Helen and Alastair - some background

Helen and Alastair - some background : We have always hoped to return to Africa once more before we're too old (perhaps we already are!). Alastair first went to Africa in 1974 as a junior doctor, working for the Church of Scotland in a small hospital in Transkei, South Africa. I met Alastair there in 1982, were married in 1984 and continued in Transkei until 1988. From there we went to Kenya, as employees of the Church of Scotland, where Alastair ran Chogoria Hospital. We left in 1995, with Alec, Peter and Becky to establish the children's schooling and our work in Britain. Here Alastair found himself as consultant in Breast cancer surgery, and Helen initially trained and worked as a GP before "evolving" to full time ordained ministry. Alec is now married to Ruth, and they have baby Zach; Pete is in his final year of medicine in Edinburgh, and Becky half way through nurse training in Oxford.

The Diocese of Western Tanganyika is a partner of Gloucester diocese. The plan is for Helen to join the teaching staff of the Bible College, teaching those preparing for ministry. Alastair will teach English to the students at the college, as well as doing some surgery at the church-run hospitals, and helping with project management in the Diocese.
We will keep you updated on our plans over the next few months and will greatly value your prayer support. Our current prayer requests - and thanks to God of course - will be posted on the side bar.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Dancing and Teaching

On Sunday I preached at the new church plant - organised by the Cathedral . A completely new congregation about 15 mins walk from town, meeting in a technical college. It was amazing with several hundred people there and a wonderful atmosphere. People were pushing in at the door, and children climbing up the walls outside to try to see through the windows! At one point a local woman started singing a chorus and everyone joined in singing and dancing - including the Dean all dressed in his robes!

On Monday the College reopened, but this is Africa - and its the wet season, so only about half the students have arrived so far. But we started teaching anyway and are enjoying it. The main challenge of course is language - not ours but the students'. The senoir students have to learn in English - but they have very limited language. Alastair is teaching them English, and I'm doing very slow careful theology. I've lots of other responsibiliites in the running of the college, and at present am tackling the libray which needs a good sort out and clean. I'm working with Yona, the "librarian", who is really enjoying the encouragement and new challenge. Alastair spent today on very interesting roads visiting a rural village where they are building a small clinic.
Domestic highlights - still the loo seat as greatest new luxury; a lemon drizzle cake which was remarkably succesful, and making a projector screen out of a piece of white sheeting and two garden fork handles (AV enthusiasts watch the market!)

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