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.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Home! - and more miracles

By 5pm yesterday Becky was in London and we were home in Kasulu. Now I really believe in miracles! The insurance company managed to book Becky on an "Upper Class" flight direct to Heathrow. We managed to get flights to Mwanza at almost the same time so could be with Becky at the airport right up to when she left. She had a private compartment, bed, white sheets and a 3 course dinner!! Ours was a bit different! We flew via Kilimanjaro to Mwanza, where we landed 20 minutes earlier than predicted.  We were anticipating big problems with immigration owing to our work permits / lack of (...another story) - but they stamped our passports and waved us through. It was now 1.20. I knew that there was a flight to Kigoma at 1.30pm though we had no ticket, or even money. "Team Africa" were at their best : I ran to the ticket office, while Alastair ran to the ATM. There was lots of phoning, waving of arms, and shouting in Swahili of "wait, wait" - We were dragged back through the airport, bypassing all security, and out of the back door onto the runway. Alastair handed over a stack of cash, which there was no time to count, and we jumped onto the 12 seater plane. I just had time to phone friends here to ask a driver to bring our car to meet us in Kigoma, and we were soon home for a "nice cup of tea"!.
Now we all need time to settle again and get back to routine. Becky will go to her own house in Oxford today, and hopes - perhaps rather ambitiously -  to be well enough to captain her hockey team and start at Uni on Monday.
Hopefully our next blog updates will be less exciting!

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