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, 29 September 2013

Rain and Music

"What a friend we have in Jesus...."
The intense muggy heat has broken with the first of the rains - suddenly the air feels clear, the dust has settled and after just a few showers there are green shoots on the plains. It will be a few weeks still until the rains come properly, and then we will get used to the mud again!
And on Friday college broke up for  a10 day half term. After an exceptionally busy half term, the break - and the rain - are very welcome.  The photo is of our last lesson on Friday; a weekly singing time, when the students, under Alastair's lead, learn English hymns and worship songs. They sing wonderfully, and quickly break into unrehearsed harmony.
Alastair misses all his musical involvement of home. Last week, in a second hand shop in Kigoma he spotted a violin! No one there knew what it was, and we've no idea how it found its way to Kigoma;  but for £12 it became his birthday present. It is proving to be a quality instrument. It has joined the musical collection at home which now consists of Alastair's home made guitar, his proto-type "portable cello", and the old church organ that he rescued from years sitting outside. The organ sadly has inoperable breathing problems, but with a bit of polish looks nice in the sitting room. We also have new, young - white - neighbours! James is working for the British Council on an English teaching programme; he is a good guitar player, so jamming sessions are being enjoyed.
We have enjoyed a week's visit from Phil and Sue Stick from Cranham, and now look forward to Mike Heylings who will join us to teach English for 7 weeks.

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