David & Julie
Summer 2017 update from the Rudolphs, missionaries to South Africa:
June 7, 2017 will never be forgotten by tens of thousands of Knysna residents who lived through the tragic fires. Lives were lost together with over 1,000 homes and businesses in our small coastal town. We were moved by the prompt response from our supporters in North America, and from other parts of South Africa, who sent generous financial relief to Knysna Hope for the aid of those who lost everything. None of our church families or ministry team families were directly touched by the fires although everyone was affected in some way. This allowed us to focus on distributing relief to dozens of families in our community. In the process, relationships of trust have been forged, and the Gospel has been communicated over and over to souls we might never have met otherwise. We continue to follow up with at least a dozen families as they piece their lives and homes back together. At last, the rubble has been cleared; homes are being rebuilt; and the countryside is turning green following the welcome rains. Thank you for your concern, prayers and gifts. To God be the glory!
Since the June fires, we have kept extremely busy in evangelism, discipleship,a nd pastoral ministries. In addition, we have hosted two USA summer teams, a summer intern, and several other ministry guest. Added to our responsibilities has been the arrival of two more church planting couple to our team. We had high school girls come from Vermont and helped repaint the shipping container that we use to feed kids in the community. These are all wonderful things!
However, we have also walked with one of our team couples through a difficult pregnancy and tragic loss of their newborn baby boy. That was tough. As a result, we have been poor in our communications to you. We are sincerely sorry!
Please pray for Julie's health; for many who are hearing the Gospel from us at this time; for our new Sunday Bible study in the city of George; for the dynamics of our ministry team as they settle into their new responsibilities; for wisdom as we plan for 2018 ministry growth; and for our national pastor, Wayne Schmidt. Thank you for praying, giving, and serving.
Spring 2018 update from the Rudolphs, missionaries to South Africa:
For over 30 years, we have engaged in a team approach to church planting in South Africa. We have seen God do remarkable things for His glory through the varied gifts of well-trained, experienced servant leaders. Many churches have been started around Cape Town and along the Garden Route, and a generation of South African pastors are reaching their communities for Christ.
Our focus along the Garden Route (Sedgefield, George, and Knysna) is also producing biblical congregations, together with the development of local ministry leaders. The team of missionary church planters God is assembling in Knysna and George is quite impressive! Please continue to pray for our combined ministry effectiveness.
With the variety of outreach ministries our team of missionaries engages in, the need for a multipurpose building became essential. With the assistance of many of you, our faithful supporters, the Knysna Hope ministry centre has been purchased - paid in full! All that remains is for one final renovations project to be done to make the building more useful. We would ask you to pray for God's provision for that project. This facility has also become the home for the Lagoonside Baptist Church.
The first church we started in Sedgefield - Lakeside Baptist - have been handed over to a national pastor, Peter Wood, and the Knysna church - Lagoonside Baptist - is in the process of being handed over to a national pastor, Wayne Schmidt. To God be the glory!
The Knysna Hope building has proven to be a great help to our pastoral training program. The Saturday evening classes provide training for a new generation of spiritual leaders in our community. Even with all of these praises, please still be in prayer for the following: Julie's ongoing health, we are grateful for now several months of her physical stability; the safe arrival of several new team partners; our upcoming young adult retreat; the sixteen young Christians meeting for discipleship studies in the city of George; and our own spiritual growth and ministry effectiveness. Thank you for praying, giving, and serving!