For 20 years, 24-7 Prayer have been praying and serving on the ‘party island’ of Ibiza. Stephen is part of the 24-7 Ibiza San Antonio team who spend summer serving holidaymakers in need.
But this year, it’s a little different, as he shares:
On the 20th anniversary of 24-7 Ibiza, it feels like the reset button has been hit.
The mission of 24-7 Ibiza is simple: we provide for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people we come in contact with. Everything is soaked in prayer: when half our team are on the streets during the night, the other half are in the prayer room interceding and worshipping.
Last summer, God showed up in incredible ways with people asking for prayer; Bibles being given out, and individuals giving their lives to Christ.
And, as we began to make our plans for Summer 2020, we had a huge number of applications for our long-term team, were forming bonds with the town hall and local businesses, and were excited to start this milestone season.
And then the Coronavirus pandemic happened. Through prayer and consultation with 24-7 Prayer International, we decided to cancel all of our summer teams; a monumental decision that impacts not only our volunteers but also the West End Community that we serve in.
Yet, even with all of the uncertainty, we felt at peace and trusted God with the decision and the next steps.
Usually by June, we’re in full swing with our summer programme, with prayer walks by day, and street work by night, assisting vulnerable people who need our help.
But this year, with no set programme or routine, we find ourselves in the beautiful position of seeking God for what he wants us to put our hands to. And really the only thing we have been able to do is get back to basics and pray.
Our team have recently been encouraged by this quote:
“A completely new work… would never have been possible if we had not been uprooted completely, in every way, and if in that uprooting we had not decided to pray for God’s solution and leading every step of the path as it wound through the unknown territory.“
– Edith Schaeff, L’abri
We’ve been reflecting in thankfulness for all that God has done here; evaluating everything we task ourselves with, and of praying for more of God’s hope for this place.
While dreaming about what our missional work this summer could look like, we’ve been reminded to hold our plans loosely – to give them all to God and to acknowledge that he is in control.
As a seasonal tourist destination, there’s uncertainty and speculation about how the summer months will look. This has had an impact on our local community, on business owners and on the mental health of people around us, so we’ve been connecting with different people we know during Spanish lockdown, offering support and checking in on those who may be more lonely.
Even in the unknowns, we’re trusting that God will have us in the right place at the right time. As the restrictions continue to ease, we’re expectant for the opportunities God will have for us as 24-7 Ibiza, 20 years later, to care for the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of the West End community here in San Antonio.