Kindness, Hope & Revelation on the Streets of IbizaJud Sweeney - 11 Dec 2017
We’ve received this hugely encouraging report from 24-7 Ibiza with highlights from their summer season and incredible stories of God moving in the most unexpected circumstances…
“Meeting you guys has given me something to hope in, that there is something more out there…”
- Despite feeling disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to pray with this self-professed atheist, I still came away from the conversation full of hope: hope that there is something more that we are living for, but also hope to see Jesus turn up in the most unlikely places - and people.
This summer, we welcomed around 60 volunteers from over 10 countries to join our night ministry on the West End in San Antonio, Ibiza.
This town on the west coast of Ibiza is known for its wild parties, cheap drinks and ‘anything goes’ attitude.
We spend our nights in a rhythm of prayer and mission as we walk along the West End: chatting with people, praying for them, giving out Bibles and providing practical assistance to those in need.
"The more people I meet, the more I see Christ in them...."
Every night is different: from prayer walking around the west end, chatting to bar owners about how their night is going, walking vulnerable tourists back to their accommodation, to praying for people on the street.
But nights some are filled with incredible conversations about God where we can see hope rising up as we chat about Bible verses people have read in the ‘Jesus Loves Ibiza’ Bibles we give out.
One night, a short term team member and I found ourselves in the middle of a conversation about different religions, with a man that we just bumped into. He explained that he’d studied various worldly religions and had a fair idea about what Jesus was all about, but had never actually read the Bible, saying;
“If someone would just be able to give me a Bible, then I could see what it really said for myself…”
With great delight I unzipped the pocket of our kit bag and handed him a Bible, after writing a personalised message to him in it. This is just one of the multiple times Jesus showed up in an everyday encounter.
But kindness and love isn't reserved and demonstrated by Christians alone.
"We love because he first loved us…”
- 1 John 4:19
Night after night, we returned to our prayer room with stories of incredible acts of kindness being demonstrated on the streets: where bouncers have helped us lift girls into ambulances; bar mangers who offered us free water for people who were vomiting; and bar staff speaking kind words and helping us on their way home from work to assist with the vulnerable people that we’d met.
Every human can show love and kindness - yet I believe that it comes because we are created by Christ and made in his image. We reflect parts of his character whether we are Christians or not.
We have a natural predisposition to help the vulnerable, the less fortunate, the needy, because of the compassion and love within us. The more people I meet, the more I see Christ in them.
This gives me hope to pray for our friends here on the West End of Ibiza - that as they demonstrate Christ’s love and compassion they will recognise and receive it for themselves.
And as they help, love and show kindness the Holy Spirit would breathe through their actions onto others.