A letter from Nancy Dimmock in Lesotho
It has been an amazingly busy last four months or so, and we wanted to share both our joys and our challenges.
April– A terrible measles epidemic swept through the schools and orphanages of South Africa and Lesotho. A vaccination campaign was successfully launched in both countries. Our kids were vaccinated at their schools and Ministry of Insured Salvation (MIS) orphanage had some clinic staff come by to bring everyone up-to-date there. But not before two high school girls and four babies contracted the disease. Three of the babies were immune compromised and could not fight it off. They passed away and were buried in the pauper’s grave here in the city. We helped with getting picks and shovels and little coffins but did not participate in the actual burials. Just couldn’t handle it. Instead, we were asked to take the surviving baby and her brother, to help her recover and prevent a relapse. SO, we have had two additional “foster” children in our household, ages 2 and 5, since mid-April. They have been both a JOY and a CHALLENGE! They have been placed for adoption with a Canadian family, who will come for them sometime in late August. It will be hard to say goodbye.
May – Graduations in the United States. Daughter Jesse received her degree in political science from Davidson College at the same time that Frank was awarded an honorary doctorate, also from Davidson, for his career of service to the church in Africa. What a wonderful occasion that was! THANK YOU to all who wrote letters of support and reference on Frank’s behalf. Jesse came out to us for two months following graduation — for some rest (Ha! Not possible at our house), recuperation, restoring her perspective and reconnecting with family. It was all of those things for her and a great JOY for us. Moses was also here, working as assistant physical ed teacher at the international primary school, following his internship in Uganda. Another great JOY was being a part of his life as he decided to become a Young Adult Volunteer with the PC(USA) and has been assigned to Northern Ireland starting in late August.
June – World Cup fever! The atmosphere throughout the subcontinent was electric and JOYful. People really came together around this month-long event. Moses watched all the games on TV, and four from our household were able to attend the Germany vs. England match in nearby Bloemfontein. The border crossings were a CHALLENGE since security into South Africa had tightened and the lines were long. But one simply took the long wait at the border into account and factored it into one’s timing. South Africa did an absolutely superb job of hosting the event and made all of Africa proud.
July – Katie and her best friend, Sherry, came to visit for three weeks — which included Katie’s 20th birthday. We celebrated at a nearby game park, where we were treated to a rare sighting of, not one, but a herd of FIVE white rhino. Fantastic. My sister-in-law and her daughter also came to visit, and we had a wonderful time sharing everyday life with them and getting to know them better. This was a graduation gift for Samantha and a return-to-Africa trip for my sister-in-law, after 20+ years away. On top of family visits, we hosted a mission group from North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. They came to do a Vacation Bible School at the orphanage with which we work most closely. They were a good group and we pray that they were changed and CHALLENGED by their interactions with the kids there. We had the CHALLENGE of feeding and fitting 31 people into our small living room for their welcome and their farewell debriefing. It was cozy, good fun and a JOY to share in ministry with them.
That’s the story at home. Meanwhile, Frank and I, in our work capacities are mostly CHALLENGED by the lack of finances to support all the things that the Lord seems to be asking us to be involved in. Frank has been traveling throughout the continent, a large part by road, collecting data on how the church is caring for children. He has been humbled by the great compassion and energy put into all kinds of models of care. There are many saints hard at work on this continent, giving love and care to needy children and providing the basics of food, shelter and clothing as they are able. When he came back from a particularly long and poignant trip and submitted his receipts for reimbursement, he discovered that there were no funds available in his work account. This was discouraging, to say the least. If the Lord lays it on your heart to help, work funds can be directed to Extra Commitment Opportunity account 047974 (Regional Health Consultant for Eastern and Southern Africa). [You can always find a link in the Give box in the left column of the page —Ed.]
Even so, we continue to depend on our great God, who is able to do more than we can ask or think. We continue to serve Him with JOY!
THANK YOU for partnering with us!
Nancy (for the family)
Frank and Nancy, and Nathan, Moses, Jesse, Katie, Andrew, Alifa, Isaac and Jackson
The 2010 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 64