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, 3 November 2013

High School building project

Many of you in Gloucester will have come across this project, as this year's episcopal collections. Alastair writes :
Brinkman School is being built as I write. The Diocese of Gloucester is helping sharing the cost of this high school – a sixth form college- which is sorely needed in this town. Mr Brinkman was a German missionary who died here a few decades ago while working for the Church. In fact the school is now going to be called the Bishop Makaya High School which is easier for local people to get their tongues round.
The Cathedral here in Kasulu built a block of four classrooms early last year, then asked the Diocese of Gloucester to be a partner in the project. I am heavily tied up in the finances of the school on behalf of the Diocese of Gloucester, but also tied up in the nuts and bolts (bricks and mortar!) of the project as we decide on final designs, priorities in building order, and how to get enough water for the building process. We have already built the shell for another block of classrooms, and have dug the foundations for the first dormitory. Building here is cheap. The foundations, walls and roof for the block of three classrooms just completed cost about £7000 and took about two months to finish. I am hoping that we can get quite a few buildings up within the next few months.
Other news : 

Thanks to Alastair's hard work and ingenuity, and the purchase of yet another oil drum, the hot water system, and 'bucket management' is back to normal.
The rains have started properly on cue on 1st November - it's cooler, muddier and greener.
Today 'going to church' took 9 hours - I was preaching at Kinazi, way up in the hills.  I am feeling much more confident in Swahili and can keep going for 20+ minutes without getting stage fright!
A highlight yesterday was finding a bar of Cadbury's Dairy milk in a shop in town. It's a different recipe here and doesn't melt!

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