Cairns Street Chaplains had a wonderful first weekend on the streets, being able to assist a number of people on both nights. We mainly assisted in the areas of first aid, getting people home safely in taxis, and solving problems for people in distress. Our role on the streets is that of problem-solvers and peace- keepers. First aid is an entry into people’s lives to help them in other ways.
We received a warm welcome from both the public and the other services working on the streets. Through the CCLSA (Cairns Liquor Accord) we’ve been also been warmly welcomed as an integral part of the services essential to the night time economy in Cairns. We even received thanks from the CCTV camera room, via radio, for able assistance in a couple of incidents.
Having Lance Mergard, senior chaplain from Nightwatch in Brisbane, show the teams the ropes on both nights was of immense value to us and a real confidence booster. We sincerely thank him for his willingness to come to Cairns and share his experience and expertise, his compassion and his love with us.
There were 12 pair of sore feet after 6 hours pounding the pavements – no matter how comfortable your shoes are 6 hours is a long time on your feet, especially if you’re not used to it. But it was so worthwhile. Six months of planning and training paid off when we were able to assist people either to get home safely, patch them up or to send them to hospital to receive the specialized care they needed.
One essential discovery was where the best coffee is served at 2am. Time for a sit down and a debrief.
Most Australians recognise that a chaplain is from a church – most young people are familiar with school chaplains and Red Frogs chaplains – so they know where we come from. Why we are there in the middle of the night is a different story, and when we shared the reason for our service we received effusive thanks from those whom we are there to help.
Our thanks goes to those who were praying for us while we were out on the streets. We are not only representing Jesus on the streets, but also the Christians of Cairns, so we trust that you will remember to offer up a prayer on Friday and Saturday evenings before your heads hit the pillow – not just for Cairns Street Chaplains but for those street chaplains ministering in other cities too. And don’t just pray for street chaplains but for the police, security services and ambulance officers who are there for the same purpose as we are.
Tonight we’ve come together to pray for our city and for the Cairns Street Chaplains.
While I ask you to pray for additional people with hearts that have a passion for God and a love for people to be street chaplains; and to pray that all our needs will be supplied according to God’s riches in glory in Christ Jesus – I believe it is the heart of God tonight, and it is certainly my desire, that we as brothers and sisters in Christ pray, not so much for the street chaplains and their needs, but for those to whom we are ministering.
We street chaplains already know Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we have abundant life. But those on the streets of our city don’t know God loves them, or that Jesus died to save them, and they don’t yet have abundant and eternal life. So please pray that our lights will shine brightly in the dark places of our city, that the hearts of men and women will be touched and changed by the Spirit of God.
Please also pray for the police, ambulance and security officers who work on the streets night after night and week after week to help reduce alcohol related harm to the community and to improve the safety of the Cairns CBD for its citizens, tourists and persons working in the locality. They’re awesome people with the same heart of care that we have.
The fervent prayer of righteous people have great power with God.