Turning points

Winter sceneWe are settling into a ‘new normal’ – being in the UK while working part-time for Africa Inland Mission. We look out of the little barn where we are staying and see beautiful winter scenes.

Being the Tumaini Clinical Team Leader from a distance

Mark continues to work as the Clinical Team Leader for Tumaini Counselling Centre in Nairobi – whilst sitting in a barn near Cambridge UK!

There was a scramble to agree the budget for 2017 by the end of last year. Given that there are fewer counsellors, psychiatrists and psychologists in the team at present, this affects the projected income of the counselling centres for 2017, and thus the number of Kenyan and Ugandan staff we can afford to employ. This was a difficult circle to square, but we praise God for his past faithfulness, and trust that this will also work out in the coming year.

As well as the normal oversight and administration, I am directly supervising the work at Tumaini Kampala for five weeks at the moment while the Lead Counsellor there is back in Germany.

We are delighted to have interviewed two new clinical staff who are interested in joining Tumaini, and we would be very happy for them both to join us. However, there are various steps along the way before this is confirmed. One of these counsellors will be visiting Tumaini for a week in March with her family; please pray that she will be clear about her calling. Another is already working in a ‘creative access’ situation, so there is much to consider about how she might become part of the Tumaini team from where she is currently living and working. And there is also a psychologist who is able to join us short-term, probably 6-months. Praise God with us for each of these people, and pray that the way forward will be made clear to all of us.

In our last blog we wrote about the building project on the Tumaini compound. The start of the building work has been slightly delayed while we address our neighbours’ concerns. Schedules for building work are always somewhat provisional, but we pray this will soon be resolved and the building work can begin.

Family news

Barbara’s mother is doing better than we expected; she has not fallen again and has adjusted well to living back in her own home with three carers coming each day to help her with personal tasks and household chores. This situation won’t work forever, but we are grateful that it is for now.

The other difficult family situation that has kept us in the UK is starting to improve ‘slowly by slowly’ (as the Kenyans would say) but we need to remain on hand to support and encourage.

[In fact the Kenyan phrase ‘slowly by slowly’ not only implies ‘gradual’, but also ‘better’: the best way forward is to take one’s time and make steady, gradual progress; far better than a rushed job. So, as we are Westerners who are inclined to rush, this phrase is a useful reminder.  It also matches our experience over the last year, that God does all things well, and does them in His own time, and often slowly by slowly.]

I was preaching at our home church a week ago when our grandson Jonathan came up to me at the front, so I picked him up and carried on. As I had just been talking about the true descendants of Abraham being those who follow Jesus (Romans 9), to have a descendant of mine arrive just then was rather fitting!

Now that there is some improvement for our family, we are starting to plan how we can come out to Kenya to wrap up our apartment there and to see what we can do in the future – one or two visits per year maybe.

Prayer requests

Please praise God with us for:

  • Being able to set the 2017 Tumaini budget in difficult financial circumstances
  • The new clinical staff who are interested in joining Tumaini

And please pray for:

  • Confirmation for us all over the right direction for these new therapists
  • Good relationships with Tumaini’s neighbours over the building project
  • Wisdom over the timing of our visit to Nairobi


And finally here is our bug of the month (though not actually this month, as it was snapped last June): a dragonfly of some kind.