During our litter picking adventures, from time to time we come across homeless people in need of help and support, and we do our best to provide them with what information we have available.
We have now collated as much information as we could gather, covering what is available in Bexhill and the surrounding area, and have put together a laminated double-sided card, the content of which can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the image to the right.
Over the past few years we have been, and still are, on a learning curve. We have encouraged each other, shared our stories which teach us a lot, and put into practice what we have learnt and what we believe God has told us to do. Week by week we are growing stronger, bolder, I hope wiser, and more dependent on listening to Jesus as we go out and make His name known to the people we meet, whether it is simply by wearing shirts, fleeces, caps or badges with our logo on them, or having good meaningful conversations.
The following stories share how we have grown as individuals, learning from each other and growing in our faith. There are also stories of how people, have contacted us in their time of need, have been prayed for and even healed. People recognise us and they know what we are doing and the good reputation we have, and sometimes ask us to stop for a moment and sit with them as they share their need.
We hope that the following stories inspire and encourage you to "have a go" at reaching out and stretching your faith; it's not scary, but it is just life-changing!!!
When I first joined the team, I felt awkward and conspicuous wearing the brightly-coloured tabard with Jesus Loves Bexhill blazoned across the front and back, but I gradually gained confidence and have had many opportunities to share the good news about Jesus.
I have been litter-picking for over three years; I go out with others regularly on Saturday mornings and sometimes on my own. Over these years I have come to meet many people, some of whom have become good friends.
Last week I went out for a half-hour walk with my gear and logo. I normally walk towards the town but, on a strong prompting, I turned around to walk the other way. Within a few minutes, I met a man, whom I recognised as a friend from an earlier Jesus Loves Bexhill outing. He stopped me and asked if we could sit and talk for a few minutes. For the next half an hour, he unburdened his heart about his life and I was able to talk about eternal life and tell him about the love of Jesus. Another seed sown and just one example of many such encounters!
Litter-picking, with the 'Jesus Loves Bexhill' logo, has helped me to start so many good conversations and hopefully I have encouraged some lonely people. I don’t need to go looking for contacts as I believe that I will be Spirit-led as I was with this man.
Exciting? ….It certainly is!
When I joined the Jesus Loves Bexhill prayer team it was because I really wanted to support this great work in some way.
I must confess that when we first got our Jesus Loves Bexhill logo-embroidered t-shirts I was a bit hesitant in wearing mine as I just did not know what the reaction would be when people saw it. Gradually as the weeks went by I realised that it was quite fun; people would see the logo and smile as they walked past, and one lady came up to me whilst I was drinking a cup of coffee in the Colonnade and whispered in my ear that "Jesus loves me too", which resulted in a good time of fellowship with her and her husband.
Confidence grew, and so when Mike, who also had a Jesus Loves Bexhill shirt, asked me if I would like to go litter-picking along Bexhill promenade, I readily agreed, and we have had many encouraging conversations as a result. We now have hi vis lime green tabards emblazened with a huge logo on the back; people can see us coming from a long way off and we have become quite popular and respected around Bexhill. Many people stop us to thank us for what we are doing and if we have the opportunity we will talk to them about Jesus and give them one of our three different testimony leaflets which tell the stories of what Jesus means to 15 Bexhillians.
More stories will appear here very soon.