News
 
Posted by Glasgow Street Pastors on Monday, 6 August 2018
GSP teams returned to active duty in February following our traditional January break. Our partners in Police Scotland, very graciously, on a number of occasions told us how much we had been missed! We give God thanks that during the month, in spite of all the health issues experienced by many, we still had 82 volunteers out on the streets listening, caring and helping. Saturday night’s in particular proved to busy for our teams and as the month progressed so did the number of bottles collected, 454 in total, with 289 pairs of flip flops being issued. Teams gave out 163 hats, socks and gloves, a reflection of the severity of the weather during this period. They also engaged in faith related conversations on 30 occasions with prayer being offered 28 times. The Safe Zone is now not only an established part of Glasgow Street Pastor’s ministry but also a vitally important provision of care in the city centre night time economy. During February 47 people used the service, 25 of those were due to alcohol related issues and they were cared for by 14 street pastors and the amazing team of volunteer first aiders who work with us. It has been humbling to have received messages of thanks from people who have been helped by our teams as well as the appreciation from the public in general on the streets.

Full details of our statistics for the month can be found at our docs page. Our teams have recently been boosted by many newly trained Street Pastors. Why not consider volunteering with this vibrant Christian ministry as a Street Pastor, Safe Zone Pastor or Prayer Pastor and help to show, by word and deed, the love and compassion God has for all people. 

The annual In Day for Glasgow Street Pastors took place on Saturday 27th January at Mosspark Baptist Church. Following a warm welcome from the Rev Michael McCurry and worship led by Christy Passmore, the morning session took the form of our AGM. Reports were received from the co-ordinator, the Prayer Pastor co-ordinator, the treasurer and the team leaders from the Safe Zone. Our chairman, Alasdair Duncan, lead us through changes to the constitution before delivering his own report and reflections which included a moving ‘thank you’ to all involved in GSP. Lunch was served in the church hall courtesy of Dionne Abbot and her wonderful helpers. The afternoon session started with an inspirational worship session led by the Mosspark Baptist team after which the Rev Edwin Gunn spoke, very powerfully, on the need for Intimacy with God. The ‘worship and the word’ set the scene for Shaw Anderson (ATS chairman) to lead us through the commissioning of 18 Street Pastors from the Glasgow initiative, joined by 2 from Paisley. In a new development for Glasgow, we commissioned 17 Prayer Pastors, in recognition of the vital part they play in the work of GSP.

 

Friday 2nd February will be the first night of patrols for our teams in 2018. We’re delighted that the Safe Zone will be open on Saturday night too, a month earlier than last year and will be open every Saturday night until the end of June! Please pray for all our volunteers, old and new, as they go out once again or serve in the Safe Zone in Jesus name, to ‘listen, care and help’.

 

The new season of training commences on Saturday 17th February. If you know of anyone interested in volunteering with GSP then please direct them to the volunteer page where they will be able to find details about the application process.

To God be all the praise and glory. Amen.

 
Much of what is involved in being a Street Pastor is about helping people ‘in the moment’, however what often seems like a brief encounter to us can have a lasting impact on the people we help. A young man, assaulted on Sauchiehall Street a few months ago was with friends on another night out recently and ‘just happened to meet’ one of the Street Pastors who had helped him. His appreciation was overwhelming as was the respect and thanks shown by his friends for what we do. Another young man spoke of the help he had been given in the Safe Zone in December 2016. He was taken there overly drunk. ‘I don’t know what would have happened to me if it were not for you guys’. Yet another story surfaced of someone who said their life had been ‘turned around’ because of the help received from a Street Pastor team and now they were in a good job and happy.

In the past few weeks we have also listened to some of the homeless men and women we know from our many conversations with them, speak of their family tragedies, the battles they face with depression and suicidal thoughts as well as the daily struggle just to survive. On one of our recent training days at Glasgow City Mission we heard more of the wonderful work being done there and testimony from two members of staff of God’s transformational work in their lives, taking them from addiction to freedom. Both spoke of the impact upon them of ordinary people loving them when they were in their darkest moments. Every act of kindness and compassion, every prayer, every conversation, every pair of socks or gloves given away may in fact may make a lifesaving difference to someone in their darkest moment.    

Paul says in Romans 1 v 16 ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes’. Every time we walk someone to a hotel, take them to the bus station at 3am in the morning, assist them to a taxi, call family and friends to arrange for their safe return home, we are releasing something powerful into the lives of those we engage with. The love and care they experience from us may well be the start of a process of transformation in their thinking, living, believing. This is the gospel of hope and power that we carry.

You will be able to find full details of our statistics for the month of October on the streets and in the Safe Zone at the Docs page.

The month of September heralded the start of what is always a busy season in the life of Glasgow Street Pastors. You will find the complete statistical summary of our work for the month of September in our docs page. A significant development has been the opening of the Safe Zone on a Friday as well as a Saturday night. As a result of our extended opening times, 78 people used the service, staffed by 29 Street Pastors over the course of September. Our volunteer first aid colleagues have played an incredible role in dealing with the many people brought in with alcohol or drug related issues as well as minor injuries. They are an integral part of a truly amazing team!

Stories emerge from the Safe Zone which highlight how important it has become as a ‘safe place’ in the heart of the city. For example, a young woman kept safe while her boyfriend drove down from Aberdeen to collect her. She was in the Safe Zone for three and a half hours! A young girl reported missing from a children’s unit kept safe until collected and returned to her place of care. Several young people brought in by Police officers and kept safe until parents’ or friends could come and collect.

On the streets, we have witnessed God at work in remarkable ways too! Difficult situations have somehow been ‘resolved’ following contact with our wonderful Prayer Pastors! Opportunities have arisen to pray with people over 40 times, often at their request rather than our suggestion. We have shared in meaningful, faith related conversations and some other interesting ones too! One young man after lengthy discussion about how God couldn’t possibly exist said to a team member, ‘you better not be praying for me’!

God has demonstrated His faithfulness to us in so many ways, it gives us strength to keep going as we enter the final, very busy quarter of the year. Please continue to pray for all the volunteers in this significant, God centred ministry in the heart of the city. Pray for those in training as we have reached the midway point in the programme and as they go out on Supervised Patrols. Above all else pray that we will continually, in the words of the hymn,

‘Give Him the glory, great things He hath done’.
It is an amazing privilege to put on a Street Pastor uniform on a Friday or Saturday night and, led by the Holy Spirit, meet and minister to people in need of support and care. Our teams issued 187 pairs of flip flops and disposed of 293 bottles. We stopped to talk to homeless men and women or those begging on the streets on 159 separate occasions. On over 40 occasions we supported people who found themselves in vulnerable situations. Conversations relating to faith matters and opportunities to pray for people occurred 34 times.

A team of 16 Street Pastors were in attendance at the Bellahouston Park Summer Sessions on Thur 24th August to be available at the end of the event to provide assistance in any way we could. This was a combined effort with our friends from Paisley Street Pastors. It was an amazing night of ‘God-incidences’ as we witnessed friends being reunited in the most incredible circumstances. We helped a couple find their car. They were not from Glasgow and couldn’t remember where they had left it near the park! We reunited a young woman, quite miraculously, with her credit card which had been found by a team member on Mosspark Boulevard! Yet again God demonstrated His concern for the practical things that often lead to distress and difficulty in life.

Sadly, this month we also encountered young people who were spending their first days as rough sleepers. In some cases, it was due to a breakdown in family relationships. As the seasons begin to change, please pray for the many vulnerable people, young and old, for whom the streets are their ‘home’.

We also give thanks to God for the 15 people who started training in August to become Street Pastors and we look forward to them joining the incredible team of 114 existing volunteers who make up Glasgow Street Pastors!

To God be the Glory now and always!

Contact
 
Glasgow Street Pastors
St. George's Tron
163 Buchanan Street

Glasgow G1 2JX

Coordinator: 07530 542 631
Safe Zone: 07828 053 883
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