Brenda took part in our Sleepout last year, in support of the work at our Webber Street day centre for homeless people:
Looking back through my life, l can see where the Lord has taken me through different challenges in each decade, some of which l didn't do very well in but the Good Lord never deserted me, they have helped shape the person l am today. A few months ago l was praying to the Lord that l was still waiting for my challenge now l was in my seventh decade, always be mindful of what you pray for. About three weeks ago during notices given out at Church, the announcement for the Sleepout was made and BANG. No doubt about it, the Lord made it quite clear that this was my challenge l had prayed for. Aah! I don't do camping in any way, shape or form. I don't own a sleeping bag, never even laid in one and definitely don't do tents.
Ok. If this is God's plan for me, He knows my weaknesses and fears, so no problem.
Sleepout day and the weather was rather wet, oh dear. Not to worry, the trusty staff at Webber Street had arranged a tarpaulin cover for where we would be laying down in the park. Oops! Could that mean a tent? No worries. As our group of night soldiers moved into the park armed with cardboard mattresses and sleeping bags, chairs appeared to hold up the awning ha ha. Oh joy.
Somehow l managed to be in the middle of the carboard bedroom, no sign of panic though praise the Lord. Quite a bit of shuffling around before lights out, so to speak. The deluge during the night made us very aware of our less fortunate friends who were really sleeping rough. Our biggest problem was how to stop the cover from sinking in the middle under the weight of the water, several times l opened my eyes only to wonder where my knees had gone. Everything was in hand. Our guardian angels of the night, very carefully went round raising said cover to disperse the water, they were kept very busy.
Morning arrived and we picked up our bedding and returned to a most welcome hot drink and biscuits, prepared by the most amazing catering ladies. Lots of banter about the night's experience whilst a feast of a breakfast was prepared for us to tuck into.
Each one of us that had been fortunate enough to take part in this venture, had a unique experience. The main thought that struck me was that as Christians, we are part of one big family. Since arriving Saturday evening, everyone had been chatting and laughing as though we had known each other for a long time. No matter where in the world you may be, as a Christian you will always be part of God's family. We need to get out there and befriend our homeless, vulnerable fellow human beings. Show them God's love, spend time talking to them and let them know that they too can be part of that loving, caring family. God doesn't put obstacles in our way to prevent us doing His work, so don't let age or anything else detract you from being busy in the Lord's name.
Brenda is due to take part in the Sleepout again this year! Could you take up the challenege too?
Find out more about this year's Sleepout here.