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, 25 July 2012

Mid week update

Nothing particularly new to say, but am sitting in college library with good internet connection, and procrastinating over some lesson preparation - so thought i'd say hello to all you faithful blog readers.
It's getting even drier, and even more dusty in Kasulu (if that's possible!), and quite hot in the middle of the day. But the temperature is great, and nver uncomfortable. Our shower bucket remains the best invention, and every evening it's most satisfying to wash off the day's dust. We have enough water for a few hoursa  day to water the veg garden. It's quite a local show piece, now with wonderful assorted lettuces.  So with local avos (40 p for 6 huge avos), and toms and peppers from the market, we eat really nice salads much of the time.
Our 6 week course at college finishes this week - the idea has been for the students to learn English from scratch, ready to start a Diploma in Theology next month. We love the optimism of African culture, and this is no exception! We've had a great time with the students though, and built good relationships, and there's always lots of cheering and clapping when a new student feels brave enough to lead the morning service in English.  Not sure what depth of theology we'll manage.
Alastair's surgical work continues to increase healthily - he hasn't done this kind of surgery since Kenya (17 years ago)  - but seems completely comfortable and happy getting back to it. Next week he starts a weekly session at the local Government hospital.
This Sunday I'm to preach at the ordination service of priests - and my plan is to preach in Swahili. I've had some help and it's prepared word for word - now 3 days to practice! 

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