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.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Chickens and goats

The chicken was very tender - "fell off the bone", and we barely needed the toothpicks which are usually an essential item at the end of any meal that includes meat or chicken. We had a very good evening with the Bishop and his wife, and its great to now feel our house is ready for such occasions.
Today in the Cathdral when people gave their offerings (this is done by everyone walking to the front of church while the choir sing and dance - everyone of course being several hundred) - one person brought a live goat on a lead! The goat was then tied to the altar rail during communion, though complained rather a lot so the Eucharistic prayer was set to a background of the goat bleeting. I had just been preaching about how God's love and welcome is for everyone, and that this is symbolised when we come for communion - I hadn't included goats!!
As is the custom the goat was then auctioned at the end of the service, and reached a healthy 40,000 shillings.
New students arrived at college today ready to start an intensive English and introduction to theology course tomorrow. I've been responsible for much of the planning, and am looking forward to it. Alastair has just left - in the dark - for Shunga hospital again : his 5th emergency section this week.

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