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.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Local scenes - and Alastair in Dar.

Thought you might enjoy some local domestic scenes, from recent trips to rural communities. People are always so cheerful but life is tough and constant hard work compared with our western comforts.
On Sunday we visited a nearby village church where I preached. The coooking scene above was preparing our lunch - the generosity is wonderful but embarassing to us. Local food is based on Ugali - a stiff porridge made of maize meal, which is served with some sort of stew made from beans or vegetables. We are always given meat and tough chicken as well, but that is just for visitors! There is a special technique of eating ugali with your fingers - sort of roll it into a ball and dip it in the stew. So far I've accepted any spoon that I'm offered!
Big news today is that Alastair has left for Dar es Salam. He got the local bus to Kigoma and then plane to Dar. He is going to sit it out in offices trying to get clearance of our car, and hope for some progress on work permits. I'm staying here to teach the students for their final week before exams, but if Alastair succeeds I'll fly across to meet him so we can drive back together. It's all very difficult and frustrating, and we would appreciate your prayers this week.
It'll be my first night alone in the house - not worried about burglars or such things, just plumbing problems or lizards in the bedroom!!

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