Our much anticipated, prayed for and planned ''Welcome to 2022" Soup Kitchen lunch was a roaring success on Sunday, and we give God all the glory for this!

As we watched the advance weather reports in disbelief, stating that Sunday was going to be the hottest day on record, we gathered people to ask God to bring the temperature down, and to specifically cover the sun with cloud from 12-3 pm, or the event would simply be unbearable for us all. 

Prayers were certainly answered as the degrees reduced a little, and suddenly 5 gazebos made their way to cover every table for the very first time, quite literally covering all our dear friends from the sun as they ate! Thank you LORD!

There are quite simply so many highlights, answers to prayer and God interventions from the lunch, and we hope the photos themselves convey some of this.  Perhaps for us, one of the most important and profound moments of the day is when our guests arrive for lunch clutching their tickets and see their names printed on the seating plan.  This speaks of value, worth, respect and love.  Each of our friends has been lovingly prayed for by name prior to the event.  In fact, we have been walking a road with virtually all of them for so long, and our lunch enables The Gathering to love on them and show them how much their heavenly Father sees them in their circumstances, loves them and knows them by name.  Alongside this, was birthed the concept this year of creating individually crafted goody bags for each one of our friends.  Our wonderful, creative friend Annatjie, quite literally created 100 individual bags and prayed over them before we filled them to the brim with goodies and tied them beautifully with ribbon.  What a wonderful testament to the goodness of God!

Some of our homeless friends were so blown away by the love lavished upon them, loving that they got to sit down for a generous meal for the first time in so long that they couldn't even remember!  Others stated that they had truly seen the grace of God and that they would perhaps try a Sunday service at The Gathering as well!  Still others took the opportunity to be prayed for in the midst of their personal pain and difficulty, and we believe received from the Lord.  The word was preached boldly from Psalm 34, "The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain, and he is always ready to restore the repentant one."  We believe earnestly now for a much prayed for harvest of souls in the weeks ahead.

More than anything, what really blesses our hearts as Pastors when we have events like this is the way in which the body of Christ comes together and works in partnership to the glory of God.  This year in particular has totally blown our socks of and fills us with faith for the months ahead when we believe God is going to do even greater things amongst us.  We cannot do this without our friends, and we want to say a very special thank you for the prayer and financial support of churches, both here in South Africa and overseas - to Everyday Wimbledon; St Andrew's, Oxshott; St Cuthbert's, Cheadle; St George's, Weald; St Andrew's, Kinson; the amazing ladies from Every Nation, Helderberg Life Group and The Bay Christian Family Church. We are indebted to so many other individuals who have also given; we thank you and love you dearly.  We are excited and humbled to report that as a result of  such generosity this year, The Gathering was able to give on to 2 projects working with the disadvantaged that are very much on our hearts.  We are also about to purchase a much needed new fridge at the church and will soon be the proud owners of an inverter, an essential piece of equipment in these days in our land!

We were treated so wonderfully to the fantastic food of Chef Mariza de Jager and to the creative talents of Jenny Brown and Annatjie Tough.  We give thanks to you all and very especially all the willing volunteers who laboured with such servant hearts on the day.  Gathering family, we love you, we honour you and we thank you for pouring yourselves out once again; this is indeed just the very beginning of all that God wants to do amongst us.  Above all - ALL GLORY TO GOD!


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