Coordinators Blog 4th January 2017
On some occasions the city centre was very quiet, this was particularly evident on Christmas Eve and the Friday before New Year. Our ‘presence’ on the streets however, regardless of weather or numbers, has been a witness to our partner agencies and the media, about the passion we have for the work we do. Nearly 80 expressions of thanks were recorded from the public, not including the people and their families who also expressed thanks for the way in which they were cared for by our teams in the Safe Zone.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Jan 1st, the city was ‘alive’ giving our teams a very busy second half on the streets. Almost a full bag of flip-flops were given out at MacDonald’s in Sauchiehall Street, as shoeless females of all ages seemed to ‘appear’ out of nowhere! A team found a very drunk man on Argyle Street and requested Police assistance. The Police took him to the Safe Zone where it transpired he was a French visitor to the city and was reunited with his friends after being looked after by the team. A young man from Nottingham was ministered to in the Safe Zone both in a practical way by tending to his external wounds and through prayer and counsel the grace of God was poured into his inner wounds.
We rarely get to see the ‘fruit’ of our ministry apart from the gratitude expressed by people on the streets, however it is more than enough to know that we have carried the grace and compassion of the Lord Jesus into the streets and lives of the people of our great city. May we be fired with the same passion to continue this amazing ministry in 2017 of ‘listening, caring and helping’.
Coordinators Blog 21st December 2016
Paul says in Gal 4v4 ‘But when the time had fully come, God sent his son’. The arrival of Jesus into the world was perfectly timed. God’s continuing intervention in the lives of people is always just at the right time and it is an awesome privilege for us to be able to be His agents in meeting the needs of vulnerable people. God seems to plan it that the right people are in the right place at the right time. How wonderful is His wisdom!
Pray for the teams who will be on the streets this Thursday and Friday night. The Safe Zone will also be open as usual on Friday and Saturday this week.
A huge thank you to the team leaders and members of each team who have faithfully ‘listened, cared and helped’ throughout 2016. Well done good and faithful servants. May the peace of the Lord be with you all this Christmas.
Coordinators Blog 7th DECEMBER 2016
We met John (not his real name) on Saturday morning about 2am after coming out of the Garage on Sauchiehall Street. He was visiting the city with friends but had become separated and couldn’t remember the name of the hotel he was staying in. Numerous phone calls later we were still unable to locate his hotel or his friends. John decided he would be happy to stay ‘anywhere’ if we could find him a room. More phone calls but unfortunately, nothing, due to the high volume of people staying in the city centre. We walked with him as far as Cambridge Street with the intention of going to the Safe Zone. Quite ‘unexpectedly’ we were directed to a hotel on Cambridge Street that ‘just happened’ to have a room available. While all the practical arrangements had been going on for over an hour, another team member had been having a deep life and spiritual conversation with John, which enabled him to open up about his circumstances, his experiences and the pressure of the important job he does. We left him in his room with a copy of the New Testament in his hand, a relieved man!
The next day John sent a txt message. ‘Thank you very much for helping me out last night. I’m very sorry for causing so much drama and being so uselessly drunk. I seriously don’t know how I got so drunk, but I will be eternally grateful for the help and understanding you guys gave me. Please pass on my thanks to the lady whose shoulder I was crying on’.
Listen, care, help……It’s what we do!
Coordinators Blog 30th November 2016
The story of recent days however is one of God’s amazing provisions as we enter the final month of the year. Saturday saw the final training day for our 6 new Street Pastors who are going to be such a blessing as they join teams. Two grant applications have been successful ensuring funding for the additional opening of the Safe Zone and other aspects of our work. A cheque was received for £500 from a couple wishing to support ‘the great work we do’ around the streets of Glasgow. West College Scotland Clydebank campus gave us a cheque for £236.82, raised by students through a Harvest lunch.
As well as financial gifts we have seen donations of the clothing we issue pour in so that every space we store hats, gloves, socks is full and overflowing. Thanks to Matt Butler and the Salvation Army for an incredible contribution to this ‘overflow of blessing’. On Monday an unassuming Indian Christian gentleman took me to a warehouse and filled a trolley with additional items of clothing we will be able to carry in our bags through the month of December. Reflecting on all of this the words of Malachi 3 v 10 came to mind, ‘Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it”.
God is blessing the ‘work of our hands’ because He is good! May we never forget this truth! It’s His goodness we are seeing. In this season of buying, God is giving! His favour is on Street Pastors, not because of specific individuals, but because together, Street Pastors, Safe Zone Pastors, Prayer Pastors, Cycle pastors, we have set our face to honour the Lord and serve the people of our city. May that continue to be our motivation as the year draws to a conclusion and into 2017.
COORDINATORS BLOG 31ST OCTOBER 2016
At the Street Pastors conference in Perth, Eustace Constance from AT gave a keynote speech on Friday night in which he spoke about the passion and commitment of Street Pastors. He made the point that people engage with us because ‘we are there’ as a very recognisable presence. His final point was to emphasize that flip-flops and bottles are secondary to faith conversations and prayer!
The spiritual problems we encounter require spiritual solutions. Jesus and Jesus alone is the answer!
Coordinators Blog 25th Oct '16
A figure needs to be highlighted that is often overlooked. Our teams made contact on 25 occasions with our Prayer Pastors over the weekend. What an incredible blessing to have fellow team members committed to praying for us and the people we meet and minister to on the streets. The brokenness we encounter requires God’s intervention. How wonderful to know that when the street teams move on to the next person, the Prayer Pastors are still on the case! A special thanks goes to those who prayed either at home or in the base through the two nights.
Martin Luther is famous for commenting, "I have so much to do today that I'm going to need to spend three hours in prayer in order to be able to get it all done." The challenge is simple! We need to ensure that activity does not outpace or replace prayer. Please continue to pray for John and Susan Ralston as John starts treatment this week. Pray for our Safe Zone planning meeting on Thursday night and the Street Pastors conference in Perth this weekend.