Street Pastor - we have one person in our membership who has just Graduated as a Street Pastor. Please ask if you feel called to this important mission work
STREET PASTORS GRADUATION CEREMONY
22nd November, St Mark's Church, Kennington Oval
Well it is completed. I graduated as Street Pastor on 22nd November although I have been going out on duty for a while.
I looked forward with so much hope, great joy, and excitement. It was a special feeling hard to explain, I felt very closely surrounded by God's Love and Peace knitted together by the Holy Spirit, my heart was filled with joy all the time as I waited for my big day. I felt like' a bride to be'.
The night before I went on duty till the early hours of the morning, but despite just few hours sleep I woke up fresh and ready for my big day! That is how much I looked forward to my graduation and how close to my heart the Street Pastor Ministry is to me. The night was very fruitful, filled with cases up our way, bringing joy laughter and help, sharing God's love with them. What a way to start that journey to my big day.
I started out that afternoon from Southgate Tube Station surrounded by my family and friends from Christ Church and Southgate, chatting and laughing on our way to St Mark's Church. I felt extremely special that God has blessed me with family and friends (my support team!) on my special day.
The weather was a bit kind to us wet but cool, the rain in our culture is a blessing so it was a good start for this very joyful day.
As I walked into church, it was filled with excitement and joy as colleagues chatted with one another, meeting may be for the first time since the end of their training. It was wonderful to meet up with my brothers and sisters I had trained with and had not seen for over ten months, a very joyful reunion since we enjoyed a wonderful friendship and fellowship. We hugged and laughed, as we waited for the graduation ceremony to start.
The whole atmosphere was filled with the Holy Spirit! And it felt good.
Those graduating were seated in groups with their colleagues from the same boroughs in alphabetical order. The service started with a lovely song led by a talented young man and his guitar, we then all joined in singing with hearts filled with joy, making it an emotionally charged service!
The Met. Chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, gave the Keynote speech, and congratulated each graduate with a thank you hand shake. During his speech, he expressed his gratitude to all Street Pastors, and the work they do in the community, working for the same cause in the society as the police although using different methods, and he thanked them for the risks they take at night!
Two other members of Ascension Trust, the main body of the Street Pastor Ministry, one of them, Les Isaac the founder of Street Pastor Ministry, both spoke very passionately about the Ministry and thanked them all for their work and the efforts and dedication of the Trust.
After the speeches came the moments that we had been waiting for. As the name of each candidate was called out, the church was filled with shouts of joy and clapping from their supporters. My family and friends had sat right at the front, as my name was called out there was uproar of cheers and clapping from my family and friends my colleagues I trained with, it was very emotional for me! As I walked to the front I was filled with joy, my certificate in one hand, and hand shake of thank you from Sir Bernard, watched by my team I felt very special indeed. I could see them all excited and very happy for me taking photos, etc.
It was a wonderful day for me. There were about 150 graduating Street Pastors, which was very encouraging indeed. All what was said about Street Pastors was very touching, and that added to the joy of the day. One of the speakers said that others might not appreciate the work of Street Pastors but God does, that is a powerful statement. Jesus commanded His disciples, 'as my Father sent me, I now send you.' We are ambassadors of Christ and it is a blessing to be able to serve Him. Generally, it was a wonderful occasion filled with joy.
After the ceremony, I went over to my family and friends, I could not hold back my emotions, I wept with joy as I hugged each one of them, my heart was filled with so much happiness! To end this special day, grace was said by Les the founder of Street Pastor Ministry then we enjoyed the lovely food kindly offered by the church. I then said an emotional goodbye to my colleagues, and then we made our way home chatting about the wonderful day we had and thanking the Lord that all went well and according to His will.
Once again, thank you all for your support. God Bless you.
Yours in Christ, Pennie Bongomin