welcome to the warehouse!
The Warehouse was established in 2003 through the parish of St John's, and exists to serve the South African church network in its response to poverty, injustice and division. We work with local churches in all communities, helping them to implement sound, effective and practical acts and renewed attitudes, to see transformation in our communities.
Would you love to come and help wrap gifts on Saturday morning?
Join us for the last Justice Saturday of the year! A chance to pack and pray for the people of our city. There are Christmas presents to be wrapped for children, clothing packs to be assembled for a men’s ministry and general sorting tasks to be done.
The more people the merrier!
Bring yourself, your family and friends
If you are able to, please bring a roll or two of Christmas wrapping paper and any Christmas music you would like to listen to.
Let’s finish 2013 with some cheerful giving!!!
In our first article, we referred to a potentially difficult-to-understand saying from Jesus: “you will always have the poor among you.” We referred to this as a “Bible sound byte” – a short saying that can be easily taken out of context and therefore misunderstood or misapplied. Therefore, we pointed to the necessity of looking at the actual Bible passage as a critical first step (In this case, the verse being quoted is found in Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, and John 12:1-8). In this article, we turn our attention to the immediate context of the scripture in question.
When you hear a quote or statement – perhaps from a friend, work colleague, or on the news, what questions do you ask? If you are like me, you will wonder:
Who said that?
Who were they talking to?
Where were they?
What was the occasion?
In other words, you want to know the immediate context in which the word was spoken in order to understand and interpret the meaning. What is the story? Before we dive into interpretation, we begin with observation. In this case, when we investigate the context of our Bible quote, we discover:
Jesus was in Bethany.
This story takes place six days before the Passover/last supper Jesus celebrated with his disciples in Jerusalem.
Jesus was in the home of Simon the Leper.
Jesus was reclining at the table. John’s Gospel adds that Martha was serving and her brother Lazarus was at the table with Jesus.
A woman came to Jesus with a jar of perfume (nard). John’s Gospel reports this woman as Mary.
The woman poured the jar of perfume over Jesus’ head. John’s gospel has her pouring it on his feet and wiping them with her hair.
The disciples or “some of those present” were upset
The disciples said this was waste – it could have been sold for a year’s worth of wages and the money could have been given to the poor.
They rebuked the woman.
John’s gospel attributes these words directly to Judas Iscariot and explains that he was not motivated by care for the poor but his own greed.
Jesus said the woman had done a beautiful thing.
Jesus said they would always have the poor among them, but they would not always have him. Mark also records Jesus saying they can help the poor anytime.
Jesus told them that when she had done this, she had prepared him for burial.
Jesus said whenever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she had just done would be told in memory of her.
This is the story in which “you will always have the poor among you” is said. As you look at this list, what do you find surprising? Which create in you a desire to learn more? Can you already see how some of the observations above will provide clues to the meaning of Jesus’ words? What do you see? This is the immediate context, the beginning of our journey into deeper understanding of God’s heart as spoken by Jesus. Looking at the story is absolutely essential and the words we are wondering about can be understood by this context.
We’ll say more about the meaning next time!
Join us on the first Saturday of every month for a time to engage in issues of poverty, injustice and division.
We envision just and transformed communities where the vulnerable are cared for because the local church is a transformative presence.
We inspire, equip and connect the church to be a transformative presence effectively addressing poverty, injustice and division.
You are welcome to join us at various prayer and worship times each week.
Join us in Monday prayers (in the building or wherever you are) as the week begins
Join us in Tuesday prayers - talking with God together in creative ways
Join us in Thursday worship & prayer - multilingual worship and prayer together
Join us in Friday intercession for issues and needs of our city, country, and world
And the prayer room is available for anyone to come and pray, rest, read .. any day between 8:30 and 4:30pm.
You are welcome.
No more baas*, but brothers
I grew up in a very difficult and bad situation. I was born on a farm and did not get any privilege, and the farmer told my father I had to start working when I was in Standard 3. I often asked, “Why me?” Today I stand before you and say, “Bye bye to my past!” Thanks to God, I met Jesus Christ when I came to Cape Town. I was part of a very cultural and traditional church when I met some people from The Warehouse. When I first met Craig I said, “No, this church is from the Bible and we cannot change.” But then I grew and was challenged about how I ran the church, and changed. We used to sing songs on a Sunday but then wait till the next Sunday again - nothing going on in between! When Mzwabantu from The Warehouse came to my church I thought “Shame, he will learn from us and learn that he needs to put on a jacket before praying”, but we joined him instead and learned from him! I thank The Warehouse for ‘getting me’. I was feeding people in the clinic and my vision was to make sure nobody suffered like me, poor and uneducated. They helped me in my vision.
When this problem with HIV/Aids started I was one pastor going to the clinic to feed people, taking fruit on the taxi. I thought, “Even if it is just one person, I must save just one.” Today there are more than 100 churches in Khayelitsha doing the same as what I did then, and we are eager to serve our communities better. We are doing that well through the help of The Warehouse. And to come to white people in this way is amazing. I used to stand at the door of a white person only to say “Madam, here is your cup.” I did not think I would ever sleep next to a white man like Craig, or eat at his table or sit in his lounge, but I do now because of what God is doing. No more baas, now we are brothers. ~
* Afrikaans word for ‘boss’
You will have read about various events run by the Warehouse to facilitate theological reflection and conversations around development issues. While these forums and shorter training workshops give great ‘tasters” for people who are keen to be exploring God’s heart in addressing poverty, injustice and division, many had expressed a desire for a longer period of theological and developmental engagement and input. In response to this, we ran our first Winter School in July at the Fair Havens Pentecostal Church in Heideveld. Here are a few fun numbers:
Between 20 and 65 years old
From 14 church communities
Representing at least 7 denominations
Travelling between 3-30km to get there
And some of the encouraging feedback we received:
“Please pray that, as a group, we would be able to hear God guide us to how we best share this with our congregation and to move forward in a positive way - that we as a church would be transformed and then be able to influence the community in which we find ourselves. It’s exciting, if rather daunting!”
“The course was excellent and we feel greatly equipped and inspired. A group of us are going to meet up again to look in more detail at how we can take things forward in terms of disseminating some of the theology and ideas to the wider church as well as exploring the implications of this to some of our work.”
We praise God for the work He is doing in our City and the privilege of partnering with Him in these exciting times.
“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere ...” Nelson Mandela—these words are even more profound now than when he first said them. South Africa does not need another ‘Mandela’ - we need individuals to rise up and be all who God has created us to be. How do we do this? For some ideas, thoughts and news, read our latest update.
Click here for the online version
Jubilee in Kenya!
In May, Bronwyn Damon and Caroline Powell travelled to Kenya to attend the Urban Conference focusing on Jubilee for the church of Kenya in Nairobi, hosted by the Centre for Urban Mission. They spoke in a plenary session about the theological and practical principles of Urban Gleaning and had plenty of opportunities to reflect with church leaders and practitioners of transformational development from Nairobi.
This story shares a special moment from the conference: “After we had given our address, it was great to talk with delegates over the tea break and hear the stories of Urban Gleaning from their contexts. One pastor who leads a church in the community of Kibera, Africa’s largest informal settlement, shared this with us: ” I run a gathering of widows in my community. They come to the church for support, prayer and assistance. Members of my church, from the same community bring clothing and other items for them on my request, but I have been getting upset because they have been bringing clothing that is not good. I tell them, go home, wash and mend this clothing, it is for widows. I have been feeling that I have been a bit harsh and wondered if I should stop telling them this, but now I realise that according to the bible, giving and receiving must be done with dignity and so I have courage to continue holding us all to this standard.”
Sharing with the churches of Nairobi as they wrestled with what Jubilee, the year of the Lord’s favour, looks like for their urban 21st Century context was a privilege. Caroline and Bronwyn joined with the annual Amahoro Gathering in Uganda with Christian leaders from many different parts of the continent and world. Reflecting on “Politics and the Kingdom of God”, this years theme, was very challenging and they have returned to life at The Warehouse freshly inspired.
As we entered the spacious well-built property at the heart of Onrus, conversation was ripe as pastors admired the neighbouring houses of the economically well off. It was evident each of them dreamt of a world where they could point at one of the houses and say “This is my home” as many of them minister amongst the very poorest of communities and are not so well off themselves. The excitement of spending four days in this kind of place quickly showed as everyone showed enthusiasm and exchanged warm embraces.
Our first session unintentionally unpacked the need for pastors to take a day of rest during their busy schedules. This idea brought about a lengthy conversation and reflection where many of the pastors voiced out that that is something they hardly considered as part of their own well-being because of the magnitude of the work they face each day. This was exactly the kind of conversation needed to kick-start the retreat. The content of the sessions was designed specifically to focus on the pastors themselves and allow them to be ministered to instead of them doing the opposite.
Conversations went late into the night after every day’s session as pastors got to know each other and forged bonds. The most powerful moments came when pastors began to share their own personal journeys that have had a traumatic impact upon their lives. Such depth of insight left us all appreciative of the resilience of these men whom God has entrusted with his kingdom. For many of them it has not been an easy journey, and even more so considering that the effects are still being lived through.
If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together ... this powerful reminder quoted in our latest newsletter.
We are able to receive and distribute excellent quality:
School Uniforms - white or gold shirts, black tunics, grey or green skirts or black
Toys/Sports equipment - Washed soft toys, Soccer balls and boots, Tennis balls, Puzzles with all pieces and picture [Ziploc bag]
Books - Good quality children’s books with no scribbles or torn pages
Decorative items - Table-cloths; Scatter cushions
Household items - Bread-boards, Buckets/basins, Cutlery sets, crockery: un-chipped plates, bowls, mugs and rust-free pots, pans etc
Linen - Duvets, throws, blankets, Sheets, Pillow cases
Jewellery - Packed well and intact
Toiletries - Unopened/new items
Handbags - Intact, clean and in good condition,
Clothing/shoes - Clean and folded seasonally appropriate men’s and women’s clothing and shoes, Children’s clothing and underwear in great condition, clean whole pairs of stockings, clean ‘perfect’ pairs of socks, new adult underwear
We do not accept:
School Uniforms – khaki tops or bottoms, school specific dresses
Toys/Sports equipment – General sports kit and equipment, any broken toys, battery operated toys
Books – Adult books, magazines,
Decorative items – not too many scatter cushions without covers, porcelain goods, bric-a-brac
Household items – broken or old crockery sets, damaged pots/pans, chipped glassware
Linen – Curtains or curtain accessories, blinds, bed-frills
Toiletries – opened or used cosmetics
Handbags – broken or stained
Clothing/shoes – Seasonally inappropriate clothing,
AND strongly recommend that you do not give unsuitable items to anyone who cannot say NO.
Alternative places to give:
Urban Gleaning at The Warehouse is very specific about what we are and are not able to receive and distribute. However, if you have an excellent quality item that will be of use to someone, but is not accepted by us, please consult this list of alternative places.
Please note: we encourage you to adhere to the highest quality of giving no matter who you are giving your gifts to (please see: Giving your time, treasures and talents)
Bric a Brac, adult books and other household items: Try to make a connection with your closest Charity Shop to find out what they can receive. Here is a link to a list of Cape Town based charity shops
We have passed items on to these ones in the past:
- St Luke’s Hospice, 50 Lester Road, Wynberg, 021 797 5360
- Hidden Treasure: Main Road Plumstead, Kathy 072 832 0401
Surplus clothing and useful household items during disaster times:
- Red Cross, 21 Broad street, Wynberg tel 021
- Or your local fire station
Formal dresses, dress suits and shoes:
- The princess project http://www.princessproject.co.za 082 260 2725
Furniture, carpets, curtains:
- Home from Home: http://www.homefromhome.org.za 021 761 7251
- New Kidz: http://www.newkidz.org.za 021 981 542
- Bapumelele Childrens Home: contact: http://www.baphumelele.org.za 021 361 8631
When donating furniture: Please provide plenty of time between your phone call to any of the above places and the need for the furniture to be removed from your home. If a place offers to collect furniture they may need a week or so in order to schedule a collection date so please be patient with them. Please also be specific about what you are offering, especially in terms of its size and be understanding if they are unable to take it when they see it due to any reason.
In times of disaster response such as community fires and flooding, we will be posting specific requests based on identified needs. This is to ensure that communities and other agencies only receive what is needed during the crisis and to reduce the job of sorting. Please check our website, Facebook, your church office, or phone us to get the specific items that can be donated at these times. This may be a good opportunity to club together with others from your church to complete a full kit, ready to be delivered straight to where it is needed. We will communicate on the above platforms, where the appropriate depots during specific disaster responses will be.