LookingfurtherIt has been a tragic week in Cape Town and further afield that has left many homeless, injured and traumatised. Families have lost loved ones in the #CapeStorm and #KnysnaFire. I received a text from a pastor in Khayelitsha yesterday to say his house had been severely damaged by the storm and to please send Samaritans. The Warehouse, part of the RESPOND DISASTER NETWORK are consulting with partners to mobilise relief to those affected by the fires. Please watch our FB page and the website for updates.

The story Jesus told of the Good Samaritan to illustrate the difference between observing and following religious practices and rituals and observably following and imitating God is at the heart of the Christian understanding of being a disciple of Jesus. When we observe and follow Jesus, we observably love and act like him and his nature towards human-beings is revealed.

We decided at 5pm on Tuesday to open Callow House and the Prayer Room to shelter vulnerable women, children and men and put the word out via Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

Within minutes food was being prepared, blankets were being delivered, volunteers from 7 different churches began signing up for 3 hour shifts. People jumped in their cars and began to drive around our streets to invite and bring anyone who wanted to be inside. 30 men and 18 women were sheltered through the storm. Food, clothes, shoes, blankets, and pillows continued to be delivered over 48 hours. The response was magnificent and there were lots of moments when Jesus was observably at work in, with and through us all together. Our guests settled in and began helping clean, prepare food and serve others. We began to feel like family.

Thank you to everyone who participated - sharing, volunteering, making food, praying, spre [cck1] ading the word. We have stopped taking further donations at this stage.

It was a significant time with our guests. Relationships began to form as we ate and sheltered together. Life stories began to be told. Listening developed new bonds of love and friendship. Care shifted from responding to each need to responding to each person. Stories gave context to each person’s current homelessness. Bereavements, relationship and family breakdown, abuse, addictions, social and historic inequality - limited or lack of access to a good education, job skills training, employment opportunities. Stories exposed socio economic injustices which emergency relief cannot solve. What does a Samaritan do now?

As our guests left yesterday, we realised we are standing at a crossroads. We can either wave goodbye to each of those we sheltered and continue with our separate lives, or we can continue to build relationships and let God re-form our understanding of what it means to be a human family and a community.

CCK was not alone in opening up the church. Claremont Methodist and St Luke’s Diep River also sheltered people. We were able to be in touch throughout the week, sharing resources and praying for one another.

On Monday, we and others who are interested are meeting with Sam Vos, director of U-Turn, to explore a more permanent Winter Shelter. In London, each winter 26 Winter Night Shelters are opened across 32 London boroughs. Each night a church or community group provide a hot meal, bed and breakfast in the morning for an agreed number of guests. Everyone eats together and relationships develop. An organisation like U-Turn helps each guest to map out their desired next steps and case workers, therapists and key professionals are involved in the day time to facilitate this. Visit the Westminster Churches Winter Shelter to learn more.

If you would like to stay updated on this meeting and future developments, please sign up here

Your involvement and support would be wonderful!

Much love,

Taryn Galloway, 12/06/2017


Christ Church Kenilworth  |  Cnr Summerley & Richmond Road  |  Tel: +27 (021) 797 6332  | E-mail: reception@cck.org.za
Service Times: Sunday Worship  8.00am, 10.00am & 6.30pm  |  Wednesday Service: 10am   | Tuesday Quiet Service: 6.30pm (fortnightly)

Taryn Galloway, 06/05/2015