Lorna ‘Rang the Bell’ at about 10.20am on Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, and was met with applause from hospital staff and other waiting patients.
This marks the end for all cancer patients of the gruelling, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment phase of their journey of recovery and Lorna has been discharged from oncology care. Follow up is an annual mammogram for 5 to 10 years. We now go forward into life trusting and living in the hope that the recovery will be complete!
It has been a long 5 months, frustratingly interrupting our work in South Africa, but we’re hugely grateful for the expert care Lorna has received both there and in Scotland, and the support we have enjoyed from family and friends. There has been plenty of time for sober reflection, prayer, and wise counsel and the upshot is that we feel sure that we are meant to return to Cape Town just as soon as is sensible. Flights are booked for 17th January! This allows some recuperation time for Lorna, spent over Christmas (and a couple of birthdays) with family before travelling. It is not lost on us that one of the huge benefits of this otherwise difficult time has been spending time bonding with Freya and Sam, our grandchildren…but this in turn will make leaving all the harder, despite the welcome that we know awaits in Cape Town from our friends and colleagues with whom we have kept in touch throughout.
Lorna has been, when able, participating in the weekly conference calls with the NewDay United team and has been able to keep up to date with progress being made there, not least the graduation of a further group of Computer Learning graduates in Gugulethu, and the securing of some SA funding. Going forward into 2019, Lorna is keen to develop the health education and promotion classes that have been on hold over the past 6 months and introduce these into Sweet Home Farm. She is also planning to start a basic health clinic with the emphasis on the whole person, their physical, emotional and spiritual health.
For Sweet Home Farm, this period has been a difficult one. The infrastructure project has been delayed through contractor disputes and violent theft from the contractor’s compound, a few weeks ago resulting in the death of two security guards. There have been leadership challenges and tension caused by necessary relocation of families. Despite all of this, other partnerships and projects are being developed, and Don has been keeping up with the work on the newbuild house at Betty’s Bay (in association with a local builder), which has been a helpful project in developing UBU’s processes and providing much needed employment for our team. The house is now virtually complete and it’s time for Barry Lewis, Don’s colleague, and the rest of the team to take a well-earned rest.
The hope is that 2019 will bring a more settled and productive period where the roads can be completed, and the community can make a start on the first phase of sandbag housing. The development of the now fully-funded Community Hall, which has suffered delay due to the issues above, will also see progress early in 2019.
We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone concerned for the support, both prayerful and practical, we have received in abundance throughout this difficult period, and to wish everyone a relaxed, happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.
…next stop Cape Town!
‘For a child has been born – for us! The gift of a son – for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counsellor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there will be no limits to the wholeness he brings.’
Isaiah 9: 6-7 (The Message)