We have some news to share with you. Due to outside circumstances, we are moving back to the US a little earlier than we had expected. It looks like we are going to be coming home sometime in April. We are heart broken to leave all that we have come to love in the past two years, but what a great 2 years we’ve had. Your support has helped this past month to: Start a preschool at Fort White. We have 12 children from the villages nearby that are coming everyday to our preschool. They are learning about Jesus and God’s love for them. What a blessing to hear them sing and see them being taught, not only educational material, but also about our Savior. We have partnered with a lady from Dimbaza, Angie, who is trying to use her sewing skills to make a living. She and her team have sewn 50 dresses for the girls at the Debe Nek School. The Journey Church helped pay for the material and donations made from you have helped pay Angie and her staff. We will also give Sindiswa, the principal at the school in Debe Nek, a fund for other uniforms that are needed by her students. Our grade 7 students have had a fun few weeks learning about volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis due to the recent news from Japan. We had them build their own volcanoes and we had them “erupt” this week. We also had them mix Mentos with diet cola. They thought that was a lot of fun, and messy! We also enjoyed having a team from FBC McKinney here in early March. They worked very hard on the dormitories, as well as building shelves for the preschool and organizing the workshop. The fellowship was much needed and we appreciate the group that came more than we can say. Your prayers have sustained us. We have felt prayers from all over. We know that our God is good and His plan is perfect! We can’t wait to see what God is up to in regards to Fort White. What a great privilege to be part of His great plan. We want to thank each and every one of you who prayed for the people around Fort White, who gave up their time and money to come to Fort White, who gave sacrificially to the projects and ministries at Fort White. Your sacrifices have changed lives! We feel blessed to have had the opportunity to be on the front row here in South Africa. How great is our God! Love to you all. The Fudges
As we look at Fort White, we see all that has to be done, but also have plan of what needs to get done first. With a recent decision to join forces with a program from a church in East London, the GAP program from The Christian Centre, we are focusing on the dorms and the bath house. We had a team of 27 come from McKinney, Texas who helped with these projects as well as lead a Vacation Bible School for the kids in the surrounding areas. We had a great time and a lot of work was completed while they were here. The work continues as we look to March when FBC McKinney will send another team to help finish.
You can see about the GAP program at http://www.inthegap.co.za/. Hopefully within the year we will be ready to host a group at Fort White. You can pray that the people that will run the GAP program will hear God’s call and follow His will.
You can see pictures of the McKinney team on this blog.
We have had a busy two months with family visits and a team from the Journey Church in New York City coming to Fort White. Bob and Janet Conrad, Becky’s dad and step-mom, came for 2 weeks in October. We were spoiled with a trip to Cape Town and a drive through Addo Elephant Park to see numerous elephants, kudo and lions. Then they spent a week at Fort White to see what we do everyday. I believe the highlight of their trip was getting to go to the high school near our house and praying with the grade 12 students before their big test as they end their school year.
Then we had Philip’s dad and step-mom with his aunt and uncle visit for a few weeks. They were here over the week that the young adults from the Journey Church were here. This week was also the week of Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, we feed over 300 people in Dimbaza. We had such a great time blessing children and adults with a meal on a day that we, as Americans, stop and thank God for everything He has given us. We then had a Thanksgiving meal ourselves with 56 people at Fort White. We had people from America, Switzerland, Mexico, Zimbabwe and South Africa (Afrikans and Xhosa) attending, all brothers and sisters in Christ.
We also were able to help a church in Dimbaza with their revival that was starting while the team was here. From that revival, we have heard that 15 people have made a profession of faith and many more were interested in learning more. To God be the Glory!!!
Today, about 25 people showed up at Fort White to start agriculture and building classes. We have been partnering with a lady from Ngcamngeni who wants to help the people in the near by villages to have a skill and be able to create a business for themselves.
Mugamet and Siyanda will be training people in building, plumbing, flooring, painting and other building skills. Festas will be training people in agriculture. He will also be using the Farming God’s Way curriculum that not only teaches how to farm but it teaches what God says about how to take care of the earth that He has given us.
Soon to come will be sewing, wood working and baking classes. As we give a hand to the people in the neighboring villages, may they see the love of God being poured out upon them and come to know the saving grace of our heavenly Father.
since I’ve written here. I guess that I feel that my monthly email to everyone tells everything that is happening here maybe no one reads the blog. I’m sorry if some of you don’t get my email and would like to know what’s going on here at Fort White. Here is a quick list of things that are happening here right now:
Agriculture – Philip and Festas are working hard to prepare the ground for our spring planting. With two bore holes dug and one with a pump and piping, we are hoping that the crops will live this year. We are taking to the produce to sell in the villages and in King Williams Town, as well as helping groups by giving them some of our produce. Just the other day, they took a truck full of spinach and beets to a home for mentally handicapped children. This a home where people have dropped off their kids because they didn’t know what to do with them. The workers there are all volunteers and work on money given to them through grants and gifts. They were thrilled to have fresh vegetables for their kids.
School: We do not have a school here yet, but we are helping some of the school children that live close by. We have a group of grade 11 kids who come for math tutoring with Philip 4 days a week. We also pick up 16 grade 7 kids to teach them computer and science lessons. There has been talk of starting a pre-primary school here at some point but it is still in the works.
Pastoral training: Collin Tomlinson has started a pastoral training class on Saturdays for the local pastors in the area.
We are still praying for guidance as to what God wants happening here at Fort White. We will have different teams come out in the next few months who will help at Fort White and in the villages near by. We continue to renovate the buildings at Fort White with the expectancy that God has big plans for this place and the people’s lives that live near here. Stay tuned to see what will happen.
We had a great time with almost 40 kids here last Saturday for a youth day. We had the kids act out a skit about forgiveness and talked about how we are to forgive people because God first forgave us with Jesus. We then learned the song “Our God is a Great Big God”. They had lunch and then they went home. It was a fast and furious day, but we loved having the kids here. We had fun taking pictures of them as well, which are posted at our picture site, http://thefudgefive.shutterfly.com using the password HereAmI.