I’ve just spent the morning with Lowestoft town centre chaplains. They’re an inspirational bunch from different churches in Lowestoft.
The team is led by The Light Project College student Esther Day who is in her second year of part time studies with us in a foundation degree in Theology, Mission and Evangelism.
What I witnessed has truly inspired me and there are 4 good reasons why I’m heading home with a spring in my step and a smile on my face!
Firstly how the team function. Before heading out they work out together for how they’re doing before they head out on a ‘1-10 confidence scale.’ Esther makes sure she pairs up those who are feeling less confident (3’s and 4’s) to go with someone who is super confident that morning (7’s and 8’s!) Genius.
The team pray together and on this occasion I was asked to share communion with them.
One team headed off to a cafe to engage with people through prayer paintings and also offer hand massages and to be a listening ear to those who turn up to find the chaplains.
Secondly, the team have a very open ‘we will have a go’ type of attitude. Each one of the team dares to listen to God as to where he wants them to go and who to see. One woman brought a pink teddy she had made to give to someone in the town.
We met a young family and offered the Teddy explaining who we were and also the message that accompanied it- the family were visibly moved and later on in the day left a lovely message on social media about the gesture.
Earlier on in the morning one of the team had a feeling she would meet someone with a red hat. I helped her approach a women pushing an older woman in a wheel chair who was wearing a fine wooly red hat. We ended up praying for them and they thanked us for blessing them. “I think God loves me” said the elderly lady in the wheel chair.
Thirdly the team showed me their love for all kinds of people. As we finished up for the morning one of the team bumped into a young man with bright pink hair. He poured out his heart about the struggles he had with his mental health and the team I was with listened without passing judgement and didn’t seem at all worried about the detail and complexity of the mans problems- They simply loved him and gave him lots of encouragement!
Lastly, there seems to be a heart and hunger to reach people in the town with the good news of Jesus. Esther had invited me to train some people in creative evangelism yesterday evening. I was expecting a few, maybe ten or so people from her team. Over 50 people turned up!
The response and willingness to engage with creative evangelism by so many people encouraged me so much and spoke to me about the many seeds that the church in Lowestoft have planted and will plant. I am confident that there is a harvest coming. Why? Because the seed of the gospel has been and continues to be sown into the lives of many people.