While working in our companion Diocese of Mthatha, Dean Dance (now Bishop Dance) and his wife Diane had a lifetime's worth of profoundly moving experiences which changed their lives forever. Two, however, stand out above all others.
Itipini is a rat infested garbage dump where some 400 families exist in shacks made from materials found in the dump. The small of rot and decay is overwhelming. This is a place of poverty, violence and disease. To see hundreds of children growing up in such a place is mind-numbing. But your church is there. Jenny, a member of the Cathedral in Mthatha is a nurse who has given the last 25 years to caring for those who live in this place. She is supported by the Mother's Union in providing a clinic, a child-care facility, food, clothing and medicine to alleviate the suffering, both physical and emotional, which these children endure. Their work is heroic. It is God's work.
The Bethany Centre, a home for children abandoned at birth, is run by Sister Mary Paul, a delightful, if precocious, octogenarian nun. Ninety-six children, 40% of whom are HIV positive, are living in a facility designed to accommodate 50 children. There is not enough money to pay staff. There is barely enough money to buy sufficient food and never enough to buy sufficient medicine. There is a terrible shortage of everything but love. The faces of these beautiful children are etched in the memories of Bishop Dance, his wife, and are the inspiration of the following project.
The Bishop's project:
The Rt. Rev'd Terry A. Dance is Bishop of Norfolk (Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Huron).
If you wish to support this work, contributions can be made to:
"The Bishop's Wellness Fund"