It would be impossible to estimate the number of people who have been influenced by Doyle, Louise and Steve Gilliam. Their efforts to help people, teach Christianity, and guide and encourage the young people of future generations into beneficial Christian service are innumerable, not only in the United States, but in a number of nations, but especially were their influence felt in Malawi. While their influence has touched so many, it is also true that in the early 90’s they had a life changing influence on Dick and Suzi Stephens of the Malawi Project. Dick recalls the first meeting with Doyle, Louise, and their son Steve.
“Suzi and I had never been to Africa, and it was our first trip to Malawi. We were a bit apprehensive as we stepped from the plane at Kamuzu International Airport on that warm July day in 1993. We were not only a bit nervous, but frankly we had no idea where we were going, where we were staying, or even exactly what we were going to be doing while there. We were long on questions, and short on answers. As we exited customs and entered the main terminal, to our great relief, three people stepped forward and introduced themselves; they were Doyle, Louise and Steve Gilliam, and they had come to the airport to pick us up, transport us, and care for us throughout our time in the country. Their kindness, hospitality, and attention to every detail of our needs made a major impact on us, and we stayed in contact with them through all the years.
We have continued to serve in Malawi ever since that first trip, and the Gilliams were a critical part of making us feel at home, showing us where to work, how to do it, and always being there for advise and encouragement. All through the years Doyle has been a steadfast adviser, encourager, and friend.
For Suzi and myself there will be a hole in our lives that no one, and nothing will fill. For many in so many places, and especially in Malawi who feel the same, we share the tears that come with the realization Doyle has passed away.”
Doyle is pictured with E. Kasalika Banda and Mlozi Banda, two great friends and preachers in Malawi. Both have since passed away.