Leesburg Presbyterian Church

207 W. Market Street
Leesburg, VA  20175
(703) 777-2016
  ... hear the Good News for our modern world in our historic sanctuary  

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gondwe visit
malawi 2007

Our Staff


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The Malawi mission has been a large part of the church's mission since 2000 when Dr. George and Betty Poehlman hosted our first team to visit Embangweni. Bill and Beth Rule were a part of that team as were our pastor at the time, Rev. John Lown, and his wife, Toya O'Hora. Shirley Pearson and Louise Brown also went. Following that experience, the church developed a partnership with Loudon Presbytery at Embangweni, with the Loudon Full Primary School and Embangweni Hospital. The church worked with the congregation at Kalikumbi (a rural site near the Zambian border) to provide roofs for several prayer houses in the area. They also helped to build the first grain bank in the area at Embangweni. In 2001 they hosted the headmaster of the primary school for one month. He visited several schools in Loudoun, VA including Balls Bluff, Evergreen Mill, and others. He spoke at LPC and at St. Andrew in Purcellville. The name Leesburg Presbyterian Church is well known at Embangweni.

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Bill & Beth Rule

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Embangweni Church Sanctuary (built 1903)

Bill and Beth felt the call to work at Embangweni, Loudon Station, after Bill's retirement in Jan. 2003. Bill worked as Hospital Administrator for 6 months and has since served as financial advisor to all of the schools and hospital on the station. Beth served as a nurse and an AIDS consultant helping to set up and manage the AIDS Antiretroviral (ARV) drug program at the hospital. Bill has also served as information systems consultant. Loudoun Public Schools have donated 100 computers over the 5 year period of our partnership (Loudoun to Loudon). There are computer labs in the primary school, school for deaf children, and two secondary schools which Bill has set up and is still working to train others to keep up. The hospital has several computers which are now networked and have e-mail capability through a HAM radio program for mission sites. Malawi has very few resources, very poor soil for food production and has been stuck in profound poverty that seems to be unresolvable. They are the 8th poorest country in the world. But they have a very peaceful and wonderful people who are really their biggest resource. Our hope is that they can join the information world and use the knowledge and resourcefulness of their people to improve their economy.

Bill and Beth hope that the partnership with Loudon Station will continue and that others will visit and learn about the culture and work of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) there. The Synod of Livingstonia is always willing to host partners from PC-USA churches, Church of Scotland, and Presbyterian Church of Ireland. We have found Malawi to have great influence from Church of Scotland as the mission was founded by David Livingstone. The church at Embangweni is 102 years old. Support from the United Kingdom churches has decreased in recent years and PCUSA support is greatly needed.

Latest News

April 2007 - Donít just leave it to someone else!

This is your chance to see a bit of Africa and also represent Leesburg Presbyterian Church at the dedication of the new Integrated Preventive Health Services Building at Embangweni. There will also be opportunities to visit the community of Luvwere where the church is considering a partnership, to go out on a mobile clinic (no medical background required), to teach a short class in one of the schools (computers or otherwise), to see the grain banks and other mission activities, to visit John and Florence Gondwe at Kalikumbi, and to go on a game park safari or relax on the shores of beautiful Lake Malawi.

Bill and Beth Rule will be leading a group to Malawi this summer and you could (should!) be one of our members in attendance. This group is planning to depart on August 20th for a three week visit. To gain (and give) the most from the experience, you should probably plan on spending about three weeks but the schedule can be flexible to accommodate different peoplesí needs. Estimated cost of round trip airfare is about $1,700 and daily living expenses will run about $10-$15. Four days at a game park would be about $500 and, of course, there will be other miscellaneous travel expenses, including an overnight in Johannesburg and possibly one or two in Lilongwe.

We will be holding meetings for those who may be interested, in order to answer questions and begin to work out details according to the potential participantís needs and interests. In the meantime, please let the Church office know if you are possibly interested (enough to pursue your questions further) so that we know who to contact about arrangements for the meeting. No commitments are needed or wanted at this timeówe just need to know if you are considering it. If you have general questions that you need answers to before you can register your level of interest, you can contact Bill and Beth directly at brule@lpcva.org or on 410-228-1261.

Now, donít say we didnít give you fair warning!

June 2006 - Many of you are aware of and many have contributed to the construction of a new Integrated Preventive Health Services Building at Embangweni Hospital.  The need for this facility became evident when it was realized that current preventive health services (Antenatal, Family Planning, Under-Fives, Immunizations, STD, TB, etc.) were so scattered around the hospital campus that they were literally loosing patients in the shuffle back and forth to various points.  The need then became an urgent imperative as interventions in the HIV/AIDS epidemic grew and grew: first the educational efforts and the Prevention of Transmission from Mother to Child Program and then the Anti-Retroviral (ARV) Program.
With most, but not all, of the required funds raised, construction was begun toward the end of 2005 on faith that the remainder would come in time.  We are fortunate now to have a photographic update on the progress to date on this project, courtesy of Bill Perkins and a group that visited Embangweni from Lynchburg, VA in June of this year.  We have put a few of these pictures together, available in the PDF file shown below.  This is both a report and a "thank you" to those who have participated so far, as well as an alert to any and all who might have an opportunity to "spread the word" among any who may yet wish to contribute toward final completion. 

Embangweni Hospital Building Progress

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Please use the presentation in any way that you feel is useful, feel free to share it with any whose email addresses we did not have or were overlooked for whatever reason, and please enjoy the "bird's eye" views of the Embangweni Hospital campus that we have for the first time, as a result of the new radio tower that Bill installed for email purposes during his visit.
Grace and Peace to all of you!
--Bill and Beth Rule

June 2006 - As part of LPC's mission to Malawi, the Mission & Witness Committee authorized a donation from the church to Mr. Godwin Jere to cover one month of living expenses while he is completing his graduate studies in Scotland.  Mr. Jere is headmaster of the primary school there, which has been a model for the entire country of Malawi.  His studies would not be possible without donations such as this.  A letter received from Mr. Godwin Jere to the LPC Mission & Witness committee is:

I would like to inform you that I received your $700 cheque which you sent to help me with my educational studies here in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Please accept my sincere vote of thanks for the gift which really came at the right time when I needed it for the University accommodation costs.  This is the second time Leesburg Presbyterian Church has donated towards my education here in the UK.  Convey my thanks to all members of the committee and the Church for the kindness chosen to me.  It is a great lesson to me that when I return to Malawi, I should have the same type of heart of giving, especially to the needy.

Yours in Christ,

Godwin Nemoni Jere

 March 2006 - Rev. Gondwe, Moderator of Loudon Presbytery at Embangweni (Malawi, Africa) and the Pastor for the Kalikumbi congregation, and his wife, Florence worshipped with our congregation in Leesburg, VA.  Rev. Gondwe delivered the message at both services and a reception for them was held at the coffee hour after each service. Florence is one of the rare women college graduates.  It was a pleasure and an honor to have them worship with us.

Click HERE to see pictures of their visit

August 2005 - Former LPC member, Susan Mulholland, is heading a team of six members from her Monocacy Valley Church for a two-week work commitment on Loudon Station in Embangweni.  Nurses, teachers and computer technicians are going with seven full action packers in addition to their own luggage.  Susan will be taking a check to Bill Rule for $7,415 from LPC for the grain bank project.  The Mission and Witness Committee thanks all who answered the appeal July 10th with paid pledges for this project to ward off the predicated upcoming starvation of the Embangweni people due to a crop failure because of very heavy rains in the past growing seasons.  Pray for Susan and her team.  Pray for the people of Embangweni.

July 2005 - Beth and Bill Rule report that in the near future, the people of Malawi will experience a shortage of maize, their food staple, and the prices will increase substantially.  An effort is being made to stockpile whatever maize is available at current prices.  This is good business and there is Biblical precedent.  Do you remember Joseph in Egypt?  Funds are needed to help with the purchase of available grain for future needs.  If you would like to assist with a financial gift, please speak with our Mission and Witness elders, Kathy Brown or Louise Brown.  The bull text of Bill's letter is posted on several of our bulletin boards.

Additional Links:



Letters from Bill & Beth Rule:

Letter Date


September 2005www.pcusa.org/missionconnections/letters/rulew/rulew_0509.htm
July 2005www.pcusa.org/missionconnections/letters/rulew/rulew_0507.htm

June 2005


April 2005


January 2005


December 2004


November 2004


September 2004


July 2004


June 2004


May 2004


April 2004 (2)


April 2004 (1)


February 2004


December 2003 (2)


December 2003 (1)


November 2003


September 2003


August 2003


July 2003


June 2003 (2)


June 2003 (1)


March 2003 (2)


March 2003 (1)


February 2003




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August 2017




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