On Saturday I ran my first training session on Treasure Hunting along with some time out on the street putting what had been learnt into practice. I had seven people come who had never done any Treasure Hunting before but were very excited, and nervous, to give it a go and see what God would do through them! I spoke for a while and then we separated into smaller groups and began to get our clues. It was so amazing to see God speaking to everybody really clearly, one group of three all got the clue Rainbow which I thought was fantastic and real confirmation to them that they were hearing from God, and the other group of three all got clues about Army/Soldiers, so they knew what they were looking out for and my fellow Hunter for the morning and I both had the clue John so we set out!
We came back after an hour and the stories of treasure they had found were amazing and really thrilled my heart to listen to. Here are a selection of them :-
One group had the clues Army/Soldiers so they headed to the Army Surplus Store which was nearby and as they came to the shop they saw a man walking towards them with an Australian Hat on (not the one with corks, but a leather bush style hat - if you know what I mean!), they stopped them to have a chat and they offered to pray for the man but he asked if they could pray for his wife instead, who was with him. They didnt want to say what was wrong but just that she was ill, so they prayed and the lady began to cry. The man said that they used to go to church in South Africa (they were here on holiday) and after this encounter they were going to go back to church as soon as they returned home. It is so amazing that they have travelled half way across the world and they had a God encounter on the street of Exeter, when they were least expecting it.
Another Treasure which was found was a lady who was wearing black boots, a beige bag with brown trim, and had a blue back pack on, she was walking past the Army Surplus Store as the team were returning to the office after thinking they had finished their Treasure Hunt. She was really steaming up the hill, so they had to run to catch her up, when they finally caught up with her and they began to show her the clues and how they applied to her, she was completely blown away! She was so excited because she is attending an Alpha Course at a local church and she just knew that the whole thing was God. The team had words from God for her and she couldn't believe it and couldn't wait to go to Alpha to tell her group about what had happened. What a confirmation for her - I would love to know what happens to this Treasure, maybe we will.
We had the clue head to toe in cream, we really didn't know how this was going to look, until we saw it! Coming towards us as we walked towards the High Street was a little old lady in a cream rain coat that came down to her toes! She was definately head to toe in cream, so we stopped her and another clue was crooked and this lady was bent over. We chatted to her for a while and she told us she was a Christian and that she went to a local church, and we offered to pray for her neck, she said yes. I would love to say that she straightened right up, but she didn't at that instance, but she said that it had been a privilege to have met us and who knows what happened as she walked away. We thought we were done with the head to toe in cream, but God hadn't finished with that clue. We headed to the back of M&S, and there was another little old lady walking towards us all dressed in cream to some description. She was also carrying a black leather bag, so we approached her and she was lovely! We chatted for a while and we asked her if any of the clues meant anything to her and she said she had a problem with her eyes. She told us that the Doctors didn't know what it was, but the retina in one of her eyes had dropped so they had filled her eye with oil and now everything was blurry. So we offered to pray and she happily accepted. We sat on the wall and we prayed for her and as I watched her, eyes began to water for no reason. We asked her if there was any change and she said she didn't think that there was, but she didn't know why her eyes were watering, I offered to pray again but she said no. She was another Christian lady and we were able to share some words from God for her.
The team with Rainbow found their treasure, but she didn't want to talk, she was outside McDonalds and had a Rainbow jumper on. She was definitely Treasure and it is disappointing when you know you have found the person God wants you to talk to, and they don't want to talk to you. But we have no idea what she may have got from the encounter or if she may be treasure again. All we can do is get clues and go and find the people and see what happens from there. I still think it was great that all three of them had Rainbow as their clue.
There were lots of other stories but maybe that is enough for now :-)
I am going to be running another training/practical Treasure Hunt on the 13th November and then regularly each month from then onwards, on the second Saturday of the month. Come and join us - never before has street evangelism been so much fun and so rewarding!