Months and months ago I was asked by the city centre churches to coordinate ‘something’ for the Olympic Torch relay that was visiting Peterborough.

My first clever thought was to offer iced water to as many people as possible- a free gift from the church and a symbol of life giving water… So I researched how many bottles of water I could buy, but to offer a drink to thousands was going to be way too costly. So I looked around for some water carriers, cups and some signs. I managed to get enough cups and containers to offer iced ‘council pop’ to up to 5000 people. Good idea. If it’s hot and dry and summery that is.

So today I had to shelve my idea and instead simply encourage the 20 people who joined me from Peterborough’s infamous KingsGate church to offer some free hugs and free doughnuts instead. We also had 300 ‘More than Gold’ booklets and a willingness to listen and pray for people. Non of the volunteers had ever done anything like it before… So with pounding hearts we all went off in two’s amongst the crowds and wow- it was AMAZING! Five minutes in and I’m standing in the rain listening to a lady pour out her heart ache. ‘I don’t know why I’m telling you this…’ She kept on saying. Afterwards she described that being able to tell a stranger the pain she had gone through offered hope.

An hour and a half later we all met for a quick debrief and story after story came out of people willing to engage with good news. One guy said that he was deep in conversation with a man from Latvia standing right by where the Torch was to pass, but they both missed it! But that didn’t seem to matter as they agreed that their conversation was planned by a higher power and my volunteer explained that he was able to pass on a torch of good news to this guy…

Sometimes, laying aside plans and hard work result in something even better. Mmmm, sounds like a thought for the day!

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