Phoenix, AZ. – Recently the Phoenix team evangelized at the Gilbert Farmers market from 8 to 10:30 am. Michele and her sister, Cindy, Bill, Anne Maria, and Dave had several good conversations and distributed many rosaries. People seemed very open to prayer requests, which was a great chance to meet people where they were at and befriend them.
One encounter in particular was very powerful.
“A middle aged couple was strolling into the Market area and we offered a rosary. They lady immediately welcomed it and we asked them if they were in need of any prayers. The woman, Bonnie, asked for prayer for her elderly parents in Texas, and sort of jokingly also asked for prayers for her marriage. The husband appeared to want her to move along so they thanked us and entered the market. After about 5 minutes, Bonnie approached by herself and was just so surprised we were out there doing what we were doing. She was raised Catholic but had married her LDS husband some 29 years ago. She shared the difficulty with this arrangement and [the] strain on her marriage. She didn’t really understand how her marriage outside the church would impact her at the time. She has tried her best to raise her children Catholic but can’t share [faith] with her husband, and she has not received the sacraments in almost 30 years. She was now distraught and very emotional in sharing her story. I listened and then asked her if her husband might be open to convalidating the marriage in the Catholic Church. She thought he would be open to it but thought it might simply be too late for that. I emphasized it is never too late and that Christ left the Church here for our healing. I encouraged her to pray about it and consult with a priest to find a path forward to pursue a convalidation. I gave her my phone number and offered to talk any time and would arrange a meeting with a priest or deacon knowledgeable with the details. She was very open to that and also took many of our pamphlets as she said she really wants to know her Catholic faith. I was sensitive about our exchange as her husband was watching us from a short distance away.”
“Bonnie left and I shared some of her story with Bill so that we could immediately lift her up in prayer. Bill sent a note to his wife Kathy, who was at an ACTS mini-retreat preparing for coming women’s retreat. Kathy took the prayer request and was going to lift up Bonnie with the ACTS team during the mini retreat. Bonnie happened to approach one more time for another rosary for her daughter, and I shared how she is being prayed for today. She was moved to tears again and thanked us for our presence at the Farmers market.”
“When we make ourselves available to the Holy Spirit and witness to the Good News, you never know how He will use us or who He will allow to cross our path.”
Great job, team!