All Is Calm

I'm still reeling from The Gathering's Soup Kitchen last night, it really was a joy to be there!

I had a sense that with the hideous cold and wet weather of late it would be a good night, but I had no inkling of just how good it would be.  We fed 77 people which is the most The Gathering has fed at any one time, but what really struck me as we were serving was the sense of peace and calm over the Soup Kitchen. That's not to say that it's usually crazy, it just isn't, but last night it was such a peaceful event and it felt good to be a part of it.

After Dark

The Gathering's Soup Kitchen was another great evening! It's always good to see so many of our regulars and today we welcomed back two who have just been released from prison, they were missed whilst they were away.

We also had a few of the locals who regularly hang around the laundrette and shop most days and it was good to serve them. There are some odd characters in there but having finally ventured in through our door they revealed themselves to be interesting and entertaining characters.

One older lady was very stoney faced and had spent quite a bit of time shouting at some of our regular kids to the point I was feeling a bit wound up by her, but thankfully once we'd overcome the language barrier I realised she was actually teasing them and having a real laugh with them which they also enjoyed.

Coming Home

Paula wrote this on Facebook and I'm not sure I can add much to it...

"What a spectacular morning at The Gathering's new home as we praise marched from the garage and entered our new building to celebrate Jesus as a family and with a few friends! The presence of God was so beautiful amongst us and God poured out His Holy Spirit as we worshipped. [We] loved Aunty Lenora's word for the church which was so confirming of all that God has been saying and doing amongst us already and so very encouraging as we look forward strategically! God gave her Psalm 72:1-5 for the Gathering, written by Solomon but said by David, looking forward to the endless reign of Christ! She felt that God was saying that the outcasts are His priority...the wounded and the marginalised, those thrown aside with no value in the world's eyes.The Lord is bringing in these days ahead higher levels of grace and mercy and love of people. This name "The Gathering", people will call it the "Gathering of Love". People will see this as a Haven of Love, they will flock here,I don't know how you will fit them all in...but God knows. Expect to see many promises come to pass in the season ahead, sudden advancements and lots of movement as God realigns you to operate at higher levels. Woohoo, the church is moving on!!"

Welcome Home


We put this short video together to show to The Gathering at our Welcome Home Celebration this morning. It's a brief look at the journey from identifying our new home to getting it ready for this morning's Gathering.

Well Done Lads!

Towards the end of The Gathering's Soup Kitchen on Thursday Jade & Jayden came rushing in with their mum to show us their school reports for the end of Term 2. They both got 7s for mathematics and a combination of 6s & 7s for everything else (7 is the equivalent of an English A).

They were understandably chuffed with themselves and their mum was over the moon! To think that Jade in particular had been written off by his teachers not so long ago. This makes our Homework Club so totally worth it! We're impacting an entire family who are learning that the church is a safe and fun place to be and in time we hope they'll get to meet Jesus too.
Last night was our soft opening for The Gathering as we held our first Soup Kitchen in our new home. It really did feel like we had come home and the buzz outside as we built up to serving at 6pm was great.

Once the Soup Kitchen began there was a lovely vibe and because most folk were able to sit in the same room as we were serving the soup  it led to a few conversations that previously we would have missed out on. Hopefully that side of things will grow and opportunities to minister will increase.

As an end of term treat Eli's school had iced a load of cookies and they went down a storm with young and old alike!

Just before we began serving, some local decided to become the police and started shouting at the kids because they were being a bit lively, though he soon got the message that we're not a religious bunch who demand silence. LOL!

It's nothing on the scale of Trump's ambitions, but it's still exciting and encouraging to see the wall going in in The Gathering's new home. One gets a sense of how much better our meeting space will be and how much space we have for our office, kitchen and kids venue. It will be a little squashed at the back but worth it.

Our meeting space has more than doubled from our previous venue and will comfortably hold at least 40 people. It will also be a flexible space for our Soup Kitchen and Homework Club, but hopefully for various other community outreaches we do over time.

Busy Week Done

Following on from my "Busy Week" post, the jobs that needed doing eventually got done, but this being Africa they just took a little longer than planned, but I'm very happy with how they turned out.

The glass tinting works a dream and offers us a degree of privacy which is essential for our Homework Club, but it doesn't completely shut the outside world out. It was also a fraction of the cost of blinds.

The electrics were sorted and simplified and now the lights all work and I no longer bang my head on the light in the toilet. Small mercies and all that...

Get A Life!

It's great to see Eli fully committed to his football. He's loving playing for De Beers AFC and has done incredibly well to become a mainstay of defence in the Under 12s team.

Being Brits, we're used to football being in foul weather, but we find it highly amusing (and a little pathetic) how so many cry off at the first hint of rain.  Eli wouldn't dream of missing his football practice, no matter what the weather was doing!  Some of those kids, or rather their 'soccer moms' need to get a life.
It was with a little tinge of sadness that we served our last Soup Kitchen in The Gathering's current home. although we're not officially in our new home until the 1st of July we'll be serving next week's Soup Kitchen from there.

The sadness however is far outweighed by the sense of excitement, not just amongst The Gathering's members but our Soup Kitchen regulars are seemingly just as excited. As we were telling the guys about next week they all told us that they already knew about our move, which means the local grapevine is working well.

We also hosted our last Homework Club for this term and the kids were a little gutted to realise that it won't be running during the school holiday. We're definitely sensing an opportunity for some kind of holiday club in the Summer holidays.