Thursday, May 14, 2009

'God is a DJ' Article in Mixmag

The work of 24-7 Ibiza was recently featured in the latest (May 09) edition of Mixmag - the worlds biggest dance music and clubbing magazine. When i was contacted to talk about our work, i was really excited at the thought of us getting in such a high profile magazine (I've been a fan for many years). What a great way to reach thousands of clubbers who head out to Ibiza for their annual pilgrimage with a completely different kind of message and work.

However, having read the article, I'm completely gutted! What she's written about our work is true, but it's the two comments that were written about our work that suck. I know that it makes for good reading, but it completely guts me.

This is what a DJ called Oliver Lang (resident at Bora Bora) commented about us:

"I wholeheartedly support anyone who tries to help someone else, but i don't think it's the job of a religious group to go out to Ibiza and look after ravers in a state. That's the job of the police, ambulance crews and the clubs. I mean, what a perfect opportunity to convert someone to Christianity when they're a bit off their heads. Everyone seems to look after each other in Ibiza anyway. That's the religion of Ibiza, in my opinion, with or without these people."

Simon Morrison further comments, referring to us as 'God Botherers'.

"In clubs, people are vulnerable because of drink and drugs, which disables some people mentally on a temporary basis. That's why it's a good hunting ground for Christians. The main intention is not to care, but to convert, which i think is wrong."

I can't believe we've been totally stabbed in the back like this by the author of the article. These two people have, as far as i can tell, never met us, and once again they reinforce the classic stereotype of Christians - only out to convert and change people by force - bashing them with our Bibles. If they were to actually meet us and see what we do and how we do it, i think they'd quickly take back those comments. I really want to go down to Bora Bora - where we went several times last summer - and chat to Oliver Lang and ask why he wrote that about us having never met us.

I wonder what all the workers in the Westend - who know us - would say? What would their response be to our work? As if we'd actually abuse our position to try to convert someone in a vulnerable state. We actually protect them, get them to hospital, make sure they get back to their hotel safe and sound. I don't see the police nor the ambulance and definitely not the clubs doing any of that. Fact! Our intention is to care, to love and above all to serve. And if someone would ever want to talk to us about our faith whilst we're helping them, we'd most likely tell them to meet us the next day. Most of the time they never do. Can you tell I'm slightly peeved?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Let the Streetwork begin

Tonight will be the second night that i've been out in the West End this summer so far, with the first last night. It's great to finally be back doing what i love.

This week we are getting out each night for 2 hours. When out on the streets we meet and chat to PRs and workers, both old and new for an hour, and when we stay back in the Centre we pray for the next hour. It's really great bumping into so many familiar faces and people that I've gotten to know over the last few summers, and I'm pleasantly surprised just how many are back again, but even more shocked to hear they never left and were here all winter. How did i miss them in such a small place?

With the season having only just begun, it's not that busy with tourists, clubbers and revellers yet. But give it a few weeks and the streets'll be totally heaving. I wonder when we'll be called to take a drunk home? Any guesses? I reckon there'll be one in May!