Night Strike Stories
I’ve served at Night Strike over the last year with my church, Mt. View Community. I am always blessed when I serve and always walk away having received more than I gave. I’ve done a little of everything, cutting hair, dignity station, washing feet, praying. But last night was different.
I went to Bridgetown last night thinking I would serve food. I’ve not served food before and I like the social aspect of it. I also thought that since I’d had a really busy day at work and had not had much in the way of lunch and no dinner, I figured I could at least snag a cookie. But as always, I leave it up to the Lord to show me where he wanted me to be. So, as they were asking for volunteers to do a Walk About, the Lord tugged at my heart and I found myself raising my hand. I confess, this was not something I really wanted to do, a cold breezy night, my bad knee aching. But, if I’ve learned nothing in my 40 years as a servant of God, I’ve learned that when He leads, I’d best follow. So off I went.
As we prayed over several places (all the usual suspects) the Lord began a healing in me that I have been praying for over the last year. My personal challenge was nothing dramatic, but something the Lord had called me to work on a year ago. And it has been a bigger struggle than I had anticipated and in the giving up of something, I’ve spent a lot of time at the Lord’s feet and yes, a lot of tears. I’ve been able to give up logically, but emotionally it has been a struggle. My own “addiction” I guess, but not drugs or alcohol or anything like that. But, never-the-less, something that was separating me from God. At each station, we prayed for whatever we were led to pray for, but I began to feel the Lord working in my own heart. At first I wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but then it became obvious to me that God was working on me as well as the City. At the last station, I was standing next to a young man from Sunnyside Foursquare, who I’d never met until last night. As we were praying, he laid his hand gently on my shoulder and began to quietly pray for me. So quietly that I couldn’t really hear his words. But his words didn’t matter. I knew I was receiving a gift of healing from God standing among the lost on a corner of Burnside and the Lord chose that time, place and person to complete His healing in me.
Here I was, having gone to minister to others in God’s name and in the course of my service and servant’s heart, He also healed me! What a wonderful Lord we serve!
I just wanted you to know that more than one healing took place last night. A healing for someone who is usually serving under the bridge, not needing to be healed under the bridge.
Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
A week ago the FIRE discipleship class had the privilege to serve the Lord in a mighty way with Bridgetown Ministries in Portland, Oregon. Some of the areas we were all able to work in were walkabouts, foot washing, table conversationalists, and listening with those who need an ear to hear.
One experience I had while serving at Bridgetown was when I was on the walkabout. As my group was walking around the streets of downtown Portland we stopped to talk to a man who was eating at a shelter. After a couple minutes of speaking with him, he excused himself to go and give the rest of his food to another homeless person whom he did not know. When I saw him give the homeless person all he had left, it made me think about Christians, wondering whether or not we are as selfless with all we have. As a Christian, when you see a fellow believer in need do you help or just walk on by? Looking at the homeless people on the streets sharing with one another it has helped me to realize that we need to help those in need and share the love of Christ. We need to be thankful for what we have and bless those who have nothing. One other thing I learned was to not look at people as just homeless but as Children of Christ whom God loves just as much as anyone else.
Acts 20:35 says, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
The second great experience I had was when we went under the Burnside Bridge and was able to speak with some of the people there. One man I remember quit vividly was a man named Richard. Sarah and I decided to go speak with him so we could get to know him. As we sat there making small talk Richard said, “If you guys can, will you pray with me?” Right away I knew this was a divine encounter from God. As we prayed for Richard and his alcohol issue, we could feel the Holy Spirit’s presence, and we know that Richard could too.
After the many great experience we all received, I cannot wait to go and help at Bridgetown Ministries again. It is always a great experience to humble oneself before men and learn to see people with the eyes of God and not the eyes of men.
Our Super Bowl Party for the city of West Palm happened February 7th and was such a beautiful experience. I really want to think you for your insight and encouragement. It definitely went smoothly because you were able to pass on your experience to us. The volunteers we had for the foot washing tent blew me away! They made the men who came in feel completely comfortable, and it was unreal to see really tentative, tough men melt right before our eyes as their feet were being massaged and cleaned and they talked about the game, their lives, etc. Puts a whole new meaning on what you quoted me: “Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words.”
Thanks again for everything! The church down here wants to continue this kind of service because it went so well. I hope all is going well for you and your ministry!