24 hours. 35 staff and students from the Compassion DTS scattered throughout the City of Newcastle.
Flannel shirts, tired eyes, sore legs, compassionate hearts and a faithful God.
We were homeless for 24 hours.
The clothes on our back and the bibles in our hands – these were our weapons for the 24 hours that we were about to spend homeless. I was in a group with 6 girls dropped off at the beach on Sunday morning. It was clear to all of us from the start – God wanted to move through us in powerful ways – we had to start our day off by spending time with Him.
Worshipping. Praising. Praying.
We sat and listened for the still, small voice of God. God spoke.
Go to the park across the road.
We went, not quite knowing what to expect, but we were expectant.
If for nothing else, God called us there to encourage us and to show us His provision when we are obedient to Him. At the base of the largest tree in the park, we found a $5 note! We were hungry and excited to eat but God had other plans for the money. God’s plans are always better. There isn’t a great deal of food that we would have been able to buy with the $5, in fact it did only buy one cup of hot chips, but getting 5 separate words from God on who to give the money to and having all of those words line up, well, that’s enough spiritual food to fill you up.
Then we met Darrel. A large South African man. 48 years old, he sleeps in a tent and travels around towns on his bike. Again, God spoke. Talk to that man, and pray for him. He was on the beach moving up and down the shore. With complete concentration he drew lines in the sand with his feet while his hands moved from above his head out of the water and then off towards the beach. We could feel spiritual warfare at play. There was a smell about him. It wasn’t just a homeless smell – It was distinct – exactly the same smell from spiritually dark areas of Nepal that I had visited. We were scared but God told us speak. Darrel told us that he would never usually stop what he was doing to talk to anyone, but he did. When we asked what he thought of God he told us that we needed to eat healthy food. When we asked if we could pray for him he told us his spiritual theories. An hour of listening passed and I felt like nothing had happened. We said good-bye and were leaving when Darrel said that we could pray for him. God had got to him! We prayed that chains would be broken from him and that the Holy Spirit would get a hold of him. We prayed & God moved.
Thinking that I wouldn’t see him again I told my team what God had told me to ask him – the same word I had been to scared to speak out. It was something about his mother, something from his past. Darrel rode passed on his bicycle. Convinced I should ask him, they told me to go, so I ran after him. I asked him and the word I had received was truth. We spoke for another hour and he asked if we could pray for him again. He said that while we were praying God touched him and that He heard God say “Darrel, this is Me.”
Our team prayed over the city, worshiped, and we slept on a train.
The next morning we ate at the homeless kitchen and saw Darrel again.
God is good. God provides. God seeks the lost.