Rather than kicking off the New Year with some grand vision morning, we decided to do something a bit more practical that will help us throughout the year and will be a tremendous blessing at the end of the year.

We're not against vision, far from it, but The Gathering's vision hasn't changed and our members are fully behind it, so rather let's move on in the things of God and see his Kingdom extended.

So this morning we looked at Psalm 103 and how David opens with a heart and spirit of praise, moves into thanking God for his benefits (blessings) and then lists them before returning to a heart & spirit of praise for our awesome God.

Thank You!

Thank you to all of you who contributed financially, in kind and prayerfully to The Gathering's Soup Kitchen Christmas Lunch, we really couldn't have done this without you.

It was an amazing day and we feel tremendously privileged to have been a part of it and we hope & pray you're blessed too.

Thank you Lord!
Wow, what a day that was!

For me it was the most exciting day of the year and a tremendous privilege to be a part of.

It was amazing to see how the seed of a crazy idea planted just over a year ago came to bear such incredible fruit.

It was also an amazing testament to unity, between local churches and the wider international body of Christ. The Gathering couldn't have pulled this off without the love and support of Father's House in Simon's Town, nor could we have done it without the amazing local volunteers and financial blessing from a range of other churches. And we definitely couldn't have done it without the incredibly generous blessing from various UK churches and Christians. You know who you are and we are truly thankful to God for your partnership!

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.

We hope you're as excited about what God is going to do in 2019 as we are.

Have a fantastic year!

When I was in the UK earlier this year I was really excited to talk about two future plans we had for The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen.

The first one was our Christmas Lunch for 120 of our regulars and the second was taking our soup up from 70lts to 100lts, but we were really going to need some miraculous blessings for these to happen.

Well, just a few days from our Christmas Lunch on Sunday and the blessings poured out on the planning and preparation are immense. We are totally blown away by God's goodness! The lunch has been more than covered in terms of financial gifts and goods and the blessings are so overwhelming that the Christmas Lunch is helping to provide for the next step in taking our weekly soup up to 100lts.

Load Shedding

I can't quite believe that I've never blogged about this farce issue before, especially as it's such a regular occurrence due to Eskom's incompetence mismanagement corruption breakdown in supply infrastructure and its inability to manage its affairs.

Load shedding is where our loathed state monopoly beloved electricity supplier cuts power off to certain areas at certain times for about 2½ hours in a desperate bid controlled manner to reduce electricity consumption and therefore bring stability to the power network.

Eskom have schedules for when each area will suffer experience load shedding but the reality is that their timings are similar to Microsoft's when doing an update or transferring lots of files.

South Africa's electricity tarrifs are already very high and the thieving gits Eskom have just applied to the govt for a 15% increase in tariffs. Grrr!
This is a week overdue but it was great to celebrate another fantastic year of The Gathering's Homework Club last Friday 23rd as we held our now annual Awards Ceremony.

It's always a joy to celebrate the kids achievements and to show their families just how well they're doing, and some of our kids are doing incredibly well.

It was a privilege too to have Mark & Jo join us, they set up and run Green Shoots and we really value their support!


***Rant Alert***

As we head in to the Christmas season and get excited about giving and receiving gifts, consider this...

Give only that which you would like to receive.

This has shaped our giving for many years now and is why when we give, we give of our best. For example, we make the best soup we can possibly make for our weekly Soup Kitchen and ensure that it's a soup we would want to eat. Yes, some of our customers are homeless and some are very poor, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't give them our very best and if we're not prepared to eat it why should anyone else?!?

You would be amazed and appalled by some of the attitudes we encounter around giving and donations, often from seemingly pleasant enough scenarios where we're given jigsaws with "only one missing piece" through to some people seeing charitable giving as a way to offload their rubbish rather than driving to the tip.

We've pretty much seen and encountered it all, but  three clear incidents left us quite shocked and have shaped the way we give (and receive).

City Elders

A few months ago I was invited to join a regular Wednesday morning prayer group for City Elders and intercessors. So having jiggeled my day around I've been going quite regularly for the last few months and have grown to really enjoy the group and the nature of prophetic prayer and the unity amongst the many ministries in the Helderberg.

But my biggest joy has been getting to see the different ministries, stand with them in prayer and to celebrate their outreach within their communities. It's really exciting to see what God is doing amongst us here in our little corner of South Africa.

Decisions, Decisions...

Decisions, decisions, decisions....

As the year winds down towards the summer holidays it would be nice to have a bit of breathing space, but as ever that's rarely our experience and once again we find ourselves having to make some pretty major decisions ready for the new year.

For those of you who get our prayer letters, you'll know that we have had to make a big decision about Joel's last two years at school. We're thrilled that in January he'll be returning to a more formal High School set up, though it will still be informal with a Christian ethos, but at least he won't be being home schooled and self-teaching anymore, which will be a huge blessing for Paula!