Showing posts sorted by relevance for query soup kitchen. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query soup kitchen. Sort by date Show all posts
Happy Birthday Soup Kitchen!

The Gathering's Soup Kitchen began on 14 May 2015 (so we're a little late) and is now just a tad over 5 years old.

It's amazing and encouraging to see how the Soup Kitchen has grown since we first started back then and it feels a little like it has come full circle as we began serving the soup in yogurt pots and since lockdown we've been back to serving it in yogurt pots.

Soup Kitchen

Recently we were at a Hillsong leaders lunch and were enjoying listening to a guy called Perry Noble (we had no clue as to who he was but he was very good. Read more about him here). He posed the question: "If your church closed its doors tomorrow would it be missed by the community?".  This got me to wondering whether or not The Gathering would be missed after just about a year in Firgrove.

Hand on heart I believe that we would be missed. We'd be missed for a few reasons but one of the main reasons is our weekly soup kitchen.

It was a horribly wet and cold evening last night as the latest cold front slammed in to the Cape. Winter might be on its way out but it's not going without a fight.

Given how wet and cold it was, it was even more of a blessing knowing the The Gathering's Soup Kitchen had more than enough to make sure that no one went hungry, and everyone could have as much as they needed.

The 140 litres certainly went a long way and it was one of the few Soup Kitchen's in recent times in which we've not had to turn anyone away because the soup was finished.

Our Soup Kitchen is always a chilled and laid back affair, but everyone seemed to know there was more soup than usual and so our regulars were more than happy to take their time over being served, even if it meant standing out in the wet and cold for a bit longer than usual.

It’s Thursday so in social media terms that means I must be about to post my obligatory weekly pic on Instagram, which then automatically re-posts said picture on Facebook and Twitter. However, this week I’m posting the inevitable photo right here on our oft neglected blog.

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!

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.

No Cups

I love it when prayers are answered so specifically.

In the last week or two there's been a bit of friction between the Firgrove guys and the Macassar crowd at The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen and this has been heightened by the length of the queue and the fear of missing out.

Unseen

There's quite a bit that goes unseen in the preparation of The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen and I thought it might be good to look at a little bit of it for a change...

Since we've taken the Soup Kitchen up to a minimum of 100 litres each week our consumption of the basics has rocketed meaning that keeping on top of it all and ensuring we have enough to prepare and serve the soup each Thursday has become a bit of a mission in itself.

Not so long ago at The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen our regulars were able to hang around and enjoy several cups of soup before collecting their takeaway pot for home.

Sadly the recent growth of the Soup Kitchen means that those days are long gone and now as we use our biggest pans to make 140 litres of yummy soup, there's only enough for one cup each and a pot to take home.

In our August update (available here) I wrote: "It’s not easy to communicate just how hungry many people are now, and it’s not just our old faithfuls, we’re seeing many new people coming for soup and asking for food".

Last night at The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen I think we might just have found a way to communicate the levels of hunger...

All Is Calm

I'm still reeling from The Gathering's Soup Kitchen last night, it really was a joy to be there!

I had a sense that with the hideous cold and wet weather of late it would be a good night, but I had no inkling of just how good it would be.  We fed 77 people which is the most The Gathering has fed at any one time, but what really struck me as we were serving was the sense of peace and calm over the Soup Kitchen. That's not to say that it's usually crazy, it just isn't, but last night it was such a peaceful event and it felt good to be a part of it.

Soup Kitchen

The Gathering's soup kitchen was great last night and it got us thinking about what we might expect this coming winter in terms of numbers.

Having been running the soup kitchen for almost two years we've established some patterns and the most noticeable one is how the numbers of folk wanting soup in summer is clearly down on the winter numbers.

Times have changed at The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen but thankfully some things remain the same, but more on them in a moment...

It's sad that for now we can't allow our regulars to come inside, take a load off and enjoy a cup or three of warm delicious homemade soup, but we are trusting that this time of exile is limited and some day soon we'll be able to sit together again as friends and family, sharing stories, laughs and prayers.

For now, we are forever pursuing clean yogurt pots and the odd ice-cream tub to serve our soup in, as well as sanitising everything constantly. And it still feels wrong to be giving folks a pot of soup and asking them to go straight home with it. We miss the interaction with our regulars so much, but again, we hope and trust that this will draw to an end one day soon.

South Africa goes in to full lockdown at midnight tonight and it would be easy to rant and rave about the govt's ineptitude in their handling of the lockdown before it's even started, but it would be far more fitting on our last day of freedom to focus on The Gathering's last Soup Kitchen for at least three weeks.

Soup Kitchen

We had our first soup kitchen of 2017 last night and it was a very special time with a great vibe.

It all began very slowly and by ten past six we hadn't served a single person, but word got out very quickly and in a short space of time we had served 46 people.

Once our regulars began arriving we were given huge hugs from all the kids and enjoyed grateful smiles and banter with the adults in a very relaxed atmosphere. It's a pleasure to see folk so relaxed around church.

Hopefully we're starting 2017 as we mean to continue and we'll see tremendous growth of the soup kitchen and the church through it.

It was also a rare privilege to have Linda and Phillimon with us, normally they're busy with work commitments, and the vibe was assisted greatly by their presence and warmth towards those we serve.

Respect is earnt goes the old adage, and whilst there's an element of truth in this, it also suggests that there's a time for disrespect, and I'm not so sure about that.

One of my proudest achievements as a Dad is to have raised two sons who understand the power and significance of respecting others, and I love that throughout their entire school careers we had endless comments from teachers about how respectful they both were. I've drilled my sons on respect and they know that respect is given, whether it is earnt or demanded is irrelevant.

Soup Kitchen

It's not always clear blue skies and beautiful sunsets, sometimes the weather turns hideous and yesterday afternoon this was the precursor to some of that hideous weather.

Thankfully the storm held off until a while after our Soup Kitchen so everyone would have got back to wherever they stay safely.

Soup Kitchen

The Gathering began our soup kitchen tonight and we were really encouraged by the initial response and really believe it's going to become an effective ministry in the community.

We put the word out on the street but didn't formally advertise the soup kitchen and we had ten adults and three children come for soup. We also gave some to the pump attendants who are always very friendly and helpful, they were pleased to get some hot soup on a cold night.

It was a joy and a pleasure to make the soup for The Gathering's Soup Kitchen last night and it was a privilege to serve with our Gathering family to our regulars.

The queue was one of the biggest we've ever seen and folk were patiently waiting from before 5pm knowing that we don't begin serving until 6pm.

As ever the vibe was very relaxed and despite waiting for quite a long time, everyone was very grateful for what they received. 

I made 100 litres of Cream of Beef & Tomato soup for last night and though I say it myself it was rather good, and it certainly went down well with everyone because it was all gone in twenty minutes!

The title says it all, The Gathering's Soup Kitchen is a dirty, scruffy ministry which demands one gets one's hands dirty, and after running for nearly three years, and getting to know so many regulars, it's impossible not to get one's hands dirty, and do you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thursdays are brilliant (and even better in term time when our Homework Club is running).  I spend most of the morning making the soup and then in the afternoon I get to prepare the venue and then serve the soup (normally with help from Joel and one or two church members), whilst Errol provides a semblance of order outside and encourages passers-by to partake.  He's a natural evangelist.

It's very easy to look at The Gathering's Soup Kitchen and think what a nice piece of work it is without fully appreciating just how serious a need it fulfils.  It's also easy to look at the pics of the many kids that regularly come and think how cute they look, but again it's all too easy to miss just how serious the need in the community is for The Gathering's Soup Kitchen.