Showing posts with label soup kitchen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soup kitchen. Show all posts

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.

The Gathering has been supporting two local Soup Kitchens in nearby Macassar for over two years now, and we've built up a great relationship with Beatty and Mercia who run them from their homes.

So at least once a month I get the joy of delivering a load of food to each of them, and I have to say that it is a real privilege and a blessing to be working with them, supporting them and providing for them.

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.

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.

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.

Testimony Sunday at The Gathering is always a joy and a blessing, and this morning was no different!

The stream of testimonies of God's goodness just kept flowing. What was clear is that most had been having a tough year, but each acknowledged that it was only by God's awesome grace that they had got to where they were and were blessed because of His loving kindness.

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!

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

On Thursday we had our third and final Festive Soup Kitchen in which we once again served a delicious homemade Gammon & Pea soup.

Once again the soup went down a storm with many appreciative comments from our regulars.

It has been a real joy, pleasure and a privilege to be able to treat our Soup Kitchen regulars to three special soups over the last few weeks as we've done our best to celebrate Christmas with them.

Sadly The Gathering have had to shelve plans for our annual Soup Kitchen Christmas Lunch this year. The main reason for doing so is simply one of logistics, as it would be beyond our resources to cater for and accommodate all of our regulars, which would lead to some frustration and disappointment, which we would rather avoid.

Next year when The Gathering is meeting in the main hall it will be a different ball game, but sadly we need to pass on it this year.

Sweet Potatoes

Tonight's Soup Kitchen will be serving a rather yummy Cream of Sweet Potato & Ginger homemade soup.

After chopping 18 kilograms of sweet potato and peeling & chopping quite a lot of fresh ginger the building is smelling divine!

The soup doesn't taste too shabby either.

No, not our new home, but rather our church house...

Late in 2019 I felt God give me a word for The Gathering about putting our house in order, so in Jan 2020 we kicked off the New Year with a couple of sermons on this subject drawing from 2 Kings 4:1-7 and Haggai 1:1-15.

I'll not bore you with the details of those sermons, but suffice to say that although at that time we had registered as an NPO, we were far from compliant with the Dept of Social Development's requirements. Also, we were using songs in our worship without the proper licences from CCLI, as well as being a bit lax in a few other areas.

Exciting Times

Today was an exciting day for The Gathering as we were blessed with 23 boxes of peanut pastes from our dear friends at My Father's House in Simon's Town.

This means we can once again be generous with the pastes which have become incredibly popular amongst our Soup Kitchen regulars.

BMW Man

One of the joys of The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen is the variety of our regulars from all different walks in life. This diversity lends a calm and light environment in which folk are chilled and happy to laugh at themselves and others.

Last night we had the joy of BMW Man as some of the others called him, and he was very proud of his converted shopping trolley, though he was a bit fed up at having lost his wing mirror in a recent crash.