A letter from Nancy Dimmock in Lesotho
There’s no place like home! Looking back, six weeks spent completing the renovations on two houses was a miraculously short time—but it felt long in the living of it. While the Haven of Peace Guesthouse was truly a haven during this process, the two small rooms for the six of us and the shared kitchen seemed to get smaller and smaller as time went by. The children started back to school during the last week of August. They are attending three different schools, with three different sets of rules, schedules and calendars. Jackson had the hardest time adjusting to new expectations at school, with a “meltdown” or two, exacerbated by the general unsettledness of his life.
However, finally, on September 1, the Ministry of Hope Lesotho house was functional—thanks to a real “community of mission practice.” With the help of local partner church friends and PWs and the timely gifts from so many of you, they had new curtains, a new stove and fridge, connected water and electricity, a laundry house and new washing machine, beds and basic furniture, and a new security fence in place. The eight children in the program moved to their new home! It was an exciting day, and EVERYONE helped!
We then concentrated on our house, which needed some repairs, some repainting, and a deep cleaning of the carpets. A week later we were able to move in. The joy and sighs of contentment from our kids were almost palpable. Alifa began “nesting” and arranging her room right away and the little boys pulled out their cars and marbles and began playing on their floor. Andrew’s needs are minimal—just a bed, privacy and plenty of airtime :), so he was a happy camper, too. Frank has reorganized and alphabetized his office files and books (a little OCD?!), and is finally reconnected to the Internet, so he is ready to “get back to work.”
The Lesotho Evangelical Church is our church partner and local host here in Lesotho. They have asked Frank to devote a portion of his time to helping revitalize their Health Commission and advise the boards of their two major health institutions. He is planning trips to Scott Hospital in Morija (a 45-minute drive from Maseru) and Tebellong Hospital (a 45-minute flight by small plane, or a six-hour drive) before next Thursday, when he leaves for the States! The important Dallas II consultation and a training session for regional liaisons are his primary reasons for the trip back. This is an opportunity to help map or strategize about the way forward in mission with the PC(USA) and its partners. The three “critical global issues” will be discussed and Frank will be particularly interested in CGI #1, which is addressing the root causes of poverty. While in the U.S. he will also attend the Congo Mission Network meeting in Delaware. He’ll return to Lesotho on October 20 for about a week before heading to health consultations in Malawi.
Meanwhile, “back at the ranch” I am seeking to be faithful to whatever is put into my hand. Caring for my family and being available to help at Ministry of Hope Lesotho are my current priorities. Our whole family had the privilege, in mid-August, of helping to orient three new adoptive families that came from Holland for four of the Ministry of Hope children. We took them all to Morija for a local meal, a trip to the museum, and a hike on the mountain. Ministry of Hope is getting a reputation for excellent care and for being able to rehabilitate malnourished and highly vulnerable children. I was pleased to be present, just a week ago, to help register a newcomer to the program, referred by Social Welfare and the Baylor AIDS clinic. She is a 3 ½-year-old, quite stunted from poor nutrition following the death of her mother. Her grandfather was with her and will take over her care, when she is healthy, once again.
News from our older children is all good. Our oldest son, Nathan, and his wife, Leah, are expecting their first child (our first grandchild!!) in late October, so they are literally counting the days now. Leah is healthy, the baby is kicking up a storm, and they are very excited. Moses is enjoying his work with marginalized children in Asheville, through the Salvation Army/Boys and Girls Club. There are always challenges, not only with the children but in staff relationships too, so please keep him in your prayers. Jesse is currently in Malawi working on a documentary for Marion Medical Mission (MMM)—her first professional assignment as a photojournalist! She loves the work, loves the location, and is excited to be a part of helping to provide life-giving water to communities in Malawi. She will be in Malawi for six weeks, and then will likely move to MMM headquarters in Marion, Ill., to do the editing and producing of the documentary. Katie is two months into her new job as “house mom” to six precious but struggling teenage girls in Jacksonville, Fla. She is growing in her faith and in her dependence on Christ for strength, wisdom and overflowing love.
Our prayers for them, for you, and for ourselves are summed up in the words of Paul to the Philippians 1:9-11: “May [our] love abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that [we] may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
Frank and Nancy Dimmock and family
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 111