Today between 12.00 and 3.00pm we handed out loads of food in carrier bags – 53 people got enough for 3 days each.
We also gave out more chocolate filled Advent Calendars. As we still had a few left over after wards, we stripped out the chocolates from these and handed them round to clients to have with their tea and coffee.
We have also been handing out presents for the kids. Most Mums were really touched, since many don’t have enough money for presents. We also blessed Mums with little bags we were given by Avon Cosmetics: each bag had some jewellery, perfume and some make-up. While we were dispensing food parcels from one door, donors were still coming in the other door with boxes of goodies. God is good!
One woman came through the door saying:”you prayed for me last time I was here!” I said: “I pray for lots of people; can you remind me?” It gradually dawned on me who she was. She had been running away from an abusive partner that day and knew no-one in our town. She was so grateful for what she received last time that she asked today for more prayer. We held hands and she got a friend with her to join with us. She said afterwards her new male friend was looking out for her, but he had his own problems. The other day he said to her “cuddle me”. She did, and he explained afterwards that he wanted to be held because he’d been hearing voices in his head telling him to kill her.
We gave out many food parcels to hungry clients today, enough to feed 74 people for three days. In addition to normal food, we added bags of Christmas food as a Christmas bonus. People were thrilled.
One woman was gently trembling and told us she was suffering from various injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder following a car accident. Her car had been stationary when she was hit from behind by a car travelling at 40 mph. I offered healing prayer to her, which in reality turned out to be me just holding her hands while I shared other healings I’d seen Jesus do. She was grateful. I suggested she come back again if she wanted a top-up.
What a privilege and honour God has given me to minister to people in various states of distress and suffering!
A young woman with a 7 week old baby told me she was looking forward to marrying her partner soon. They’d been sweethearts since she was 14. She needed to save up the £145 or so to get married. She really touched my heart! I asked for her address – which she gave me – as I said I’d drop her a card.
Yesterday was my last day in before Christmas and we were inundated with food donations coming in and clients taking it away. For three hours we were constantly busy. The downside was that we didn’t have much time to chat to clients.
I noticed one woman pick up a gospel tract and place it in her handbag. She also started to read our framed poems on the walls, such as “Footprints”. I engaged her in conversation and sussed out that she had issues in her life. I suggested she might like prayer when we were quiet and she said “yes”. Unfortunately, we never were quiet and she left with her partner taking her food but without any prayer. Hope she comes back again when we’re quiet, after Christmas. We don’t have any separate room to take people for prayer as our premises are so small. Must discuss this with the manager sometime soon.
Another client was a guy who shook hands with his left hand as his right, in a black glove, was evidently useless. He told me he’d had 13 operations on it so far, and he still had practically no use of it. I offered to pray for healing and he agreed, ‘tho’ admitting he didn’t believe in God. I said that’s OK. I laid hands on him for a while, then another team member joined me and prayed too. I told the guy to test his hand out, doing something he couldn’t normally do. He did, but said “no change”. He said he felt heat when I laid hands on him. I said to him I had often prayed for people where no change seemed to happen at the time. Later, when I saw them again, some reported that healing had occurred. I explained that God’s healing power can carry on working after the event, so thank God for what he’s doing.
We had the street people in for their Christmas lunch today. As expected it was pretty noisy, but most were pretty well behaved. We all sang lots of Carols and afterwards they dutifully lined up for their Christmas Hamper. These were carrier bags stuffed with food, clothes, toiletries and Christmas goodies to eat. They also had a gospel message given to them by one of our team.
Latterly I ended up praying for a young Christian lady who has suffered from a long term illness for 10 years. She also had back pain and after we prayed and laid hands on her, she felt an easing of her pain in the back.
On Wednesday this week we’ll be giving our annual Christmas lunch and individual Christmas hampers to 7o homeless/drug addicts/street drinkers. We’ll have carols too, but the solos from the floor (and sometimes from the mic) are always the highlight, as you can imagine!
It’s always pretty chaotic, but they love it and appreciate what we do. God bless them – every one! Each year a few are missing because they’ve died of their addiction, gone back to prison or, in one case, been found floating in the canal. New folk have since arrived, so will take their place. We always give a short gospel message or testimony to make the folk think. It might be the last gospel message they hear this side of the grave.
We had a Christmas outreach market stall on Saturday. During my time there I prayed for a homeless guy, a non-Christian. He recognised (without any pressure from me) that he had bad things going on in his life and was agreeable to give them to Jesus. I told him to imagine Jesus standing there in front of him, with his (Jesus’) arms open to receive his bad stuff. I asked my guy to hold out his arms and give it to Jesus. He did. We prayed and afterwards he said how much better he felt, having passed these things on. Amazing, really! I love the street guys and women – they’re very WYSIWYG.
Later, a rather timid Christian lady we know came to see us. The last time I saw her was around 2 months ago, when I prayed for her in a church about problems she had with her heels, causing her pain and making walking difficult. I’d had no feedback afterwards, until today when she said: “after you prayed for me that time I got healed, and I’ve been fine ever since” Isn’t Jesus wonderful?
A couple of stalls away from ours, was a stand run by a guy who managed a large out of town venue with snooker and a large hall for shows, etc. I noticed he had a poster displayed for a psychic medium show. I chatted to him about spiritualism and the spirits behind it all. I gave him a full explanation and he clearly had no idea what was involved. He was quite taken aback when I told him about the demonic spirits involved in it. I gave him and the woman with him (the venue owner’s wife) my website card and invited them to contact me. I could then direct them to detailed warnings from people who had been involved in it and got out of it, but not without a struggle!
This week two ladies from a local insurance company came in and gave us a gift of around 70 or 80 Cadbury’s Selection Boxes! We were really grateful for these, so we can give them to families with children in December.
They wanted a photo for company PR, so they took one of myself and the manager alongside the pile of boxes. Naturally we were smiling broadly, thinking about all the happy children that would get one – and probably not much else – for Christmas.