We were delighted to welcome Max Bawhorn, who is the Street Pastor Coordinator for Redbridge, and his delightful family to Gants Hill on Sunday. Max spoke to us about the inspiration the story of the Good Samaritan has had on his life. In the reading, the expected help did not transpire but came from an unexpected source. The Samaritan acted because there was a need and so, Street Pastors also do what they do because there is a need.
Around the year 2003, Brixton was a place of stabbings and robbery. Fifteen women and three men made it their goal to walk the streets, talk to the people they met and show them how much God cared. They listened to the needs of those who were in trouble and pointed them to sources of help.
Street Pastors make a difference in Redbridge. There are two teams: a team of three who cover Ilford, and another group of three who cover South Woodford. All the difficulties they come across stem from the individuals' difficulties, whether that be emotional, the loss of a job or challenging family situation. The Street Pastors listen to their stories, remind them that God cares and refer them to the appropriate places to get help. The Street Pastors work in the area they live, therefore, cannot run away and ignore these situations. It is a case of doing something to help solve the problems.
Max challenged us to think about what we could do to change these situations and help make a difference. The target is to train fifty new Street Pastors and if anyone was interested in signing up, they can contact Max. Alternatively, you can be a prayer partner and pray for the pastors when they walk the streets, or you can give financially to help cover the costs of the training.
The reading of the day was Luke 9:51-62 where people gave excuses for not wanting to follow Christ. So, we must think about the excuses we use for not supporting the Street Pastors who are doing such a worthwhile job in the streets of Redbridge.
Max left behind some interesting literature including information about the training of a Street Pastor, which takes eight days. He extended the invitation to observe a Street Pastor in action so that you can see what the role involves. There is also an opportunity to sponsor the training of a Street Pastor through a £10 monthly donation. If anyone is interested, please get in touch with Max.
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon