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.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

This lovely picture is of the certificate students of the college engaging in my class yesterday as they discussed the problems they face in their parish churches. It's as an itnroduction to Theolgical Reflection (for those of you familiar with such things!) - and it was so encouraging to see them all so interested and engaged,
I've just written a timetable in Kiswahili!! - I hope people turn up to the right lessons, espcially as times in swahili are completely different from English, as you start counting from 6am (which of course is much more sensible than our system, but confusing until you're used to it).
The women are doing well and seem to be enjoying their course. On Friday I had a great session with them looking at the story of Martha and Mary, with lots of animated discussion about how can women be expected to sit in church listening to sermons when they've got visitors coming for lunch!  One of the aims is to empower the women and allow them to express their own views, as they have little "voice" in the rural communities and churches.
Alastair has had some good English classes, at various levels, and is also busy with various Diocesan health projects. As I write this he is painting the bathroom - we've also got tiles round the bath: WOW!
Domestic highlight : buying a mincer - large, heavy, metal affair as we used to have in Kenya. Cottage pie and spag bog here we come.
And this week, for the first time,we managed to Skype the family which was so special.

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