Ten persons were selected for volunteer service projects with CitiHope in Malawi (March 4-15), and nine arrived today:

Don Wahlig is a 2nd year seminary student at Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey, and a part-time Youth Director at his home church, Central Presbyterian Church in nearby Summit where he lives with his wife and 2 daughters (11 and 7). Having spent 20 years working in sales and marketing, primarily in the broadcast industry, he is following God’s call to ordained ministry, a vocation which came largely through several mission experiences like this one.

Josie Dittrich is the Special Assistant to the President of CitiHope International, Paul Moore, Sr. She is also the PR Director and general GIK procurement director for CitiHope. Her professional background includes being an International Research & Development Coordinator, Seminar Presenter, television producer, missionary, entertainment/singer domestically and internationally (“a long time ago”, she writes). She is the proud mother of four adult daughters.

Martha Cavazos is a High School Senior who attends Morristown United Methodist Church in NJ. She has participated in service work in Appalachia and in urban areas with the Center for Student Mission. She has lots of passion and enthusiasm, and is known for her high spirits and optimism! She sees God all around her, and looks forward to following Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbor by serving in Malawi.

Kristen Albo is a High School Senior who attends Chatham Township Presbyterian Church in NJ. She runs track in school, has participated in Habitat for Humanity the past two summers, and is active in mission through her youth group at church. She and Martha are good friends and, like Martha, Kristen experiences God through her faithful response to God’s call to mission work. She looks forward to learning from our Malawian hosts, even as we help them in turn.

Dennis McQuerry is a research scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Lab where he specializes in ‘visualization-based techniques for the analysis of large datasets of unstructured text.’ He is married to Maureen McQuerry, a writer and educator. They have two children — a daughter in an MFA program in Creative Writing at ASU, and a son who is a senior at Whitworth College in Spokane. They are members of West Side Presbyterian Church in Richland, WA.

Trinity and Monique Webb have been married for almost five years and have no children – yet. Trinity is a staffing interfacer with Bechtel National, Inc. and Monique is a registered nurse working in a local hospital. “Our love for the Lord and his children is an integral part of our life.” They currently serve as high school youth leaders at West Side Presbyterian Church in Richland, Washington, where they worship along with Dennis McQuerry, and they eagerly await what God has in store for their future.

Clarissa Holland is Pastor at New Vernon United Methodist Church in NJ, where she also acts as chaplain at her local fire department. Clarissa participated in mission work in Haiti, which gave her an appreciation for the challenges involved in trying to improve the day-to-day life of folks in impoverished communities, as well as the hope and joy that Jesus Christ can bring to them. She looks forward to sharing this mission experience with her daughter, Libby.

Libby Holland is 13, and in the 8th grade. Coming as she does from a family with several ministers, Libby is compassionate, prayerful, fun-loving and creative. She loves art and looks forward to befriending Malawian children, drawing their faces and doing craft work with them.

I will meet the team at the Johannesburg Airport tonight, and tomorrow we will travel together to Malawi to begin our mission work in the North (Mzuzu City and rural villages. I will try to capture our experiences daily and post them on this site.