...I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink...The King will reply “I tell you the truth whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”.Matthew 25
Elaine: Community Mission & Outreach Intern She leads Bridge Cafe; is part of the Alpha leadership team; and pastoral support through community events.
Why are you involved in the Bridge Cafe? I first got involved during Community Week a few years ago and just loved the atmosphere, the chances to share my faith, the amazing opportunities to pray with people and to generally serve and bless others. Also as a Geography graduate I just love being outside, being out and about! I love meeting new people too.
What has been the highlight? During Community week we ran Bridge Cafe for 3 consecutive days and I had the real privilege to chat and pray with a lady, who had a dying relative in the hospital. She then brought another relative along to the Cafe and I prayed with them too each day. God really worked some miracles that week and in that situation, bringing an amazing sense of peace and knowledge of Him. For many people with sick relatives in the hospital, Bridge Cafe has provided a safe and ‘warm’ place for them to take a breather and share their burdens if they want to.
"...we know that Jesus is with us when we step out in faith... The Holy Spirit guides and leads us and we do it all in the strength that Jesus gives us."
Where have you seen God at work? Something that amazes me about Bridge Cafe is the amount of fruit we are seeing produced in so many different ways from quite a simple initiative. We are seeing people come along to events like Gospel Unplugged, the Alpha Course and in time coming to faith and having that sense of belonging to the Church. Practically, socially and spiritually God has been using us.
"...it’s our job to ask for the Holy Spirit to give us the words to speak Life into people’s lives."
What does ‘sharing life, loving Leeds’ mean to you? Sharing Life, Loving Leeds I feel is really strongly portrayed in what we do on the Bridge. One of the beautiful things about where we set up the cafe, is the vast range of people we see coming along - hospital patients/visitors, residents, business people, students, the homeless and more. Conversational Sharing of how people’s days are going, what they’re up to, naturally takes place and an important part of our role on team is to listen. Often people open up and want to share things with us and it’s our job to ask for the Holy Spirit to give us the words to say to speak Life into people’s lives, to point them to the One who loves and cares for them. We try to share the Love of Jesus with those people we meet in the city centre community of Leeds, whether it’s through blessing them with a free hot drink, through lending a loving ear, speaking the truth and love of the gospel to others, inviting them to an event or praying alongside people.
"...we should all should ‘go’ and be ready to share the good news."
Is community mission for everyone? Jesus at the end of Mark’s gospel says, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation’ (Mark 16:15). I believe we should all should ‘go’ and be ready to share the good news with those who wouldn’t necessarily come to church. It’s amazing how just by being individuals and part of the local community; we can do that in often a more informal, conversational way. Being part of the Church, the bride of Christ, we also have that authority and commission to share the good news and we know that Jesus is with us when we step out in faith. To those who aren’t sure, I’d say just give it a go! The Holy Spirit guides and leads us and we do it all in the strength that Jesus gives us, not our own. Even by serving someone a free drink, there is a spiritual fulfilment there related to Matthew 25 ‘... I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink...The King will reply “I tell you the truth whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”.’
Find more info on Local Mission at St George's here.