I am sharing the highlights of the Summer News Letter from The Holm family who are missionaries in Malawi. A lot of this letter was written by Tyler’s mother, Marian, who is visiting Tyler and his family in Malawi.
“This is my fourth visit to Malawi. Tyler’s position at the University of Livingstonia continues, as in all my previous trips. I am pleased with the philosophy behind Presbyterian mission work. Teaching seminary students so they can go back to their communities, knowing the local customs and languages and looking like the people they are teaching seems much more productive than older styles of mission work.
Each time I have visited Malawi I am struck by what a beautiful country it is. Mzuzu, where Tyler, Rochelle and Mphatso live, is surrounded by beautiful mountains. The area is very green due to rains on this visit. Since this is the southern hemisphere, fall is starting, the opposite of seasons in the United States. The corn that has been planted in various small plots will soon be harvested. The corn will feed families for a year since corn is a staple in Malawi.
There are so many things that we in the U.S. take for granted. Besides good roads and finding what is on your grocery list, we usually have electric power. Here power outages are common. On this trip we have been fortunate to have power on the week-ends, but one trip it was out for nearly three days. Last week it was out for twenty hours one day. Tyler and Rochelle are well-prepared, and always have re-charged lanterns on hand. When the power is out, we have to get creative. Sometimes that is playing a game of cards by lantern light with my granddaughter, Mphatso.
At the English-speaking worship service on Sunday morning at 6 a.m. which we attended, almost all worshippers were wearing conservative style western dress, jackets for men and dresses for women. The University is near the church Tyler, Rochelle and Mphatso attend, so the church attracts a lot of young people. The church welcomed 30 visiting students who were attending for the first time! Not everyone was on time, but the auditorium was full by the time the sermon started. And how blessed we would be if we had 30 university students who were attending for the first time! Men sit on one side of the sanctuary, and women sit on the other side. The church service lasted over two hours. When it was over there was a crowd waiting to attend the next service. The second service will have over 1,000 in attendance with standing room only. A third service will follow that one. There is a hunger for the Lord that is seldom seen in the U.S.
While writing this article, I am looking out at the green hillside with a reddish-brown dirt road going up the hill. I see people walking up and down the road. Maybe I will see some of these same neighbors in church next Sunday. Maybe someday some of these children will grow up to be students at the University of Livingstonia. I am reminded of the verse, “Where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2. This reminds me of how grateful I am for the people who have been the Lord’s “hand and feet,” and have prayed and have given financial help so Tyler’s and Rochelle’s work in Malawi has been able to continue for more than ten years.”
We, Tyler and Rochelle, are always thankful when visitors are able to come and witness our work and lives. We are encouraged by their interest, and by all of your prayers and support of our work.
Thank you, and please continue. Tyler.