The first Lutheran church in Madagascar was established by the Norwegian Mission Society in 1867. This church body now consists of 22 regional synods, several seminaries and more than 4 million members. The Madagascar Lutheran Church (MLC) is experiencing much growth through outreach by volunteer lay members called Mpiandry, or shepherds, who pray for and counsel the sick through around-the-clock ministry on church grounds.
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is continuing to explore opportunities for mutual mission work with the presidents of two of the church body’s regional synods. Potential future partnerships could include working in developing Christian education for children, healthcare and developing the ability of MLC members to support their own church through development initiatives.
The LCMS awarded its first grant towards mercy projects in Madagascar in 2004, when it helped provide repairs to classrooms, offices and homes at a seminary that had suffered cyclone damage, and it also provided cows for seminarians. Current mercy projects include providing equipment, furnishings and supplies for the recently-constructed pediatric unit at Andrranomadio Lutheran Hospital so it will become fully operational.