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.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Planting season

Jackson and his family
Dear Blog readers - thank you for being patient for a blog update! It has been a very busy end of term, with student exams and departure and all the setting and marking of exams, and admin that it involved. The students are all now at home with their families for a long Christmas break. Here is a photo of one of our new students, Jackson, who has completed his first term training to be a pastor. He is now happily back with his wife and their 5 month old twin boys in the rural village where they live.  This is an important month for planting and tending for crops - hence the important long holiday for them all.
Ugali and beans - staple diet
Newly planted maize and beans
Maize and beans are the local staple foods, and are planted on every available little piece of land - this photo is taken just along the side of the road. They will be harvested next year and dried, and the maize is then ground and cooked into ugali - a stiff white porridge (that to me tastes of nothing!). - Here a picture of the finished product.
Alastair is continuing his usual hospital work and overseeing of the building of the new High School, and spending an increasing amount of time caring for our poor car which is suffering from the bad road conditions. I'm catching up with other work, have a lot of preaching to do, and am starting to prepare for next term's teaching - but hoping also to have a bit of time for making some clothes and crafts from the lovely local fabrics.

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