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, 19 April 2013

Fifteen students wives - and their children!

Welcoming the wives to college
Jessica - child care for 15!

This week we were delighted to welcome the wives of our final year students here in the Bible College. I realise that one of first posts when we arrived last year was of this course, perhaps with similar pictures. My Swahili is so much better now, and the course concequently more efficiently organised!!
They all seem delighted to be here, and thank you again to friends in UK who have generously sponsored the course. The women also enjoy the opportunity to leave their children with Jessicca (pictured above) while they spend the morning in the class room with their new exercise books and pens! They learn a variety of subjects that will help and encourage them as the wives of church leaders. The role here is very traditional as you may imagine, but if they have the skills and confidence it can be rewarding.
Jessica is wonderful - but the first morning when I went to see how she was getting on with the children I found them ALL crying!! I tried to help but my strange white face made it worse and they cried even louder. Here she is with two of the little ones - the face of the one at the front says it all!
As well as generally co-ordinating the course, and the different teachers, I teach Health - we did 'healthy food' this week; and also one English class a week - with lots of laughter -  so that they can at least say Good morning to white visitors!
new specs!
It was a real joy today to give one lady a pair of Primark reading specs  - thanks to my sister-in-law who recently bought all the specs in Primark in Glasgow and brought them to us. For years she hasn't been able to read her Bible - it was like a New Testament miracle to give her a pair of 2.5's!

Alastair has had a crazy week, with 4 long, 12 hour days at different hospitals. The rains have been very heavy and the roads increasingly difficult - the end of the day in theatre is only the beginning of his problems as he then needs to get home in the dark and mud.

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