Same Storm

I came across this the other day on social media and it really struck a chord with me, and after spending a couple of days explaining to a few folk some of the realities of lockdown here in SA for many that The Gathering reaches out to and ministers to, I thought it would make a good post on here.

I have to confess to being just a little bit tired of hearing people in privileged positions (politicians and so called celebrities and a few others) telling the rest of us that 'we're in the same boat'.  They trotted that rubbish out under austerity and it wasn't true then just as it isn't true now.

We are NOT in the same boat! We are in the same storm for sure but not the same boat. How some will cruise through this storm and how some will barely tread water in the hope of surviving  are two very very different things.

South Africa is one of the most unequal nations on this planet with the disparity between wealth and poverty being very stark and clearly visible every day of the week. Just stop at pretty much any traffic light and see the number of people longing for work, it's truly heartbreaking.

We see the reality of this on a daily basis through life in Firgrove, our Homework Club and most obviously through our Soup Kitchen. We see folk who are desperately hungry, we see kids without access to online learning and we see people just desperate to make it through this storm in one piece.

But I'm also happy that as a church we're able to offer hope both physically and spiritually as we practically demonstrate the love of Christ in the community. I'm also incredibly proud of what some of our friends are up to, not least Father's House in Simon's Town who have changed church from being a meeting place to an emergency feeding programme, reaching out to 400+ children in a very poor community in the mountains above the town. This wasn't a knee-jerk decision but born out of Pastor Shaddie's burning passion for the poor in the community.

And when I see what Thomas House of Hope and our local Night Shelter are doing it warms my heart, especially in the light of the disastrous farce of the City of Cape Town's homeless strategy for the lockdown which caused so much hurt and damage to some of the most vulnerable.

I'm not going to end on that negativity though because I believe there is much to celebrate, not least that the church around the world finally knows the reality of church being the people not the building, and I'm really hopeful that as a result of this pandemic church will be forever transformed into an outward looking entity that seeks to serve the poorest and most vulnerable in their communities knowing that we're not all in the same boat.


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