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Sharing God’s Work in Malawi

A letter from Tyler Holm serving in Malawi

May 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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Dear partners in Mission in Malawi,

As summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere, many new happenings are busily being planned. I am writing this on the last day that our residential students at the University of Livingstonia sit in lectures. Next week, they will have a “dead week,” some time without lectures, exams or other activities, as in two weeks they will take their final exams. They are also wrapping up their practical internships — for the past months, the ministerial students have been working in different churches with experienced ministers. Already some have said their goodbyes, and many others will preach farewell sermons on Sunday. Thirteen of these students are in their final year and will not be returning to be with us for the next year. As the graduates go out to begin their work, I will see each of them only occasionally now, for they will be posted all over the country. It is always a bittersweet time.

The Holm family — Rochelle, Mphatso and Tyler

The work that awaits these new ministers is almost overwhelming. With approximately 7000 members of the church here for every minister, the new ministers will soon be very busy with their new call. Unlike in the USA, where the first church many seminary graduates serve has multiple staff members and they continue to receive mentorship, every graduate here in Malawi will go straight to a sole pastorate where he or she will be looked to for leadership. Some of these soon-to-be-former students will even take on pastoring several different churches, each with its own history and dynamics. These new ministers will often have 4-10 different congregations to learn about and serve.

This year, it is particularly bittersweet, as I am busy making final preparations for my visit to the United States. From June through October, I will be in California, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Washington, Texas, Minnesota, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and New York, visiting as many of you as possible. Connecting with all of you who make my work in Malawi possible is an important part of my work. In 2017, over 50 individuals and 37 churches made financial contributions that covered all of the expenses incurred in sending me to Malawi. Churches, starting with the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and including many others, have been at work here for over 140 years — their witness is what led to the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian. Visiting the United States is part of our responsibility to help share this heritage and to thank you for making the continued work possible. Planning for this is well underway. Details of specific times with hosting churches will be posted on our blog.

Visiting with a team from Norfolk Presbyterian Church and Rev. Levi Nyondo, General Secretary of Livingstonia Synod

Beyond giving me the opportunity to share about Malawi in the USA and reaffirming my ability to share about the US while in Malawi, this visit will provide a chance for us to spend some time visiting with family, allow me to make some progress on my doctoral program at Biola University, give me the opportunity to speak at a conference, and enable us to take care of lots of logistical things in America.

This busy time of traveling around the USA will involve meeting with many of you: it is very important that we remember that the prayer and advocacy you provide are just as important as your generous financial gifts. As I am busy sharing about our work in Malawi, please remember to pray for my travels and health. Please remember these students who are finishing their term of studies and taking exams. Please pray for their peace and confidence, but also that we would all remember that the real work for all our students who will serve the church in Malawi is not measured in grades. Their devotion and commitment to our Lord and His Church is real, and their growth an encouragement to us all. Special prayers for those who are about to graduate. In addition to the ministers, the University of Livingstonia is graduating approximately 1000 students from education, physical science, social science and community health programs. All will begin new chapters in their lives and appreciate your prayer.

Please continue to support our ministry and the work of the University of Livingstonia. Please continue supporting my position with the University of Livingstonia through E200532 (Congregations D507572) and the growing programs of the Faculty of Theology through E052124.

Grace and Peace,

Tyler Holm

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