A letter from Rochelle and Tyler Holm in Malawi
Hello from Malawi!
We hope this finds you well. We are grateful for the opportunity to help meet the needs of our sisters and brothers in Christ in Malawi, for the challenges of our new positions, and for the opportunity to now serve as long-term volunteers with Presbyterian World Mission.
Malawi is a landlocked country located in southeastern Africa. Malawi has a long history with the Church of Scotland, the Free Church of Scotland, and the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa. In Malawi unsafe drinking water is a severe and multifaceted problem. In addition, fewer than 1 percent of the population have access to a university education, one of the lowest rates in the world. There are several vibrant churches in Malawi, but there is a great need for trained ministers serving many congregations. In 2003 a survey reported there was just one ordained minister for every 7,000 catechized members for the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP). The CCAP was formed in the late 1940s and has been supported by many mission personnel over the years. We have been volunteering on a short-term basis through mission trips in northern Malawi since 2007, which led us to be called to serve more permanently and make Malawi our home in 2012. We have now been called to become long-term volunteers with Presbyterian World Mission.
Rochelle currently serves as the manager of the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation and Smart Centre at Mzuzu University. The Centre opened in 2009 and participates in applied research, water quality analysis, training, consultancies, outreach programs, and the practical application of research findings. More important, the Centre through the Department of Water Resources Management is offering a degree program in Water and Sanitation, which is an important link to the dissemination and documentation of research findings. The Smart Centre opened in 2012. It has an exciting and innovative focus on low-cost water and sanitation solutions appropriate for households to purchase, the so-called self-supply, through the buildup of local water and sanitation entrepreneurs.
Tyler is enjoying the twin challenges of adjusting to a new assignment and teaching students as a lecturer at the University of Livingstonia College of Theology. This term he is teaching three classes, which keeps him very busy. Students are studying to be ministers in the CCAP. Tyler also continues his online work, mostly on evenings and weekends, for his Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.
As we start our service with Presbyterian World Mission, we invite you to partner with us. There are many ways to partner with us:
- Prayer support. This might include prayers as part of worship services, or by PW circles, youth groups, mission committee members, or individuals.
We know that we will be faced with difficult situations, from the daily struggle to understand the local language up to unexplained sicknesses. Through it all, with your help, we will be sustained by the knowledge that hundreds of Presbyterians around the country are holding us and our ministry in prayer.
- Engage with the mission ministry so that you learn what to pray for. This might include reading the letters and printing excerpts in the church newsletter from us, displaying photos on a bulletin board, or listing us in the church bulletin.
We would love to connect with you and get your church newsletter, even though we might not know the individuals named. It will be a connection to life back in the U.S. and it will help keep us connected with you. Letters tend to arrive when God knows that we need them most.
- Financial support. This might include a regular line in the church budget, a suggested offering per member, or a collection on a particular day.
We need your help to be Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) long-term volunteers. There are three reasons why this change in status will be a huge improvement for us: we can take advantage of the training offered by the PC(USA), we can be aided by the PC(USA)’s expertise in arranging such things as travel and emergency evacuation, and most important, we can finally be covered by health insurance. Health insurance is something we cannot get in Malawi, and it would be a relief if Tyler’s diabetes could be covered.
Living in Malawi, we have learned to appreciate and be humbled by little things: the kindness of having someone offer to help carry a large load, the humor when a chicken walked into the middle of one of Tyler’s lectures, the beauty of a Malawian sunset after a long workday, or the generosity of people living in desperate poverty and yet willing to still share with those in need. Thank you for your consideration to help partner with us and our work in Malawi and please feel free to contact us for more information. Thank you!
Grace and Peace—
Tyler and Rochelle Holm
Individuals: Give to E074868 for Rochelle and Tyler Holm's sending and support
Congregations: Give to D507572 for Rochelle and Tyler Holm's sending and support