Read letters from Rochelle and Tyler Holm
Dr. Rochelle Holm and Tyler Holm
Long-term volunteers in Malawi since 2013
Serving at the University of Livingstonia, College of Theology, and Mzuzu University
Rochelle and Tyler are periodically in the US. Email them to invite them to speak at your church or organization.
About Tyler and Rochelle Holm's ministry
Tyler and Rochelle Holm are serving in Mzuzu, Malawi, at the invitation of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP), Synod of Livingstonia. Rochelle serves as the manager of the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation and Smart Centre at Mzuzu University. The Centre, which partners with the Synod of Livingstonia’s Development Department, opened in 2009 and participates in applied research, water quality analysis, training, consultancies, outreach programs, and the practical application of research findings. Through the Department of Water Resources Management the Centre 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, 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 serving as a lecturer at the University of Livingstonia, College of Theology, where students are studying to be ministers in the CCAP. Tyler teaches Bible Knowledge, leads Bible reading groups for students, and supports the IT needs of the University faculty and students.
"It is important to us we go into international service," says Rochelle, "to work in partnership with an established Christian organization like the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that is working locally, seeking to enable local capacity rather then continued dependence. Our skills, knowledge, education and experience are specialized to the water and sanitation sector and in teaching theology."
Malawi is a relatively small landlocked country in southeastern Africa. It has a long history with roots in 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. Malawi is poor and has suffered from drought and floods as well as the spread of HIV/AIDS.
In spite of the many challenges and hardships Malawi faces, the faith of its people remains strong. There are several vibrant churches in Malawi, but there is a great need of trained ministers serving many congregations. In 2003 a survey reported there was just one ordained minister for every 7,000 catechized members of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), which was formed in the late 1940s. The Synod of Livingstonia, one of four synods of the CCAP, grew out of a mission station founded in 1875 and named in honor of David Livingstone, the famed Scottish Presbyterian missionary. The Synod is one of the oldest and biggest churches in Malawi, with 170 congregations and more than 1,000 prayer houses throughout the northern region of Malawi. With about 200,000 adult members, the church reaches about 25 percent of the adult population in this region. In its ministry it not only reaches out to communities with spiritual care but is also involved in development projects for education, health care, HIV and AIDS, water and sanitation, food security, and civic education. Since beginning its involvement in Malawi in the 1950s, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has sent many long-term and short-term mission personnel to serve in the country.
About Tyler and Rochelle Holm
Tyler and Rochelle have been volunteering on a short-term basis through mission trips in northern Malawi since 2007, which led them to be called to serve more permanently and make Malawi their home in 2012. They have now been called to become long-term volunteers with Presbyterian World Mission.
Tyler holds a Bachelor of Science degree in aviation from Central Washington University and a M.A. in Theology from Whitworth University. He is continuing his online work for a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif. Rochelle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Western Washington University as well as a master's degree and a Ph.D. in environmental science from Washington State University. She has worked supporting environmental projects in Washington, Oregon, and Africa.
Tyler and Rochelle are members of West Side Church, Richland, Wash.
Rochelle says a key Scripture that guides her life and informs her mission service is Romans 8:28, "We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."
Rochelle – April 4
Tyler – July 21