The following report comes to us from team leader Caleb with our team in Greenville, SC:
It was hot and dusty today, as I stood next to our table and handed out over 100 Gospel cards in both English and Spanish. We met many Hispanics for whom we did not get names. Many of them took pamphlets and Rosaries. Someone took a Spanish Bible. Many of them are Catholic but not attending Mass. Ernesto, my Cuban friend, pro-life warrior, and fellow evangelist was able to have friendly conversation with many, also directing them to their nearest parish with a Mass in Spanish. Maria and her family took a Rosary and many different pamphlets including a Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth booklet (in Spanish of course). They live in Spartanburg and wanted to get to Mass so Ernesto directed them to Jesus Our Risen Savior which offers the Mass in Spanish.
Mariela and family, who are Catholic, took many Rosaries and pamphlets on how to pray it. The kids spent some time petting my 7 month old Great Pyrenees puppy Huan and picked out Rosaries of different colors that they liked. This time we busted out the glow in the dark Rosaries and the kids liked that. They also took a Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth booklet. Another Hispanic gentleman was interested in the 3 Minute Catechism DVD but didn’t have a DVD player at home so I pointed him to YouTube where he can watch it in Spanish! We also met Mike and Melinda who were Baptist. After giving Melinda a Gospel Card, she was interested in everything we had. Ernesto explained why we were there and that she’s welcome to voice any concerns she may have about the Catholic Church. She said her problem with Catholics is that she was taught that we put Mary ahead of Jesus. I told her I, at one time, was a member of a Baptist church and had the same suspicions. Until one day I found out a friend had become Catholic and was posting stuff about Mary on social media. I became interested in finding out what Catholics actually believed about Mary (not what Protestants said about what Catholics believed about Mary). I confirmed to her that we don’t put Mary above Jesus, we don’t believe she’s God, and we don’t worship her. I said one great example of this is the Mass in which Jesus is at the center. I explained the intercession of the saints in heaven, that we believe they still pray for us, especially those who are closest to Him because of their holiness and great love for God. I connected this with the priesthood of all believers and said that our duty as priests does not cease when we go to heaven. I said in no way does our duty to intercede on behalf of others get in the way of Jesus our One Intercessor in heaven but is sharing in that ministry. She said that she didn’t realize Catholics believe that all believers share in the priesthood of Christ. She said she was told that because there are no tears or sorrow in heaven, Christians in heaven do not care about what happens on earth anymore and do not pray for us. I said, we all believe Christ intercedes for us, but he is in heaven where there are no more tears right? Just because there are no more tears, doesn’t mean they can’t pray for us. I gave her the pamphlets “Praying to the Saints” and “What About Mary?”
We met Mr. Wood, an older wheelchair bound man with a tracheostomy and a veterans hat, who I thanked for serving. He said he wanted to tell me one thing, “I love you and there is nothing you can do about it”. He said he’s been saying that to everybody he encounters as a way of sharing God’s love with them after facing death in an ICU and waking up after a coma. It was one of the first things he said to a “nurse” in his room who began crying after he said that. He believes it’s now his mission to spread this simple message and is going to write a book aptly titled, “I Love You and There is Nothing You Can Do About It”. He said he was a former Methodist and was very glad to see us out evangelizing.
Praised be Jesus Christ!