Retired pastor always there for needy and hungry
After retiring, Pastor Samuel Ambraal started a soup kitchen catering for about 60 children and 40 adults in Vergenoeg and its surrounding suburbs.
He works with his wife Brenda and all the meals are prepared and distributed from their Vergenoeg home.
Ambraal, who is also a commissioner of oaths, realised his calling to serve when he used to transport his late pastor and mentor, Pastor Errol Williams.
They would drive around Oxford Street in East London and come across many homeless people.
“We started by distributing clothes which we mostly collected from the church congregants.
“The decision to start a soup kitchen was made in 1999. Operating informally, we were able to cook in our home, using a gas stove, until we officially registered our NPO.
“We served the East Bank, Scenery Park, Pefferville and Sewende Laan communities.
“The distribution of the clothes and food to the needy started in January 2000.
“I worked closely with the late Pastor Williams’s wife, the late Phyllis Williams.
“We would do the distribution at night starting from the then Premier Bakery to the beachfront.”
Ambraal’s aim is to have a well-run establishment which operates across the city.
“It is amazing how God can stretch his hand and that is why we did not want to focus on one area.”
But there were challenges.
“In 2020, amid everything I was busy with, I was admitted to hospital for three months after testing positive for Covid-19.”
The soup kitchen came to a halt for five months until he regained his health.
“God came through for me and helped me to cling on to life. It was the grace of the Lord.
“I then decided to move the soup kitchen from my house and into the communities.
“God came through for me and helped me to cling on to life. It was the grace of the Lord. I then decided to move the soup kitchen from my house and into the communities. We were able to do all that using my bakkie. Fortunately, there have been people who are sponsoring the food we cook, such as mealie meal, flour and vegetables.
“We were able to do all that using my bakkie. Fortunately, there have been people who are sponsoring the food we cook, such as mealie meal, flour and vegetables.
“I also have seven women around the community who have been supporting me with the growth of the Trinity House Foundation. They have been my pillar of strength.”
Shawn Jacobs nominated Ambraal as a local hero for the work he is doing for his community.
“He is a man of honour, stature and a father figure to all communities.
“He is a caring and loving person who cares about the wellbeing of his people.
“Many people look up to him as he sacrifices most of his time for other individuals and makes sure their needs are met.
“He helps people in need and feeds the hungry. His door is open to any person in need.”
Ambraal said nothing warmed his heart more than seeing people’s comments of gratitude.
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