaries whose home is in Johannesburg said he felt very calm being notified of the decision to evacuate. He knew that many were praying earnestly before the decisions was made to move the missionaries. They felt it was a revelation in their behalf.
Coming from an outer province, he traveled to the mission home and prepared for his transfer home.
The missionaries came in waves as their documents were organized for their transfers. The Lord’s hand was evident as new assignments were made. They have complete trust in their leaders and never felt in danger.
Yes, there was sadness as the missionaries parted ways, and for the investigators and members who they would not be able to say good bye to. But there was no stress. They had all been taking prescription medication they had to prevent malaria, and which also is used against plague.
“We felt very cared for.”
The health and safety of missionaries is a top priority for the church. Parents and families were informed and are being notified of the reassignments.
No missionaries have tested positive for the plague.