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, 25 December 2013

Happy Christmas

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas season, and thank you for all the greetings and emails we have received.
On Christmas Day I was invited to preach at Nyumbigwa - a village about 20 minutes from town. It's a big church with 400+ in the congregation. The service was a great celebration - in a rather unstructured way! - with a lot of dancing, drumming and spontaneous singing. I preached about preparing our hearts to receive Jesus, and my simple acting out of sweeping the house and dusting the furniture caused much laughter and clapping! The picture is of the 'collection' by the altar - there were about 15 chickens by the end, and large baskets of maize, peanuts, avocados etc... As I led the prayer of blessing for the offering I saw out of the corner of my eye the chickens eating the peanuts!! 2 of the chickens and a large hand of bananas are now in our back kitchen.
We have had some time to relax, give each other stockings of little gifts from the local market, to welcome some local friends, and to chat to our family on skype. We have tried to be festive in a British way with a red kanga and candles on our table and a nice meal.

1 comment:

  1. Seasons greetings to both of you.
    I'm a churchwarden at St Peter's, Haresfield. I read out your piece in the cathedral newsletter in church and as a result we decided that instead of giving each other Christmas cards we would make a donation to your discretionary account. It won't be much as there are only 12 of us! So I need bank details to make the transfer, which will probably be next week.
    With very best wishes
    Alec Jeakins