Sunday, May 27, 2012

Freo Blesses

Fremantle is changing. It seems to have gone from curses to blessings. Last night was no exception. As myself and another Senior Chaplain passed one the nightclubs, a bouncer walked up to us. He held out twenty dollars and said "do you guys except donations?". We were a bit taken aback not knowing what to say. He continued "I really believe in what you guys are doing, take it, buy yourself a souvlaki or something". We took the money and said God bless you sincerely to him. We both meant it. We decided to donate it to the ministry and placed it into the Chaplain Backpack. We carry money for emergencies (distraught people needing a taxi mainly) Though we do not advertise it or it would get taken advantage of.

It did feel nice to be appreciated. Later in the night two police officers, one male the other a young lady were both very warm to us. We had a good chat with them, the lady at 2:30am telling us you can go home now. As we looked around at ten officers and all quiet her advice seemed fitting, perhaps even the Lord was speaking through her. No carnage just bored officers to be honest. Happy Chaplains though. Peace is good. We had prayed for peace and we received what we had asked for.

A water bottle handed out to a slightly drunk young man, who was more tired than drunk, a kind "are you alright?" to a girl lying on concrete who got up instantly saying "yeah I'm fine, but thanks". An inquisitive "what are Street Chaplains?" by another young man who was stunned to learn "we help people". He repeated it to his friends - "they Help People".

How easy it can be to help people with God, how hard it can be without him

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Surprising Faith

Fremantle Street Chaplains has been tough. Certainly at first there was opposition to us. Having God cursed to your face (%$%^$ GOD!), at about three inches away takes a certain amount of resolve to not lose your temper. Especially when you kind of love God..a lot. However other factors made Freo difficult. A brand new area, new chaplains, pressure at doing well, then of course there is the spiritual dimension which you sense, yet feel no one believes you. Sometimes you want to just throw the towel in. Yet like Peter (the apostle) you can only say "and where would we go?" Jesus is God's son, there isn't anywhere else to go...there is hell of course, but I don't think that is the smartest option to be honest. If Auschwitz is a reflection of how low we can go, then no doubt hell can go that little bit lower. Not somewhere I'd happily sing.. "I'm on a highway to hell, yeah yeah"

Ironically that is the home of Fremantle Street Chaplains. The birth place of such wonderful (and totally insane ballads) as I'm on a highway to hell. I often preach to kids at schools... the guy that sung that (Bonn Scott) gargled on his own vomit to death at 42. He got what he wanted. I wont be meeting Saint Bonn in heaven, I'm pretty sure of that one.

So Freo has a dark side and I felt it. HARD. Something was not too happy a bunch of good deed chaplains had turned up to light up the streets. One week an abusive guy threatening his girlfriend then decided to threaten myself and other chaplain. With.. I'm going to F%$%&$ Kill you. I will snap your F^*%$^ neck!! We stood there myself and a strapping builder (thankfully) wondering what do we do if he does decide to jump us? Read all about it.. Street Chaplains beat up a drunken lad. It was probably not the headline Jesus (our LORD) wanted. Thankfully his girlfriend restrained him. Which actually meant it was all bravado, if he really wanted to fight pushing his girl friend aside would not have been that hard. We thanked God though. Sometimes you sense and see God everywhere on those streets. Last weekend was no exception.

The demonic presence had subsided the week before, we could now get on with doing what Chaplains do best - good deeds. Myself and a wonderful female Chaplain (Kat) headed up to the hospital. Probably about 1 am. Hospitals are very spiritual places. When you have people hurting, in grief, angry or even near death, there is an intense spiritual dimension going on concurrently. Though you do need to be spiritually discerning to sense it. If not its just a big building full of sick people.

As we headed to the place we sensed God guiding us to it. When we arrived sure enough some poor looking soul was sitting at the entry of emergency. He looked vague and I couldn't tell whether he was in shock for a loved one or what. We walked up and asked if he was ok? He said yes and that he was going back inside shortly. We offered him a water bottle. He took it and his immediate response was......"God Bless you". I turned instantly and said back to him "God Bless you too". I really had not expected that response. Especially since for the last few weeks its been "I'm going to &%$##  Kill you", "you guys are F*^&* GAY!" and "F%$$& GOD!". A blessing was a welcomed change to be honest. (ironically if you take the curses and turn the cheek, they too are blessings - how good is GOD!).

The next day both myself and Kat were indeed blessed. Spiritually and physically. God had blessed us through the most unassuming of characters. Sometimes you never know when you are entertaining an angel. Whatever the case, it made all the weeks before worth while. Straight after it we helped a semi drunk lady of 35 get home. Her boyfriend had hit and abandoned her. We found her walking home to Spearwood! We helped her get a cab and she sobbed to us. She also blessed us. A warm hug as she got into the cab was given by Kat. "God Bless you" whispered in the ear and a reciprocal response from the woman. Faith. It turns up in the most surprising places.

Look for it - it isn't only in church on Sunday

God Bless