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Okehampton Street Pastors - February 18 
Does Okehampton really need street pastors? The police certainly thought so and had been asking Christians Together Okehampton to consider this for some years. It's fair to say that many of us who get up each Sunday morning to attend church probably have no idea what happens in town late on a Saturday night when most of us are tucked up in our beds, so one night, a group of us went out to see for ourselves ?? and it was a bit of an eye opener! Whilst obviously not in quite the same league as larger city centres, Okehampton can get pretty lively on Saturday evenings. Most people are just out to have a good time, but inevitably as the night wears on and the alcohol consumption increases, with possibly some drug use too, things can get out of hand. Street pastors are there to help people who may find their night out isn't turning out quite as enjoyable as they'd hoped. We are non-judgemental and will help anyone who needs and would like our assistance. We carry flip flops for the girls who are finding their high heeled shoes are no longer quite so comfortable, a first aid kit, bottles of water for those who are feeling dehydrated, lollipops to help with low sugar levels which can occur as a result of drinking too much alcohol (the lollies are so popular we don't take them until after midnight or we'd have none left for those who really need them!) and we have radios enabling us to keep in contact with our prayer pastors throughout the night. Prayer pastors are vital members of the team and we are required to have at least two on duty each time we go out. It's estimated by street pastor teams that God's average response time to prayer during a street pastor patrol is about 1 to 2 minutes ? something the police have recognised and admit they themselves can only dream about (though they do concede that God being omnipotent and omnipresent does give Him an advantage!) On the 18th February 2017, the Okehampton Street Pastor team were commissioned at a service held at Fairplace Church in Okehampton, following which we went out on our first patrol. Feeling a bit like Christians being fed to the lions, we were amazed at the welcome we received. People came and shook our hands, some even gave us a hug, lots of them thanked us for being there and hoped we'd be there every Saturday. We got called ?Street Fairies?, ?Street Angels? and our favourite ?Street Pasties?. Apparently it was a ?quiet night? but we spoke to around 60 people, gave out several lollipops and some flip flops and didn't return to base until after 3 am! Currently, an Okehampton street pastor team is on duty fortnightly, but we would love to have enough teams to be able to go out every Saturday evening. If this article has inspired you to join us, you can speak to your church leader who can put you in touch with us. You can also check out our website streetpastors.org/locations/okehampton or email us okehampton@streetpastors.org.uk. Most of all we would love you to stand with us in prayer as we seek to serve our community by being Jesus' ?hands and feet on the street?.
Location EX20 1DT