“God is the burden crusher and the freedom fighter.
He has the power to change lives.” -Tina Samples
At the end of January 2017 we gave thanks for two years since we arrived in Mpumalanga, South Africa on our full time Mission placement.
We stand in awe of how God has consistently been faithful, how He has birthed vision in our hearts, for the many that have been strengthened.
That He has enabled us to be His hands and feet, for the desperate to know His love and the many that have come to salvation.
How He has stood alongside us as we in faith stepped into the unknown, for how He softened our hearts and filled our eyes with compassionate tears. We serve a life transforming Saviour. Thanks for standing with us as we answered the call.
A New Season
During 2017, we prayed for direction on the matter of relocating from Graskop to Barberton, a town some two hours drive from Graskop.
Our daughter Kyla, who is now 20, wants to further her education, and has started studying at a college in Nelspruit, close to Barberton. She is undertaking a two year course studying Game Ranging and Wildlife Conservation. The move has enabled her to remain at home while studying, instead of having to pay hefty residential fees.
Barberton is one of the areas we have been serving in ministry for the past two years. The relocation has opened up a greater scope of ministry opportunity, as well as making it possible for us to come alongside two new church plants in the area.
The food project in Graskop continues to fill the needs in the area. A local pastor has taken the responsibility in the effective outreach to families in need, with Janet and myself overseeing the project.
After 3 months of rehearsals and preparation, and having actors drop out last minute, we presented the Christmas Play and the Carol evening at the Graskop Town Hall.
Had torrential rain all afternoon and night, but still had a good local turnout but had to start half an hour late.
I was privileged to preach the Gospel about Jesus being the ultimate Christmas present, at the end of the program.
Bible Schools at Hazyview & Gutshwa
Bible school students began their second year at both schools in January 2017. Registration for the new intake of First year students will take place at Gutchwa on the 11th March 2017.
This year we plan to plant a third Bible School in Umjindini, Barberton. We are so thankful for the impact these schools are having in strengthening Leadership and impacting the lives of the 35 students attending.
Short Term Volunteer - Children's Outreach
It has been an enormous blessing to host Theodora Odigie, from Croydon Elim, London, who travelled to South Africa to join us on a short term mission trip.
During the two weeks Theodora has been with us, we have conducted outreaches to the children of Umjindini, Barberton and speaking in schools.
Outreach, based around the Armour of God, was structured to a two hour session every afternoon, where the children played games, experienced face painting, drama presentation, memory verse, and were presented with the Gospel. They went home with a small snack after each session.
From this we have established a new kids club in Umjindini meeting on a Wednesday afternoon,
The number of children attending Sunday School following our outreach has doubled.
It has been a blessing to minister to these 85 children who reside in an area that is familiar with poverty, and see them responding to the Word of God.
Children's Ministry Seminar / workshop - Northern District
On Saturday 18th February 2017, we facilitated a seminar/workshop at Xihoko in the Northern
District. This seminar was to strengthen those involved in children’s ministry, Pastors and others who are interested in being involved with ministry to children.
We give thanks for the close to 150 people that attended, and for Theodora as she presented some of the sessions.
The day consisted of teaching, and practical illustration of memory verse techniques, teaching games and demonstration of inexpensive tools and visual aids for lessons, outreaches etc.
Since the start of the year, we have visited numerous churches in the areas we serve.
Tswenyane - Sunday 15th January 2017. Wonderfully blessed visit to this village to preach and fellowship with this congregation.
Graskop – 22 January 2017 Robin preached and we said farewell to Graskop.
Gutchwa – 5 February 2017 Robin preached and we saw a great move of the Holy Spirit.
Lephepane - 19th February 2017 Theodora Odigie presented a talk to the children, and I preached a message entitled "Victory". Closed with Janet singing What a mighty God we serve
We return to the UK for a two month furlough from 20th April – 19th June 2017. Furlough requires extra funds on top of our monthly budget as Kyla will be remaining in South Africa and we need to fund our domestic expenses as well as our UK ones while away. Please pray for a breakthrough in the provision of the funds needed to enable us to return home.
Should you feel led to help in this way, please send donations marked Fenner Furlough to the Elim Missions office.
For the children who have attended the two week outreach and the new kids club.
For our daughter Kyla, as she travels to and from college, and settles into this new chapter of her life.
For the students at the Bible Schools.
For us as we travel long distances to minister to the area we serve.
For the ongoing food project, and the provision of funds.
For the two pastors Keith Jackson (Chelmsford) and Lee Carmichael (Ingatestone) as they travel to South Africa to minister alongside us from the 24th March.
There will be a Revival Crusade taking place in Umjindini from the 28th – 31st March. This has been advertised widely on community radio and with banners and leaflets.
On the weekend of the 25th March we will be facilitating a Leadership Seminar in the Northern District at Tzaneen and on the 1st April a Central district seminar for the bible students and pastors on the book of Galatians.
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God's richest blessings
Robin and Janet Fenner and Kyla.