Finding Beauty On the Streets of Ibiza
Ibiza is a place where God is moving powerfully.
There is never a doubt that God will show up in a situation. We have seen His miracles time and time again in our work – whether that be miraculously finding someone’s hotel, watching a person instantly sober up, or getting the chance to pray for someone in the middle of chaos.
The main aspect of our summer work in 24-7 Ibiza is night-time street assistance for clubbers in the West End of San Antonio. Every night and every hour is different. When you start, there is always an anticipation, an excitement for what God has in store for each of our teams that night, the people that we’ll meet and the situations we’ll help with.
We hit the streets in pairs from midnight to 5am, alternating every hour between the prayer room and the streets. This rhythm of an hour in the prayer room and an hour out is our way of breathing God in, allowing Him to refill and refresh us before breathing Him back out again on the streets.
Our objective is two-fold:
1. To simply pray and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit
2. Showing kindness in whatever way that is needed by those we meet on the street.
Showing kindness in Ibiza can look like sitting on a cold pavement for an hour at 5am trying to sober someone up to find out their hotel name. Kindness can look like calling an ambulance to get them the medical attention that they need. Kindness can look like holding the head of a person who is having a bad reaction to drugs they have taken, to help prevent further injury before the ambulance arrives. Kindness takes many forms. But it is kindness we are there to freely give. It is in such a place, where drugs are normal and it’s ‘all you can drink for an hour for $10 a head’ that kindness is necessary. We show kindness and love to everyone we meet – because He loved us first.
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
One night last summer my partner and I saw a guy sat outside a chippy, so we headed over to chat with him. As soon as we sat down and said we were Christians, “James” asked if we could pray for him about University. Immediately after we’d prayed he exclaimed that he was an atheist. I love that his first response to us was to ask for prayer and then to remind himself that he didn’t believe any of it! After chatting for a long time, it turned out James wasn’t really an atheist, he just was a bit lost and confused about God.
It is moments like these, shining a bit of Jesus’ light into people’s hearts, that make losing sleep, cleaning a person up after they’ve been sick or desperately trying to get someone who’s had too much into one of our wheelchairs all worth it.
The 24-7 Ibiza Team always remind us in every orientation that our time in Ibiza will test our patience, our ability to keep on loving, our levels of grace and some weeks more than others, our energy – mentally and physically. And that’s so true! But no week is the same, and neither is any day! Which is why I love the work out there. You can have a rubbish hour on the streets and then suddenly have an incredible conversation about who Jesus really is and be able to bring truth into someone’s life. Or you get the opportunity to stand and pray with someone in the middle of the West End, and in that you get to teach that person how to pray, to be a part of their secret history and journey with God, and it’s beautiful..
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love… For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103: 8-12
Kathryn Ritchie is a final year student in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She has lived in Edinburgh for three and a half years and is part of Central Church. An interesting part of her degree is that her final year dissertation is on the Harry Potter series and its relationship to Christianity. Kathryn has been out to Ibiza over the past 3 summers which has included 2 short-term mission teams and 2 long-term mission teams.
If you would like to join Kathryn this summer in “shining a bit of Jesus’ light into people’s hearts” then Tamsyn Radmall, student leader at Central Church, would love to hear from you as she is putting together a “Scottish” Summer Mission Team for Ibiza. You can contact her at email@example.com.
And to learn more about what 24-7 Ibiza do check out www.24-7prayer.com/247ibiza