I loved my first night out on the streets of San Antonio’s West End, with the Ibiza 24/7 Team. Two particular encounters blessed my socks off. I would love to tell you about them. The way the night goes is that all of the team prays together for half an hour before going out on the streets. Then at midnight the first teams goes out and the other half stay to pray. And then each hour we swap.
So during the first hour I’d been part of the team praying in the prayer room and I felt God impress upon my heart to pray for the timid, marginalised group member who feels isolated, like she doesn’t belong, like the misfit, the odd one out. That the Lord would highlight those that felt that way and we’d be able to affirm, value and love them and to let them know that they were seen by God.
When I then went out on the streets and we did a lot of praying and a few convos but didn’t actually have that many encounters. Amazingly a random stranger recognised me from my neighbourhood, although I had no idea who he was!! I myself definitely felt see then. Ha. Thank you Lord. But anyhoo, after our hour on the streets we were back in the prayer room and were asked to leave the prayer room and help out the guys on the street by attending a call to help a girl on her own who was super drunk and being propped up by a bar staff member until we arrived.
To our amazement she was this timid, super precious, ever so sweet eighteen year old who was in the West End by herself! She hadn’t seen her friends for two days apparently, she’d been abandoned by them and felt completely alone. We were able to comfort her, love on her, speak words of value and affirmation over her. We were able to nurse her when she through up and we were able to pray with her and tell her how precious she is and how very loved by God she is. We were able to get her back to her hotel and walk her to her room. I love love love how God so specifically highlighted her need and met her so beautifully.
On my last shift of the night I had a beautiful encounter with three precious young men from Paris. Two of us were sitting on a bench praying and just waiting on God when one of the guys greeted us. As we started chatting we loved on them with words of affirmation, wanting so much to encourage them to go after their dreams as friends who were all chefs! I asked them if we could pray with them and they said sure. I asked them what they would like prayer for and one of them asked for peace in the world. I asked if we could all hold hands and again they were so up for it!
So there we were this group of five, one Indian girl, two Algerians, A Dutch girl and a Moroccan man all holding hands and praying to Jesus. As I began to pray they were so so touched. I prayed for their lives, futures, relationships, hope, dreams and their desires. I prayed for their friendship and of course I prayed for world peace. Smiles. The whole time I prayed we all stood looking at each other and they soaked in the prayers with hearts of faith!
After we finished praying they were visibly blessed. One of them asked if he could now pray for me. He took my hands, closed his eyes and prayed for me. Wow. They began to speak of the energy and spirit that we carried. And then one of them says this. That if everyone carried what we carried there would surely be “world peace.”
I responded “I KNOW!!” and we all laughed! He must have thought I was joking when I said I know. But I wasn’t. You see, the truth is that although he had no idea but his observation was so so spot on! Because if everyone carried the love of Jesus in their hearts we would 100% have world peace. The world would be filled with unconditional love, joy, peace, hope, goodness and all the other glorious attributes of Christ within us - who is the very hope of glory! And as believers we know that one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth and every heart will be carrying Jesus in their hearts and world peace will indeed be the status quo.
Yet here and now we long for heaven on Earth. We long to see everyone come into communion with Jesus the beautiful One so that they can encounter the peace that surpasses all understanding...and overcoming peace that has stripped the world of its power to harm us. There are billions of souls longing for peace in this world and only Jesus can bring them true serenity. And those of us who have been blessed enough to encounter, experience and live with God’s glorious peace on the inside - we must desperately share this beautiful peace with a broken world longing for rest in their souls. We must share with them that peace in our world as impossible as it seems, is surely possible - when we have Christ within us, the hope of glory.