Philadelphia, PA. It’s a great privilege to be allowed to minister to God’s poor. Those of us who have worked with the poor have likely heard many stories of personal struggles. And yet we often receive great appreciation for giving little things to try and help out in a small way. What a blessing it is to get to lift the prayers of His little ones up with them, to our ever-loving Father in heaven. Today’s team experienced these things and so much more.
The following report comes to us from evangelist Nancy from our Lower Bucks team in Philadelphia, PA:
It was a frigid day with a bit of snow in the forecast, so we (Deacon Mark and Nancy) headed into Suburban Station. Knowing that we would likely meet many homeless and poor, we brought some clementines and apples, some granola bars, gloves and socks, nail clippers and small packages of wipes, along with ourselves and our prayer station, our rosaries and blessed medals, our Bibles and our books. We spoke with and prayed with many homeless. We also were given permission to place a crucifix or a Miraculous Medal upon several of the people we encountered, which becomes an intimate exchange, reminding us both of Jesus at work. We were built up by them thanking us profusely, frequently shedding tears. The hard part is leaving; we go away to our warm homes and full fridges and they still live on the street and in shelters. They still have long days ahead of them with nothing to do and no place to go except to try and get their human needs met. Dear God, please bless our Philadelphia poor, especially this winter.
Nancy spoke at length with Jill who told of the horrors of her childhood with a terribly abusive and uncaring mother and a kind mild father who left when he could not stand to be at home any longer. She was a middle child with four siblings but they all are scattered and disconnected. Her father had been Episcopalian and Jill recalled that they went to a church called St. Augustine for a while as a child. She cried thinking about how things had once been sort of normal before they became awful. Jill spoke of having her things stolen so many times and not understanding how so many people can be so cruel. She told of how she likes to help others who are in need and if they would ask her she would try her best to help. Jill departed, but a little while after I first spoke with her, she came back and asked me to teach her about the Rosary. I gave her a purple rosary and showed her the pamphlet that tells what beads go with what prayers. She knew the Lord’s Prayer so we said it together, pointing out to her that the big beads that are for it. I also showed her the text for the Hail Mary and explained how we were quoting the conversation between the blessed mother and the angel Gabriel and then we were asking for Mary, our sweet Mother, to pray for us, just like Jill could ask me to pray for her, as a friend. I told her that even if she didn’t say the entire prayer on every bead that just saying the words “Hail Mary pray for us” or something like that would be a very good prayer to make. She was so thankful and she promised to pray for me and my kids and I promised to pray for her. We prayed with many people besides Jill. Please say a prayer for her and all the sweet souls and their intentions.
Praised be Jesus Christ! In Proverbs 19:17, we are reminded that, “…whoever cares for the poor lends to the Lord, who will pay back the sum in full.”