After a long time of disorientation and disorder, we are now starting to settle into our various God-given roles.
I (Mark) continue to work for Tumaini in Nairobi and Kampala from my study at home, typically spending about 6 – 8 hours on Skype per week, plus dealing with a lot of emails and administration. Here is a picture of our clinical team, where two colleagues in Kampala, and I near Cambridge, appear on a computer screen in Nairobi.
We were looking at some statistics about the work of Tumaini recently. In 2016 we saw 419 missionaries (individuals, couples or families), who were of 27 different nationalities, and who were working with 110 different mission organisations in 24 different African countries! We are very grateful and privileged to be able to further the work of Christian mission in this way!
We are also delighted to have been joined by Kay, a psychologist from the US, who is with us for at least 6 months. She is settling into the team very well and is on the right of the picture here. But our overall staffing level remains very low and we cannot meet all the requests we are receiving for help. From November one of our psychiatrists went on home assignment in the US for 5 or 6 months, and in March one of our long-term counsellors leaves for at least a year, and is actually unsure what his plans are after that. Please do earnestly keep praying for more long-term staff to join us so that we can support the front-line missionaries who are requesting help.
The building work on the Tumaini compound is still progressing well; it now has a roof, and work is moving to the internal structures. Praise God. We build in faith that the money will come in, as we are still spending more than we are receiving. There is more information at: http://tumainicounselling.net/about-us/give/
I plan to be in Kenya for about 3 weeks from late January to mid-February 2018 in order to reconnect with the team in person, as well as to attend conferences health workers and for leaders in Africa Inland Mission that are taking place in Nairobi.
It is three months since we returned to live in our own home. We have happily settled back there, and have done an amount of work on the house to replace things that it needed, as well as getting some new furniture. And recently we have been unpacking boxes that were packed nearly 4 years ago, discovering both ‘treasures’ that we have forgotten we had – like some old cassettes (but how do we transfer them to my iPad??) – as well as stuff that we wonder why we kept! So, frequent trips to the local charity shop and dump have been a feature of life in recent weeks. Anyway, it is lovely to be ‘getting things straight’!
Barbara’s mother had been settling much better in her nursing home, but in the last few days has had trouble breathing, and today has been taken to hospital for treatment. Meanwhile we are acting to sell her house – the same house that Barbara grew up in. Fortunately Barbara’s mother has been quite relaxed about selling, which has made life so much easier for us. There is a buyer wanting to purchase and the process is, so far, progressing well. We pray that this will be straightforward.
Barbara has started a series of sessions at the ‘cardiac rehab’ clinic in the local hospital – a combination of health advice and physical exercise – which she is finding very helpful. Meanwhile, I have done an evening curry-making course in recent weeks – but I’m wondering whether our two ‘pastimes’ are compatible…
In between these other activities, we spend quite a bit of time being grandparents, with the grandchildren often staying over the weekends. We enjoy this – and they seem to as well! – but we do realise why people tend to have children in their 20s and 30s, rather than in their 60s! Here I am imparting important life skills, such as how to fly a kite!
Please praise God with us for:
- the privilege of being part of God’s mission work
- the psychologist who has recently joined the Tumaini team and is settling well
- the progress of the building project at Tumaini, and for funds to complete the work.
- that our house is getting straight and feeling like ‘home’ again
And pray with us for the following:
- further professional staff to join the Tumaini team
- for continued improvement in Barbara’s health
- for Barbara’s mother’s health, and the completion of the sale of her house
- and continued energy as we look after our grandchildren.
[And finally, apart from in my computer, I haven’t spotted any bugs this month; it’s been too cold!]