After spending time helping at the Tumaini Counselling Centre in Nairobi as part of a short term trip in summer 2011, Mark & Barbara believed that God was calling them back to use the skills he has given them on the mission field for his glory.
‘Tumaini’ is the Swahili word for ‘hope’. The missionary life can be very rewarding, but can also be tough. There is a real spiritual battle, and, of course, missionaries are not exempt from the physical and mental health problems that can afflict anyone. The staff, who are themselves missionaries, work to ‘provide preventative and restorative mental health services and pastoral care in order to enhance missionary resilience and fruitfulness.’ Mark had been a counsellor for over 30 years and took early retirement from his position as Head of Counselling at Cambridge University to go to Nairobi.
Barbara taught adult literacy in Essex for over 15 years, and while Mark worked at Tumaini she worked at Africa International University, teaching English and discipling theology students and pastors’ wives.
In 2016 the Phippens moved back to the UK, and until the end of 2019 Mark remotely supported the work of Tumaini as their Clinical Team Leader.