New Year 2016
May God be so close to you all as we enter this New Year! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support.
I thought that I would share with you one or two extracts from my diary of recent encounters with people on the street. It might give a picture of the excitement and also our dependence on the Holy Spirit.
Felt nervous sitting at the table in the Pub. “Who shall I talk to?” I always feel inadequate at times like this. It is a useful feeling and it drives me to prayer. “Come Lord Jesus!”. Tiva, one of the local Pastors arrives. He’s full of vitality and recently has started asking people the big miracle question: “If God could do a miracle for you what would it be”. We began praying together – we perhaps should have prayed longer, that’s where the power is, in prayer. Off we go to try talking to a guy who is feeding money into the gaming machine. He just wants God to help him win more money. We try to turn the conversation round to serious stuff but my words are coming out like cardboard and I feel like I’m not getting anywhere. It is easy to feel like giving up if the Holy Spirit doesn’t appear to be working but Tiva spots a guy who appears to be listening in on our conversation.
“What would you like God to do for you”, Tiva asks, and the guy amazingly starts sharing his personal problems. Wow, suddenly I could sense the Holy Spirit’s presence as he allows us to pray for him. It turned out it was his birthday and Tiva shot off to buy him a drink – real love. The guy was celebrating his birthday sitting on his own and was moved by this. I urged him to make the day his “born again” birthday and we talked deeply about giving his life over to God. I never feel awkward when the Holy Spirit is working, often I am aware of the Spirit speaking through us humans; we find ourselves coming out with things that we never planned to say. He wasn’t ready to invite Jesus into his life but we left as best of friends and we felt sure God had arranged our meeting.
I then met a guy who I had sought to share Jesus with about 15 years ago. His brother was there, he remembered seeing our Christian school assemblies when he was a teacher. Suddenly a girl arrived at our table. She was drunk and asked us where she was as she needed her boyfriend to come and collect her. I gave her a Four Points pamphlet which has the words “God loves me” on the front and we began talking about God’s love for her. Just then I spotted a young woman in the pub who loves Jesus and I invited her to give her story to the drunk girl of how she met the Lord. Within minutes the two girls were praying together and once again Jesus was ministering His love.
I joined Andy Giddens as he sang worship songs in Camborne square. He was well-amplified and his singing was having an impact. Sang with him for a while and at one point a strange peace descended; the traffic stopped and we were aware that Jesus was there with us. This phenomenon has happened a few times now in different towns. It happened in Penzance and you could hear the gospel being proclaimed clearly and gently all the way down the street. A local Christian Fisherman had run up to us thanking us for getting the message out. Now the same thing was happening in Camborne. I began talking with people who were listening. The first was a Polish guy who was ready to pray to receive Jesus; not sure if he really understood totally what he was doing, but I figure that God knows his heart. A whole group of heavy drinkers arrived and one of them, who knows me vouched for me that I was ‘okay’. Trust is important and sometimes this can only be gained by being around for a time. People suss out if you are genuine or not. One of the group appeared to be taking in everything that I was saying and I invited him to kneel and pray with me near the town fountain. He wasn’t drunk but very sincere. We knelt together and he prayed the sinner’s prayer. I promised that I would come and visit him. Visiting people at their home is just as important as street outreach. He left with the parting words, “Thank you for spending so much time with me today”. There is so much deep loneliness in people.
Great, honest, passionate prayer meeting round my mate’s place. Just left his house and bumped into a homeless guy. He seemed to be taking in everything I was saying but wasn’t wanting to follow the Lord yet. Just round the corner met another guy with his hoody pulled low over his face. He looked so cold. He was joined by a few other homeless guys and some of them listened in on what I was saying. They had heard about being born again when they had been in prison and weren’t against what I was talking about. One of them told me that he had an Aunt that was born again and was praying for him. I was able to pray with them. It is so important for us to pour out our hearts out in prayer for people; love speaks when we do that. Sometimes it is not possible to solve people’s problems but we can put our arm around someone and cry out to the savior on their behalf.
I am so aware that so many of the young men that I meet need far more than just short encounters on the street. They need pastoring, loving and true befriending, something that Alcoholics Anonymous discovered years ago. I have been praying on a weekly basis with some of the Redruth Pastors. We have been talking about starting a fellowship group for these young guys some of whom have prayed to accept Jesus, but need a prayer and Bible study group where they feel at home and can contribute and care for each other. There is a need for such groups in both Camborne and Redruth.
Vision for the Future
Although illness has throttled back some foreign travel of late, this has provided me with an opportunity to do more work locally. I believe God’s heart is to see more worship on the streets, churches getting together to do this at times. I believe this is probably likely to happen as church leaders start to pray together and become excited about working together to impact the town. It is thrilling to see more people wanting to evangelize on the streets. I believe that God really enjoys showing His power in the pub and on the streets. I believe He is challenging us to really love our fellow believers but also to really love the people that we meet as we reach out. Real love doesn’t just invite people to come to a church service, it be-friends, visits, gives practical help and embraces. “Go and make disciples in all nations!”
“Jesus, thank you for your people who pray and love and give. Thank you that we are part of a family that you are growing in this world. Fill us with your love and send your Spirit to increase your Kingdom amongst us!”
Blessing and lots of love to you all! Please keep praying for us both! We need and value your prayers! And thank you!