Saturday’s Tea House was, indeed, overwhelming. There were far too many people for our staff to handle: too much of a crowd, too much pushing, too much yelling, too many demands. When we opened our doors at 11:45 am, we let in about 200 people before the line collapsed and we were forced to shut the large iron gate that leads up our staircase. The entry area (stoa) was full of people (literally 100’s), but our staff was helpless to find any orderly method of getting this crowd up the stairs. It is far too easy for someone to get tramped as the crowd pushes it’s way up the stairwell. Due to the overwhelming crowd, one of our neighboring businesses called the police (and rightfully so). The police cleared the crowd and we decided to close early (after being open for only 90 minutes) due to the sheer chaos.
Will you please pray for our team? We need to make some tough decisions about how we’re going about our ministry. Clearly, there is great need in the refugee community here, but our current format is unable to sustain these sorts of crowds. More than that, the crowd control issues distract from our ability to even share the gospel message (our first priority). Please join us in praying about this situation: pray for wisdom and sensitivity to God’s Spirit on our team’s behalf. We will be making some difficult – but necessary – decisions over the next week. Please pray for our time together working through the necessary issues and logistics.