We were called by one of the door staff, concerned about a semi-drunk girl on the pavement. He said he knew her and wondered if she might be upset about a friend who had committed suicide. One of our ladies sat down beside her and gently began to ask what was the matter. After a few “I’m all right-s” the tears began. It was indeed about her friend who had said to her, “M. I’ll see you next week for your birthday” and had hanged herself the next day. More tears came, which turned to deep deep sobs as our lady St Pastor hugged her and just let her cry it all out.
She told us that ever since the incident, she had been drinking to numb the pain and bewilderment. After a long time we were able to say to her that one thing we were sure of was that whatever had been in her friend’s mind, we were sure that she wouldn’t want M. to spend the rest of her life crippled by it. She nodded and we further said that whilst it was natural to try and make sense of it all, she was never really going to and needed to leave it all behind. She understood and nodded again.
By now it was 4 o’clock and we phoned the Prayer Pastors to update them and asked them to pray that we could get her a taxi quickly. 30 seconds later a taxi stopped for us and she was safely inside, despite attempts from 3 others to claim the taxi ﬁrst (!). We ourselves were very touched, our emotions churned up by it all and asked our lovely Prayer Pastors to pray for us too before we went home Comment: To say that this was a reminder of why we do what we do would be an understatement. Thank you Lord for the privilege of being able to show some of your love to people in such practical ways.
I was out the other Saturday night when we came across a rough sleeper, usually a reasonably cheerful man. That night he was quiet, low and subdued. Listening to him, he told me he felt there was no future, no hope.
I offered to pray with him and he readily accepted. So, as sometimes happens, I found myself holding the hands of a homeless soul, amid all that rubbish and debris of discarded burger wrappers and beer cans, while the noise of Plymouth night life sounded all around. Yet all seemed so quiet, so peaceful and still to me. What prayers can be voiced, raised, for a man who had nothing except the contents of a carrier bag and who felt he had no hope, no joy, no happiness, no future, no safety?
So, I prayed that our Father would give him somewhere safe for the night where he would be sheltered, where he could find some peace and some happiness in his future. When prayers were finished the man turned to me and said he didn’t know if he would ever find peace and happiness while he was alive but had suddenly realised that there was a future where there would be peace and safety, where he would be loved. Perhaps not on this earth but in another world, eternity. He realised there was something more that this life on earth. Please Father, let him find some happiness and peace on this earth before he is with You in Heaven
We were called to a night club to assist a young girl having a panic attack, as she’d realised she was drunk and was hyperventilating at the thought of her mother beating her up when she got home, and this was in turn bringing up memories of her father trying to choke her when she was 12 years old. I watched, feeling God’s love for her, as our ladies hugged and reassured her and the panic subsided. I was so grateful when we got her much calmer; safely with a friend to get a taxi back to the friend’s house for the night. An hour well spent and again I came away thinking “What would have happened to her if we hadn’t been there?
We were talking to a street sleeper who was telling us that his estranged wife had suddenly decided to deny him access to see any of his 3 children after he had spent time with his daughter for her birthday As we listened he began to cry, then apologised for doing so. We re-assured him that rather, we were honoured that he trusted us enough to cry in front of us and hugged him as we left. We made sure we told the Prayer Pastors so that he could continue to be prayed for and prayed for him ourselves as we continued our patrol. Overall it had been quite a quiet night but if he turned out to be the only reason we’d been there, that was fine by us