Volunteer in Mission ordained in Tanzania

By on November 1, 1999

Dr. Iain Elliott celebrates the eucharist after his ordination in Tanzania.

A Canadian physician and Anglican deacon who went to Tanzania as a Volunteer in Mission has been ordained to the priesthood there.

Dr. Iain Elliott was ordained at the Milo Bible College by the Bishop of Southwest Tanganyika, John Mwela. Dr. Elliott works at St. Luke’s Hospital; his wife, Olwen, and their son Michael have accompanied him for a two-year term.

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Two other Canadian couples are also serving as volunteers in mission in Tanzania and were there for Dr. Elliott’s ordination: David and Patricia Dunnill of the Diocese of Algoma, who serve as co-principals of a primary school; and Barry and Linda Campbell from Prince Edward Island who are helping to develop a farm.

Mr. Dunhill sent back an article and photos on the ordination. He notes that Milo is located on a mountain top in the Livingstone Mountains at an altitude of about 2,500 metres. Temperatures in July range from about 10 to 18 degrees.

“Groceries are obtained once each month by a strenuous, back-jolting trip over the rough mountain track to Njombe,” Mr. Dunhill wrote. “However, the Elliotts do get a litre of milk and a loaf of fresh bread delivered to their door every day.

The church’s Volunteers in Mission program currently has people in nine placements around the world, including Brazil, Madagascar, the Seychelles and Uganda. Another four placements will be under way soon.

Dr. Elliott has kept a journal since he went to Tanzania in August 1998. Following are excerpts.

June 3, 1999 Malaria strikes Dr. Elliott for a second time.

June 5, 99 “I was glad to see Friday afternoon arrive. I looked forward to some time to recuperate. It was not to be. I managed to stay up until 8:30 p.m. before retiring. At 10 p.m., the dreaded word, “Hodi” sounded outside our bedroom window. A lady who had two previous caesars (caesarian sections) had gone into labour. I told them to set it up but it was nearly midnight by the time we were ready. I did something I have never done in the OR before. I nearly fainted. I had the babe out and I was sewing up the second layer of the uterus when I felt it coming. I got a stool and sat down but soon had to run for the scrub-up to throw up in the sink. Then the diarrhea struck. After that I felt not too bad and I scrubbed again and finished the operation.”

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