Dean will be undertaking a Roadshow Tour on his own this year, from 16 May until 5 June.

Quite simply we cannot afford to all come and the boys can't miss school like they once could. 😭

So, if you are in or around the Manchester, Sheffield, London or Sevenoaks areas, please come and say hello at one of my Roadshows or Church Visits, the dates are in the image to the right.

For the Sheffield and Wimbledon Roadshows, please save the date and I'll confirm the venues ASAP.
For the last few weeks I've been using less milk in The Gathering's soup , preferring to use Amasi, a local milk product that is totally gross unless you grew up with it.

I first encountered Amasi in '97 in Tanzania, where one morning I joined the workers for their morning break at the project where we were serving, and they thought it highly amusing to watch me being grossed out by it and almost vomiting. Amasi (or Maas in Afrikaans) is in essence curdled milk and unless your stomach is used to it it's very hard to deal with.

I had one of the saddest and most frustrating conversations of my life at The Gathering’s Soup Kitchen last night.

Frustrating because it was of a theme that keeps rearing its ugly head, and sad because we the church are responsible.

Towards the end of the Soup Kitchen there were a few regulars who had arrived late and we were chatting, when one of them, a mum of one of our Homework Club kids, asked if he was actually attending? Knowing the lad is a bit of a tear-away I got the register to show her just how regular he really is. She was thrilled and from there the conversation really opened up until she asked about Gathering Ground, our weekly ladies’ gathering and she said she would pop in one week. I assured her she would be welcome and encouraged her as much as I could to give it a go.

Glorious Rain

Suddenly the clouds rolled in, the sky went dark and an almighty thunderstorm unleashed itself right above us.  Thank you Lord!

After a few minutes of messing about in the rain enjoying its cooling touch (it was 35°C just after lunchtime), we grabbed every available bucket and got busy harvesting as much rain as we could. In the end I reckon we got about 200Lts, which isn't a lot but it will keep the loos flushing for a while longer.  😃

It was fun to watch Eli reveling in the rain and even funnier to see him get pelted by the brief hail storm.


At The Gathering we're acutely aware of the water crisis afflicting Cape Town and have been trying our best to save water wherever possible, but there's always something extra one can do.

So today I finally got around to changing the plumbing in The Gathering's toilet so that we can harvest the grey water from the sink and use it to flush the toilet.

In doing this The Gathering is no longer wasting valuable drinking water to flush the loo and that is a win win situation.

Every little bit helps as we try our best to avoid Day Zero, the day that the City of Cape Town turns off its taps and loses its status as a world class city.

We've had the honour of hosting a few visitors at The Gathering's Homework Club over the last few days and it's always a joy to talk about it and to share our story and how we got to where we are now.

It's been quite a journey from not having a clue what the Homework Club would look like to now being a growing and confident outfit, and we're always happy to share the journey with others.

Today we welcomed Jo Swart and her team (Sean & Beben) from Life Church in Somerset West. They're looking to do something very similar to our Homework Club in an impoverished community they're involved in, and we're more than happy to share our experiences and knowledge to help them get going.

Finally, 2018 gets going.

The New Year is a strange thing out here in that it falls in the middle of the summer holidays, with industry shutting down for a few weeks, so most people don't go back to work until the second week of January. Schools only went back last week and so The Gathering's Homework Club only just started this week and won't do a full week until next week.

Wednesday and Thursday were brilliant as The gathering's Homework Club kicked off again and welcomed 11 new kids and 21 returnees. The Homework Club is full now and we have quite a waiting list which is great.

Having learnt a few lessons last year, we started the year with a few ground rules and boundaries which seemed to go well, I guess time will tell.  The big difference though is that we now have eight kids per session so Precious (our facilitator) can't sit down, so she was constantly walking around the table and that kept things a lot more orderly.

Twenty Years

It's twenty years ago this month that we made our first move in to overseas mission as we went to Tanzania for an initial two year stint.  Just under a year later we resigned out in the field, were treated appallingly by the organisation we were serving with and ended up staying with some Catholic Fathers at a nearby Seminary.  The last group of people I expected to be genuinely Christian turned out to have a greater concept and handle on Christian basics than the organisation we had served with.  Still, that's a long time ago and much water has passed under the bridge since then.

The most valuable thing to come out of our year in Tanzania was the lessons we learnt. We finally realised what neo-colonialism is and how to stridently avoid it. We learnt how to treat people well so that they respond positively. We learnt a lot of other stuff too, and not least had our misunderstanding of Christian calling shaken to its roots. It really was a great experience!

Homework Club

After a day of Homework Club admin, it's great to have 32 letters about to be delivered to various families in Firgrove telling them that their kid has secured a place for 2018.

It's been a great journey since we set out in January last year with 12 kids and not really knowing what the Homework Club would look like.  Here we are a whole twelve months later and we're setting off with 32 kids and looking to expand it to 48 sooner rather than later.

Please stand with us in prayer as we believe that The Gathering will grow through this outreach into the community.

Day Zero

Day Zero is looming and is set for the end of March.

No we're not talking about the rise of a new Pol Pot or Jacob Zuma suddenly pulling a rabbit out of his hat and saving his political career. No, we're talking about the day that the taps run dry here in Cape Town.

Things are so serious that even the BBC are asking the question: Will Cape Town be the first city in the world to run out of water?

Firstly, let's be clear, this could have been avoided!