Frank Dimmock - October 2019 Update
Imagine going into a grocery store and not knowing how to read. Think of the extra time it would take to navigate the aisles looking for what you need. Or imagine attending worship and being unable to read the Bible or the hymnbook or the words on a screen. Imagine not being able to text! More than 75% of the 2.3 million refugees from South Sudan are women and children. Most have never been to school.
Now imagine fleeing from your home, fleeing for your life, responsible for your children and maybe several others with no parents. Imagine walking for days and weeks until finally reaching a border crossing into “safety.” There you are handed forms to fill out for registering as an asylum seeker or refugee and for food vouchers. What does it all mean? Being unable to read is embarrassing, frustrating and isolating, and it makes you vulnerable!
No wonder the priorities of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan are to provide adult literacy training, early learning opportunities and trauma healing for both children and adults. The Outreach Foundation has had the privilege of helping to meet these goals through:
• Supporting 43 literacy training programs for adults and out-of-school youth. So many are so eager to learn!
• Establishing 20 preschools for early learners in the camps in western Ethiopia since 2016. More than 100 teachers have been identified to work with the children in a safe environment to prepare them for primary school.
• Training, in Ethiopia, more than 100 trainers and 14 advanced trainers in trauma healing and another 55 in the Kakuma camp in Kenya since 2017.
These brothers and sisters can relate to the words of the Psalmist (and are learning to read the words for themselves!) Psalm 107:
Some wandered in the desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to the sons of men.
As Africa Mission Specialist of The Outreach Foundation and a trainer of trauma healing trainers, it has been my deep privilege to help the church set up or further develop these priority programs. Most recently, I have been working on getting the scripture-based, trauma healing curriculum translated into Nuer. I will be in western Ethiopia and northern Kenya during the month of November, and I will be taking 50 copies, “hot off the press,” to be distributed to trainers in the camps. These will be received with almost as much joy as the Nuer Bibles which Outreach has been distributing more widely (7,000 in 2017 and placing an order for 5,000 more by March of 2020 – at a cost of $10/Bible).
We know that the message of the Bible is the source of Hope. And it is our manual for faith and practice – how to live life well, how to love and serve others well, thereby loving and serving God. It is our source of healing and the basis of the trauma healing curriculum. As these incredibly brave and faithful brothers and sisters learn to read, and as they receive a Bible in their own language, and as they are motivated by the Spirit to forgive and be healed of their internal wounds – then the future opens up with wonderful possibility and Hope.
evangelism/discipleship + literacy/early childhood education + trauma healing = Hope
Outreach is excited to integrate the trauma healing training program with the educational programs to increase the positive impact of building resilience and helping heal the psychosocial impact of trauma. We envision our trainers training others and multiplying the effects deep into the camps. And a new thought is the possibility of adding practical intensive gardening lessons to the teaching curriculum to help combat the other ongoing trauma in the camps and in their homeland – hunger.
Won’t you consider being a part of this needed and fulfilling work?
PRAY – pray with and for the South Sudanese. Pray for peace, patience, perseverance, perspective, and power – together with love and wisdom.
GO – Accompany me on a trip and see and experience their transformational faith. Come and share your skills and ideas as educators or gardeners.
GIVE – please share your resources to invest in my sending and support. I long to be able to continue sharing what I have learned – entrusting my knowledge “to faithful people who will be able to teach others also.” Our efforts often feel like a drop in the ocean, but I am reminded of what God is able to do with just five small loaves and two fish. He can multiply our efforts beyond our imagining. Praise his name!
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $50,000 for program, travel, and support funds for my 2019 budget. Please pray about your individual and church’s response to address the needs requested by the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan in education and trauma healing training. I would welcome an opportunity to visit and share more about these programs. Thank you.
How to give:
1) Mail your gift designated “Dimmock Support” or “Rebuilding Hope in South Sudan” to the Outreach office.
2) Give online HERE.
3) Use the website to set up automatic recurring deductions from your checking/savings account through a process called Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
Thank you for considering this need and opportunity.
With much love,
Read more about Frank Dimmock’s ministry HERE.