Will and Pam are a couple who find themselves at the beginning of the retirement end of life, which Will likes to call the "refirement end of life", having more and more responsibilities and more and more need for His grace and peace in their lives. When asked how long they will be in Malawi, Will quickly responds that they are committed to another 50 years and will re-evaluate after that. Hmmm... that would leave them only a few years to age 120! They came to Malawi in their early 50's. Their heart and home is here in Malawi, and it was their obedience to come to Malawi that began what we now know to be Tiyamike.
In June of 2003 they moved to Bangula. After a time of getting the Iris Bible school off the ground and ready for the new Director, circumstances began moving them towards an unexpected future. They began thinking about how many orphans were in the area, which led them to the Public Health Department. The Public Health Officer said "We don't know how many orphans there are... just many." Will commented "How does one deal with just many orphans?". It was after 2 or 3 days, the Public Health Officer reported he had sent his people out and they found there were 158 orphans. Some of these were living with relatives, but some were found in very difficult circumstances. Amazed that Will's comment had generated so much effort so quickly, and feeling badly as to what had happened due to the effort expended, Will and Pam left their details with this office and suggested that they had a large home themselves and that if they found any orphans in very difficult circumstances that they should contact Will and Pam.
Soon after this, their home became home to 4 orphans (in addition to the two children they had living with them). These four had lost both parents and a grandmother who had taken over care initially. Will and Pam had promised their rented new and nice (by Malawian standards) home to the Iris Bible school director and his family with the agreement they could stay in a bedroom if they had not found a place. When the family arrived, the Phillips had too many people to share the home, and the home that they had arranged to rent, to move into, was not vacated as was promised. The options were few and it was at this time that they moved into 4 Red Cross tents on the current TMC1 site with these 6 children and three adults -- no electricity, hence no fans and temperatures of 50+°C at times. This was the beginning of what has now become Tiyamike Mulungu Center.
These humble beginnings demonstrate the heart that still exists here today. The Tiyamike family is one that cannot help but continue to grow. This is due to the ongoing needs of orphaned babies of the area. Mothers die from AIDS, opportunistic diseases from lowered immune systems from HIV, malaria, birth complications, dysentery, cholera, and a host of other afflictions. Health care in the area is improving but has a long long way to go to be satisfactory. TMC has grown greatly from the initial 6 children, but the heart to provide love and care for these precious little ones is still very much at the center of Tiyamike.
Tiyamike Mulungu Center was founded by Will and Pam Phillips in 2003, though at that time their move to Malawi was in obedience to Holy Spirit, little did they know that it was a children's home that they were starting. Will and Pam call it a "Holy Spirit ambush." Leaving their blended family of seven children and now fourteen grandchildren had to be the grace of God to do so. Will's heart had been from a young age to be a grandfather.
Tiyamike Mulungu Center ©