While I don’t intend for this blog to become exclusively a mission blog, I do anticipate that as my family and I transition into life as Presbyterian (USA) Mission Agency co-workers (that’s what they call missionaries nowadays, and for good reason: there are more Christians there than here), I will be sharing more about that work. Today, I wanted to share a version of our first-ever mission letter:
Early last month, we went to Pittsburgh to be commissioned as Presbyterian (USA) mission co-workers. We are excited and humbled to have been called to serve at Zomba Theological College in Zomba, the former capital of the southeastern African country of Malawi. ZTC is the largest theological college in Malawi, and the only one training Presbyterian pastors.
While we are hoping to leave for Malawi early in November 2012, it is not our first time living overseas. Two years ago we returned from one year in Germany and three years in Scotland, where we lived while Tim was studying for his Ph.D. in Old Testament. From the time he was very young, Tim has always wanted to study the Bible and to help people understand what is often a very confusing text. When we learned that Malawi was home to a thriving church–but with limited resources for theological education–we were excited about the possibility of serving alongside our brothers and sisters there.
How do you preach the good news of peace in Christ in a country with fresh memories of famine, regular seasons of hunger, high rates of disease and childhood mortality? Does the Old Testament have any salience to these kinds of issues? These are some of the things that Tim is looking forward to exploring with his students at the College, many of whom are studying in preparation for the ministry. Rachel is looking forward to meeting women in the community and participating in birth work as a doula while continuing also to homeschool the boys and to write.
We will be living on the grounds of Zomba Theological College, with views of the beautiful mountains in the distance. Our sons, Aidan (6 and 1/2) and Graeme (4) are practicing their soccer moves, planning which Legos to bring, and looking forward to meeting new friends in Zomba. It is truly an exciting time for all of us.
We would not be able to consider this were it not for the support of our families and the many people who have supported us thus far in our lives and education. We would love to have your support in prayer, and, for those who are able, in contributions to our sending.
Thank you for your interest in God’s work in Malawi.
Peace in Christ,
Tim, Rachel, Aidan, and Graeme Stone
Thanks for reading, friends. I treasure your prayers and words of support.