Here’s a report from the patrol we recently put up some photos from, written by C. Eva. It gives a good insight into the sorts of encounters our volunteers have while out on patrol.
“We worked in groups of two – Lorenzo and Michael – and three – Engrid, Nigel and I.
We had our usual routes of Picadilly Gardens, Northen Quarters (via Oldham Street) and Printworks area on to St Annes Square.
Even though it was the night before The Manchester Pride, it was a safe, and peaceful night with SP showcasing God’s love in each encounter. There was a Heavenly Presence all through the night guiding each step of the way.
Picadilly Gardens was very quiet and trouble-free. Nigel interacted and prayed with D who normally does a Prayer Walk around the Gardens. There were groups of younger males around the Gardens and most of them accepted sweets and were willing to have a chat with us.
We observed a mixed group of people begging hovering around the Gardens who were willing to engage with the team and also accepted sweets from us.
Engrid and Nigel supported K homeless living on Oldham Street with a blister plaster for an accidental burn on her left hand. Much appreciation was expressed for the care and loving touch.
D out with friends expressed interest in the work of SP and asked for prayers for her mother living outside Manchester who hopes to relocate to the city shortly.
A male from Glasgow expressed glowing commendations and much appreciation for the “sacrifice” and “care” of SP in and around the streets of the City Centre especially at this particular time of the night.
M from Sheffield, sleeping rough in Oldham Street was signposted to Coffee 4 Craig and Lifeshare.
While in the Northern Quarters, we provided directions to the Gay Village to several visitors. Directions to Picadilly Train Station and Hulme were also part of the service provided by the team.
Michael in response to two Muslim men questioning his belief in a loving God in spite of all the problems faced explained that being a Christian does not exempt us from challenges faced by others. However, God’s Grace and a personal faith in God makes all the difference.
There was some misunderstanding by these men of the nature and integrity of SP volunteering late in the night. We were able by God’s Grace to explain the ethos of SP, stressing that as Christian believers belonging to different Churches, SPs serve as representatives of our Lord, to listen; care and help in His name.
A space blanket was provided to S sleeping uncovered in St Ann’s Square.
We engaged and shared sweets with 14 Doormen and spoke to 1 Taxi Marshall by Printworks on our way to St Ann’s Square.
13 bottles of water were given out during the night and 2 pairs of flip-flops.
At the end of the night, 44 bottles had been collected thanks to eagle-eyed Engrid.
To God be all the Glory for such a safe and blessed night. We pray that all those we encountered, had a touch of God’s Love shining through us and reflected in our meaningful conversations.”