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.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Last sermon.... and count down

Last sermon
Leaving presents!
Yesterday I preached at the ordination of the new deacons - a huge service, 7-800 people. My last (?ever?) sermon in Swahili! It was a great privilege as the men being ordained were those I have taught, full time, for 2 years. Preaching in Swahili is not something I will miss, but I will miss the big congregations, the enthusiastic feedback during a sermon, and the opportunity to preach for a full 30 minutes!
We have been attending a great round of leaving parties - so far 6 events including Alastair's 3 hospitals, the Bible College and our local church. We have eaten a lot of chicken and rice, given many impromptu speeches, and received a wonderful  collection of leaving presents, including dresses, shirts, fabric, drums, baskets... - a selection shown in this picture.
Now I have to mark an enormous pile of exam papers, finalise all the college admin.... and there's still no sign of packing!

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