Guest post by Jason Bushell of IJM following their Stand4Freedom in Cardiff earlier this month: Hundreds engaged; lives we hope have been IMPACTED.
Setting up at 8am Friday morning, we stood through the gorgeous sun-filled day we had prayed for until Saturday morning, ripped open with a lightning storm, a majestic display of power from on High.
With a prime location alongside St John’s Church, there was no let-up in people-flow, from 9.30am till 4.30am as the nightclubs let out their last clients. Our message grew stronger as the night wore on as people were somewhat taken aback at our persistence. And yet we all knew that a ONE-day sacrifice on our part was the absolute minimum we could offer for the millions for whom the sleepless, dark nightmare never ends. We stood for them and in obedience to our Father whose heart breaks for them.
We feel so privileged to have worked with this group of students – mainly girls - from Cardiff University who have a huge heart for God and for people, to see how they all approached everybody with a happy face asking for donations and with so much passion and wisdom, how they shared why they were there and what donation was for. We gave so many hugs and kisses to strangers and we met an amazing gentleman who felt compassion for us and bought us all KFC in the wee hours!
My wife was amazing as she constantly watched over the girls, not resting once during the entire ‘marathon’! I know I certainly began to feel my age as the hours wore on but what a joy! As my wife commented later, “The whole experience for me has been a huge blessing to see that even when the people during the night were really drunk, they had an amazing heart for the issue with human-trafficking and slavery and they were very kind to give so much.”
We all continued to draw our strength for the One who sent us, the ever-faithful One, the Name above all names!
We are so thankful to friends who came to support us: to Ben Ricketts for his beautiful guitar-playing, Gavin Davies from Woodville Baptist for his passion for the cause, Hannah Preece-Davies for her visit along with other street pastors, Marie-Alice Umuhoza from Highfields for her stoic support, our friend Sara Gomez Estrella for her love and drinks and to faithful IJM volunteer, Robin Davies who did two massive stints with us. We also thank all those who sustained us in prayer – we really felt the effects!
And so… we stayed through the magnificent storm, all of us all squeezed together under the gazebo, trying to keep warm and dry praying, singing ‘Oceans’ and sharing experiences, really precious moments…
We left our spot in a deserted Cardiff street at 7:30am, a bit disappointed because we didn't complete the 24 hours and extremely tired but at the same time JOY-FILLED for what we had done.
Our prayer is that God will grow the seeds He sowed in, and through us.
“So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” 1 Corinthians 3:7