I love seeing people's faces when they come away from an amazing God encounter on the streets. Recently 3 of us from King's Arms made our way to Chelmsford to train about 15 people in the 'art' of treasure hunting. As always God was incredibly faithful. It seems that He has people He wants to minister to no matter what town you're in :o)
The team I was with spoke to a few people who weren't really interested in stopping, but then we spotted a lady cleaning the windows of a gambling shop who was wearing a red coat. It turned out that she was the treasure!
The lady in question was originally from Italy but she now lives in London. As we went through the clues on our maps she had quite a few matches. She had a good friend called Michael who was struggling to find work (she asked us to pray for him before we even talked about wanting to pray for stuff! Always a good sign!) She had weak wrists because of the window cleaning she was doing and her dad had died of stomach cancer. As we told her that she was God's treasure and that He had picked her out to bless and encourage, she got quite emotional. She was completely blown away.
After about ten minutes of chatting to her and praying for Michael and healing for her wrists one of her colleagues came out of the shop. My initial thought was that he was going to come and tell her off for not working; instead he came and joined in our conversation. It wasn't long before he told us that he was a Jehovah's Witness and started using scripture to suggest that what we were doing was wrong. I chose not to get into a debate but just kept talking to him about the relationship I have with Jesus and the breakthroughs I've seen in my own life and as I've prayed for others.
Maybe the most impacting thing about the whole encounter was the lady's comment to her colleague. She told him that when he speaks to her about God she often feels like he's teaching her and it feels quite pressured. She then went on to say that as we'd been speaking to her it had felt a whole lot more natural and that we'd made her feel very valued and loved. I took huge encouragement from that. Treasure hunting is all about communicating and demonstrating God's heart to those He leads us to. If we can leave those we meet on the streets with an awareness of God's passionate love and care for them then we can't go far wrong. Love is what sent Jesus to the cross and it should be love that compels us to reach out to those around us.
(As an aside - I've just ordered Heidi Baker's book 'Compelled by Love'. It has been recommended to me by some very close and trusted friends. My prayer is that it will completely ruin me for anything else than to simply love those around me. I'll let you know how God speaks when I'm done!)