Bringing hope to London’s homeless for a while and I tell them I’m needed in the kitchen. You’re married to a London City Missionary; how do your separate ministries support the overall vision of the Mission? Roger worked at Webber Street several years ago, so he knows the ropes and how this ministry can affect the staff from day to day. Now Roger is involved in a different kind of ministry based at Whitefoot Christian Centre in Downham, but we’re each bringing the love of God to people wherever they are. Whether people are homeless or living in houses, at the end of the day they all need God.
BEHIND THE SCENES LENA PAGE’S MINISTRY at Webber Street is carried out quietly and unobtrusively away from the hub of the main floor where the men and women come each day for a hot breakfast and companionship. We asked Lena more about her role.… Lena, how long have you been working at Webber Street? I’ve been working here 16 years now. My husband Roger was working at Webber Street at the time and he told me that volunteers were needed to do the washing up. Our daughter was at secondary school and didn’t need me at home as much, so I was pleased to help, What is your role at Webber Street? Mainly washing up, and getting all the utensils used for the breakfast ready for the following day – baking trays, plates, cutlery, etc. Raquel, our cook, gets to Webber Street really early in the morning and I don’t want her to be concerned about washing up, just concentrate on cooking. I also take care of food temperatures, and do other paperwork.
to be appreciated too. It’s knowing that the way I treat the guests is how I would want to be treated myself. Helping Raquel in the kitchen will bring some form of joy and stability to their life. The food is sent down from the kitchen at a certain time – I’m helping to make that happen. Although I’m not working on the Centre floor, I make a point of greeting the guests when I see them. Some will comment that they haven’t seen me
How can we pray for you?
he philosophy at Webber Street why the NHS operate a clinic twice is that we do not seek to work a week at Webber Street to provide alone with our guests; that is true for front-line medical services for our us as a team but it is also true for us guests. Other guests have issues as a Centre. We realise that there are with their mental health; sadly it is people out there with the skills and a well-known fact that homeless resources to help our guests in ways people are at greater risk of this than that we are not able to. It is for this amongst the general population. It reason that we partner with homeless is good therefore that we work with outreach teams, medical the homeless mental health services and rehab centres. We realise that team on a regular basis. One example you will read about in this newsletter was of a young man who was pretty mixed up and who had significant problems with alcohol but who we were able to refer to a Christian rehab; with God’s help he was able to turn his life around and is in a much better place than before.
“But now I will come, says the Lord, because the needy are oppressed and the persecuted groan in pain. I will give them the security they long for.” Psalm 12
How Webber Street links up with external organisations
there are people out there with the skills and resources to help our guests
My heart attitude has to be right because sometimes I can think, “I’m only washing up.” But on those days when I don’t feel any particular joy I need to realise that it’s God I’m serving – and people – and that’s the reason I need to keep my heart focused on God and ask him for the strength to do this work – mentally, physically and spiritually.
What gives you the most satisfaction about your role at Webber Street? Trying to do my best for the people who will be on the receiving end (the guests), because I know I would want
Anything more you would like to say? God also works behind the scenes in our lives – for example, when we’re praying for someone and we don’t always see an answer to prayer, he is working in that person’s life even though it might not be evident to us. When I’m washing up at Webber Street there’s that great big sink but only a very small plug – but without that plug I wouldn’t be able to fill the sink with water and so wash the dishes. The two things work together. However insignificant we may feel our part is, the ‘small plug’ still has its part to play. We need to recognise that we are all part of God’s plan, each one of us a unique design, with God as the Master Planner, pouring out his love on us, for his glory.
The average life expectancy of a homeless person is about 47 as opposed to 77 for the general population; that is one of the reasons
Webber Street does not provide accommodation for our guests and we are unable to refer people into either a night shelter or a hostel. The answer to this problem is to work with homeless outreach teams who will meet people on the streets and seek to move the process forward. Other guests don’t just need a roof over their head, they need a whole new location and we are able to help them with this by linking them up with those who will help them return home – often outside of the UK.
One of the reasons that I think it is good to partner with other organisations is not just to provide a better service for our guests but that those we partner with can see what we do at Webber Street in the name of Christ; it provides us with an opportunity to be salt and light to those not yet in the Kingdom. David Clover Team Leader, Webber Street
Webber Street is a ministry of London City Mission Tel: 020 7407 7585 | Email: email@example.com | 175 Tower Bridge Road, LONDON SE1 2AH | www.lcm.org.uk | Reg Charity No 247186
TO DONATE £5, TEXT WEBB44 £5 TO 70070
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Jean-Louis Kassis (right) catching up with Pawel
Snapshots of our Bible study
e l c a ir M g in iv L A Pawel’s life was going downhill fast. That was until he came to Webber Street, where God began to transform his life from violent alcoholic to passionate witness for Christ.
Each Wednesday lunchtime we hold an interactive Bible Study for Webber Street guests who are interested in the Bible. The number of attendees can vary week to week between two and ten. The guests have different backgrounds: Romanian Orthodox, several from Roman Catholic backgrounds and some with no faith background but who are interested in what we believe. We are having a blessed time in Bible study and three members have attended a Discipleship Course at All Souls Church in central London. Trevor Kyle leads the Bible study, assisted by a volunteer, Mark Hindle. In this edition we share some of the Facebook entries.
‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone that believes.’ We continue to study Romans 1 in the Bible study and there was much talk about this gospel that brings salvation.
This week’s Bible study was around Luke 23 and the crucifixion of Jesus. Great time of discussion was had about the criminals either side of Jesus. One hurled insults, the other was repentant and received salvation. Even the vilest of sinners can know God’s forgiveness by the grace of God. There is hope for the hopeless who come to Jesus at the cross.
This week we had 6 guests for Bible study – 5 regulars and one stranger who happened to come into Webber Street out of the cold. We looked at Luke 24:13-35 where Jesus meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus. In verse 31 their eyes were opened and they recognised him. Pray that our guests’ eyes would be opened to recognise Jesus in the Bible study.
Pray for a guest who comes each week sober to the Bible study, despite his addiction to alcohol over many years. Pray that the power of the gospel will set him free and that sin shall not be his master but Jesus will become his Lord.
A good time was had around the Word this week looking at Romans 5:1-11. We discussed who we would be prepared to die for, if it came to it. We all agreed it would be a precious few that are dear to us. ‘You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly’.
We continued with 10 guests to look at Romans 1:18-32 concerning the wrath of God against sinful humanity. ‘Nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanders nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the spirit of our God’ (1 Corinthians 6:10-11). God’s grace – the undeserved favour of God to those who deserve the opposite.
We had a special time at Bible Study this week as we looked at Romans 9:14-33. Though the number of guests was small, God drew the right people to hear the message. We discussed v 15: ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’
Check out the regular updates on the Bible study on our Facebook page:
day and time that I would choose to How did you first find out about you have nowhere to sleep and go to the rehabilitation centre; it was Webber Street? nowhere to have a shower. And then all because of his perfect timing. When I was living on the street I used when you’re with people who drink, to spend time around Waterloo. I was it’s not easy. What is your life like now? with other people and we found out My life has completely changed. I How did the staff at Webber Street about the day centre, that we could received the help I needed at Webber help you? go there and use the showers and Street and then I went to the Victory There are a lot of day centres in get something to eat. We used to Outreach rehabilitation centre. I went London but they only give you food use other day centres when we were and drink, nothing else. But when you there, received Jesus, got baptised, in other areas but when we were go to Webber Street you feel and started going to church. I’m in Waterloo, we went to Webber Street love. It’s different. They don’t engaged now to a beautiful woman of Webber Street. is different; it just give you food, a shower, God and now I have a job. What was your lifestyle clothes, they also give Before I got my job I was teaching the has God in it. or like then? you help with paperwork, Word of God, speaking with people on I was living on the street and my life finding a job and sending emails. They the street, evangelising. I try to give was going downhill. I was a heavy show an open door to everyone, no the same opportunity to everyone alcoholic without hope, I was lost and matter what you’re going through. that I had because it’s for everyone; I just felt heavy. It was really hard to Even when I was violent and I was a God loves everyone. Jesus has think straight about anything. I used troublemaker, they still opened the changed my life. I’m a living testimony. to sleep rough and when you sleep door to me. Jesus makes you the person rough you never know if you’re going If he can do you’re supposed to be. The staff were like friends to to wake up the next day. It can be me. They always wanted the it for me, he The staff at Webber Street dangerous. Some people think you’re best for me and they always can do it knew what I was like and lazy and are trying to take money asked if I wanted to meet from them. They can cause trouble. for anyone. they see me now and I’m them and when I met with completely different. You can’t But living on the street isn’t for people them it was better because it meant say that it’s not a miracle. who don’t want to work. It can happen that I didn’t drink. They took my A final comment? really quickly when people lose their mind off that kind of thing and they Webber Street is different; it has God jobs or their house or something. It’s brought me to a different life. in it. I would definitely encourage not like I wanted to be on the street. people to go there and be open and They offered me different try and take the opportunity. And I What did you see as your greatest need? rehabilitation centres but it took me a At that time I just wanted to be a long while to say yes and decide to go. would definitely encourage them to receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour normal man, just like everyone else. I The staff prayed for me and God was wanted a job and somewhere to live; at work to open my heart, then I didn’t in their broken life. You have nothing the normal things. The longer you’re want to reject Jesus anymore. He kept to lose if you’re in a situation that was like mine. If he can do it for me, he can on the street, the harder it is to get knocking on the door and one day back. It’s harder to get work because God opened my heart. He decided the do it for anyone.