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A letter from Rochelle and Tyler Holm serving in Malawi

January 1, 2016

Write to Rochelle Holm
Write to Tyler Holm

Individuals: Give to E074868 for Rochelle and Tyler Holm’s sending and support

Congregations: Give toD507572 for Rochelle and Tyler Holm’s sending and support

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

Hello from Malawi!

In 2016 we are continuing to serve in Mzuzu, Malawi (Africa), at the invitation of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), Synod of Livingstonia, and the PC(USA), Presbyterian World Mission.  And we invite you to join in God’s call with our ministry in 2016, whether it is through prayer, a visit to Malawi, financial support, or letters of encouragement!

Tyler continues to teach theology at the University of Livingstonia, one of the synod’s institutions.  The Faculty of Theology on the Ekwendeni campus is training future pastors for the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian.  There is now both a distance learning and residential program, and the Faculty of Theology is growing.  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 of trained ministers.  Currently ministers must serve many congregations.  In 2003 a survey reported there was just one ordained minister for every 7,000 catechized members of the CCAP.  This denomination was formed in the late 1940s and has been supported by many mission personnel over the years.

Rochelle will continue to manage the Mzuzu University Water and Sanitation Centers, which are committed to increasing the availability and sustainability of clean water, hygiene, and improved sanitation in Malawi and beyond.  Her work varies, but projects including sanitation, access to hygiene for persons with disabilities, participation in the Master’s in Sanitation program, and community outreach programs keep her busy and traveling frequently.

We had 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. It is hard to believe we have been living here three years now!holm_1601(w)-1

There are many ways to partner with us in the New Year:

  1. Prayer support.  This might include lifting up our ministry in worship, prayer in small groups or youth groups, or prayer by mission committee members and individuals. 

We know we will be faced with difficult situations, from the daily struggle to understand the local language to unexpected illness.  Through it all, with your help, we will be sustained by the knowledge that hundreds of our partners in mission around the U.S. are holding us and our ministry in prayer.

  1. Become better informed about our ministry. The more you know about our ministry, the better you’ll be able to support us in prayer. This might include reading our newsletters and printing excerpts in your local church publications, displaying photos and copies of our newsletters on a bulletin board, listing us in your church bulletin, or coming to visit us in Malawi…

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.  We love to get mail!  Letters tend to arrive when God knows that we need them most. Sometimes we are also in need of specific items such as textbooks for the Faculty of Theology; please ask us if this is something you are interested in working on with us in 2016.

  1. 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 are thankful for those partners who have come alongside us as awesome supporters.  Would you consider partnering in 2016 with us in this ministry? If you are interested in helping with our needed financial support, tax-deductible contributions can be made to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), PO Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.  In the memo line on the check, or with a note included, write, Presbyterian World Mission:  Rochelle and Tyler Holm (account #D507572 from churches or #E074868 from individuals and non-church organizations).

  1. 4.     In addition to our needed financial support, consider contributing to scholarships at the Faculty of Theology.

The Faculty of Theology at the University of Livingstonia is seeking to train local individuals to answer the need for trained leaders in churches through Malawi.  Full scholarships for an academic year are US$5,000, which covers all tuition, fees and living expenses.  Please send your contribution to the above address, and write in the memo line, University of Livingstonia scholarships (account #E052124). Also, if you would like updates please let us know and we would be happy to provide you with individual progress updates on student progress.

Sending blessing from the people of Malawi to you and your family-
Tyler, Rochelle & Mphatso Holm

The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 156

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