Acts of Kindness – reciprocated in full.

by NightShift

Each month, close to 100 young people come through NightShift to go out into the streets of Surrey to bring comfort, hope, love and lots of smiling faces to our less fortunate friends. Our AOK (Acts of Kindness) groups prepare hot chocolate and bags of goodies, including items ranging from socks to granola bars. We’re out for a couple of hours twice a week, allowing us to get into many very meaningful conversations to help build relationships with our friends. We bring God into our conversation as the opportunity presents itself. The following account was submitted after a recent encounter during one of these youth outreach sessions. Wally @ nightshiftministries.org

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Tonight we experienced God in His power.  We arrived late to NightShift and quickly got organized to go out to give the usual hot chocolate, snacks and random articles of clothing. It was nearing the end of the night and after a few decent conversations we were ready to leave. The Lord had other plans.  There was a guy pacing back and forth. He was well dressed and had an extremely serious glare on his face. I attempted to strike up a conversation about three times before I got any response. He just kept saying, “Why are you guys here?” After some of my terrible jokes failed, JV and I started to poke and prod at this man’s life. He wouldn’t even say his name and would often start walking away in the middle of a sentence, but every time he came back, he would share a little more.  He admitted that God had long left his situation, and that he had lied, stolen and committed many more terrible things. But then he clasped his hands together and said he would see shadows always behind him. A few times in the conversation he thought something or someone touched him, yet we hadn’t moved at all. Something was messed up. The man confessed he was terrified of seeing God when he died – that he couldn’t even comprehend his judgement and that he was banking on God to just say, “It’s ok”. After going through the idea that a good judge in the court of law wouldn’t excuse a murder because justice must be served, we arrived at what the penalty could be…Hell.  JV was quick to point out then that we have all done this stuff, and all have fallen short of the glory of the Lord.  The only way was of course through Jesus who paid his fine.  After some more talking, it was time for us to go. We were just getting up to leave when this man spoke up, “ Hey, can we pray for me?“ Thank you Jesus. We walked to the front of the building, where he told us his name was Elias* and that he didn’t want this life anymore.  He said he went to church when he was 15 and lived a righteous life, but fell into all the problems of this world.  We placed hands on Elias and started praying. Just speaking the name of Jesus over him and the situation, we could start to hear Elias speak the name of Jesus. Soon he was confessing his own love for our saviour. Then he started rebuking the dark one. Over and over he cried out “I rebuke you Satan. I love you Jesus.”  He started to pray to God and for us. We said amen after a while and when Elias opened his eyes, he saw a drugged out lady who was obviously not coherent and said to us, “We need to pray for these people!” We started to pray, but people were not accepting. Never stopping our praying we tried again to reach people, again with no success. Elias then began speaking loudly, “I need a shower – I need to clean, to wash up – I need a bible – We need to pray – We need to go to church”.  So we started with the shower but before going in he said, “You two need to pray for me while I am in there.” During that time I called Julie and got her and the others from NightShift to intercede for Elias. He came out just as on fire for the name of Jesus as though the water cleansed but did not cool his spirit. It was evident that his shower was not merely cleaning his earthly body but his spirit also. What symbolism! When he came out of the shower he wouldn’t even put on his jacket because it disgusted him – he was shedding his “old self”. I gave him an extra shirt (I had been wearing two t-shirts for no reason at all!). We swapped coats and off we went to get a bible. Rebuking, praying and praising the whole way. When we arrived at the NightShift building, we couldn’t actually go in, so we stood outside. We all gathered around Elias and began to pray. And we prayed. There were ten of us in total and we spoke the name of Jesus and claimed the blood over the life of Elias. He then turned to us and said I’ll pray for all of you. One by one Elias spoke very specific words into each of our lives. It was as if he had received prophetic words for the people within our circle. There were very specific issues that were spoken to that only the Lord would know. Praise the name of Jesus! We prayed and prayed. We also got him a bible and another book, clothes, shoes and some food. I walked him back to the shelter where he was going to stay the night. Again we prayed for the Holy Spirit to fill him up, for protection in his life immediately from those who were mocking him, and for his family members. He was scared. Scared for me to leave, scared that the demons and darkness would keep attacking, he was scared for his life. Jesus cures all. He truly does and ALL glory to Him above who is greater than all other names.  Andrew

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What impacted me tremendously was the power we have in the name of Jesus. We were part of a very real and very thick battle and the devil was fighting hard for Elias’s soul. While it was so evident that opposition was pressing in on all sides, it was unmistakable that the devil was fighting in vain.  The name of Jesus is powerful and conquers all!  We are victorious in him and that victory was proven last night.  As we were praying and proclaiming the name of Jesus over Elias’s life I was reminded of the early church gathering together and spending hours in prayer for brothers and sisters.  We experienced unity in the spirit as we covered him completely in our petitions and prayers.  As I reflect on the God we serve, I think of how quick I am to doubt and undermine the fact that there is very real and tangible power in the blood. I was humbled by the fact that this man, an unsuspecting soul, could be changed virtually in front of our eyes – not over time, not later that night, not years from now, but literally in a matter of minutes! What a precious reminder of the sovereignty of God, his mercy and his love. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12   Julie

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* Real name not used


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