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.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

From the surgeon :

Now, where was the road?

In the operating theatre there are less routine operations for me at the moment because it’s the rainy season and so people are busy planting, and non-urgent problems can wait.
This is generally a peaceful place –  but there has been a run of assaults in the last few weeks: a gunshot wound through the chest and abdomen; a spear wound of the abdomen; an arrow wound, again through the chest and abdomen, who had initially been operated on by someone else who missed some of the damage - he has needed a succession of major operations, but now looks as if he will mend. There were concerns that it was a poisoned arrow, explaining why he has been so sick.  Finally a machete injury with major damage to nerves and tendons of his hand. Investigations and treatment options here are limited, and a bit of improvisation has been necessary for all these patients. 
There have been new, recently qualified doctors appointed to two of the hospitals I work in. They are enthusiastic and interested to learn, and I have been really encouraged by their arrival.
.........While Alastair has been busy with daily difficult drives to hospitals to review his very sick patients, I've been running a one-week intensive English course for 4 of our pastor-students. They are in their second year in college but have really struggled with the basics of English. We have about 6 hours class room time together each day and its good to see them grow in confidence.

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