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Many Gifts, One Ministry

A Letter from Tyler Holm, serving in Malawi

Fall 2023

Write to Tyler Holm

Individuals: Give online to E132192 in honor of Tyler Holm’s ministry

Congregations: Give to D500115 in honor of Tyler Holm’s ministry

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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Dear friends,

 During these past North American summer months, I (Tyler) was in the United States speaking with congregations and individuals. I am grateful for the time I spent together with those of you with whom I was able to connect in person, and at the same time, I am sorry that this short visit did not allow some time together with others of you.

Tyler and Mphatso with Rev. AOLSP Chisiza, one of Tyler’s first students who recently filled the pulpit at their home church.

It is interesting to note some of the changes in the way churches and individuals in the U.S. relate to their mission co-workers now as compared to the way they related to them in the past and I think you may see some changes in your own congregations as well. Before 2020, before we all became too accustomed to Zoom and alternate ways to worship and conduct church business, I would occasionally make videos or video calls to churches. When we were adapting to live and asynchronous remote connections many t

hought this would be a temporary adjustment and longed to get together in person. Several congregations that I have visited in prior years, however, have become very comfortable with this technology and when we started to plan how we could connect this year they indicated they believed that the expense of bringing us together was not justifiable. I am curious to hear how others are feeling connected to their mission co-workers as we are entering the phase of living with COVID-19 as a lasting presence. In what ways do we successfully connect? Where are the challenges and how do we balance these now? Are more regular updates from the field while in Mzuzu better? Do less frequent trips like my mid-2023 trip help foster greater connection?

One of the volunteers cooking a group meal for the congregation from donated supplies.

Physically meeting with folks dominated these past months and I participated in 40 different meetings. These are important times when I am able to share with different constituents, I hope this generates excitement which leads to financially supporting my ministry and the work of the University of Livingstonia Faculty of Theology, which is addressing the critical need for trained pastors and lay leaders in the church in Malawi. The church is sometimes susceptible to questionable teachings when they lack trained leaders. There are about 7,000 members of the Church of Central Africa (CCAP) Synod of Livingstonia for every ordained pastor. Most pastors are responsible not just for one congregation, but for a large geographical area where the central ‘mother’ congregation up to a dozen ‘daughter’ congregations known as prayer houses which do not have any formally trained leadership. Despite this challenge, the church is growing numerically, in part due to population growth, but the desire for skilled preaching, theological understanding, and moral leadership is lifted up by lay people and leaders of the CCAP. These meetings, like my visit to the U.S. this year, are addressing far more than financial support. Visiting U.S. congregations can lead to learning about Malawi and the challenges to CCAP faces as well as enabling U.S. congregations to become prayer and advocacy partners. These visits are also important to keep mission co-workers informed of the concerns and changing situation in the church and society in the U.S. and to encourage mission co-workers in their ministry.

The CCAP church in Malawi is active in living out the mission of the U.S. church as well. On our first Sunday back in Malawi, the congregation we attend in Muzuzu gave an update on the church’s finances from the prior month. Much is similar to what we might hear in North America, folks give according to their ability to support different ministries of the church and synod. One interesting difference is that the church welcomes cash, crops from the field and materials from businesses. Members often bring in huge bags of corn or live chickens as their offerings at our local Mzuzu church. The chickens are a noisy reminder that just as God has entrusted us with different blessings and resources, the work and ministry of the church is also varied, but we are all called to participate. We thank all those who support my ministry and the work of the CCAP Faculty of Theology in Malawi and Presbyterian World Mission.


We (Rochelle and Tyler) are always thankful when visitors, family or friends, are able to come and witness our work and lives. We are encouraged by their interest and all of your prayers and support of our work. Thank you and please continue.


Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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