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’.
WE ARE RECRUITING!
Our next set of training sessions will commence on Saturday 19th August 2017. We are looking to recruit and train volunteers for all aspects of this exciting and challenging ministry in the heart of the city. Full details can be found by hitting the ‘I want to Volunteer’ button where you will be able to access information about being a Street Pastor, Safe Zone Pastor and Prayer Pastor.
Co-ordinators News 7th June 2017
It is gratifying that during the month, 192 people expressed thanks to our teams for the work they do. Sometimes this was also given with a hug, a handshake, a ‘high five’ or just a look and a nod of appreciation. We also make it into lots of ‘selfies’! Glasgow people are generous with their thanks to us. A young man we encountered in the early hours of Sunday morning had spoken to two of our teams in quick succession. On Sauchiehall Street he explained that he was ‘not religious’-how many times have we heard that-but in his opinion we were an example of true Christlikeness. That has to be the best expression of appreciation ever! To be identified as being like Jesus is both humbling and an incredible testimony to the importance of listening, caring and helping unconditionally. Our actions speak powerfully of our Saviour to the watching Glasgow public!
Later that morning one of our teams was asked by a young woman, after we had given her a foil blanket if she could, ‘do what we do’. We explained that as a Christian ministry, a living faith was the starting point for anyone who wanted to be a Street Pastor. While being envious of people who did have faith, she did not profess to believe in God and felt disappointed that she ‘couldn’t do what we do because she didn’t believe’. We explained that of course she could help people even although she wasn’t a Christian. Her words made me think, and I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t want to do what we do unless I had a belief in God. Our faith in God is not only what sustains us in life, it is also the hope we carry of transformation, of freedom from chains that bind, of love and acceptance, of grace and mercy, of a new beginning. The young man we met may not have understood the theology behind these truths but he got it from what he saw in our teams. A singer songwriter called Godfrey Birtill wrote a song with the chorus,
May we continually be in the place where our desire and passion is to carry the presence of the Lord into the city streets so that the people of Glasgow might see Him in us and through us. Listen to the song and be blessed and challenged.