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, 17 May 2014

Parish Partnerships

St Barnabas and Kimobwa Parishes
We have just said farewell to our visitors from St Barnabas, who were with us for a week, to inaugurate their partnership with Kimobwa church. For Janet, Martin and Sheila this was their first visit to Africa, and we admire the way they coped so well and took such an interest in everything.  We arranged a full programme for them with visits to homes in the villages so as to understand local farming, cooking, economy  etc which is the substance of life here. The special church service last Sunday was a great event with much celebration. This is the first parish partnership between the two Dioceses, so a historic and important day.
Kabanga church roof donated by Painswick Church
This week we were also delighted to see the completion of the church roof at Kabanga, donated by St Mary's church, Painswick. Church building here is so important with the rapidly growing congregations. Most of the building work can be done by the members of the congregations, using local materials and home made bricks. However the roofing materials are expensive and often a limiting factor to villages where there is little or no cash income. So another cause for celebration between our two Dioceses.
Our big news is that our car is back on the road, thanks to Alastair's patience, hard work, negotiation (and expense). It is far from a resurrection into immortality - but should at least see us through the last 3weeks!
Tomorrow is my last time to preach in the villages - my next preaching will be at the ordination of deacons on my last Sunday here, and after that in Cranham.

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