I felt happy giving a young man on George Street a cup of coffee. I felt blessed that he wanted to share his news with Street Pastors. He was so alone that he had no one else to tell. We listened. He had been allocated a flat and told us of his plans for decorating and furnishing it. I felt joy that there was one less homeless person on the streets.
I felt saddened when I spoke to a young girl who was contemplating suicide after arguing with her Mum and being thrown out of the family home. I felt glad that I had undertaken the Suicide Awareness Training. I felt challenged as I calmly talked to her. I felt relieved when she gave me the razor blades, pills and vodka. We listened, helped and cared. I felt hope when we handed her over to the people who could get her help with her mental health issues.
I felt silly, four years ago, when on my first night out after Drug Awareness Training, I failed to recognise the small bag that I found, was herbal cannabis. I felt bemused when the policeman told me to scatter it in a grassy area (too much paperwork-no arrest)
I felt guided by God as we stopped to speak to a young man who was slumped in a bus shelter. I felt useful when we were able to reassure the worried young mum that her very drunk husband was safe, although he was unable to answer his phone. I felt confident that we could look after him until she found a babysitter and then drove into town to collect him. We helped and cared. I felt sympathetic knowing that he would be hungover and in the bad books in the morning.
I felt amused when I was putting flip flops on a tipsy young lady who had sore feet. We helped. She told me that I was “an f******g Godsend”. We laughed. I felt more amused when a fellow Street Pastor replied that she was “half right”.
I feel protected as I walk the city centre streets with my colleagues during the night. I feel encouraged that so many people want to stop to speak to us. I feel uplifted when we offer prayer and it’s accepted or when prayer is requested. I feel content and satisfied when we head home at 4am after a busy night of listening, helping and caring for vulnerable people. I feel grateful that with the help of groups like “Go for It” offering grant money, Street Pastors will continue to develop their vision for the future.
Edinburgh Street Pastors
About Edinburgh Street Pastors
Edinburgh Street Pastors, are using a Go For It Main Grant to recruit and train teams to patrol the city centre on Friday and Saturday nights, providing support and practical help to the homeless, vulnerable, revelers and tourists. To find out more, like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.
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