SPEECH FOR THE OPENING OF THE 130th ANNIVERSARY OF THE PRINTING HOUSE
OF THE MALAGASY LUTHERAN CHURCH (MLC) at MLC AMBATOVINAKY
First of all, I thank God for His blessings upon this time.
And also, I greet you all without exception: you who represent the
Government,you deputies, you who represent different Churches, you
friends and colleagues, and especially you missionaries from Norway,
America, and Denmark.
Ladies and gentlemen, warm greetings and God’s blessings to you. May
God give you more days to do good works like you are doing now. I thank
God that we can give Him Glory at this important occasion; as
Ecclesiastes says, “there is a time to be silent and a time to speak.”
I will indeed speak to share with you my joy for the Printing House of
the MLC (PH/MLC) which is 130 years old now.
But I won’t tell you here in detail the story of the PH/MLC, because
it is already written in a book called “NY SORATRA MITOETRA” at a price
of only 4 000 Ar and we encourage you to buy it personally.
What I have to say are just a few short words:
- The Norwegian Missionaries are the pioneers of the printing work,
beginning in 1877. After having worked for 10 years, the Norwegian
Missionary Society felt the necessity of having a Printing House for
Madagascar to make books of teaching about faith without waiting for
the FFMA and the LMS who were the responsible before. And also, because
of the distance, it takes years to send the books from there to
Madagascar. Because of these reasons, the Norwegian Missionary
persisted in praying to have a Printing House built in Madagascar.
Having a Printing House now is an answer of prayers, a precious gift
from God to preach the gospel.
- When the Norwegian Printing House (NPH) was built, they worked with
the other local Printing Houses as well as with the special Missionary
Society from Norway to be responsible of it.
- The printing work increased: books, leaflet, …
- Numerous printing machines were used and the Malagasy Lutheran
Christians increased in number as the Missionaries had enough supplies
to teach and help to print the Christian Literature.
- The Printing work was profitable and could even print the Bible.
- Later, the American Missionaries came to cooperate with the NPH and
its name became a society anonymous “Trano Printy Loterana” (TPL) or
Lutheran Printing House.
On one side, the Government supported the “Malagasyization” and there
were many books printed by the TPL who became the suppliers for it.
On the other side, the FFMA and the LMS decided to cooperate with the
LPH as they saw their equipment was inadequate and old in comparison to
the equipment of the LPH which was modern and new. They handed out
their workers to the LPH also; this was around 1953.
- Many years after, the MLC became independent.
Those Missionaries partners thought that it was time to pass the LPH to
the MLC to be their possession, which the MLC accepted. From 1974 until
now, the name was changed to Printing House of the Malagasy Lutheran
The work continued running well, with many types of books being
printed, especially books about religion and Church Newspapers.
There was no occasion done to restore the printing machines from the
beginning, until 1970; what the PH/MLC did was to print and produce
books and newspapers corresponding to the motto “Christian Literature
works in silent ways”.
- After that year, as nothing lasts forever, not even iron, the
quality and the quantity of the products from the PH/MLC decreased; and
the competition and technology were considerable. The PH/MLC started to
use computers and new pre-press in 1994. But these were not enough to
catch up the good reputation of the PH/MLC. Some of its important
customers such Bank, Insurance left it. To solve it, the PH/MLC began
to buy and use new machines again to restore the quality and quantity
of the products of the PH/MLC.
One main reason of this 130th anniversary celebration is to renew the
printing machines and it costed 800 000 000 Ariary.
This new machine was an answer of prayers because according to the
ordinary benefit the PH/MLC get, we needed years to pay it but thanks
to the work God gave us through the Government, we could pay
560 000 000 Ariary and what we have to pay now: from July to December,
is 240 000 000 Ariary only (6 months).
So, I’d like to repeat here that this Jubilee has two mains reasons: to
thank God for His blessings to the PH/MLC during 130 years and also to
get money to finish the payment of that machine.
We ask for your collaboration and publish this as you know, the NPH
before became PH/MLC now and we did not do only the MLC works but also
the works of all churches especially those who are members in the
Christian Federation of Churches in Madagascar (FFKM), the works of the
Government, individual persons and the different firms.
We have much hope concerning the future if we work together: the
payment of the machine will be finished, the renovation of all the
machines will be moving in good condition because we still have many
things left undone according to this saying " We are preaching while
printing " and the motto of this Jubilee " Tell and preach to the end
of the earth!” >>>
For God alone is the glory!
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for your attention!