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.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Vistors and students

Visiting Nicodemus and his family
The pink shirt group!
We are into our last 6 weeks here, which feels extraordinary (when we have time to think about it!) Life continues apace. We are delighted to have Sarah Miller, a clergy friend of mine, to stay for 2 weeks. Sarah has been sharing the usual round of church, college and local visiting with us, and was made warmly welcome when we were invited to the home of one of my 3rd year students, Nicodemus,  and his family. I am enjoying having a teaching colleague, and we laughed at the clothes co-ordination when she was helping a small group discussion during a class on preaching.
At the end of next week, after Sarah's visit, we will receive a group from St Barnabas, and at the end of the month the Dean of Gloucester will come.
Bride price paid
In the other photo is Ruben, one of our students training on the evangelists' course, with his fiancee.  We were at their church last week, and they were thrilled for the opportunity of an official photo together. They will be married in June. However marriage is difficult for young people here as there is still a tradition of bride price that must be paid by the groom, or his parents. Whereas this used to be in the form of cattle, or crops, it is now cash. The 'price' of an educated girl can be up to 2 million shillings (more than a year's average salary). Several of our students are hoping to marry but think that it will be years before they can find such money. It is a sad and difficult situation for many young people who I know.
Post script : Unfortunately the Easter week has not brought resurrection for our car, which has suffered an expensive and untimely death.

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