While PCC is a place of healing, refuge and light, it is not immune to darkness. Sadly, during the month of October we walked though a very tough time. It was brought to our attention that a senior staff member was involved in a relationship with an older girl at the Centre. Such allegations are big to make, and they were made with a high degree of confidence in their truth. We do not wish to share in great detail who this involved, nor do we feel it relevant to share any details.
At the same time, however, we believe that as the leadership of PCC we need to hold these issues out in the open, and not try and cover them up. After an investigation, we determined that the allegations were true, and the staff member was dismissed immediately. Furthermore, the relevant legal avenues were pursued in order to ensure protection for the girl in question.
It saddens us to hear about things like this, and to have our trust betrayed, but we believe that it does give us an opportunity to show the staff and the children how important their protection is. It’s not something we brush under the rug, but something we face head-on and work through.
Now that the tough decisions have been made, we are on the long road to healing. For some, that means counseling and special emotional care. For others, it’s time and prayer. On an organizational level, it means improving our policies and procedures to prevent future incidents.
We would deeply appreciate your prayers in the coming months for healing of all involved.
Every visiting team or individual brings something special to PCC. Since our last update, we had several great visits. Thanks to Oliver Page and friends from Vantage Point Church in Rustenburg, South Africa for making a second visit this year. On this last trip, they brought beautiful wood benches to match the tables they made earlier this year. They are beautiful and sturdy pieces of furniture. We anticipate that the work of these volunteers’ hands will bless our children for many years to come.
Above, left to right: Our beautiful benches during a girls’ nail salon during Emily’s last visit; Happy children with our Basotho visitors; Fun and games with Shelly Beach team; Activities with Shelley Beach team.
September brought another visit from Pastor Peter Loots and his team from Shelley Beach Full Gospel Church in South Africa. Each visit from this team is a fresh injection of energy for our children, staff, and surrounding community. This visit included more fun games and crafts for kids, community outreach with medical checks and The JESUS Film, and maintenance help (goodbye leaky taps!).
In October, we had an all-Basotho team of volunteers come to spend a long weekend at PCC. For Grant and I, it was a case of our two worlds colliding: Our friend and Mission Aviation Fellowship co-worker, Ntate Rethabile Sello, brought a team from Maseru to Pulane. (A special thanks to MAF-Lesotho for use of the big truck to get the team to PCC. And to our International Mission Board neighbors Liz and JB for laying the groundwork of prayer and discipleship to equip this team.) This team focused on Bible teaching sessions with our kids and encouraging them to walk with Jesus. Our children connected deeply with this team and wept as they watched the visitors leave for Maseru.
In August and October, beloved visitor Lineo joined me (Emily) for my visits to PCC. As a pastor and counselor, she brings a wealth of skill and insight with each visit. The August visit we focused on our PCC staff ladies. We did special Bible study time with them and even had a photo shoot with them dressed in their traditional Seshoeshoe. It was an honor for me to use my camera to capture their beauty. For many of these ladies, a “fancy” photo like this is something that will only happen a couple times in their life. It was a joy to pamper them a bit and let them be the stars of the morning! October brought a hard season for us as PCC leadership. And during the process of investigating and addressing the issue of misconduct by a staff member, Lineo was a rock for us. She helped Grant and I evaluate information and make tough decisions. Her ability to counsel in Sesotho and with full understanding of Basotho culture has been instrumental as we begin the healing process with the affected child.
In a few weeks, we will be launching our annual fundraiser to provide each child at PCC with a Christmas gift of a backpack and new set of clothes. Watch your inbox and PCC pages on social media for further details.
Top left to right: The team from MAF and Maseru; Emily and the female staff. Bottom left to right: The Shelley Beach medical outreach; Pastor Peter preaching with ‘Me’ Jill.
*In the midst of challenging circumstances, we continue to experience God’s peace. At every turn, we’ve seen evidence that He has gone before us and prepared a way. We trust that He will continue to bring about healing and justice from actions that were intended to destroy and harm. And so, I leave you with a song of rejoicing:
Psalm 121: 1-4 I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.