Adventures with God

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Soup Kitchen

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 03:24

Recently we were at a Hillsong leaders lunch and were enjoying listening to a guy called Perry Noble (we had no clue as to who he was but he was very good. Read more about him here). He posed the question: "If your church closed its doors tomorrow would it be missed by the community?".  This got me to wondering whether or not The Gathering would be missed after just about a year in Firgrove.

Hand on heart I believe that we would be missed. We'd be missed for a few reasons but one of the main reasons is our weekly soup kitchen.

Friends on Facebook are probably sick of me posting about this but I love serving the community through the soup kitchen and it has become my happy place as I spend quite a bit of the day preparing for it.


Most local soup kitchens close down over the summer months. I'm not sure why they do so, it's not as if those in need have suddenly discovered a magic porridge pot or suddenly come into money. In my experience poverty is a year round thing not just seasonal.  So we've carried on through the summer, having taken a short break over Christmas, and the feedback from those who come is that they are very grateful that we've continued.

We tend to serve three groups of people: local kids, a few commuter stragglers off the train and local poor guys. This latter group are some of the politest, most respectful people I've ever met and they in particular are very grateful for our soup kitchen. Firstly, they're grateful that in winter they no longer need to trek into Somerset West for soup, and they're also grateful that we've not stopped the kitchen over summer.

So in answer to Perry's question, yes The Gathering would be missed, and even if we were missed just because of the soup kitchen that would be fine. However, I know that the community value The Gathering and like how we've reached out to some of the most vulnerable and the hurting and for that I'm very grateful that we're having a positive impact on the community.


Enjoying soup in the late afternoon sun















The soup is ready to be served




















It warms my heart to see Joel's passion in action as he serves the soup










Thier Latest Ploy

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 06:21
ploy
Pronunciation: /plɔɪ/
Definition of ploy in English:
noun
1. A cunning plan or action designed to turn a situation to one’s own advantage: the president has dismissed the referendum as a ploy to buy time
More example sentences
1.1 An activity done for amusement: the eternal cross-stitch I was set to do before I could indulge my own ploys
©http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/

It's good to know we're so highly thought of by a church that no longer supports us. It's also a bit rich coming from a church that reneged on a commitment with no consultation and yet always seemed to want a little more than their pound of flesh.

I like the typo in there too!


Back To School

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 03:07
After what seems like the shortest summer holiday ever, our boys are back to school today for the beginning of the new school year.

Joel finally starts High School in full and is looking forward to all the challenges that will bring.

Eli seems to be wondering how he's still in Primary School but still looking forward to it and to seeing his friends again.

Facebook reminded us this morning that a year ago today we were till on holiday in Kalk Bay, how we wish were were today!




The Gathering's New Year's Braai

Sun, 01/03/2016 - 14:22
It was a pleasure and a joy to be able to Gather as a church for a braai (BBQ) knowing that we're together just for the sake of it, free from the nonsense we had to endure last year.

We had so much fun (as you'll see in the pics below) and it was great to get to know each other a bit better. For Paula and I it was great to see Joel and Eli playing with Yanko, I think they finally realised that girls aren't gross.

It was a great way to kick off 2016.


The moment that sparked war














Eli loved messing with Ziggy and Philimon




















Joel sneaking up on Philimon














The big kids (Ziggy and Philimon) at play














The sensible ones staying out of the way of the water fight














Errol and Clyde














Gotcha!














Run Yvonne, run!














Precious got soaked




















Soaked but jumping for joy!




















All out war














Beautiful Yanko














Ziggy tries to calm it down (without success)














Eli is Mr Competitive!














The lovely Shawa family (or most of it)





















Errol, Leilani, Clyde and Eilana














Ami




















We're blessed to live with such beauty!














Linda helping Eli take a bath














Time to chill...















Linda














Eilana


Happy Christmas

Thu, 12/24/2015 - 05:15

We would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.
Thank you for all your prayers and support through 2015, we've had a mixed year but the blessings far outweigh the negatives and we're believing that 2016 is going to be a fantastic year with The Gathering as we rise up to be more than conquerors for His kingdom.




10th Birthday

Mon, 12/21/2015 - 13:21
We can't quite believe that this little bundle of joy is 10 today.

He's not so little now but he's still a bundle of immense joy.

Eli truly is a blessing, he's always ready for a laugh, a joke and a bit of teasing and life would be very dull without him.

Happy 10th birthday Eli
XXXX




Testimony Sunday

Sun, 11/08/2015 - 11:37
Every few months we like to give our Gathering over to a Testimony Sunday in which all are free to share what God is doing in their lives. I taught into this on Wednesday and then encouraged everyone to make an effort to be there and to step out in faith as they share what the Lord is doing.

Wow what a time we had!  At 9:40 I sent out an SMS telling guys to hurry up if they wanted a seat because we were filling up with visitors. Praise God!

We began our Gathering by looking briefly at the reaction of two different groups of lepers in the bible and how their responses to what God did in their lives sets a good example for us.


In 1 Kings 7:3-10 we see the four lepers who are in a perilous situation and death is looking pretty certain, so they decide to chance their luck with the Aramean army. However when they get to their camp they find the Aramean army has fled and so they begin to gorge themselves on food and squirrel away a bit of treasure. Thankfully in v9 they have a revelation and one of them says "What we're doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once and report this to the royal palace". These lepers had nothing to gain but they shared the good news anyway.

In Luke 17:11-19 we find a group of ten lepers who called out to Jesus as he was passing. Long story short; Jesus healed them and sent them to the priests but as they were going one (in v15) returned to Jesus "One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice".

Both of these stories show us clearly that our response to the good news of what God is doing in our lives is to tell others and to give thanks to him, and so this formed the basis our our Gathering this morning.

As Paula posted on Facebook: There was so much victory as people made themselves vulnerable and brought their stories of God's grace, goodness and kindness. I loved to hear about one new guy's journey home to God and away from addiction as he found "the church at the garage". All was topped off by a walk-in visitor lingering at the end to say how touched he had been and how he will definitely be back this week to hear and experience more.

More of this please Lord!

Yvonne lead the way


Rejoice testifying to God's goodness


Praying with Paula after she shared a testimony






Simple Joys

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 11:31
For me one of the simplest joys in life is my time spent preparing the soup for The Gathering's weekly soup kitchen and then serving the soup later in the evening. I really value the time and space as I prepare the soup and enjoy thinking about the folk who will be receiving it. There's something very therapeutic about it all and this is topped off by the joy of seeing our regulars each week and hearing a bit about what they've been up to. It's also great to meet a few new people each week.

I was particularly touched by one guy who has been coming for a few weeks because he came to me at the end held out his hand and just said "I want to thank you". I've often found the poorest and most vulnerable to be some of the politest and most respectful people one can meet.

This week I also had the joy of giving Fuad a Street-Sleeper sleeping bag which had been donated to him. Fuad was delighted with it!


The soup is ready


Some of the kids enjoying soup in the warmth of the early evening sun


I couldn't resist taking a pic with Fuad