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.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Bible College make over

Today our students came back to college after their 2 month Christmas break. During this time we have done a huge amount of work to improve the college buildings - painting inside and out,  redoing the computer room and finishing the new chapel. This was all thanks to generous donations from individuals and churches at home. The college had been very tired looking and rather disheartening for students and staff, but now it is much cleaner, more attractive and functional. Hope you like the colour scheme!! The painter in the picture above is Reginald, one of the full time tutors who is also an experienced painter-decorator, and worked really hard for weeks.  I did my bit by making new curtains, covering notice boards, re-organising the library, and preparing the chapel.
The computer room is a great asset for the college and the surrounding community. It was installed several years ago as a gift from US churches, and we have good wireless internet. As well as being used by students, staff and local clergy, young people from the town come for computer courses so giving themselves opportunities for further study and good jobs.
The students don't really have a holiday as the months they are at home are busy for digging their "shambas" (small farms) and planting their essential crops of maize, beans and ground nuts. The rains have been good so all have come back speaking of God's blessings for their families - who they now leave at home for 2 months.

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