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, 29 August 2012


All going well, and again thanking you for your emails and prayers. Becky is booked on an easy direct flight tomorrow morning, and Alec will be able to meet her at Heathrow. She's still tired and a bit weak, but keen to get home and settled again. We may never know if this was all due to malaria, or other infections. We've all learnt a lot about local diseases, treatments and hospitals; and the importance of medical insurance.
Alastair and I are of course a long way from home - and will start making our way back tomorrow. We'll fly to Mwanza, which is on the south of Lake Victoria, and then take the 8 hour bus to Kasulu on Friday.
Our grandchild Zach is having his operation for his cleft palate on Friday at Great Ormond Street - rather a medical time for the Sammons!

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