Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nurses and Indians (and Scotsmen)

Last night I ventured out into Fremantle with a fellow senior Chaplain and two new recruits. A mature couple from an inner city church. They were on what we call an 'observor' night. As part of training all new Street Chaplains have to come out as observers and accompany two senior chaplains.

We headed to Ginos (the local cafe) to get to know one another after praying outside the police station. The police both in Freo and the city must be starting to get accustomed to Chaplains praying in a huddle outside their central stations. I always marvel at God directing us to do so in full view. Unashamedly praying. Something of  a rarity in our secular world to see out in the open. Especially late at night outside police stations.

Sitting in Ginos I was encouraged to learn that our two new recruits were both from Scotland. This now increases the quota of Scottish Chaplains to four in Fremantle. Of course I am totally non-biased. Aye right. However further to that the lady chaplain had been a nurse for twenty years and had recently retired. Here I sat a trainee nurse realising God was also blessing the ministry with another highly experienced recruit. Whilst she may have known little of Street Chaplaincy, the skills of handling people as a qualified RN who had studied in Edinborough (the epicentre of medicine) was certainly a blessing. If that was not enough 'God incidences', as opposed to coincidences, they had both been on a missionary trip to India. Where I am headed next. The connection of Scotland, Nurse and India  was clearly being heard from God. Subsequently we all got along very well.

During the night God started to use us as a team.  We escorted a young girl on her own who was walking down the street at 1am trying to get a cab. As a Chaplain you have a duty of care for females and thus when you see girls on their own - you do not leave them. She let us walk with her and we hailed her a cab. Saving her a long wait in the taxi rank. She was sincerely thankful, which showed in her eyes as she got in the cab.

Next we approached a homeless man on a bench. For five weeks I have been carrying a knitted blanket (a donation by some ladies from a church somewhere). Just waiting for the right person to give it to. I offered the man water initally. He didn't want it. We then said would you like a blanket? Yes - he could use a blanket. He took it thankfully and said he was he was headed off to get some sleep. The blanket went to the right person at just the right time.

Nearer the end of the night a young man sat with his girlfriend with a mishapen broken nose. We gave him an icepack and reassured him it was ok. Both myself and the other Chaplain showing him our own broken noses from our own misspent youth! We encouraged him to go to the hospital, andhe assured us he would. We told him he was still a young handsome man, which seemed to be his main concern!

Again many thanks were recieved for the acts of kindness. All of these little acts preordained by God, in full view of CCTV cameras, the police and the revellers. Contagious kindness. I pray you catch it.

God Bless

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