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.

Friday, 30 November 2012

The road to Mubanga...

The road to the new clinic
Today we went together to visit the new clinic, which Alastair has been project managing, in the village of Mubanga, . It's an hour and a half drive from Kasulu over the hills, as the photo shows. It's in a beautiful position, and "rural" would seem an appopriate description! Alastair was pleased to find that the plumber had sorted out all the leaks and everything is pretty well ready to install the equipment and arrange staffing. There will be outpatients and maternity facilities, with a  few in patient beds. The members of the village have done all the building themselves, and its very much their own project for their community.
Local kids pose for the camera!
A group of little children were fascinated by the arrival of a car and some strange looking white people. At first they ran away from us, but soon became bolder and cheeky, and laughed so much as they posed for this photo!
Families here are still very large, many with 10 - 12 children. Family planning is available,and free from the government, but most people especially in the rural areas are not willing to accept it. Alastair has a health project to provide family planning education through the churches, and I have been training the newly appointed teacher who will travel around the area to speak church meetings

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