When we last wrote this blog we were thinking about when we might go to Kenya for a while. In fact we got as far as booking a 5-week trip, to enable me (Mark) to spend time with the team at Tumaini and also to empty our apartment in Nairobi for use by another missionary. Well, plans come and plans go, but it is the will of the Lord that prevails.
A few days before flying, Barbara was diagnosed with a possible health problem and was advised not to fly, so we had to change our plans. After talking to the doctors and to colleagues in Africa Inland Mission, I decided to go alone, but for just 12 days, knowing that Barbara would have further tests after I returned.
So, after a brief trip to Nairobi I am now back in the UK, having given away a lot of things, sold others, and brought back the essentials to the UK – with just one excess bag! One of the things that we have learned over the last years is to ‘travel light’, and letting go of our possessions in Nairobi was actually a joy as we saw the delight in the eyes of Kenyan friends to receive, for example, an iron and ironing board, or some saucepans!
It was very good to see the team at Tumaini, but sad not to have longer together. With one colleague just leaving to go on ‘home assignment’ for a year after 5 years in Africa, that leaves just 5 clinical staff in the Nairobi centre – there were 10 in 2015 – and they are very hard pressed.
We are expecting a psychologist to come and work with us for 6 months from September, but the long-term counsellor who hoped to join us this July is likely to be delayed for a year until mid-2018 while she raises sufficient support. So, please continue praying for these people and for additional professional staff to join the team!
However, celebrate with us that our planned intensive 2-week residential counselling Restore programme in June is nearly fully booked. And also celebrate that the delay in our starting building new missionary housing on the Tumaini compound due to concerns by neighbours, is, we believe, now resolved.
Barbara’s mother continues to survive in her own home, with lots of support from family and 3 carers coming in each day.
Following recent tests, Barbara’s health concerns now seems to be less serious than first thought. These are showing ‘no significant problem’ so we are both relieved and praying that this is the end of the matter.
We continue to live in the barn belonging to good and kind friends. We expect to be able to move back into our own home in August, and are praying that this transition will be smooth. As we have been back in the UK but ‘squatting’ with friends for nearly a year, we will be very glad to get back into our own home when the time comes!
Please thank God and celebrate with us:
- That there are two new professionals who want to work at Tumaini, and pray that they will be able to come at just the right time
- That the Restore programme in June is nearly fully-booked, and praying that it will be a time of healing and restoration for those attending
- That Mark was able to spend a couple of weeks in Nairobi and spend time with the team, as well as empty our apartment there for another missionary to use
- That Barbara’s health concern is less serious than first thought
And please pray with us:
- For the existing staff at Tumaini who are hard-pressed, and for additional professional staff to be called to work with us
- For patience as we wait to return to our own house
Bug of the month
And finally, a pic of our friend Joseph, with one of the bugs – a locust of some kind – that we rather miss in the UK!