Carrying the ark, praise in the park Carrying the ark, praise in the park


Pearson Park, Hull, England

 
Where next in 2008?            Tips on worship in open places
Pearson Park, Hull Pearson Park, Hull Pearson Park, Hull Pearson Park, Hull Pearson Park, Hull

In 2006 a small group of Christians started to worship Jesus every dry Sunday afternoon in the open air in
Pearson Park, Hull, England. We began in obedience to a word from God that came out of our prayer time
together. We didn't know what was going to happen, and what did happen sure surprised us.

We saw that heartfelt praise brings the very presence of Christ to bear, and that presence separates it reveals those who are ready to
respond to Jesus from those who aren't. Now I'd worked as an evangelist in the 1980s, so I know the dogged effort needed to secure just
one or two good conversations, let alone conversions. But here we were just quietly lifting Jesus up in worship and He was drawing
people to himself. It was so easy, we would worship Him and the disinterested would pass by, whilst those drawn to Jesus would linger
a while. From there we would be able to talk to them and pray with them. It was just so simple, so effortless.

We didn't put on an event, as that would have required a lot of effort and a license from the local authority. Not something one can do
week on week. We weren't many as we might have caused and obstruction. We weren't loud, as we might have got moved on. Just a
few bringing the presence of Jesus to a place where the Spirit can work His mysteries. Here are some of the testimonies from previous
years…

Carter – a former drug addict and currently a rough sleeper. Carter has been in and out of prison and other institutions most of his
adult life. He has attempted suicide and very nearly bled to death, he likes to show you the scars. He was attracted to our praise and
lingered a while so we could chat with him. He had made a commitment to Jesus in prison some years ago. He sung with us on some
occasions. Attended prayer meetings and Sunday lunches at our house. One Sunday he walked from Beverley Road to Hedon to attend
my church's morning service. It took him nearly three hours! Although we remain in contact with Carter he needs to belong to and be
cared for by a local church. Hedon is a too far out of the way. We're now looking for local Hull churches to share out vision and get
involved.

Jason – as we worshiped Jesus in Pearson Park Jason was drawn to stop. As he entered the tangible presence of Christ he broke
down in tears. He was also a drug user although he had recently stopped using and so was entirely lucid at that time. As a result of his
problems his estranged wife had recently refused him access to his children. Grief stricken he was on his way to kill himself when he
bumped into us. We were able to pray with Jason that day and he gave his life to Jesus there and then. One of our number went with him to
a local church that Sunday evening but since that time we've lost contact with him. My prayer is that He's found a new life with Jesus and a
place in a local Hull church

Jay, Ebrahim, Hammid and the gang – We often worshiped God with these Kurdish refugees. They like to play along on tambourines
and the other percussion instruments that we have. We let them play and sing one of their songs but didn't understand a word they sung
and so had to have it translated for. Yes it was a song about a beautiful girl and their Kurdish homeland. We were able to pray with them on
many occasions. Ebrahim missed his family back in Iraq. Life here was empty for him here, he didn't feel at all wanted in Hull. As Muslims
they are very open to the gospel of Christ and that surprised me. Jay was the ring leader of the gang and then one day he and many of the
gang just weren't there anymore. I asked Ebrahim why this was. Jay had gone to Manchester he said. It turns out that many of the refugees
wander from city to city, probably because they don't feel welcome anywhere. I'd like them to feel welcome in our churches, perhaps then
they would stay around a little longer. I realise that this would put a strain on local churches, language barriers, faith barriers, etc. But I
don't think it would be a problem for God. From what I know of the Lord, He can make a way where there seems no way.

Kylie and Anna – Were two 15 year old girls who loved just to stop and listen to us back in the late summer of 2006. I thought of
them with their whole lives ahead of them in our city, in our nation, so divorced from God. I thought of Jesus when he said “O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen
gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37. They said that they like to hear us and that we'd changed
the whole atmosphere in the park since we'd been there. That encouraged me because I didn't know that ordinary people could feel that.
They came for several weeks including the last week we were there that year. The last week in Autumn before cold and darkness drew our
season to a close. We invited them back to our end of season party but then I hesitated thinking, “am I safe taking kids I don't know into my
house”. I never was any good with teenagers. My prayer is that there's a local church relevant to these youngsters. Somewhere for them to
go and be a part of.

*names have been changed in some cases.

There are many other stories and many other people whose lives we impacted. People we prayed with, talked with, sung with. Many of their
names I can't remember anymore. In 2006 when we started it seemed easy. I think we must have caught the devil off guard. In 2007 it
seemed a lot harder, certainly the weather was a lot worse with the worst floods in living memory.

Where next in 2010?

Summer is here and the weather today is warm. As ever however the problem is the local churches. Not possible to find a pastor willing to
work with me. Very frustrating. I prayed all winter in Withernsea with a view to doing praise in Valley Gardens. I heard Jesus says that I just
don't have the resources. "But you have the resources Lord". I need workers, churches who can pray for us and care for those who we meet.
I'm praying to the Lord of the harvest with increasing desperation!

Click here tips on worship in open places
 
 
For more information contact Tim Jarvis.

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