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.
We met at our home church in Gillingham and were married in 1999. The early years of our 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 our home church, we both felt called to full-time mission service abroad. We desired to use the practical skills God has given us, and this led us to apply to MAF.
Our MAF journey
From 2002 to 2005, we 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.
We started our service with MAF overseas fifteen years ago!
We 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. Our family grew during these years and we were blessed with the additions of Amy (2005), Joshua (2007) and Abigail in (2012).
In March 2016 we 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.
We are now embarking on a new adventure with MAF. We head to Nairobi, Kenya in September 2020. Mark is taking on the new role of Area Head of Maintenance. He will have oversight of the maintenance of the MAF aircraft in Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Chad. This role will be more desk based, although he is keen to spend some hours on the hangar floor in order to maintain his engineering skills. The children will all be attending Hillcrest International School (this will be online initially due to Covid-19). Sarah will focus on getting the family settled before she looks into how her skills might be used in Kenya.
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?