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.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

A surgeon in Africa....

The surgeon preparing his tools
 Surgical supplies are sometimes a challenge here. Often only one kind of suture, one kind of anaesthetic; and not the surgical instruments I am used to. Recently the electricity in the hospital went off due to a thunderstorm and I ended up completing an operation using the little torch light on my mobile phone.
Now I am making my own orthopaedic supplies from assorted bits and pieces out of bicycle and car shops - Steinmann pins from a throttle control bar, K-wires from bicycle spokes. I have a friend Herman who owns a hardware store in town. If he hasn't got what I need in his own shop, he will search round until he finds what I asked for - on this occasion a steel rod of 4 mm diameter for pinning a broken bone. Then a lot of cutting and filing down on the workbench.

Alec, Ruth and Zach arrive in two days time for a ten-day visit. Great excitement for us grandparents!

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