Round and round?


There have been a number of staff changes in the clinical team at Tumaini.

Yih Jia, our Chinese-American psychologist returned to the US when she retired in April, which has left us without a psychologist for now.  However, another psychologist from the US, Kay, is coming to work with us later this month after raising her financial and prayer support.  Kay worked with us at Tumaini for 6 months in 2017-18, and has wanted to return since then.  So, we praise God that he has now made this possible.

Roger and Shirley Brown

Roger and Shirley Brown

Roger and Shirley Brown, founding members of Tumaini 28 years ago will also be returning to the US in August.  It is difficult to imagine the centre without them being present, for they have ‘always been there’!  You can read their inspiring story about the founding of Tumaini at:

Roger and Shirley will continue to provide administrative and recruitment support for Tumaini from a distance once they are settled back in the strange and foreign country called America – for Kenya has been their home for nearly 30 years!  Please pray for their transition.  (We tend to think more about the ‘culture shock’ of moving to Africa, than the culture shock of moving back, but many people feel that the return is more difficult.)

Karen, the counsellor who joined us last September has confirmed that she is moving to work at Africa Inland Mission’s International Office, which is based in Bristol, UK.  This location will offer suitable schooling for her daughter, and there is a very suitable role for her there.  I am very sad to be losing Karen from our team, but, as a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I am quite excited about the notion of ‘having a counsellor on the bridge’.  (To those few of you who aren’t Star Trek: TNG fans, please excuse the obscure reference…)

Meanwhile, Elisabeth, the German psychiatrist we accepted recently, fell and broke her ankle a little while before being due to make her first visit to work with us, so coming to Tumaini has been delayed, probably until the autumn.

In case any of you do not believe that mission work is in the forefront of spiritual warfare, I can tell you, it is real and ongoing!

Mark, Barbara and Judith

Mark, Barbara and Judith

We greatly enjoyed a visit by Judith, the German therapist who leads the Tumaini centre in Kampala, Uganda, while she was visiting the UK in May.  This gave a wonderful opportunity to talk through the potential ways forward for that centre.

We have several times wondered whether it would be possible to keep the centre going in Kampala, as the staffing there is so small.  But each time, so far, the Lord has provided.  Yet here we are again wondering about the future from 2020.  Judith returns to Kampala in September after her home assignment in Germany, but we are all clear that we need a team there for it to be sustainable; for a single therapist working alone, it really cannot be done.  So, again, we find ourselves thinking and praying…

I am still intending to hand over the Clinical Team Leader role by end of 2019, and am delighted that God recently made clear the way forward.  Gunilla, who has overseen the day-to-day running of the Tumaini Nairobi centre will take over this role late this year.  We are beginning to think about how a staged handover will work.

The Tumaini clinical team

The Tumaini clinical team, Sep 2018 – Gunilla on the left

We look forward to attending an Africa Inland Mission Europe conference in Nottingham later this month, but as we expect this to be the last of these we will attend, there is sadness mixed in.  Likewise, I am hoping to return to visit the Tumaini team in both Nairobi and Kampala during October, God willing, which may be my last visit.

Most of the above has been about people leaving or retiring, but we praise God that Brian and Mary, both psychiatrists, who are currently in the US following the birth of their first child, have confirmed that they will return to work with us from February 2020. We are unclear at the moment whether it is best for them to be based in Kampala or in Nairobi; the former desperately needs people in the team, the latter desperately needs psychiatric cover…

There are some others who are enquiring about working with us, but nothing else is yet confirmed.

Personal news

The seasons go round and round.  But sometimes it seems that aspects of life do too.

At home we have recently had a ‘garden makeover’.  This has turned our scrubby lawn and weedy patch into a beautiful garden with new plants and shrubs taking root.  As I prepare to hand over my counsellor lead role, and draw towards the end of 40 years of ‘tending people’ working professionally as a counsellor and therapist, I will have a go at tending plants.

In our last blog we mentioned my mother moving into a care home following some falls.  What she anticipated as being a stay of a week or two became a three-month stay as her legs very gradually healed.  She has just returned to her own home with a ‘care package’, that is, a number of carers visiting each day.  For someone who is fiercely independent, this arrangement with carers is being resisted, but it reminds me of my own sinful desire to live independently of God’s ‘care package’, which I need just as much!

Walking in the Norfolk Broads

Walking in the Norfolk Broads

Just after Easter we had a holiday for 5 days beside the Norfolk Broads – a beautiful area of rivers and lakes.  I’m ashamed to say that watching tourists trying to moor their hire boats offered hours of endless interest and amusement…

Prayer requests

Please praise God with us for

  • Roger and Shirley, having worked faithfully at Tumaini for 28 years
  • Kay joining the team this month, and Brian and Mary planning to come in Feb 2020
  • For plans for the Clinical Team Leader role to be handed over, which are shaping up well

And pray with us for

  • New clinical staff to join us so that we can meet more of the requests for support that we receive from missionaries each week
  • For the many in our team making significant transitions – either returning ‘home’ or arriving in Kenya
  • Healing for Elisabeth’s ankle, the psychiatrist wanting to join us short-term in Nairobi
Orange-tip butterfly

Orange-tip butterfly

And finally our ‘bug of the month’

Despite enjoying taking pictures of various bugs, I know very little about them.  However, I do know that this butterfly is an ‘Orange Tip’!