Report from Judith (Jude) Norcross, S. Africa
January was a very sad month, as the Palmers and Phil and Nay all left—and we had lived and worked together for months. The feeding scheme is still going well. The January distribution of the feeding scheme food parcels was the palmers’ last day—we had a lot of fun, and the kids helped give out the food parcels—but it was also quite emotional. Below are some pictures of Oscar, Liberty and Emma giving out food parcels, and one of the orphans. The feeding scheme Emma started is still going well, and I have taken on some of the responsibility for organising since Emma left.
On their last day it was such a busy day until we had to get ready to go to the airport. Emma and Simon were packing last things and I think the reality of them leaving was just sinking in for the children. Kitty was much quieter than her usual self and after a cuddle, she sat on the floor and started to copy down the verse on the wall of Westville hall. She didn’t manage it all, but ‘Love the Lord your God’ is now pinned on the volunteer noticeboard as a reminder from our youngest volunteer.
In January we also had the arrival of Maggie a volunteer from the US who is here for a few months and the arrival of Tim and Helen Morse from the UK for 3 weeks. God’s timing and planning is so great! Char and I were really down about the others leaving, but Maggie, Tim and Helen all arrived before they left so there was time for handovers, and then were here after they left to work with us and cheer us up. Even though none of them had known the dates or plans of the others, it all worked perfectly, and we thank God for looking after our needs so amazingly and completely.
It has been so hot here, and renovations at the clinic have made some of our outreach work more difficult—so as a result we changed the tea and coffee morning at the clinic—and we give out juice and a slice of brown bread. We still do soup once a week too. This has continued going really well. There are 3 ladies from our Clermont Church—Fanisiwe (shown modelling her new hat at the soup morning at the clinic), Thembe and Tholokeli who come and help us every week with Soup and Juice. They leave their work for a morning and come with us! It is so amazing—they love it! They wear their GNOTKOG Tshirts (which are pristine and freshly ironed—not like ours!) and they willingly give their time and love to their community. We get great fellowship with them too, and it has boosted our volunteer numbers 100%!
January also saw the start of a Zulu bible reading group at Clermont. We hold it on Tuesday evening at 6.30. The aim is to grow our numbers at Clermont and allow us to work with our members and contacts to share our love of God and His word, and to help others come to love God too. My Zulu is not that great—but I was the transport person—so I committed to go. Maggie came with me—and now the volunteers split the responsibility so we don’t need to go every week. I did find it useful to be there anyway though—as if anything came up in discussion which our newer brothers and sisters weren’t sure about, they translated into English and asked me or one of the volunteers for their opinions. Numbers have been good, there are 5 brothers and sisters and 2 children from Westville who attend, then the 3 ladies mentioned earlier come, along with 3 or 4 of our contacts in Clermont. Also a few of our older Sunday School students also come and follow along – even asking questions and contributing to the discussion. We have singing and praise and it is truly an uplifting evening. We started by going through Genesis, but this has now changed and become a bit more haphazard … but we will soon agree a programme.
Maggie and I drove out to Ndwedwe after spending a few hours during the week asking for food donations at a couple of supermarkets. It truly is a beautiful place, and we were shown around by Vincent and Jabu and spent some time discussing their aims for the area. We mentioned that we would have a P2P team here in April and wondered if some of the building preparation work could be done by them. We left filled with excitement at an opportunity to have a P2P team work on starting some form of Good News Centre to provide physical and spiritual sustenance to the population there.
Shown: The house in Ndwedwe—not yet habitable. We are hoping to build a brick building for a dining room for the 40–60 orphans who come to be fed.
In Jan and Feb we have also supported Siphiwe’s class in Reunion. He finished God’s Master Plan last year and has now begun the 22 lesson plan with a group of teenagers. They really know their bibles and are keen to discuss God’s word and it’s meaning for them. They are enthusiastic and going there to support any group work or help answer questions is great.
Shown: Siphiwe’s GMP 2010 class – the graduation picture. The same class now study the 22 lesson course.
Also in Jan and Feb we have spent a few hours at the hospital visiting Sister Nosipho. She has already had several operations and now her knees and hips are bent so they are at angles which make it easier for her to sit up in a more comfortable sitting position in her wheelchair. She is such a pleasure to visit. She has already spent 3 months in hospital and it could take up to a year as they do the 10 planned operations to replace joints and try to give her more mobility, but she is always cheerful and glad of fellowship, and you definitely leave feeling uplifted. Please pray for her to remain strong, and for God to give her comfort during this time.