Co-ordinators News January 2018
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.
Co-ordinators News 13th November 2017
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.
Co-ordinators News 4th October 2017
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,
Co-ordinators News 5th September 2017
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!
Co-ordinators News 31st July 2017
July proved to be another busy month for Glasgow Street Pastors. As well as our normal patrols, our teams were also to be found in the Saltmarket during the TRNSMT music festival at Glasgow Green. We were able to offer support to many people unfamiliar with the city centre. It was a real blessing to be joined by Street Pastors from Paisley and the West End initiative, particularly for an additional Sunday night session. By visiting the "about" page here, you will find the complete statistical summary of our work for the month of July.
At the height of the holiday season it was gratifying that we were able to have 87 Street Pastors out on the streets and that our Safe Zone was also staffed by a further 8 volunteers for the first two Saturday’s of the month. We were also delighted to welcome 8 observers who joined our teams to get a first-hand look at what we do. It was a particular pleasure to welcome staff from Turning Point Scotland who joined us on two occasions. Their expertise and knowledge helped when ‘signposting’ individuals to sources of help for their addictions or homelessness issues.
It is both humbling and thrilling that God continues to use Street Pastors for His purposes. Here are some examples of ‘servant moments’ in the last month.
One of our teams helped a young man with acute stomach pain. He had on a previous occasion attempted suicide while grieving the loss of his son. The same team prayed with two men at their request later that night. A boy was taken by a team to the Safe Zone after being beaten up where he received care and support. A foil blanket was given to a young woman who had been attacked and our team stayed with her until an ambulance arrived. Help was given to a very drunk girl and her sister who were experiencing difficulty with finding a taxi. Another team dealt with two unconscious people. They stayed with the individuals until both the Police and Paramedics arrived on the scene. In all these situations, the outcomes could have been different if Street Pastors had not followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to ‘listen, care and help’. Why not commit to this exciting ministry? Details on how to get involved can be found on the "voluteer" page here.
Congratulations goes to two of our Street Pastors, Peter and Jan Brennan who were married on 29th July at Helensburgh Baptist Church. They are both members of Friday Team 4. We wish them God’s richest blessings in their life together.
A Graham Kendrick song comes to mind,
‘This is our God, the Servant King, He calls us now to follow Him.
To live our lives as a daily offering, of worship to the Servant King’.
May we continue to follow the calling to live our lives in the humble service of our Servant King.
Co-ordinators News 12th July 2017
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13v15-16
An internet search (what did we do before Google) will tell you that you will find 71 Bible verses about doing good deeds and 100 Bible verses about good works. The verse above is one in the list of 100 and is a straightforward statement… do not forget to do good…for with such sacrifices God is pleased!
An accusation levelled by some is that Christians who engage in ‘doing good’ are nothing but a bunch of ‘do-gooders’. That phrase has very negative overtones and conveys the idea of being well meaning but unrealistic, maybe even a liability in certain contexts. We should thank God that Street Pastors are known for the good that we do rather than as do-gooders. In the month of June over 240 people spontaneously thanked us for the good that we do. That’s not including the 293 to whom we gave flip flops, many of whom thanked us with a hug as an expression of gratitude. Nor does it include the 232 men and women, homeless or begging, we engaged in conversation, many of whom we also gave items of food and clothing to and they also thanked us in their own way. Y ou will find the complete statistical summary of our work for the month of June, both on the streets of Glasgow and in the Safe Zone on our docs page.
The past weekend gave us the opportunity to ‘do good’ as people were leaving the TRNSMT music festival at Glasgow Green. We had our teams out as usual on Friday and Saturday night. We also had a team who went out on Sunday to help on the Saltmarket at the end of the event. This was a joint effort with Street Pastors from Paisley and the West End initiatives. It was wonderful to work together in the common purpose of doing good. We helped many people from out of town with directions, even walking them to their hotels or to the bus station or helping them find their way to friends already in pubs and clubs. One man was heard to say, ‘Street pastors! You saved my life two years ago’. He was helped when in some difficult and he never forgot the good that had been done to him.
Paul says in Galatians 6 v 9 ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up’. Let’s keep being people who are known for doing good rather than as do-gooders. Unlike do-gooders we are realistic about the world we live in, a world that needs to see the love of God in action to have some reference point to understand the truth that there is a God of love who cares passionately about every individual. He so loved the world that He gave!
We are still recruiting for all areas of service in this vibrant and significant ministry. Our training programme commences on the 19th August so applications should be submitted as soon as possible. Details can be found by using the button, ‘I want to Volunteer’.