Showing posts with label outreach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label outreach. Show all posts

Why a Testimony Sunday?
Why give a Gathering over to hearing what people have to say?

Scripture is rich in God’s people sharing testimony of what God has done and what God is doing in the lives of His people.

Making Soup

Making the soup for The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen is (and has been for a long time) my happy place.

I really enjoy every aspect of it, and love the fact that I can pretty much switch off and just let the process unfold.

After the joy of our three Christmas Specials at The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen, it's great to be back to the joy of our normal Soup Kitchen, replete with loadshedding.

Butternut is back in season locally, so it was a case of prepping and chopping 18kgs of them to make one hundred litres of delicious home-made soup.

One of the many joys in leading church, is watching the ebb & flow of church life, and how some people are planted in for the long haul whilst others are with you for just a short time.

Today at The Gathering we had the privilege of sending Delena (& her husband John) off in prayer (we prayed our best prayers), and love to begin a new life in the Eastern Cape in a town called Buffels Vlei. 

We were thoroughly blessed at our first Festive Soup Kitchen on Thursday, as Joel came along to photograph the event for us.

As ever, his photographs are truly stunning and he perfectly captured the heart and essence of The Gathering's Soup Kitchen.

Things are getting exciting at The Gathering as we prepare for our three festive Soup Kitchens, beginning tomorrow.

We'll be serving 200 litres of home made Pea & Ham Soup. As well as serving our regulars with the usual packet of instant noodles, each recipient will receive a yummy home baked cookie, and the school age kids will each get a goodie bag containing a few school supplies together with a some sweets.

Between the Old and New Testaments there is a 400 year gap in which the voice of God was not heard.

It must have been tough for the Hebrews to carry on in their worship with no sign of life from God.

Then the Angel Gabriel spoke to Mary and the silence was broken.

Suddenly, for those who were listening, life was full and rich with the blessings of God, and where religion may have been dry and dusty it was swept through with the awesome grace of the living God.

Fetching Water

The story of The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen is a long and varied one, and over the eight years that we've been running it, we have had some interesting issues and obstacles to deal with and overcome.

Today's particular obstacle was perhaps the strangest to overcome... 

The water in Firgrove had been off since 6pm the previous night and it still wasn't on at 11am when I needed 100 litres of water to get ready making the soup.

Starting today, I have challenged The Gathering to join together in reading a chapter of Luke each day, so on Christmas morning we'll know exactly what Christmas is all about and will be keeping Christ in Christmas..

Why not join us too..

It's a great blessing to see so much food stacked up in the church office/kitchen, especially knowing that Paula negotiated such a great deal with the shopkeeper that we got +/-1700 individual packets of noodles for the princely sum of R1.60 each (7p each in Blighty). In the local shops a cheap packet of noodles would normally cost around R5 each (22p).

What a blessing. Thank you LORD!

This picture warms my heart as it captures the very heart and DNA of The Gathering.

We don't run our Soup Kitchen as an evangelistic outreach, and we put no conditions on who can or cannot receive soup, we serve all comers.

The reason for this is that we use our weekly Soup Kitchen as a way of thanking God for all He's done for us and as such we want to share those blessings with others. 

The Gospel

I wasn't supposed to be preaching at The Gathering this morning, but events in the week meant that it was over to me, and as ever it was a joy and a privilege to share the Word. 

During the week I had briefly contemplated giving our Gathering over to an impromptu Testimony Sunday, but decided against this because I knew we would be low on numbers this morning, and partly because I knew I was being lazy in not preparing a word.

Well before I even got up to preach, God had interrupted our Gathering spectacularly and it turned in to an impromptu Testimony Sunday with testimony after testimony being shared.

Happy Place

Once again I find myself in my happy place, and today I'm especially happy because I get to use our new 100lt pans for the first time.

Today I'm making two hundred litres of delicious creamy vegetable soup, which hopefully will be a real blessing to those that come for soup.

New Pans

Today is an exciting day for The Gathering as we finally got new larger pans for our weekly Soup Kitchen.

We've been making 140 litres of soup each week for a while now, and even on our quieter evenings, the soup has all gone within thirty minutes, meaning we have had to turn some folk away.
It seems so normal these days to just get on with life regardless of whether we have electricity or not, and we've certainly learnt to make a plan for those all too frequent occasions when the power is switched off.

On Thursday it was the turn of The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen to once again enjoy the inconvenience of loadshedding.

This is what church is all about!  There was such a buzz at The Gathering yesterday as we prepared soup, hosted our Homework Club and launched our first go at offering free haircuts to any men/boys who wanted. Add in to this the fact that we also took food to the two Macassar Soup Kitchen's The Gathering supports and it really was an amazing day of blessings!

We are really looking forward to doing something a little bit different at The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen this week...

Following a conversation with one of our Soup Kitchen regulars - who has recently started gathering with us on Sundays - in which he asked for money for a haircut, we got to thinking about how we could help without giving him money. The Gathering has quite a strict policy on not giving financial handouts for a number of reasons.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Sometimes it's hard to fully grasp the reality of this scripture, especially in the midst of difficult and trying circumstances.

That was a lot of carrots needing to be prepped for The Gathering's Soup Kitchen tonight...

Homework Club

We are thrilled that The Gathering's Homework Club has restarted. 

It's actually in its second week of the new school year and already we're full with quite a long waiting list.

We also have quite a lot of Gr7s from the local primary school asking to join so we are going to have to look at ways of accommodating them too. What a brilliant problem to have!