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“Wrestled with an octopus and many babes”/ a good training exercise

We were on patrol at about 3.30 am on a very cold night when we came across a young man on the floor against a wall

The three of us got him standing more or less upright, with added support of said building. He was, as one would say, “under the weather”.

I have never seen anyone so incapable of speech whilst conscious. Prayer was going to be the only way of getting him off the street other than Police cell – he was shivering and had wet himself, so we were also worried about Hypothermia setting in.

We managed to get a space blanket around him (much easier than a poncho as he was totally incapable of any arm coordination) and we tried to get another around his thighs but that was not so successful

We rang in to the prayer team for prayer. Then the young man’s wallet fell to the ground revealing his driving licence with his name and address. I have no idea how, but he somehow managed to open his phone, giving us mum’s phone number. She was a star; readily accepting the call from a stranger at 3.30 am and came in a taxi with his coat to collect him.

We discarded the space blankets and tried to get his coat on. I have wrestled with an octopus and many babes, but I have never had as much trouble getting an arm into a garment before! Fortunately Richard and I are grandparents – a humorous comment which I think helped mum!

Our next hurdle was to get him home in a taxi, so we used the delightful face of our lady Street Pastor to persuade a taxi driver to take them both home.

I thought afterwards that it would make a useful training exercise for trainee Street Pastors – his state, inability to communicate with us, searching a drunk’s pockets, the cold weather, physically holding him up, talking to mum sensitively at that time of the morning, avoiding the Police or Ambulance, team work and ignoring the 0400 deadline but PRAYER, PRAYER & PRAYER.

A passer-by commented “What would have happened to him if you hadn’t been there”?

A few days later we received the following e-mail:

“Dear Sir/Madam
I am writing to say thank you (which seems such small words for what the St Pastors did for my son). In the early hours of Sunday morning I had a call from a St. Pastor to say my son had been found drunk and very worse for wear and alone. They stayed with him, looking after him without judging him until I could get to them. Then they helped us get a taxi home

Please thanks the lady and the 2 male St Pastors who took the time to help us and I’m sure many others in the same way that evening. Having spent just a short time with them I witnessed their kindness and dedication to what they do.

Thank you!”