Don't Let The God Squad In by Nicole Brindle

Our fourth installment in our selection of memorable blog posts from 2013 came from Nicole Brindle in Vancouver…

A few years ago there was a group of us who were working very closely with one of our friends from the DTES [downtown east side, Vancouver].  She comes with a brutal story.  Tales of being raped, beaten, sold and left alone to deal with the overflow of abuse, leaving her addicted and infected.  Five years ago, or so, (but now that I’m thinking of it, it was probably closer to eight) we had a worship and prayer gathering and upon hearing the sweet sound pouring onto the streets she was drawn in.  She testifies that she had no idea why she walked in that night (Holy Spirit).  She is naturally a shy and timid woman and positioning herself in a room full of strangers who were doing very strange things would be reason number 3783 why she would never, on her own, step foot into that building.  

But she did.  

And it changed her life.  

When she went in, she met one of our community members.  She was greeted and became known.  She was accepted.  That welcoming and acceptance were the deal breakers that kept her coming.  For the next 4-5 years after this initial greeting we saw our friend daily struggle with her addiction.  Her health was declining and she really was near death.  We approached her time and time again, asking if she wanted to detox and get clean, that we’d be there for her 24-7.  After months (maybe longer) of offering her a real shot at getting clean, she came in on a rainy cold night, close to midnight, threw up her arms and said “I’m here”.  That night was her first night detoxing and she detoxed rather well I must say.  For the next month we had people with her 24 hours a day.  There to pray with her in the middle of the night should she wake up from a night terror and there to walk with her from our house, to the store, to the bank, and to the next place, so she was never alone and never had to walk by an alley that was all too familiar.  After celebrating her 30 days clean she moved out of the place she was detoxing and into a woman’s refuge home we used to run.  All that freedom, and change was too much and a week later found herself back out using.  So we gave up on her, and went about our own way.
Of course we didn’t do that. We just went after her, in love, again .
We really organically formed a search and rescue like mission, patrolling the streets and her familiar spots until we found her.  It didn’t take us long.  She went back to a familiar place, her former place of residence.  It was a harm reduction woman’s building which because I will not name it, I can tell you it is as close to evil as I have ever seen.  The term ‘harm reduction’ really blinds donors and the public, for it doesn’t reduce harm as much as it enables and prolongs it. So in this building some really dodgy stuff goes on: the staff are mandated to supply drug paraphernalia to residents, they have been known to traffik drugs into the building and staff have been known to even use drugs with the ladies.  The philosophy of the building is supposed to be rooted in woman empowerment but it’s really twisted and their definition of woman empowerment means not letting the police in but instead letting in pimps and john’s, ya know – “to not withhold ‘meaningful’ employment”.  So, if a girl is being raped and the police respond – they will likely let the rapist stay and tell the cops to leave.  That’s extreme, sure, but it’s happened.
So our friend had gone back to this evil place and we went to find her.  They wouldn’t let us in.  They wouldn’t even let us leave her a message.  So we camped out.  We went in shifts and sat across the street on the curb just waiting.  Hoping she would leave at some point and that we could intercept her.  This was so tough, knowing that she was inside, using and trapped, and we had no idea if she had any idea we were looking for her or any idea that we were outside, waiting. After a few days, one of our prayer warriors was patiently sitting on the curb hoping our friend would come out.  She didn’t.  But her nurses, who we had a great relationship with, came by to check on her, and when they saw our people on the curb brought them up with her and boldly told the front desk staff that she was our friend’s caregiver and that for our friends medical safety she had to be let in.  So one of our people now had access into the building at anytime.  She took full advantage of that and every day, sometimes multiple times a day, went in to pray with her, bring her food, and to let her know she could leave anytime.  After about a week of this – our friend called me, she said she was ready to come “home”.  She was picked up right away, brought home, and begun a deep journey of healing… … and recovery.  In her journey she has had incredible dreams.  She has a prophetic spirit and can hear God speak.  She has a prophetic voice and can speak to us in power.  She prays hard and loves harder.  She is a warrior.  She is the devil’s enemy.   
So why am I telling you this story, one that happened four years ago, now?  Well, I just got some insider info on what was going on inside the building while we were there, and it’s too good not to share.  There are, for the most part, two types of residential buildings in the DTES.  One’s that are harm reduction, and others that are abstinence based.  I work at the latter.  One of my newer co-workers and I were having a conversation about harm reduction versus abstinence (or harm elimination as I prefer to call it) and she began to talk about how corrupted her old place of employment was…which happened to be the same building that our friend above went to in her relapse.  She also happened to be there at the same our friend was, and she also remembered our little stake out across the road.  She then shared with me that the building had memo’s, actual formal documented memo’s, that read “do not let the God Squad in”.  And that they were watching us, making fun of us, and talking about us.  Come on! That’s so funny.  I wish I had a copy of this memo they had going about us.  I’d frame it in our prayer room.
The world might say “don’t let the God Squad in” but even a memo couldn’t hold us back from getting in that building and rescuing one of our dear friends.  Lord, help us help you rescue more.   

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