Showing posts with label the gathering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the gathering. Show all posts

Life

We're in the countdown for our trip to Blighty, and life just seems to get busier & busier.

In the midst of preparing for our trip, we're still juggling life and having to make some plans for the future, especially regarding my health.

We're really excited to be coming back to Blighty for a month, it means we'll miss a month of winter here, but most importantly, it means we'll get to spend time with Eli, having not seen him for over 18 months!

Having recently qualified as a Chaplain, it was a great honour and privilege to have been ordained as a Community Chaplain with SAFReC, the South African First Responder Chaplaincy.

Paula & I flew to Jo'burg on Friday for the Ordination which was conducted as part of their AGM.

I guess the reality and impact, or potential impact of this is still sinking in, but getting involved is an exciting prospect, and I'm particularly keen to see what doors may open in the coming weeks, months and years.

After six years and Covid, we're finally returning to conduct some of our Roadshows (see details in the image).

We will send out more detailed information for each Roadshow and church visit nearer the time, but in the meantime please make a date in your diary and we hope to see you very soon.

Haircuts

It's amazing the difference a good haircut can make one feel about one's self.

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.

Like most government run institutions in South Africa, the health service is very badly broken and on its knees, to the point that it's best avoided at all costs (treasure and fight for the NHS!).

Even trying to get our daughter's wisdom teeth seen to has been a nightmare and not an experience we would be keen to repeat any time soon!

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. 

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.

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.

I've said this before, but my greatest joy in our ministry is raising up and releasing others to serve the Kingdom for God's glory.

So it was pure joy and a real privilege to allow two of our members to share the Word as part of our Seven Minute Challenge.

What made it even better was the fact that Jubilant had asked a few weeks ago if she could also lead The Gathering's worship on this Sunday.

Just wow!