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.

Saturday, 15 September 2012


It has been great to have a quiet Saturday at home today - the first for ages, and not dominated by the need to preach in Swahili tomorrow morning! We've had a bit of time to indulge in our respective creative hobbies. Alastair, with no cellos or violins to make, has found an old 1898 organ abandoned in a work shop. It now lives in our sitting room and slow restoration of the case and working parts is underway. This seems to involve bits of leather and felt, and shoe polish for the wood. I'm assured we may yet play Wesley hymns on it! I've invested in a treadle sewing machine. With considerable skill and patience, and a lot of machine oil, it will go forwards and backwards, though not do anything fancy. But it allows me to be creative with the wonderful fabrics available in the market here and keeps my quads in good shape! Today I was making curtains for my office at college, and in the picture here some cotton trousers for myself.

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