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A Joyful Visit, and a Joyful Return

A Letter from Tyler Holm, serving in Malawi

December 2018

Write to Tyler Holm

Individuals: Give to E200532 for Tyler Holm’s sending and support

Congregations: Give to D507572 for Tyler Holm’s sending and support

Faculty of Theology: Give to E052124 to support the University of Livingstonia Faculty of Theology

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery).

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Greetings from Malawi, partners in ministry.

After a very busy time traveling in the United States, it is very good to be able to write to you from home in Mzuzu, Malawi. It is encouraging to have met with many of you in California, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Washington, Minnesota, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland and New York. For five months, I was able to connect with sending congregations and individuals and to continue some work on my doctorate in the Los Angeles area. Rochelle and Mphatso joined me in Washington State, where we were able to visit family. Of course, I was not able to meet with all of our supporters in the USA. To those I was unable to connect with on this visit, I do hope it will be possible during my next visit.

Mission co-workers’ visits to the USA serve multiple purposes. One critical reason for my visits is to meet with congregations and individuals who have been supporting me, the University of Livingstonia, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) and all of Malawi through prayer, financial giving and advocacy. Sharing together is critical to what it means to be the Church. Wayne Grudem explains the purpose of the Church as threefold: to minister to God through worship, to minister to one another as we are nurtured to maturity, and to minister to the world through acts of mercy and evangelism (“Systematic Theology,” 867-868). As congregations and individuals in the USA support the University of Livingstonia Faculty of Theology, it is clear that they are serving through their commitment and support of our brothers and sisters in the CCAP and across Malawi. It is my privilege to be here with these men and women most of the year.

Less obvious, perhaps, is how the American Church serves its purpose by talking about this work. My visits are a real encouragement to me, and I trust that we are nurtured together. When the American Church engages in and advocates for Malawi, we are reminded of the spiritual and physical ministering that the global Church is already doing.

University of Livingstonia students being licensed as Ministers of Word and Sacrament.

Returning home to Malawi and seeing all the work that was done during my five-month absence is disorienting. Our fourth-year students were licensed as Ministers of Word and Sacrament just a week before I returned and will continue to stay with us for their final year of academic training. This celebration of these nine men and women who have less than a year left of academic schooling was joyful. They continue to work in nearby congregations, serving as interns under experienced ministers; however, they now have more responsibilities, such as presiding over Holy Communion. Equally exciting is the fact that after many concerned prayers, the Synod of Livingstonia has found funds to send 11 students to enroll in classes for a bachelor’s degree at the University of Livingstonia, and the Synod of Zambia is sending an additional three. In years past, the Synod of Zambia has often sent students to train with us — continuing this trend is a positive sign that the CCAP is united. This is a good matriculation, and I look forward to growing to know these men and women over the next four years.

Construction of the campus library.

Progress has also been made on campus construction projects. The construction of the first of these buildings, the worship and teaching hall, has been supported by the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. It has already been used for some large gatherings, and final touches inside and out are being made. With seating for 200 students, the building will be our largest space for Faculty of Theology and Faculty of Social Science students to gather for morning devotions and large classes. Our open and distance students, who study theology in short intensive seminars, will also use this space, as class enrollment is approaching 100. In addition, the site preparation for the library project has been completed, and the foundations have been laid. This first stage of the foundation was graciously supported by National Capital Presbytery in the USA and by local funds. Construction of the walls is planned to begin in 2019. A library is the heart of a university: its books and journals provide resources for all students. This is a project that brings our different faculties at the University together.

If you would like to support the growing programs of the Faculty of Theology, please use the enclosed envelope to send a check, and write E052124 on the memo line. Alternatively, you may give online. To direct your support to the library project, please write “library project” and E052124 on the memo line of your check. If giving online, please indicate “library project” in the space for comments.

Please continue to support our ministry and the work of the University of Livingstonia. We thank you for the prayers, support and encouragement that so many of you have been so faithfully blessing us with. My work in Malawi with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian and the University of Livingstonia would not be possible without this ongoing partnership. Please continue supporting my position with the University of Livingstonia. You may do so by sending a check via the enclosed envelope or giving online. If giving by check, please write “Holm – E200532” (individuals) or “Holm – D507572” (congregations) on the memo line.


Please read this important message from José Luis Casal, Director, Presbyterian World Mission

Dear partners in God’s mission,

We near the close of 2018 inspired by the hope of Christ. God is transforming the world, and you are helping to make it happen.

Thank you very much for your support of our mission co-workers. The prayers and financial gifts of people like you enable them to work alongside global partners to address poverty, hopelessness, violence and other pressing problems in the name of Jesus Christ.

Every day, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-workers are blessed to be able to walk alongside their brothers and sisters across the globe. Listening to each other in faith and in friendship, they learn from each other how to work towards a world in which everyone flourishes. Acting upon what they discover together, PC(USA) mission co-workers and our global partners strengthen the body of Christ.

Because you are an integral part of God’s mission, I invite you to become more deeply committed to Presbyterian World Mission. First, would you make a year-end gift for the sending and support of our mission co-workers? The needs in the world are great, and World Mission is poised to answer God’s call to serve others.

I also invite you to ask your session to add our mission co-workers to your congregation’s prayer list and mission budget for 2019 and beyond. Your multi-year commitment will make a great difference in our involvement with our partners. The majority of our mission co-workers’ funding comes from the special gifts of individuals and congregations like yours, for God’s mission is a responsibility of the whole church, not a particular area of the church. Now more than ever, we need your financial support!

In faith, our mission co-workers accept a call to mission service. In faith, World Mission, representing the whole church and you, sends them to work with our global partners. In faith, will you also commit to support this work with your prayers and financial gifts? With hope and faith, I await your positive response!

At God’s service and at your service!

José Luis Casal

P.S. Your gift will help meet critical needs of our global partners. Thank you!

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