This is the fourth in a series of five articles on the new mission partners approved by the Session in January. See our full list of mission partners here.
Ministry of Hope-Lesotho is a refuge for orphaned and other vulnerable children in the tiny, landlocked kingdom of southern Africa. It is also a home—a modest, three-bedroom cottage filled to bursting with the most beautiful, joyful children you will ever meet.
"There are 19 right now, with four more in boarding high school," writes FAPC member Sally Harwood from Maseru, the capital city of Lesotho, where she is visiting the Ministry of Hope this week. (Sally is a longtime supporter of the Ministry of Hope-Lesotho.) Her husband, Ed Rule, was along for part of the trip.
"Ed and I had an especially wonderful time on Saturday. We bought KFC and balls and jump ropes for the kids. They ate every bite and enjoyed playing, especially with Ed as he gave them piggy back rides, tossed them in the air, did horsey and bounced them on his knee. I don't know how he survived."
The same could be said of the children. Many have survived abandonment, deprivation, abuse, hunger and malnourishment by the time they arrive at Ministry of Hope. There, Mamonyane Mohale and her small staff provide clean clothes, warm beds, school supplies, home-cooked food and, more than anything, the love and stability these children have been missing.
Ministry of Hope is a temporary, crisis care facility, not an orphanage. The children are cared for at Ministry of Hope until their futures can be determined—whether to return to relatives willing to care for them, or be placed in a foster or adoptive home.
Mamonyane and Nancy Dimmock, a former mission co-worker with the Presbyterian Church (USA), co-founded Ministry of Hope-Lesotho in December 2009. Dimmock is a long-time advocate for the care of vulnerable children in Africa, and Mamonyane is a public health nurse. The Dimmock family opened its home to the first group of children in early 2010 and continued to shelter them until the program secured its own facility through a government lease.
FAPC began supporting Ministry of Hope-Lesotho through our international mission grants in 2010. In 2013 Nancy and her husband, Frank, became mission partners of FAPC, with a three-year commitment to support the Ministry of Hope and other projects in Africa. With the Dimmocks now back in the U.S., Ministry of Hope's designation as a mission partner in its own right will ensure that this support will continue.
In 2015 seven FAPC members and staff traveled to Lesotho on a 10-day mission trip. They completed a range of projects—cleaning and reorganizing a classroom space, hanging new bedroom curtains, and constructing a rooftop extension to shade the front porch, where the children play and do homework. There were also plenty of hours for play time.
In a dispatch from day 3 of the mission trip, Susanna Black wrote, "For Ministry of Hope, this mission trip, this group of people visiting from FAPC, is a reminder of God's love from across the ocean. They are thankful for our physical gifts (those collected by the children in Family Ministries), and they are thankful for our emotional and spiritual gifts. We are reminders to one another that, as they are doing God's work here in Lesotho, we are doing God's work at home in New York City."
Sally writes that Ministry of Hope is looking for a new location when the lease on its current home ends. "Today, Mamonyane and I went and saw a potential site. It is about nine miles outside of Maseru with schools for all ages nearby. It's in a beautiful area that seems excited about the children being located there."
Signs of Hope are everywhere.
- February 23 2017 • Meet Our New Mission Partner: Search and Care
- February 17 2017 • Meet Our New Mission Partners: Cobbie and Dessa Palm
- February 9 2017 • Meet Our New Mission Partner: Parity
- January 31 2017 • FAPC Announces New Slate of Mission Partners
- March 17 2015 • Dispatch from Lesotho - Tuesday, March 17, 4:47 pm