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A letter from Frank and Nancy Dimmock in Lesotho

June 2013

Dear Friends,

“Today I am going to tell you about a wonderful mountainous kingdom called Lesotho.  This wonderful country is very heartwarming and has an interesting history and culture. The people in Lesotho are called the Basotho.  The word sotho (pronounced su-tu) is the root word for the land, the people and the language. This beautiful mountain kingdom rises like a fortress, out of the South African plains. . . The people in Lesotho are proud of their heritage and are independent.  And, oh, how they love their country with its amazing landscape and views. It is like God had a vision to make a beautiful portrait and drew with an artist’s eye every single detail and colour. The mountains rise and fall into valleys only to rise again ever higher as you go into the interior. Sometimes snow-covered, sometimes grassy and green, these mountains are majestic and beautiful.  It is called ‘the Kingdom in the Sky.’”

So a recent essay of our 16-year old, Andrew, begins.  He could write for the country’s Board of Tourism!  His love and appreciation for this country and its people shine through his words.  We have a 30-year history with Lesotho and our roots have gone deep and entwined with the struggles and joys of our Christian family and many friends here.  However, if you read our March newsletter, you will know that those roots are being pulled up.  Ouch!  Our living room is once again lined with footlockers.  Frank is organizing three staging areas: for sale or give away, for his new home and office in Louisville, Ky., or for our new home and assignment in LUSAKA, ZAMBIA. 

Seeing the effectiveness of the Young Adult Volunteer program for developing Christian community through spiritual formation, mission service, and mission learning, the last General Assembly resolved to triple the size of the YAV program.  This means establishing more site opportunities, both nationally and internationally.  The CCAP Zambia Synod saw the mutual benefit of such a program and offered to host a new site in Africa.  And I (Nancy) was appointed to be the new site coordinator. 

Zambia!  A return to the tropics—especially appealing just now as I sit typing with frozen fingers in Lesotho!  We will get to know and love a whole new part of our Christian family and we will put down new roots.  We’ll pile into our trusty Land Cruiser and pull out of our driveway in Lesotho on July 12.  Through South Africa and Zimbabwe, crossing four national borders, we aim to arrive in Lusaka around July 17.

However, the process is not without a great deal of pain. In Lesotho, at Ministry of Hope, the little three-bedroom house given by the government is now overflowing with 35 children, ages 6 months to 16 years.  They have been rescued from situations of abuse and neglect and are all in need of affection, a sense of security, and regular and plentiful food.  Mamonyane Mohale, the executive director of Ministry of Hope and surrogate mother to these children, is amazingly competent and so compassionate—but also overwhelmed.

Do you remember the story of Moses and Joshua in Exodus 17?  Joshua is sent into battle against the Amalekites, and Moses (with Aaron and Hur) goes to a hilltop overlooking the battleground. “When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and when he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.  But Moses’ hands were heavy and grew weary. So the other men took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side, so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”

I have been Aaron to Mamonyane’s Moses. Lord, who will hold her hands up during the continuing battle for the hearts, minds and lives of these children? Please pray for the children, their caregivers and the program—that God will provide more Aarons and Hurs and Joshuas for them.

For those of you who have been part of our sending and support team through the years, this move, and the change in Frank’s work, has implications for the routing of your gifts: Churches should continue to send their support to our Directed Mission Support account D504843.  This remains our main source of support. Our PC(USA) World Mission webpage still displays E200333, which will be changed to support the new YAV coordinator position when we complete our move.  From now until mid-July, when giving a gift as an individual, please mail your check to Presbyterian World Mission, ATTN: Dimmock Ministry, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.

And we hope you know how much we appreciate your continued support.  We wouldn’t be here, doing what God has called us to do, without YOU.  You are our Aaron, holding our hands during the battle.  Thank you!

With love and appreciation,

Frank and Nancy Dimmock and family

P.S. The best way to communicate with us, wherever we are, is via email: fdimmock@gmail.com (Frank) or afromama8@gmail.com (Nancy).  We love hearing from you!

The 2013 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 122
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