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, 1 November 2012

Good to be home!

Bishops Jacob and John - and me!

The bus ! - Puncture on the way home

Dry, bare countryside of central Tz
It's good to back in Kasulu, in our little house that has become so much home, and back to the green countryside. Central Tanzania is extraoridnarily dry - huge dry, sandy river beds, scattered baobab trees and not a lot else. This photo was taken out of the bus window, but captures the scenery. There was very little fresh food in the markets, and again made me realise how fortunate we are to be in this rich and fertile area. I survived the bus and am quite proud of myself, and perhaps reliving my teenage years!!  It was 24 hours home, with a 5 hour break in a rather nasty town overnight where a friendly taxi driver helped find me a room in a guest house (it was £4-00 - and you get what you pay for!!). My Swahili seemed enough to get me around, and I am conitnually aware of how kind and helpful the Tanzanian people are.
The Diocesan meetings went very well and my presentations were well recieved. There are only 4 Dioceses in Tanzania where they have agreed the ordination of women (this and Mpwapwa not being among them) - and it is a subject of huge debate. Women however are accepted in other senior positions, and there are some very well educated and capable women around. I have always been very well received wherever I go, and people are keen to discuss and many want to move forward.
Please continue to hold us in thought and prayer; we've very happy in so many ways but miss home, family and friends, and find our work environments challenging.

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