Mark and Sarah both feel it is a privilege to come from families with a strong Christian heritage. Sarah is the daughter of missionaries and spent some of her childhood in Nigeria, while Mark was brought up in a Christian family in Gillingham, Kent. It is largely due to the influence of their parents that they both became Christians at a young age and developed an interest in mission.
Mark and Sarah met at church in Gillingham and were married in 1999. The early years of their marriage were spent there, Sarah working as a speech and language therapist and Mark as a quality technician for BAE Systems. In 2000, during a mission service at church, they both felt called to full-time mission service abroad. They wanted to use the practical skills God has given them, and this led them to apply to MAF.
Our MAF journey
From 2002 to 2005, The Newnhams lived in Ohio, USA. There, Mark trained to become an aircraft maintenance engineer with MMS Aviation, which is a Christian organisation that repairs mission aircraft and trains engineers for missionary service.
They initially served with MAF in Uganda from 2005 -2016. Mark joined the engineering team, maintaining the fleet of seven planes which help enable the spread of God’s Word to places that can often only be reached by air. Sarah’s roles included co-managing the MAF guest house in Kampala and helping with hospitality in the MAF programme. Their family grew during these years and they were blessed with the additions of Amy (2005), Joshua (2007) and Abigail in (2012).
In March 2016 they moved as a family to Liberia, joining the smaller team in this new MAF programme. Mark worked as the Chief Engineer, responsible for the maintenance of the aeroplane operated in Liberia. Sarah helped with administration tasks, used her speech therapy skills in the community and home educated one of their children.
In September 2020 they headed to Nairobi, Kenya. Mark is Area Head of Maintenance. He has oversight of the maintenance of the MAF aircraft in Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Chad. This role is more desk based, although he is spending some hours on the hangar floor in order to maintain his engineering skills.
Sarah is using her skills in administration, Speech Therapy and her love for children, in a variety of ways in Kenya. Twice a week she volunteers at Heshima (meaning Dignity in Swahili), a therapy centre and school for children with disabilities. Here she is working alongside staff on improving the communication skills of the children. She is the Safeguarding Officer for the MAF Kenya programme and recently took on the role of leading & Coordinating the Kids’ Church for the church they attend in Nairobi. This involves planning sessions and activities for around 75 children in four different classes each Sunday.
Join the Newnham’s support team
Mark and Sarah rely on a team of partners who agree to pray for them and to provide the financial support which enables them to serve with MAF.
Would you prayerfully consider joining their support team?