This report comes to us from John and Lexa evangelizing with our St. Christine’s Soup Kitchen team in Detroit, MI:
A pregnant woman named Nancy entered the soup kitchen with her child, Molly. Nancy greeted several regular guests with a big hug. Molly took her tray of food and hung around our table joking and playing with the evangelists (Anne was throwing a ball to her, John was joking about cat food, Lexa took an interest in her collection of rocks and stickers). John handed Lexa an image/card of Mary with infant Jesus and led her into a conversation with the child. After the mother confirmed that Molly does know who Jesus is, Lexa explained, “Did you celebrate Christmas? Did you know that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday? And this is baby Jesus with his mother, Mary.”
After that, Nancy and Molly were getting ready to leave. They had a shopping cart full of groceries from the food pantry. Nancy was trying to coordinate for a Lyft to pick them up. John offered that we drive them home, since a Lyft could be $10-15 for the 10min drive. While loading her groceries into the car, Lexa got to chat with Nancy. Nancy said that John reminded her of a friend that she had lost. She seemed very moved by the resemblance and began to express her familiarity with Catholicism from growing up in Catholic schools. Lexa asked, “Do you miss it?” and Nia turned away and took a moment to collect herself. She said, “Sorry, I was just thinking about something.” Lexa didn’t press further. We finished loading the car & she got to chat with John over the drive. John encouraged her to receive and accept help, particularly in a situation where she felt hesitant about relying on a ministry program for support in getting a car. We helped her carry the groceries from the car into her apartment. She was happy we were there and pointed out some of her favorite home trinkets like a stuffed animal bear and butterfly collection. We continued our conversation in the parking lot before leaving. John asked if she loved to sing and she seemed both passionate and reserved about her singing. She hinted at past experiences with people in the church/church choirs being hurtful to her. John apologized for her experience and encouraged her to use singing as a private prayer to connect with God. We felt that she was very open to talking about music in that way & we were happy to offer her that idea as a practical baby step in returning to her faith. Our experience helping her was very positive and we were happy to represent the church in a positive way for her. Before departing, John offered to pray with her on the spot and she accepted. We prayed for forgiveness and joy to enter her heart. She made the sign of the cross. She was very moved and felt like she was about to cry. She gave us each a big hug. I told her that she has the best smile and she was so happy to receive that compliment. She was interested in when we’ll be back at the soup kitchen, so she can be sure to see us again.
Praised be Jesus Christ!