Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Shofar | Trolleys girls| New beginnings...
So... another night cladding on our uniforms and stepping into the unknown in Reading Town Centre to serve our King and country...the first time for team purple!!
...and in the case of one of our volunteers bringing along her enormous shofar - a what you might ask? This is an instrument that was used to announce processions/ holidays/ wars/ used to describe the awesome noise from the thick cloud at Mount Sinai. From St Laurence's the blast of the shofar sounded over Reading signalled the advent of Jesus over Reading - and Street Pastors fully armed and ready to do God's business.
The night started off slowly, but usually the first half is crucial in continuing to strengthen our partnership and relationship with the door staff and the local police. Once again a warm reception from Door Staff we've not previously met.
Due to a fire alarm going off and prematurely ending the punters night at Reflex (the 80's club), this gave us the opportunity to chat more to those on the street hanging around waiting to see if they can back in again. Some good general chats and making ourselves seen and available for people. While we were hanging around reflex, the other team were chasing down girls in a trolley which CCTV had radioed through and starting to cause trouble and a scene a be potentially dangerous - Street pastors to the rescue!
After our mid-night break I, matt, left the gang to it and went home! Post break, the team ventured out once again with the Police saying you couldn't have timed it better, he’s had a bit too much to drink, he’s Muslim and has life issues. This presented the team with quite a difficult and sensitive situation to handle. The police has called an ambulance to get the guy checked out, the team leader being a local GP, thought he was intoxicated with drugs rather than alcohol, which made things harder to handle. While waiting for the ambulance the guy chatted with the Street Pastors for the best part of an hour, listening and chatting and trying to understand the hugeness of the guys issues. The team decided they had done all they could for the guy, they handed him our Street Pastor card in case he wanted to get back into contact with us. If you are reading this and want more information how you can pray then contact us. The team left the guy with the police supervising him.
The highlight so far for the whole team I believe is that at the very end of their shift as they were grudgingly walking back to St Laurence's from having a good time outside the Purple Turtle on Gun Street, heading back about 3ish due to having less police cover in and around town centre at that time, the team bumped into a guy who was previously a Christian from a local Reading Church 15 years ago!! After the team was talking to him and talking about SP and what they were doing, and finding a little bit about him, they were about to part company and out of the blue he turned around and asked if they could pray for him - the team through prayer and asking if he wanted to pray for anything gently led him back to the Lord - AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!! - please pray for this guy this week!!
Street Pastors I believe is having some real credible impact in the town, still in small ways, but individuals are being impacted by it and quite a few people do thank us for the work we do and recognise what we are trying to do - care, listen and help those in need! All this and we are only been 3 weeks in...