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.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

More news

Sorry a bit short of news last week - I guess life is getting busier which is good in many ways. The BIG domestic highlight of the weekend was the delivery of a large mirror for the bedroom. WOW - I was a bit nervous not having had anything other than a 6 inch make up mirror for a month, and wondered how low the standards had fallen. It was like meeting an old friend again!! - a bit browner and dustier but otherwise much the same. Actually life was quite easy without a mirror, but probably better in the long term to keep an eye on oneself.
Long day out on Sunday to the enthronement of a new Bishop in Kibondo. 3 hours journey each way on bad roads, a complete car break down, wait for another landrover, 6 hour church service (I must get new, cooler robes); long wait for chicken and rice.... home 15 hours later and exhausted!
College continues in a somewhat chaotic way, with timetable rather vague, and most plans made last minute. I've taken on the job of sorting out the "library" - am now at a very dusty phase of some long lost cupboards and boxes of old books but we're beginning to see the improvements and hopefully it will be more sue to the students. There are a lot of very old, inappropriate books that must have come from UK or USA at some point, but hidden among them a bit of useful stuff. We've a donation to buy some new books which will be great, and we'll aim to stock up the Swahili section of the library as the majority of the students learn in Swahili.
Cooking pilau rice - a great treat.
The women are OK and seem to be enjoying their course. Here's a great picture of  their cooking lesson in the college kitchen.
Next week is a big conference for all the clergy of the Diocese. Everything will stop becuase of it. I've been asked to speak at least twice as well as preach at the last service. It's a great privilege and I will need to spend time preparing.

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