“When I look back on the journey, then I find that it has been planned. God has been there leading me…and even in skills and giftings, God has used me like many others,” Elysé says.
Elysé, born and currently based in Madagascar, has served with OM for 15 years. He oversees financial development and communication marketing for OM's 14 ministry fields in Africa. By either connecting ministry fields with resourcing fields in the USA, Canada, or Europe or by contacting donors, Elysé helps OM's projects across the continent receive funding. His role also includes managing and updating the progress of various projects on an online integrated system so that OM offices around the world can use the information for marketing campaigns and to update donors and prayer partners.
Faith to action
Serving as a Sunday School teacher twenty years ago, Elysé's transition to working full-time in missions came as no surprise to anyone close to him. Yet Elysé's younger self, who dreamt of becoming a physician or surgeon, would never have imagined that he would be using his studies in finance for missions.
Raised in a Christian family, Elysé grew up attending church and Sunday School. Elysé's faith had a turning point at age 14 when his father passed away, leaving Elysé with many questions. “When my father passed away, I began investigating my faith, and that's when I encountered the loving promise of God,” says Elysé. A year later, Elysé fell in love with God's Word after studying a correspondence Bible course gifted by a friend, committing to follow Jesus and beginning a lifelong journey of getting to know Him personally.
“When I was in high school, my circumstances changed a lot. And of course, with my newly found faith, the Lord works through different situations and circumstances,” says Elysé. He decided to study business instead of pursuing his passion for science because of his family situation and the wider educational issues in Madagascar.
After studying management and accounting in college, Elysé worked in finance and accounting in development projects for international NGOs. He also taught Sunday School but wanted to do more for the church. By then, Elysé had dedicated himself to the Lord, saying, “Here I am, wherever you want me.” When the opportunity came to join missions full-time in 2003, Elysé was sure it was from the Lord and quit his job to work as a volunteer for the Council for World Mission abroad. He got to know OM through a visit to OM's ship Doulos in Madagascar in 2005, and he was excited to be able to continue missions in new ways with the organisation in 2009.
God uses experiences
“I believe the experience I got from the early time in my career outside of missions organisation…developed in me a passion for the world, for people around the world, and encouraged me to develop my skills as well,” explains Elysé.
Elysé's experience in the non-profit world and helping the poor changed his outlook on life, preparing him for missions work in general. As a full-time missions worker, Elysé first served in South Wales by working with people struggling with poverty and drug addiction and then onboard OM's ship Logos Hope for two years. After, he joined OM's team in Madagascar, helping with finances before transitioning to his current financial development and communications marketing role for the Africa Area two years ago.
“Because of His grace, I could contribute to missions in some ways, and the hope and goal is to continue that journey. Sometimes it’s challenging, of course, but I wouldn't have traded it for anything else…Faith works in you and around you sometimes in mysterious ways,” says Elysé. “If I could choose, then I wouldn't choose to do finance for the rest of my life…but wherever I'm needed, I'm happy to help anywhere, in any role, and in the ways I can best serve. I have also been using my life-long passion and skills in visual arts as a tool to communicate the message of the gospel.”
Join us in prayer
One of the greatest challenges for Elysé is the lack of people working in financial development. Only five out of the 14 OM ministry fields in Africa have a local team of financial developers. Elysé and his team of one other colleague then serve as the bridge between donors, resourcing fields, and ministry fields. Elysé is in charge of communicating with local teams to get the relevant information. However, local teams are very busy, and often WIFI access is limited.
“I don't think we will ever get to say, 'We have enough people for this project,' because there's so much need out there, and that's the challenge, ” says Elysé.
Praise God for leading Elysé in His greater plans and using Elysé experiences to support missions in Madagascar and beyond. Please pray for Elysé, that God will continually strengthen his faith, keep him in good health, and provide endurance to serve Him through his skills. Pray for more Jesus followers to use their God-given skills and passions to proclaim Christ’s love to all people. Pray for the OM ministries in Africa, those they impact, and the donors who financially support the work.