An antiseptic swipe, a large adhesive dressing, some hand wipes and a chemical ice pack. I threw these items into the Street Chaplain backpack. The regular backpack, which contains the full medical kit, was in my mother's car. I had forgotten about it and now she was at a friend's house. I could not get it in time for my shift. Thankfully we have a spare backpack so I placed some water bottles, a few flip flops and the aforementioned first aid supplies into the spare pack. The first time you do not take them you will need them. The thought had crossed my mind as I filled the pack.
At the police station two lady Street Chaplains greeted me. We prayed and headed out for the night. Our prayer had specifically asked to share the good news of Christ with someone. Twenty minutes later we gathered in a huddle sharing testimony with a forty year old man outside a pub. He had approached us and before long was sharing his life story. One that involved alcoholism, losing his car license (for ten years) and divorce. It was a familiar story. I had been through most of it myself prior to Christ saving me. The shared experience formed an immediate connection.
By the end of the conversation we were all hugging in a group prayer! We prayed for the man to get a job he had recently attended an interviewed for. A second chance. He was greatly encouraged. So were we. We left him with a spring in our step, thanking the Lord for the obvious answer to prayer.
The spring in my step soon waned. After recently returning from mission to India, the re-entry to the west was difficult. The sin on the late night streets was blatant. At times almost anarchy and complete debauchery. It was all in stark contrast to the purity of remote Indian villages. I sat praying for peace outside one of Fremantle's night spots. The Lord kept the peace, but I felt dejected. After five years as a Chaplain I suppose it is easy to wonder if you are making a difference. To wonder if your time would now be better spent elsewhere. I softly said to God.. "I'm not sure if I can keep doing this Lord". The drunken revellers played heavily on my heart.
By 2:30 am it was time to go home. We headed back to the police station. As we arrived a young man came out of the station compound, shirtless, with blood oozing from a swollen wound above his right eye. I almost smiled. God knew. He had prepared everything for this moment. The items that had been hastily placed in the back pack (five hours prior) were exactly what was needed.
The hand wipe soaked up the excess blood. The antiseptic swipe cleaned the wound. The large adhesive dressing was the precise size required. It not only fitted, it contoured above the eye socket perfectly. The icing on the cake was the icepack. I popped the package, instantly the chemical reaction turned the pack freezing cold. Placing it into the young man's hand I didn't have to tell him twice what it was for. It would reduce some pain and any further swelling. He was incredibly grateful. His last words being.."Thank you Street Chaplain, Thank you"
As we walked off the spring in my step was renewed. God had clearly shown his interaction and preparation for the first aid incident. We all prayed and thanked God for the night. Driving home the statement repeated in my head.
Thank you Street Chaplain.
I felt reaffirmed by God.