Last week I met with the landlord of the vacant shop in Firgrove and we shook hands on the lease and this morning we've met with his lawyer and have signed the contract, so from the 1st of July The Gathering has a new home.

Thank you LORD!

Can't Vote

Once again it's election day in the UK and once again we're both excluded from voting.  I get that we've lived outside the UK for too long, but here's what I really don't get: South Africans living in the UK who meet the residency criteria (that's lived in Blighty for more than three months) are eligible as Commonwealth citizens to vote in the UK, but there is no reciprocal agreement, meaning that despite living out here for 14 years and being a Permanent Resident for 5+ years we cannot vote in any South African elections!

A Random Post

Here are a few random photos from the last week or two which I wanted to post but didn't get around to.

The first couple are of our Soup Kitchen which is growing massively now that winter is here. The fact that we were regularly feeding 40+ people through summer was quite something, but now we're feeding 70+ and still more new people are coming each week. It's great to see so many folk, especially our regulars and it's a real blessing to be able to serve the community in this way.

The South African Weather Service has put out a severe storm warning as they predict the worst storm for 30 years is about to slam in to the Western Cape.

The municipality has ordered all schools to be closed for the day tomorrow and people are generally being advised to stay at home. So sadly we're cancelling our Homework Club tomorrow afternoon and our home group in the evening.

Having been at the Firgrove Shell for just over  two years we've been given notice to quit the premises and so The Gathering is on the hunt for a new home.

The Shell Garage is undergoing some massive renovations beginning in July and they need to move their admin back upstairs, and so for purely business reasons they have asked us to move.

When I saw this Facebook post earlier today I couldn't help but respond knowing that The Gathering serves soup and sandwiches every Thursday in the Firgrove community.

Having invited the poster along I wasn't really expecting her to turn up, but it was a pleasure to meet her at tonight's Soup Kitchen and to be able to serve her and her grandchildren.

I love that we radically impacted her and her expectations of the community just by doing what we always do.

Two Gentlemen of Verona

Or in this case, Two Friends via DHL.

We know you wish to remain anonymous but we really want to thank you for your faithfulness to God!

Thank you! 

ps. our @crosslinks email is long since defunct.

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! 

Planting a new church is never easy and doing it from scratch is tougher still, and at times it's easy to feel down and like nothing is going to plan. Those negative feelings can be especially tough to deal with when growth is slow and commitment of some is sporadic at best.

However, as one persists and remains faithful in prayer, things begin to turn and whilst I don't think church planters ever have that feeling of "we've done it" things do seem a lot more positive through faith and prayer.

Golaccio!

Finally after a few weeks I managed to get hold of a big enough piece of netting to finish off Eli's football goal and he's really pleased with it.

The completion of the goal nicely coincided with him finally getting his new De Beers football shirt which has his name and favourite number on the back and if I'm honest, he's a little bit more excited by the kit than the goal.

Oh well, I tried!

Paula & I had the privilege of attending Green Shoots 5th Birthday Celebration last night.

For those that haven't kept up, our Homework Club at The Gathering runs Green Shoots Maths@Home online programme.

Our Homework Club is a complete joy to run and as an extra privilege last night I was asked to share a little about the impact Green Shoots has had on our learners and the wider community.