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.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Easter Weekend

Easter Sunday Baptism candidates

Cooking Easter Sunday lunch for us
We wish  everyone who reads this a very Happy Easter.
On Good Friday I was  in the Cathedral - which was very full, 600+ people. The service was 3 hours (plus!), including 7 (not so short) sermons of Jesus' words from the cross. I prepared to preach one as I had been asked, but when I arrived found I was to preach a second one as well! Always take a pen and paper to church I've learnt, and be grateful for the choir singing long songs.
Hoping for a resurrection
In the afternoon we had time to enjoy our favourite walk, and a picnic tea,  following the stations of the cross up a hill just outside town.
On Saturday, I shared the baptism of 31 people, adults and children, in our 'home church' of Mwilanvya, and on Sunday - in the village of Rusesa - baptised a further 18 people, adults and children, including some converted from Islam. I'm rather chuffed as I can now do the words of the baptism in Swahili without the book!
The week has been somewhat dominated though by bad car problems, which necessitated a 2 hour  tow back from Matyazo. It's serious engine trouble, and Alastair is trying to get the spare parts sent here this week ('big end bearings' I'm told). Needless to say this is making life more difficult, but we're grateful to good friends who are helping us out.

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