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.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Preparing to go back

Housework before we leave!
We have had a truly wonderful month enjoying the English summer at its best. Highlights have of course been my service of installation in Gloucester, the wedding in Perthshire, making home on our narrow boat, walking in the Lake District, and all the time being with our family and so many good friends. We go back with many special memories, and feeling very refreshed.
We are now en route - staying with Alec, Ruth and Zach, and surrounded by a rather worrying amount of stuff and suitcases that need to be organised to fit into our weight allowance.
Sorting sutures in our canal boat
One suitcase is full of a year's worth of surgical sutures, collected in GRH theatre - in the photo being sorted out for packing. Other luggage consists of orthopaedic equipment to help children born with club foot, a biopsy kit - again a very generous donation, and an egg whisk which apparently will be dismantled to make just what Alastair needs for some unmentionable procedure. I'm squeezing in  some second hand theology books for the courses I'll be teaching and cheap reading specs for college students. Otherwise our cases are full of personal essentials as : Marmite, gluten free pasta, anti-wrinkle cream, shampoo, and a selection of DVD's for relaxing evenings.
We fly on Sunday, but owing to internal flight times will not arrive in Kasulu until Wednesday. My next blog will be from there. Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement as we return,

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