Ten years ago, in June 2010, one of our ladies here at Christ Church, Strand took me around as she was doing her home visits, giving people their medication. It was on those visits that we saw that poverty is real. She could not give some of the people their medication because they had nothing to eat. It was then that we decided that we cannot fold our arms; we needed to do something about it. So, we started our soup kitchen.
We were a church with very few members back then. We encouraged our church members to each bring something out of their kitchen cupboard so that we could cook. Our members were excited and the following Sunday each brought their contribution. Some brought potatoes, others onions or soup – and people volunteered to come and cook. We started the following Thursday and ever since then, there has never been a week without feeding about 80 people every Thursday.
Then, in 2015, just 2km away from our church we started another soup kitchen at Siyanyanzela informal settlement, where we have been feeding about 100 people every Wednesday.
Through this soup kitchen ministry, we have seen people coming to know Jesus, and their lives being transformed by the power of the gospel. One of these is now the member of our Church Council and is also shepherding one of our house churches. Not only that, but we have also had many coming to us to say, “Thank you, this feeding helped me a lot in my time of need. Now I am working.” With the funding for the soup kitchens we have not only fed the needy, but we have also used the money to support those whose shacks have been destroyed by fire, helping them to buy food, school uniforms and school books. We have also supported families with groceries.
Currently, due to lockdown regulations, we have had to close down our soup kitchen. So, we have focussed on giving out food parcels and food vouchers. This has re-opened our eyes in terms of how many people are living in the reality of poverty and we think, after all these lockdown regulations are over, when we go back to cooking and gathering people to feed them, we will also continue with food parcels
We want to thank everyone who has supported our soup kitchen for the past 10 years, including our loyal volunteers. Your support has made it possible for God’s people, and those who are created in God’s image, to have something to eat. It has made it possible to restore people’s dignity and, more importantly, your contribution has lead to others coming to know Jesus. We are grateful to God for all of you.