One of our ladies sees something like cardboard on the ground and is going to ignore it, but picks it up to find it’s a current Zimbabwean passport.
After some time they pass a Policewoman and hand it to her and, while they’re talking, a distraught young Zimbabwean lady comes up to tell the Police that she’s lost her passport and has it been handed in by any chance? After a couple of security questions the passport is re-united with its owner, the tears dry up and the Policewoman gets the hug (which, to her credit, she re-directs to the Street Pastor team!)
We were walking back to base late one cold winter night and as the street was quiet, we were in “glass bottle pavement surveillance mode”. This may seem tedious to some, but in God’s economy it proved to be value added.
Close to St Matthias church I saw a small thin leather wallet lying in the middle of the pavement. On inspection there was inside a ten pound note and lots of plastic including a photo ID and bank cards; quite a worrying loss to the young lady owner whose picture we had in our hands. We decided to go back and have our break, then log it in at Charles Cross Police Station on our next walk.
Just as we approached the home stretch past the library, we saw two girls in a comfort hug, one crying. On enquiry, you guessed it, her friend told us “She’s lost her money and all her cards”. She had just got off her mobile frantically calling the taxi office; she was convinced it had gone awol on the back seat earlier.
Two quick questions later, “What did this wallet look like and what’s your name?” – Huge relief and total joy erupted, another night out experience happily restored, job done.
We were walking on the Barbican and as we left to go towards the bus station en route to our next break, we decided to check out the Sutton Harbour area. Just as well, as we found a young girl, crouched down on her haunches, drunk and sobbing her heart out. She had just been “dumped” by her boyfriend.
We stayed with her for over an hour, letting her talk and as she did so, a lot of hurt and pain from her past came out as well, some of it shouted amid sobs. We listened without comment or judging, except to re-assure her of her value, sensing that she just needed that “release valve”.
Eventually, we managed to see her safely into a taxi but by that time she was both more sober and more cheerful, even smiling, which was heartening for us.
Because we had spent so much time with her, we were unusually in Bretonside at 3 a.m. when we saw another girl collapsed and very cold in a doorway – we find her handbag 20 yards away! – so we got a poncho on her to keep her warm and quickly managed to organise transport safely to the Streetsafe medical facility – but what might have happened to her (and/or the contents of her handbag) if we hadn’t been there?
We finally got the break we’d been heading for somewhat later than we’d thought, but now with two more examples of our God’s amazing love and timing putting us in just the right place at just the right time!