Three Down, One To Go

Three quarters of the House of Trouser are down with Covid and looking at the bulk of the symptoms it seems fairly clear that we've been got by the Omicron variant. There are plenty of headaches, sneezing, sore throats, runny noses and fatigue to be going on with. 

However, not all things are equal. 

Dean seems to be getting away with the lightest symptoms, Paula's definitely the worst and then some, whilst Joel is just really fed up with not being able to go to work.

This is heartbreaking but sadly necessary.

For the first time since South Africa entered its 21 day lockdown two years ago, The Gathering has had to close its weekly Soup Kitchen because a few of us are ill with Covid.

We've done our best to ensure that word is out, especially amongst the Macassar folk to save them the walk for food later.

There's little worse than seeing our church venue locked up with no sign of life, especially when we make such an effort to be open as much as possible so community members know where they can find The Gathering when they need us.

Positive Tests

Following Paula's positive Covid test I tested myself this morning and got a very clear positive.

I'm feeling very tired and achey but beyond that just have regular cold symptoms.

Joel is beginning to cough so it looks like he'll test positive next. Hopefully Eli might escape it.

I guess it had to happen at some point... After two plus years of the pandemic Paula officially has Covid (she believes she had it once before but didn't test properly), and I've developed cold like symptoms which may or may not be Covid, especially as the season is changing here. 

Either way I know we're both feeling a bit rubbish, so it was nice to have a delicious Dirty Mac & Cheese with steamed broccoli for dinner, even if Paula couldn't taste it.

As a church we are fully committed to the working out of the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:5), so this morning we gave over our Gathering to a Seven Minute Challenge in which we allow members the opportunity to share God's word for up to seven minutes.

This morning Gloria, Linda and Leilani rose to the challenge. Each of them were diligent and faithful in their preparation and spoke with immense authority.

I'm not sure why, but for some reason somewhere along the line we seem to have stopped taking time out just for ourselves.

Sure we go out for dinner once a week and chat over a good meal & a drink, but that just being together for the sake of being together that we are all so good at when we're dating or courting just seems to have got lost along the way.

So today we celebrate Joel's 19th birthday and we couldn't be prouder of the young man he is blossoming in to!

Paula wrote the following on Facebook and I can't say it any better:

"Happy 19th birthday to you Joel, our amazing miracle child! You have blown Dad and I away from the moment we knew about you. Today I celebrate you. You are thoughtful and kind, strong and courageous, an overcomer, wise and brave. I love that you are living a life of purpose, running hard after the things of God and unafraid of what people might think. Dream big and fly my boy, this dark world needs you! I love you forever and always."

It's always a joy to see our satisfied customers enjoying their soup at The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen, and it was a joy to watch young Anthony savour every last drop of his.

Once again we prepared 100 litres of delicious homemade Cream of Chicken Soup, only this time it had a slight Cape Malay curried edge to it which went down a storm.

The Gathering has been running the weekly Soup Kitchen for so many years now that we really shouldn't be surprised that yet again it was a really chilled vibe with lots of thanks and gratitude for the church's generosity in making sure everyone had their fill with plenty to take away too. 

However, every week we remain incredibly thankful to God for the peace and calm that pervades the Soup Kitchen.

Thank you LORD!

I do believe that in leading The Gathering Paula & I are privileged and blessed to be leading something quite exceptional.

This is not a boastful post, but rather a celebration of church and how The Gathering is (in my view) a quite excellent church.

Many will speak of the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:5) but few seem to allow it to flourish in the day to day reality of church life, but it's something that has always been a bit of a defining edge to our ministry.

10k Ride

There are a number of factors that have limited my time on my unicycles lately (laziness, the wind and a few other excuses...), so I decided it was time to stop making those excuses and just get back on with riding again.

So for the last couple of weeks I've been trying to crack off a couple of 10k rides on my Kris Holm 26er and generally I have managed it.

The joy of riding regularly is that I can feel my core getting a good workout which means that my back is less likely to cause me any grief, added to that the health benefits of regular exercise (as if Boxing 4 times a week wasn't enough!) and it's a win win.

South Africa has this ridiculous system called loadshedding in which the state monopoly power provider switches the electricity off at various points around the country for 2 hours at a time. 

Somehow they think it's all made more acceptable and manageable by having an actual schedule for this nonsense, but this schedule is adaptive depending on which particular stage of loadshedding we happen to be enjoying.