Robert sends this report from Decatur, GA:
Our visit to Decatur was welcoming as usual. The foot traffic was affected by the unusually hot temperatures, so we had fewer encounters than usual. We welcomed a first-time evangelizer into our SPSE group, Monica, who is a parishioner in the nearby town of Tucker, Georgia.
Despite the hot weather and slow foot traffic, we had some interesting encounters with those who had ventured out into the heat. A self-professed evangelist named Joel visited our table and discussed his own involvement in talking to street people about religion. We explained our ministry and our goals, and Joel seemed pleased to see us on the street. He asked for some of our handouts and a few rosaries. He intended to share God’s word with those whom he encountered, and he said he looked forward to seeing us again.
Ray met a gentleman named Roger, who simply asked who we were and what “truth” we were sharing (Our sign says, “Catholic Truth”). He is a recent transplant to Georgia and is trying to get his life back on track. He is currently staying at the Salvation Army here in Decatur until he can receive his veteran benefits.
Ray, also a veteran, had something in common with Roger. As they talked, Ray learned that Roger is also Catholic and was looking for a parish to attend. Their conversation led to the Apostle Thomas and his life. Apparently, Roger has a special interest in Saint Thomas, and so we shared our knowledge of Thomas and his journey to India where he shared the Gospel with everyone he met. We concluded by praying for Roger, and we encouraged him to find a parish and to come see us again.
Although our conversations with Joel and Roger were fulfilling, the highlight was meeting a young woman who walked behind our table with two of her friends. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a rosary. She loudly asked if these were rosaries. We said yes. Then she asked if she could have one; apparently, she had recently given hers away. We gave her a rosary, as well as some Catholic literature. We appreciated both her enthusiasm and her interest. Our youth represent the future of the Church. If she had not been with her friends, she would probably have spent more time with us. However, we were pleased that she had been willing to stop at our table even though her friends might not share her interest or her faith.
Praised be Jesus Christ! Even on a very hot day, there are people on the street to talk to. There are always opportunities for meaningful encounters. Sometimes it can be an enjoyable discussion with another Catholic, such as with Ray with Roger. Then there are those passersby who are interested in checking out what’s on the display table but are hesitant to get too close. You can spot them glancing over as they walk by, and then a short time later, they circle around again. Want to get involved? Join us!