A letter from Nancy Dimmock in Zambia
Dear Friends and Family,
The red clay dust billowed under the big Land Cruiser tires as we wound our way through community school yards, around fish ponds and shallow wells, and past fields of newly planted maize. We were in the Eastern Province of Zambia, the heartland of the ministry of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP). We visited mission stations and clinics and learned of literacy, lay training, health, education, and development programs—all providing hands and feet to the good news of the love of God in Christ Jesus. Traveling with the PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) director from the Presbyterian Mission Agency, Rev. Richard Williams, our partners in the CCAP Zambia Synod showed us possible placement sites for YAVs coming to Zambia. And there are so many great possibilities! This is a church that believes in holistic ministry, and they are welcoming the opportunity to share their ministries, and their lives, with adventurous, open, seeking young people.
(So, let me put in a plug right here for any of you 19–30-year-olds who are looking for a “year of service for a lifetime of change”! Is your interest accounts, health, teaching, agriculture, computers, micro-enterprise, business, Christian education, social services, auto mechanics, theology, early childhood development? Are you ready to dig deeply into another culture? To examine and deepen your faith? To experience the riches of living simply? To consider God’s call on your life? This might be the program for you! Check out the YAV website at: http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/yav/.)
Zambia is huge and beautiful and complex and welcoming. We bumped out of the bush into the setting sun, which backlit the tall palms and thorny acacia trees into dancing silhouettes. We joined the ribbon of road leading to the Norman castle hotel that nestles incongruously on the edge of the wild West–type town of Lundazi. Our tour of ministry opportunities was over, but the adventure is just beginning. Thanks to all of YOU, dear friends, for being a part of it! You are a great blessing to us!!
“Count your many blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.” During this season of gratitude, there are other blessings for which we are deeply grateful:
Blessing #2: It’s official! I have been appointed as a mission co-worker through the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.—with my own job description and everything :). As you know, I’m working with the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian in their HIV/AIDs Youth Desk and I’m the coordinator for a new international site opportunity for the Young Adult Volunteer program of the PC(USA). I’ll be coming to the States for three weeks in January for the PC(USA)’s orientation program. And I might get to see some of you then. New routing for work support is: E049075 for individuals or D500123 for organizations. Your prayerful and financial support of our family’s continuing ministry in Africa is SO appreciated!
Blessing #3: Zambia is a vast and amazing country. It’s a place of contrasts. Tropical and lush, with lots of rivers and waterfalls (including the famous Victoria Falls), yet with water shortages and electrical outages daily. There is so much natural beauty, with flamboyant trees in full bloom at the moment. Yet you can drive around a corner and find a treeless, congested market covered with black charcoal dust. And there is tremendous wealth right beside debilitating poverty, urban vs. rural, shopping malls vs. open markets with tiny stalls, kids in full uniform walking or riding the bus to school vs. urchins in whatever they have to wear attending a basic community school. This will be a good place in which to learn and grow and be challenged in our faith, as we walk with our brothers and sisters in ministry to people at both extremes and everywhere in between.
Blessing #4: Frank has been blessed through many opportunities to interact with presbyteries, mission networks and congregations to share how PC(USA) global partners are addressing the root causes of poverty. There are amazing stories from all regions of the world where Presbyterian partners are compassionately reaching the most vulnerable – children and women. Frank is thankful for safety as he has travelled and especially thankful for an understanding wife and family.
Blessing #5: While Frank’s frequent and very tiring travel has been hard, it has generated the blessing of Frequent Flyer miles! He has accumulated enough to help us organize plane tickets for ALL of our children to join us in Lusaka for Christmas!! We are all anticipating this family reunion with great joy. AND I’ll get to meet my 1-year old grandson for the first time :).
We send everyone our love and appreciation—and our prayers for a Christmas celebration and New Year filled with a deep awareness of the Presence and Love of our amazing God.
Frank and Nancy Dimmock and family
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Great Letter! So excited you're an "official missionary" after the hours you put in each week and the years you've served the Lord. How exciting that your whole family can gather for Christmas and you'll meet your grandson. Pray all the family will have a great time. Love, Dorothy