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, 26 February 2013

Visitors and Clinic Opening

All the village celebrating the clinic opening

We have had a great, and full week, with the visit here of the Bishops and representatives from the other two Dioceses of our three way partnership. Bishop Michael and Archdeacon Robert came from Gloucester, and Bishop Mary and a guy called Bill Dolby from California.
The main aim of the week was to hold a one day teaching seminar for clergy in 4 different venues in the area. By the end of the 4 days we were a great team and I think our teaching well appreciated. I was involved in lots of organising and hosting - from getting to venues on time and liaising with local organisers.... to ensuring daily flap jack supplies and water for showers. 
The worldwide church!
 They spent the 2nd part of the trip here in Kasulu, with lots of time at our house - which came into its own in its rather tatty, homely way! Breakfasts, cups of tea, chatting and a queue for the bucket shower were a feature of each day.
For us we felt wonderfully supported and encouraged in all that we do - and try to be - here; though being part of so much stimulating conversation in fluent English was rather a shock and I was so "over stimulated " for the first few days I couldn't sleep!
And on Sunday Mubanga Clinic was opened - the whole village turned out with cheering and traditional dancing and singing - followed by a long and very jolly church service. It was a great honour to all the work the local people have done to build it, and to Alastair's project management that has seen it to completion.
There is now a lot of work to do to get it opened in the next few weeks, with staff to organise and more expense for initial drug and equipment supplies.
So this week we are back to "normal" - hospitals, teaching, preaching engagements etc.

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