Showing posts sorted by relevance for query homework club. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query homework club. Sort by date Show all posts

Well Done Lads!

Towards the end of The Gathering's Soup Kitchen on Thursday Jade & Jayden came rushing in with their mum to show us their school reports for the end of Term 2. They both got 7s for mathematics and a combination of 6s & 7s for everything else (7 is the equivalent of an English A).

Thursdays

It's a real joy to see our new Homework Club spaces filling up.

This is our early group from 3 to 4pm on a Thursday, they're such a calm group which is a welcome contrast to the crazy bunch on a Wednesday afternoon! 

It's great to be back and getting in the swing of the life of The Gathering again.

This morning has been largely about getting a few of my UK purchases up and running which will hopefully make church and especially our Homework Club run a little better.

Flexibility

I was really struck by what one of The Gathering's members said recently about The Gathering's door always being open, because most people in this community are used to seeing churches being locked up and empty all week after Sunday apart from a brief spell on Wednesday evenings.

Maths@Home

We're almost at the end of our third week of The Gathering's Homework Club and it's been an incredible ride so far.

From Precious being trained in the role of Facilitator just days before we started to our opening day with a ton of teething issues, to kids finding their feet and getting cheeky, it's all been good.

We had a very helpful visit on Monday from some of the Green Shoots team, they loved what they saw and gave some very positive feedback and suggestions which we're now working on.

We also decided to change the times of our Friday sessions because all the local schools finish at 1pm. So I had the joy of visiting each family and took the opportunity to find out how the parents and grandparents feel about the Homework Club. Well the response was overwhelming!

O is for Outreach

The gathering has been running a Homework club for a few years now and it was an effective programme in terms of assisting local kids with their mathematics and seeing their grades rising across all subjects. Most teachers and educationalists will readily admit that when a pupil is confident in Maths it generally reflects on the rest of their schooling, so it has been great to be helping some of the local kids. It was also an effective piece of outreach in that it allowed us regular contact with their families and we loved serving the community in this way.

Lockdown Reflection

When strict lockdown Level 5 began in South Africa 110 days ago, I think we all felt a very real level of "now what?" in relation to church life.  Our soup kitchen and Homework Club were thriving, going from strength to strength and I was excitedly preparing my Gathering Ground ladies group with training for a big year ahead. The Gathering had been consistently receiving prophetic words and pictures from God about expansion and birthing pains and getting ready for all the new that was to come. Lockdown certainly did not seem to fit at all with any of this, and I personally spent a lot of time initially asking God, had we heard Him wrongly? and, what are you doing in this Lord?

This morning we had the privilege of speaking at Joel's high school assembly about The Gathering's Soup Kitchen.

Paula put a proposal to the school about them getting involved in our Christmas outreach by providing pizza for everyone at the kitchen and gift boxes for the children that attend.

The school have responded brilliantly and after Paula spoke so well (with the PowerPoint slides) at the assembly this morning, the Student Council are meeting later today to sort out exactly how the students will respond.
Thankfully tablets have moved on a bit since Moses' time. So today is a very exciting day as we took delivery of our first six tablets ready for our Homework Club starting in January.

With Precious confirming that she wants to be our facilitator it's all feeling very real and very exciting.

So here are the official photos of The Gathering's annual Soup Kitchen Xmas Lunch. You can see the full album here.

We had such an amazing day together with church and our volunteers and the lunch itself was an amazing time of serving and blessing our many friends who come to our weekly Soup Kitchen every Thursday.

Thank you to all our volunteers and contributors, you made the day very special indeed!

Last night was our soft opening for The Gathering as we held our first Soup Kitchen in our new home. It really did feel like we had come home and the buzz outside as we built up to serving at 6pm was great.

Once the Soup Kitchen began there was a lovely vibe and because most folk were able to sit in the same room as we were serving the soup  it led to a few conversations that previously we would have missed out on. Hopefully that side of things will grow and opportunities to minister will increase.

As an end of term treat Eli's school had iced a load of cookies and they went down a storm with young and old alike!

Just before we began serving, some local decided to become the police and started shouting at the kids because they were being a bit lively, though he soon got the message that we're not a religious bunch who demand silence. LOL!

We've got the keys and we're in, thank you LORD!

Now a lot of hard work begins before our first Gathering in our new home on the 2nd of July. I've spent about an hour compiling a long list of jobs and now I need to get a timetable together so we have a plan of action to get it all done in time.

Scorchio!

When we started our soup kitchen almost two years ago we received a lot of unhelpful and downright negative advice which I'm happy to say we totally ignored.

One of the more ridiculous bits of advice was that: 'you won't need to open in summer because no one wants soup when it's hot'. Well today was the hottest day of summer so far with the temperature indoors hitting 34°C and yet we served 50 people and our soup was all gone in fifteen minutes.

Busy Week Done

Following on from my "Busy Week" post, the jobs that needed doing eventually got done, but this being Africa they just took a little longer than planned, but I'm very happy with how they turned out.

The glass tinting works a dream and offers us a degree of privacy which is essential for our Homework Club, but it doesn't completely shut the outside world out. It was also a fraction of the cost of blinds.

I had one of the saddest and most frustrating conversations of my life at The Gathering’s Soup Kitchen last night.

Frustrating because it was of a theme that keeps rearing its ugly head, and sad because we the church are responsible.

Soup Kitchen

As ever it's a joy and a privilege to be able to serve our community through The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen, and last night was no exception.

Normally this one in the month would be our quietest given that pensions and disability grants have just been paid, but such is the need in the current climate that we were far busier than we had expected.

What this confirms to us is what we already know; the need is very real and those that come for soup are genuinely grateful for the reliability of the Soup Kitchen.

South Africa's lockdown was eased a little on Monday which means life once again has some semblance of normality about it, whatever that is, and we could feel it in the community as things felt a little lighter than they have of late.

Tekkie Walk

Last night The Gathering was invited to join with the United Reformed Church in Firgrove as they held a Prayer Walk around the community.

The walk was brilliantly organised with one person being given a ribbon (for each stop sign) and the responsibility of praying for whichever topic they had been given. Then before moving on to the next street, they tied the ribbon to the stop sign.

Before & After

We're thrilled to finally see The Gathering's new kitchen completed and ready for service.

It's been quite a journey getting to this point but we're thankful for all the blessings that made this possible, and to our guys at The Gathering who worked so hard to prepare the space ready for the installation. I also enjoyed sorting the plumbing and electrics, it felt like old times doing that stuff again.

Adopted Son

It seems like a long time ago that Paula dropped me off at Cape Town airport to fly to England, but just three weeks later I really can't wait to go home!

I've had a fantastic time, reconnected with many good friends, and spent time with school mates I hadn't seen in 35 years. I had the privilege of spending time with some truly inspiring fellow pastors & ministers and can't believe that a few of them even let me preach in their churches (I'm sure one day I'll be found out 😂 ).

But the greatest joy has been spending time with family, and this last week has been special as I've never spent so long with Paula's sister & brother-in-law on my own before. All I can say is that my love and respect for Lisa & Stephen grows exponentially each time I see them and realise just how much they quietly get on with as they serve and support others around them. I really love you both! XX

Following our prayerletter which we sent out yesterday and which can be read here, we want to explain a little more, give a bit more info to the background and answer a few questions...

At The Gathering we have never wanted a building for the sake of having a building, rather, we have always wanted a venue from which we can serve the local community from Monday to Saturday with Sunday Gatherings being merely the cherry on the cake.