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.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

"Where's Wally?"

167 African male clergy ........ and me!
It was a long-ish journey back, with 2 nights in Dar es Salam, but we arrived here, with all our luggage, on Wednesday. All was well here and Daines, who works for us, had made the house lovely and prepared food for us.
Today the Diocesan Synod meeting has started - the Synod only meets once every 3 years and is a gathering of all the clergy of the Diocese and lay representatives. Today was a big, 4 hour service in the Cathedral, and I certainly realized we were back, being the only female and only white priest amongst the167 clergy of the Diocese. It was a good re-engagement with Swahili too! There will be meetings tomorrow and Tuesday - of note tomorrow there will be a discussion and vote on the ordination of women. Later in the week the students will return to college so there is preparation to do as well. Alastair starts back at the hospitals this week, delighted to have his biopsy gun - not to mention the egg whisk! It's hot and extremely dry here, but not that much different from our month at home!

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