Friday Night Treasure Hunters

We thank God for how he has chosen to use us over the past months; to pray for people and share the gospel with them. We ask God that we may be faithful to keep going; even when it's hard and we don't see much fruit.

Below are a few testimonies of what God has done so far…

A member of the team sensed God speaking through several pictures during the prayer time one evening. One picture was of a Rolex watch, one of a black man wearing a  flat cap, and another of a rainbow. These all ended up linking to one man who we met later that evening. The rainbow picture, exactly as they had imagined earlier, was found in a shop window in Cabot Circus. When we found this, we waited by this window to see what God would do. At this point it was around 10pm and the shopping centre was very quiet. Under a minute after
finding the rainbow, we spotted a black man wearing a flat cap walking towards us past the shops. Before he reached us, he stopped to look into the window of a jewellers. Above him was a large 'Rolex' sign, and to his left was a lit up screen displaying a Rolex advert.

It was clear that God had led us to this man.

We went up to him with some hesitation (and nervousness!) and tried to find words to start a conversation with him. He opened up, and told us about how he had been thinking about God more recently, and asking questions. We shared the gospel with  him and had the great  privilege of leading him in a prayer to ask Jesus into his life. We invited him to church, however often with these things it is difficult to follow up with people. We have to trust that we are only a stepping stone in God's wider plan to draw people to himself.

One evening, it felt like we were walking through mud. We were unsure where God was leading us and we spent quite a while stood around feeling very cold. We gathered to pray that God would give us increased boldness and opportunities to speak to people. One member of the team especially felt that they were receiving prompts from God to speak to certain people, but was nervous (as most of us are!!) to go up to them. Later in the evening, a woman walked past who this team member felt prompted to speak to. After a few moments of hesitation, she ended up chasing after this woman down the street! As her and another team member spoke to this woman, she opened up to them and they were able to pray for her as tears streamed down her face.

Although their encounter with this woman was a simple one, it was a truly victorious moment! The enemy trembled as this team member put aside embarrassment, fears, and timidity, and stepped out of the boat into the unknown, with their eyes fixed on Jesus. 

The people who have gone out on Friday nights are not spiritually 'elite.' We admit openly that most of the time we don't feel like doing it.

Our flesh cries out for an evening in with a nice meal and a bit of TV, but our hearts cry out to see God's kingdom come on earth and for the broken and lost to be redeemed.

When we follow our hearts cry, and simply make ourselves available to God, He has always been faithful to use us. It is by no means easy (especially when it's cold!) and we are still learning a lot each week. However, we always have reason to praise him at the end of each night. 

In 1 Kings 18, the prophet Elijah senses that God is going to send heavy rain. He sends his servant to check if clouds are forming over the sea. Seven times the servant checks and finds there is nothing, and seven times Elijah sends him back to check again. On the final time the servant checks, he sees a cloud as small as a hand. Elijah sends word that heavy rain is coming, and sure enough, it does. God's kingdom is coming in Bristol, but there are times when it feels like nothing is happening.

Will we be like the faithful servant who kept going out, just in case a cloud had formed?
Will we keep looking for what God is doing, even if the horizon was empty the last time?

 After all, "faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1. 

Sam Gilbert shares his testimony of when he joined the team one Friday night...

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Back in November, I joined a few others from our church to pray and minister to people in the city centre! I found it really exciting and am definitely keen to do more of it in the coming year. If you can, I’d really encourage you to get involved. Although, at first, it can feel a little uncomfortable putting yourself out there, it feels really epic to break free from the bubble we so often inhabit and be a part of something MUCH greater!

It’s so good when we value God’s affection over and above the affirmation and approval we often crave from people. Relying on God’s strength transforms us - it makes street mission far less scary than you might think! It’s really like being in an ongoing conversation with God and trying to listen intently. Such a great feeling.

I’ve loved praying with the team before heading out and seeing God work in them, taking away fear and bringing an incredible confidence to shine! A highlight was getting to pray with a group of young skaters for their stomach illnesses to be healed. I certainly won’t forget it, let alone these young lads who’ve probably never encountered faith of this kind. It’s also fantastic to invite lots of people to church and give them the chance to get to know us. I’ve often wondered why people don’t just come to church out of curiosity. Perhaps we should be out there giving them that option? After all, how will they know what they’re missing if we don’t tell them!?

Getting out and about has also reminded me that if I’m following Jesus, I can’t have one foot in the Kingdom of God and another rooted in what everyone else is looking for. He wants me to step out in faith and live for Him, even in the uncomfortable places.
Amazingly, it’s when I’m most reliant on him that our friendship is strongest. 
Although there’s so much I’ll never understand about how God and his Spirit works, I’d love to see more of his presence and intervention in even the most ordinary of life’s experiences - surely a vision we can all aspire towards? If you’re interested in getting involved, go for it - time very well spent, I’d say. 

Please speak to Sioned, Jonathan or Annabelle if you would like to join us sometime. You will not regret it…

- Sioned Armstrong