As we wind down a busy year of school, sport, teaching, discipling, sewing seeds, feeding, housing and clothing children – just doing life 100%, we wait with great expectation as the clouds build up for the much needed rain. Our hope is in Him, the provider of all life.
We were very privileged to welcome Ted and Tanya Jernigan and their children, Caleb and Katriel. Tanya has served as a trustee on the Ithemba Trust since its inception in 2008 and she takes care of all our financial administration in the USA as we are a non-profit 501(c)3 registered organization there. The Jernigans were our very first donors who sowed the first seed in the development of Orange Grove and have become very close firm friends of ours.
We had a lovely group of young grade 12’s, newly graduated from St Andrews College in Grahamstown visit Orange Grove. They were friends of Grant Price, a past pupil of Orange Grove Schools. The students took the opportunity to bless them with prophetic art in the hope that it would impact them and give them direction for their lives as they leave school and embark on their various adventures throughout the world. They were incredibly blessed by it and then went on to enjoy some clay pigeon shooting and paint ball at the Outdoor Centre.
We had an extraordinary visit from Guy and Heidi Mitchell from Cape Town. Guy is an artist who paints prophetic paintings while his wife, Heidi, plays the piano. The Holy Spirit speaks to him through the music to deliver a significant prophetic painting or word. We were privileged to acquire such a painting after an afternoon spent at the Story with them. They interpreted it as them seeing a vision birthed out of barren land and that multiple visions were inspired and joined by the Holy Spirit – all inter dependent on each other. The dove in the painting is the Holy Spirit and the shadows are the multiple visions rising out of what was once barren land.
Amkitha received a surprise visit from representatives of one of her sponsors, The Bear Gryll’s Survival Adademy. Paul, Abby and Rosie Gardiner had travelled all the way from the UK to visit family in the area. Amkitha was very excited to spend time with them and forge a friendship with Rosy.
Past graduates, Caroline Price and Brittany Phillips also visited their old school towards the end of the year and were very impressed to see how much had been developed since they left in 2013. Here they are pictured with a rose garden where a rose bush is planted for each graduate of OGS.
The fourth term started with a small group of four archers heading down to Stellenbosch for a 2 day Field competition. The aim of the competition was to give Liso an opportunity to get the last qualifying score he needed to be able to claim Eastern Cape provincial colours for archery. He achieved qualifying scores on both days and we are now waiting for his application to be processed. Well done, Liso on some great shooting! Amidst the shooting, the archers got to climb Lions Head Mountain, feel the icy Atlantic at Camps Bay and enjoy Stellenbosch.
After Stellenbosch it was on to practice for a 2 day fun shoot and camping weekend at our own 3D range. We had a number of visitors join us from Cradock and everybody enjoyed being out and about and shooting our beautiful range. For many of the Orange Grove archers it was their first shoot ever.
We have also been extremely blessed with donations towards archery from one of our long time sponsors, Bekha Klarr, and have been able to purchase a great deal of equipment. We’re working towards giving every individual who is serious about archery and committed to looking after their equipment, a bow of their own for their exclusive use during their time with the club.
For the last few weeks of term our focus shifted to training for the All Africa Student Convention which takes place in the first week of the holidays. We wish our three students, Kaitlin, Taygin and Liso, all the best with their archery (among other things) at convention.
On the first weekend of the September holidays, a group of Orange Grove School’s athletes travelled up to Sasolburg to compete in the SACSSA National Athletics competition. For many of our athletes it was a novelty being able to compete on a real Tartan track and an eye-opener to experience the level of competition that exists on a national level. It was also a test of patience as everyone had to wait on the hot stands for their turn to compete during the two day event.
Orange Grove athletes performed well and brought back a number of medals including Gold for Candace du Toit in the Turbo Javelin, Silver for Marcello van Jaarsveld in Long Jump, Silver for Marcello in 400m, Silver for Marcello in 200m, Bronze for Danny Durandt in High Jump, Bronze for Sihle Nqandela in 1200m, Fourth place for Calvin Mbirimi in 800m, Silver for Sime Ndlebe in 800m, Bronze for Sime in 400m and Silver for Sime in 200m. Intense training with the senior sprinters paid off as they won a number of accolades. On the last night everyone celebrated with a chicken feast at Nando’s Chicken. All in all everyone had a meaningful road-trip and athletic experience and were grateful to be part of it.
All African Student Convention (AASC)
Where one week lasts a lifetime!
Nine students and three staff members form Orange Grove Schools had the wonderful privilege to attend the 2016 AASC in Bloemfontein form 5 – 9 December. AASC is a week long premier event where schools and home schools from all over Africa using the Accelerated Christian Education program come together for competition in approximately 150 events in the categories of music, oratory, art, photography, needlework, athletics, academics and dancing.
They had a life-changing week filled with fun, competition, amazing evening rallies, celebrities and opportunities to make new friends. Steve Picket, a well-known evangelist from the U.S.A. was the guest speaker who had powerful messages to encourage everyone. We were also treated with the singing of well-known South African musician, Majozi.
OGS entered 41 events including group events netball, soccer, vocal small ensemble and individual events e.g. tennis, soccer kick, various photography and art events, vocal solo and poetry recitation. Our students did very well and we received nine International Students Convention (ISC) nominations. When you receive an ISC nomination you qualify to attend the International Student Convention held in the U.S.A. the following year where students from all over the world on the A.C.E. program get together for a week of competition.
Grade 1 Camp
In November the Grade 1 learning center had their annual camp at the outdoor center. There were many firsts for this eager young group – sleeping in a tent without their parents, climbing up the climbing wall, game drives, seeing wild animals in real life and shooting with a real gun. They had to be very brave and everyone was excited and loved all the activities that were set out for them to do. Thank you to uncle Pat, uncle Asi and for a wonderful end of year camp and for encouraging them all the way.
In November the Grade 1’s embarked on their year-end outing. They visited our neighbours, Comre Game Lodge. They were so excited to see giraffe, wildebeest, kudu, eland, springbuck and loads of monkeys! They had a picnic and a dip in the beautiful pool. We appreciate Comre for opening their lodge for our young children to experience wild life first hand.
Plumbies Year-End Concert
After a very successful and fun year we had our amazing concert and prize giving. The children performed Peter and the Wolf. All the children at the preschool played a roll and everyone had hand made masks on, made by one of our teachers Hannes Mouton. It was amazing to see how well the children acted out their parts and we have some budding actors/tresses in our midst. We thank all our parents and visitors who attended the concert and supported us through out the year.
iThemba Trust News
This term our building team constructed beautiful car ports for our staff’s cars to shade them from the blazing sun that beats down on the beautiful landscape of Orange Grove. This was a welcome blessing for our staff.
We are very proud to report that both past pupils, Wesley and Brittany Phillips graduated at the end of this year. Wesley obtained a degree in Industrial Engineering from Stellenbosch University and Brittany obtained a diploma in Somatology from Isa Carstens in Stellenbosch. Wesley has started a new job in Johannesburg and Brittany is now doing a year of Aesthetics while working in Pretoria. We wish them both the best as they enter their careers.
The staff at OGS enjoyed a wonderful Christmas dinner at the Story, our non-profit coffee shop, to celebrate the end of a very successful year. It is an opportunity to honour our staff who pour their lives out into the vision and the life of the children. The Story Coffee Shop was established to serve the community, and each month the profits go to a different cause in our community. Busi, our resident chef, continues to bless us with amazing gourmet food.
We hosted the second of what, we hope, will become an annual youth camp on the weekend that school closed. This camp’s theme was ‘Unplugged’ and no cell phones, watches or any other devices were allowed. We even did without electric lights and hot water, much to the consternation of some campers. The first night was a sleep-out under the stars, illuminated by a multitude of candles in brown paper bags that created a beautiful ambience and backdrop to an evening of worship and just slowing down and letting the sounds, sights and smells of nature refresh our souls.
The camp’s focal scripture was from 1 Timothy 4 v 12 which says: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” We were privileged to have visitors from far afield and many of the campers were deeply touched by the love and the prophetic words that they received on the camp. Good friendships were formed and we’re already looking forward to seeing what wonderful things God will do at our next camp.
As another successful year draws to an end, it always brings with it a tremendous sense of accomplishment and the excitement of things to come the following year. It is amazing to look back at what the children, staff, parents and the board have accomplished in a year. The achievements extend from the academic, to the sporting and the creative arts to the many other fun activities throughout the year. We achieve so much because we work together as a team and this is one of the greatest strengths of the vision.