NightLight update

28 Jun

I’ve just been doing the latest NightLight prayer newsletter for church, and I thought it might be good to post a bit of an update here because I know a lot of you have been praying for us faithfully over the last eighteen months.

But first…for those of you who don’t know what on earth I’m talking about when I mention NightLight…

NightLight is a project which Josh and I set up which involves volunteers from many of the churches in Aberystwyth.  It came about in November 2008 after several members of the congregation expressed concern at the state people were getting themselves into drinking at the weekends. We’re a university town and on an average night we can have several thousand drinkers crowding into our small town centre.

We’re out from 11pm-3am every Saturday night, working with the police and the council to patrol the streets and make sure that people are okay. We’re not there to condemn people, but we are there to show that we know of a better way, we’re there to stand with people when they’re sick and all their friends have left them, we’re there to walk people home when they’re lost and confused, and we’re there to comfort and pray with people when they need a listening ear.

So what have been up to in the last 6 months of so?

As always with a project of this kind, the hype and excitement of the project’s beginning has died down. However, I have continued to be so impressed by the volunteer’s willingness to serve and to love continually week by week, even when they’re tired and they have got other stuff going on.

Relationships with the council, the police, doorstaff and licensees have gone from strength to strength, with God doing more than we could ever have hoped for! We’re now welcomed onto the streets when at the beginning we (as ‘the church’) were looked at with suspicion. I just can’t get my mind around how much God has been changing people’s attitudes and mindset…and also just how obvious it has been that God’s love really does change things out there on the streets!

Very excitingly, Josh and I have been involved with helping to set up two other projects around Wales, which are working to the ‘NightLight model’. It’s aimed for small towns so it works well in our area.
It has always been my prayer that the vision would spread across our area and it’s so so so so exciting that it is, and so quickly. AND the police and councils of these places are actively seeking out the churches help in response to the drinking culture which is getting out of hand.

However exciting and ‘successful’ the project is been, it’s often on my mind when I’m patrolling the streets at 2.30am and I’m ready for my bed, that if we have loved one person that evening it makes it all worth while. Even if didn’t have this positive feedback, it would still be important to be getting out there and loving these vulnerable people.

Some excerpts from the incident book:

“Had a chat with some youths on the seafront. After small talk we began to talk about what they thought of Jesus. They were really engaging and we were able to answer some of their questions”

“A girl was lying face down in a gutter. We helped her get up and walked her to a taxi.”

“Inn on the Pier called us on the radio because there was a girl being sick outside. She could hardly stand, wasn’t responding and was in a bad way. She was staying with a friend who was also very drunk, so we called an ambulance to sort her out.”

“Listened and prayed with someone who was crying in the seafront shelter. Planning to meet them and bring them to church tomorrow (this morning!!)”

“Gave flip flips to a group of girls who were walking barefooted. They were happy that ‘God saved their feet!’”


6 Responses to “NightLight update”

  1. Linny June 28, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Sweet friend,

    I started to well with tears as I read this – we have been wondering about this very thing…wondering if there was some way our church could reach out…small city, college town…lots of alcohol and drugs…week-ends are bad…wow!! You guys are doing it! Way to show Jesus’ Crazy Love!! Love it! Please post the permalink on the Crazy Love post…

    You guys rock!!! xo

  2. Leah July 2, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    seriously, this is awesome. don’t let the excitement fade as it always does, you guys are doing something GREAT!

  3. Thomas July 2, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    You’re all doing amazing stuff. It’s really great to hear how people respond to you! It’s an encouragement to others as well.

  4. Maureen July 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    I think your nightlight project is just so cool. It would be nice to have something like that here, but I’m afraid that people would get shot/raped/mugged/etc. if they tried.

  5. Chloe July 27, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    Hey Rachel!
    I miss your posts!!
    Well, here you have something to post about: you have an award waiting for you on my blog later today so stop by and pick it up!!

  6. Kara August 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    What a great program! You may never fully know how you impacted these people, but there’s no doubt God is using you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: