Alumni Missionaries Find New Ways to Serve in U.S 

Aaron and Bobbie Howley continue to serve the Lord from their home base in Columbia, South Carolina

By Zebadiah Demorest, Publications and Promotions Coordinator

On March 23, Aaron and Bobbie Howley celebrated twenty-one years of marriage. It’s been a long, unexpected journey since they met in Dr. Schutt’s science class at TUFW. “People were shocked when we started dating,” Bobbie said. “Aaron and I are such different personalities.”

Bobbie graduated from TUFW in 2002 with a degree in Elementary Education. Aaron graduated one year later with a degree in psychology. Several years later in 2010, Aaron and Bobbie were accepted into AIM (Africa Inland Mission). Their new mission field: Uganda. For the six years that the Howley’s spent in Uganda (2012-2018), they worked in the guest house at the mission with Aaron utilizing his skills as a counselor.

In 2018, the Howley’s made a change. Through mutual acquaintances, the Howley’s connected with Life Impact, a care organization for pastors, missionaries, and others in ministry. In their new ministry, Aaron still carries on his role as a counselor and Bobbie works as a ministry life coach and education consultant. Together, they focus on missionaries, working with Bible translators in Sudan and South Sudan.

“We are online with those translators daily helping them navigate their incredibly stressful living conditions, team dynamics, and difficult ministry choices,” Bobbie said.

While not physically present in Africa for most of the year, the Howley’s work to keep their connection to Uganda, returning twice a year to meet with translators for their debriefing, spiritual retreat, and team-building activities. On these trips, the Howley’s also try to visit their former church in Kampala, keeping the connections they fostered in Uganda alive. Most of their work with translators and the church is done online, but they believe it is important to foster the connection in-person as well.

Through their ministry both here in the U.S. and in Africa, the Howley’s carry with them the lessons they learned at TUFW. Aaron was greatly impacted by Dr. Michael Cook who taught him the importance of integrating his Christian worldview into his work as a counselor. Bobbie is grateful for how her education major helped to prepare her for ministry to missionary kids and their parents.

Bobbie and Aaron (right) at Jr.-Sr. Banquet in 2002, along with friends Mark fs03 and Kristin (Carlson) Hunziker g02 (left) 

One of the most significant aspects of Aaron and Bobbie’s mission work is their marriage ministry to missionary couples. In the interview, Bobbie said that missions work can put extra stress on marriages or tear them down. The Howley’s seek to minister to couples, seeing them “heal, connect, and make better relational choices so that they are healthy enough to remain in missions.”

Aaron and Bobbie have three sons: Owen (18), Grahm (15), and Cole (14). While they know that growing up in and out of Africa hasn’t been easy for their sons, they are thankful for the opportunities and experiences they have been able to have through their ministry. “They have a far wider view of the world than their peers and recognize that they are blessed to have it even though the journey has not always been easy,” Bobbie said. In the Fall, Owen will be attending North Greenville University on a full academic scholarship, and Grahm will begin aviation mechanic classes, hoping to follow in the missionary footsteps of his parents.

If you want to support the Howley family in their mission work, click this link. Your financial support will help to strengthen their ministry from their U.S. base for international impact. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s