Shortest Day

Today is the shortest day of the year (so you lovely northern hemisphere peeps get to say goodbye to the sun tomorrow 😉) which means the sunrise was unusually late and this gave me the opportunity to get two lovely snaps of it.

This one was taken from our drive as I was about to take Joel to school. By the time I got the camera I had probably missed the best of it but the sunrise still looked pretty cool.

Today should be quite a big day in the life of The Gathering's new home. With just under two weeks until we start Gathering there, there is a lot to be sorted out.

It all starts today as the landlord is having a roller-door fitted so that should be security sorted. This should also mean that the Coca Cola sign for next door's shop be removed as the landlord has told them to get a smaller one sorted. Once this is done we can put our own sign up.

Yesterday was a public holiday as we enjoyed Youth Day, so Errol, Phillimon, Eli & myself took the opportunity to spend a few hours in The Gathering's new home knocking things about, taking down a wall, removing the counter and then fixing holes, followed by lots of sweeping and mopping!

I've been wanting to take some photos of The Gathering's Soup Kitchen to show the children at Eli's school as a thank you for their hard work making sandwiches each week, and to try and challenge them as we show them that not everyone has a privileged background.

Rather than patronise folk with the usual full on photos, I wanted to capture their hands receiving soup and sandwiches and I have to say I'm very pleased with these.

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.

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.

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.