To South Africa

The Rudolphs

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!

Winter 2018 update from the Rudolphs, missionaries to South Africa:

Thank you for your partnership in our church planting ministries along the Garden Route of south Africa.  We hope that you are encouraged through the knowledge that the work of God in Knysna is thriving for His glory!

By God's grace, we have been enabled to serve as missionary church planters in South Africa since 1986.  God has used all of you, our faithful support team, to uphold us in prayer and to contribute to our ministries financially.  We should not be surprised by the goodness of God, so we simply give Him praise for His generous provision.  In addition, we want each of you to know how grateful we are for your faithful, sacrificial partnership with us for more than three decades.  To God be the Glory!

We've never too old to learn.  This has once again been a year of growth and stretching for us.  We added one new Knysna Hope ministry team member this year, and all of the team families currently on the field are extremely busy.  A new church plant gets underway on the west side of Knysna in January.  Two more families join us along the Garden Route early in 2019.  The 'Churches-in-Formation' along the Garden Route take much time and energy.  The ongoing discipleship training and encouraging of couples in ministry is time-consuming and often exhausting.  The burden to reach more South Africans with the Gospel of Jesus Christ preoccupies our thoughts constantly.  Coping with the inevitable slowing down due to our aging bodies is frustrating!  Learning to work smarter, not harder, is before us each day.  Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to invest for eternity – we thank God for each of you.  We count on your intercession on our behalf, and for all of the ministries in Knysna, Sedgefield, and George.

Although we think about you a lot throughout the year, we are especially thankful for your all during the Christmas season.  it is currently summer here in the southern hemisphere, so Christmas looks and feels much different than what you are used to in the north.  However, the traditions remain the same, and our yearning to be with family at this time of the year never goes away.  We wish you and your family a blessed and content Christmas.

Our sons, Jared (31) and Justin (27), both live and work in the City of Cape Town – near where we currently live and minister.  That is where they were born and raised.  We are grateful for two very kind and attentive sons.  We look forward to how God will use them for His glory.

We ask that you pray that we might be found faithful to the Lord, growing in His grace, outreaching to the lost, and self-sacrificing in our ministry to His Bride, the Church.  Thank you for praying, giving, and serving.  Merry Christmas!

Spring 2019 update from the Rudolphs, missionaries to South Africa:

Thank you for your partnership in our church planting ministries along the Garden Route of South Africa.  We hope you will be encouraged to know that the work of God in Knysna is thriving for His glory!

Every Tuesday morning, a group of men, known as the Ironman Fellowship, meets together in Knysna to study God's Word together.  This theological fellowship has proven to be a valuable influence on those who are actively engaged in church planting ministries in our town.

The need for well-trained, theologically sound African leaders remains a priority for our church planting team along the Garden Route.  In recent years, God has brought faithful couples to assist us with this educational responsibility.  In order to provide a legitimate degree program for our students, we have engineered a sound partnership with an online seminary here in the country.  We teach half the course ourselves, and the seminary provides the rest by distance learning under our close supervision.  The number of registered theological student is growing slowly, and we regularly have 15-25 student attending the classes.  We are enthusiastic about this strong move forward in preparing men for ministry.

We have been working with several families in the city of George for a couple of years now, meeting in homes as we have evangelized and discipled them.  Recently, seven obeyed the Lord in baptism.  The work of the Holy Spirit in their lives continues.  This represents one of the seven churches currently being planted along the Garden Route.

Both of our boys are doing well, and we praise the Lord that our two adult sons both work and live in Cape Town.  Justin, our 27-year-old son, has just recently completed his MBA at Stellenbosch University Graduate School.  For this, we are understandably proud of his achievement.

Julie's health is pretty good at the moment; however, we ask that you keep praying for her.
My 89-year-old mother lives nearby and continues to fight against cancer.  She is more stable now but faces more surgeries in the future.  Please be in prayer for her and for the medical staff to have wisdom.

We are involved in three church planting projects in three separate towns.  Our ministry responsibilities and burdens are now multiplied by three!  Please keep this in prayer.  Thank you for all of your continued love, prayer, and support!

Summer 2019 update for the Rudolphs, missionaries to South Africa:

We have been working full-time along the Garden Route since 2010.  We started planting the Sedgefield church, Lakeside Baptist, part-time five years before we moved here.  We commuted six hours from Cape Town twice a month to do this.  Now, nine years later there are seven churches in various stages of development in three towns.  Four of the churches already have national pastors, and the other three are still churches-in-formulation under missionary leadership.  Church plant number eight get underway next January!

Our church planting vision continues to expand in two of the larger towns: Knysna and George.  Currently, we are investing hugely in the George church planting team with our "Inspire George" strategic campaign.  In addition to the three churches already underway, we plan to start five more churches over the next ten years in George alone.  This plan necessitates the recruitment of additional church planting families, and the investment of a multiple-use facility for all of our outreach activities.

Our present church planting strategy avoids investing in "single-use" buildings for our church plants. In our practice of forming missionary teams, we've learned that "multiple-use" facilities serve the team and its outreach initiatives better.  This is a more efficient use of buildings for outreach, discipleship, theological training, skills and job opportunities.  The space can be used by several churches at the same time in the early phrase of the church planting process.

The South African government allows our missionary teams to register as public benefit organizations (PBOs) to function as tax-exempt entities and to be able to own property.  PBOs are board managed by local national believers to secure their ministry assets for the future.  In two of our church planting cities, God had already provided multiple-use buildings in Knysna and Sedgefield through the generosity of our supporting churches and ministry partners.

Now the "Inspire George" church planting team is gathering momentum with three churches under way – one led by a national pastor.  In order to move our planting strategy forward, we have identified two multiple-use properties in the central business district of this large city.  We have a purchase agreement on the two adjacent properties at the total cost of $300,000.  Already, within a period of six weeks, $185,000 has been raised, allowing us to close on the first property.  We are trusting the Lord to provide the remaining $115,000 to purchase the second property.  Please pray with us – God is always at work!

Thank you for your partnership in our church planting ministries along the Garden Route of South Africa.  We hope you will be encouraged to know that the works in Knysna, Sedgefield, and George are thriving for His glory!

Winter 2019 update for the Rudolphs, missionaries to South Africa:

As 2019 ends, we have thankful hearts.  The longer we walk with the Lord, the more we enjoy Him.  We are grateful for His closeness and for the privilege of serving Him here along the Garden Route of South Africa.  We praise Him for our good health, for the enjoyment of our two faithful adult sons (Jared & Justin), and for the close proximity to Dave's mother Minnie who bravely lives for the Lord in her advanced age and challenging health issues.

We are grateful for all of you who so faithfully and sacrificially partner with us by giving and praying.  We could not do what we do without you!  You are appreciated more than you know.

Team ministry has been our focus and method of church planting since we arrived in South Africa in 1986.  Eternity will show how God has been pleased to use dozens of faithful ministry families (South African and North American) for His glory as He builds His church across our country.  We are honored to be part of His great work.

Besides the many churches in the Cape Town metropole, we are excited to see church plant number eight already under way on the Garden Route.  Souls are being saved and discipled, leaders are being trained, and churches are being planted.  This is why you sent us so long ago, and this is why we remain.  To God be the glory!

George is the largest city along the Garden Route.  It is our current focus as we strategize an effective church planting team to reach the more than 300,000 souls.  Our approach involves starting multiple churches simultaneously, and to do this we have identified an urgent need for a team outreach facility.

Two houses were offered to us at a very attractive price.  God has already provided all the funds for the house on the left (#78), plus one third of the funds for the house on the right (#76).  He amazes us!  Will you pray about assisting us towards the remaining US $92,000 to complete the purchase of #76?

All gifts, large or small may be sent to Calvary Baptist Church in Lansdale PA marked for the Inspire George Project.

We will be in the USA mid-February through late April 2020.  Our schedule is already quite full with only a few Wednesdays still open.  However, if you would like us to stop by for coffee and a chat if we are close to your home, please let us know and we will do all we can to make that happen.

In the meantime, will you pray urgently for the remaining Inspire George Project funds to come in?  Will you also pray for US $50,000 renovation funds needed to make the properties ready for ministry?  Thank you.

Merry Christmas!