30 Years of the Gateway taking people from poverty to prosperity. 30 weeks to D-DAY!!
It is now 30 weeks until we celebrate the handing over of the “keys” to the Old Prison by the Department of Public Works.
We have decided to launch a “fundraiser” of 30’s. So we request you all to donate R30, £30, $30 or €30 to our “renovate the Chapel” fundraiser. Our total requirement is R130,000. (One hundred and thirty thousand rands; £6,500; US$ 8,500 or €7,500.
As the Chapel is the center of all we do at Project Gateway, we have decided that this dear building needs an upgrade. We would like to sand and seal the floors and windows, put in air-conditioning, replace the stage, put in technology to keep up with the times and refurnish.
Having reached the 30 week mark in our count-down we now recall the skills that were given to us in the early 1990’s. Many teams came from a number of New Frontiers Churches in the UK, especially around 1993 when we began the renovations to a cell block to turn it into an accommodation block, which is still used to this day. Walls were removed, additional windows put in, doors replaced, beds made, blinds made, bedding sewn, and geysers installed. A few cells were transformed into ablutions for our guests. Some of the team that visited.
Not long after this South Africa held its first democratic election and Nelson Mandela (who was earlier imprisoned in the Old Prison) was elected the President of South Africa. His plea to the nation was to please upskill people. We did that by having volunteers coming to SA and joining local trainers, starting Woodwork, Metal work and Blockmaking and Block laying training. We also had electrical, sewing, fabric-painting, beadwork, computers and Adult Basic Education classes.
As Project Gateway was the Church, Mercy Ministries developed naturally and the very big feeding scheme began – but more of that next time!!!