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.

Monday, 13 May 2013

College news

Weekly bible study
My work in college has been exceptionally busy lately, and combined with Alastair's heavy schedule and us both being unwell it has made the last month probably our toughest yet. However we seem to have gathered strength again and we can now look forward to our visit home (June 30th - August 5th).
Cooking lessons
My current teaching includes the life of St Paul, Counselling skills, how to preach (which I need to teach in Swahili), various English lessons, cake-making with the women...  I'm really pleased to have recently introduced weekly Bible study groups for the students for which I write the study questions and then get help to translate them into Swahili. In 2 weeks the students will sit their end of year exams, and it's my responsibility to get the exams prepared, organised, marked etc.
However a lot of my work is my informal pastoral role. There's usually a queue outside my office of students and their wives who need : paracetamol, blood tests for malaria, more knitting wool, advice about the sick baby, extensions for assignments, extra English lessons, money for the bus fare home, to borrow the sellotape, or a listening ear about almost anything.

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