It was great to be part of SHINE2 (Sharing Hope In Nighttime Economy) on Saturday in Reading. You can follow the Twitter conversation of the day #SHINE2 here.
Below is a report from Churches Together in Camberley:
A few of us attended the SHINE2 event in Reading – it was a truly encouraging day. With Street Pastors & Angels from as far as Boscombe, Bournemouth, Basingstoke, Reading, Aldershot, Windsor, Maidenhead, Fleet and more.
Paul Blakey MBE – founder of Street Angels in Halifax and CNI network facilitated the day and the Keynote speakers were : Les Isaacs (CEO of Street Pastors) & Steve Clifford (General Director of the Evangelical Alliance) we were so blessed to have these 3 in one room on one day.
Les spoke about how Jesus only did what the father showed him (John 5: 19-20) and so it is for us, we need to pray to know what God is asking us to do as we will be ineffective unless we do what our Father shows us. Steve Clifford spoke about being sent (John 20: 19-23) and how we may feel we have been disqualified for some reason – yet God calls us the ordinary to do the extraordinary and how we need the Holy Spirit with us. He celebrated how the church makes up the majority of volunteering with Food banks, Youth Work, Debt Counselling, Addiction Recovery and Homelessness.
We had Insights from many other Street Angel and Street Pastor groups. One or two in particular struck me – Rail Pastors (working with British Transport Police) Incidents have reduced by 30 % since their project started, also Windsor and Maidenhead shared stories of being on the streets the night of the Royal wedding and helping a Blind & mute person who had come and was in a wheel chair!!!! Paul Blakey told a story of the Norwich Street Angels being called over by staff at the Railway station, they had a young Mexican lady who had come to the UK as a result of a man who she met on the internet and who paid her fare to get here. When she arrived she discovered he was trapping her into being his sexual slave. She had managed to escape and got as far as the Station – the street angels got her to Norwich Airport and miraculously got an airline to fly her back to Mexico free of Charge. WOW!
In the Afternoon we had very interesting & informative talk by Suzette Jones (Health & Wellbeing adviser for the Diocese of Guildford) about Modern Day Slavery & Human Trafficking. Here is a number to put in your phones 0800 012 1700 & www.modernslaveryhelpline.org should you suspect anyone of being trapped in this situation (Car Wash & Nail bars especially) there is a Safe car wash APP you can use to help track down the Car Washes that use Trapped workers https://www.theclewerinitiative.org/safecarwash & here is a thought provoking video https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=66&v=I6OddIYjQ-E
After some networking and Sharing we closed in prayer.