The 82nd annual tobilehibe celebration in Ankaramalaza took place over seven days, beginning on July 27, 2023. Throughout the week, participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in religious, moral and ethical teachings, as well as principles of faith and life drawn from the Bible. These moments were enriched by moments of inspiration, encouragement and shared testimonies, forming the very essence of this celebration. The closing ceremony was particularly marked by the presence of former President of the Republic Marc Ravalomanana and other high-ranking figures. The theme of the week-long celebration was drawn from Romans 4:7, “Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered”, highlighting the fact that inner peace, genuine joy and true happiness derive exclusively from the grace of Christ. The entire celebration was meticulously led by Ratsitontanirina Gastrien, vice-president of the Eglise Luthérien Malagasy (FLM), whose sermon emphasized Christ’s exclusive power to forgive sins. A particularly memorable moment at the closing ceremony was the consecration of the Sambatra class, proudly comprising 435 shepherds from 16 Lutheran synods. President Marc Ravalomanana’s participation in this landmark shepherds’ celebration at Ankaramalaza added a special dimension to the event. He emphasized the vital importance of the shepherd’s role in his own spiritual life and deep faith.
Founded 82 years ago by Mama Volahavana Germaine, alias Nenilava, the Tobilehibe d’Ankaramalaza is zealously continuing the work originally undertaken by Nenilava. Members of the management enthusiastically predict the imminent materialization of Nenilava’s prophecy. Nestled in the Manakara district of the Fitovinany region, the Ankaramalaza toby, one of three large revival toby affiliated to the Lutheran Church, continues to faithfully reflect the vision of Mama Volahavana Germaine. Established in 1941, the toby offers spiritual education, social support and health care services based on faith in Christ, with the aim of spreading the teachings of the Gospel. The growing number of patients benefiting from the toby’s services testifies to its positive impact, with some being entrusted to the shepherds by their loved ones. Over time, Ankaramalaza has evolved into a place where some people choose to reside, influenced by the caring attention their loved ones have received there. Around seven patients are cared for every day. The center also has plans to renovate the “lakoziabe”, literally a large kitchen. A place for accommodation and hygiene facilities, and a refectory for patients, an original Nenilava legacy. Funding for these initiatives is estimated at around 150 million Ariary.