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, 15 November 2012

Bibles, Archbishop, gardens, more travels...

Bible translation into Kihaa

Tidying up the college garden
Sorry for blog update delay, owing to long, full days for both of us.
 The Archbishop of Tanzania visited the Dicoese for a week, which involved an extraordinary schedule of long church services, opening new buildings and doing confirmations. At the Sunday service in the Cathedral 260 people were confirmed! It rained so hard on the tin roof of the church we couldn't hear much.  Every service is followed by the extraordinary Tanzanian hospitality of chicken, rice, beans, meat, veges, fruit..... I only went to two such events but admire the stamina of the Archbishop who continued all week.
We were away in Kibondo - neighbouring Diocese, 3hours drive away  - for the weekend, where we were welcomed as official visitors, had a good tour of all they do and met interesting people. I preached at 3 consecutive services in the Cathedral on Sunday, starting at 6.30 am!
Alastair has been busy as usual with extraordinary surgery in the very basic conditions of the local hospitals. He is very ingenious with materials and did something clever surgically yesterday with a saucepan lid and a file from his tool kit!
Photos above are of Rev Ntakije, a local pastor, who has just translated and published the gospels in the local language of Kihaa. People here speak Swahili mostly but their traditional language is Kihaa which they speak at home and in the villages. Bible translation is a fascinating process and its wonderful to know it is still going on. He came to speak to the students the other day abotu his work.
I've been working with Keily - the other photo - to tidy up the college gardens. She's enjoying her new project and is very skilful with her jembe!

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