Boise, ID

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This report comes to us from team leader Lucy with our team in Boise, ID:

Building trust can take time. So thank you again for your prayers for the Boise Catholic street evangelization effort.

We had nicknamed the man who heckles us every week “Justin”. This time he finally stopped long enough for us to ask his name. It is “Stephen”. He walked right up to the table and asked why God allows children to die of cancer and priests to molest children. Chuck warned that to wish for such a meddling God is dangerous because if God got rid of everything wrong with the world none of us would be left to enjoy it. The evangelist also told him that free will is a greater gift than mere safety. He disagreed, saying it would be better to be like robots that God controls, because then “life would be easy.” James added that to compare what we know and want God to be is like comparing ants to humans: we can’t know anywhere near what God knows, or it’s like a child blaming parents for the bad things that happen. The evangelist also extolled the goodness of the Catholic Church, and how its 2,000-year history of Saints inspires us, while acknowledging the need to be on guard against evildoers in the church and everywhere in society. He spoke about Christ coming to heal sinners, not the righteous. Stephen was unmoved. His view is that if God exists and lets bad things happen then God is bad. Though impassioned, this was a longer and more respectful exchange of viewpoints than usual. It even ended with handshakes and exchange of names. From a closer look at his tattoos, clothing, and past statements, it looks like Stephen is involved in dangerous and forbidden spiritual practices. Please keep praying for Stephen, that his heart be softened and healed, and that he yoke himself to Christ’s easy yoke and light burden.

A man on a bike stopped to say he had married into a Catholic family, but his wife left the Church soon after they married. Her family blamed him for that, but he said he had nothing to do with it. It sounded like she had gone to some non-Catholic Christian churches that he didn’t like. It was not clear where things stand now. Please pray for all those who have fallen away from Catholicism.

A 50ish bearded man on a bicycle chatted with the evangelists from across the breezeway. He had married into a Catholic family. He had been wrongly blamed for a family member converting leaving the Church for a non-Catholic denomination, but said he retained cordial relations with his wife’s family. He was looking forward to upcoming trip to a largely Catholic country.

A frequent passerby, the toothless woman with the worn face, exchanged friendly greetings and smiles with the evangelists. She still had her Rosary from us, and noted that she had been raised Jewish. James said, “Great! Jesus was Jewish.” She smiled and nodded. There was a little more friendly chat, and then she was on her way.

Foot traffic was lighter than usual, but it sounds like the evangelists gave away at least 10 Rosaries and its pamphlet.

Praised be Jesus Christ! Please pray for God to send people to this team with hearts prepared to perceive their need for Our Savior Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church, and that much good fruit for His Kingdom comes from their efforts.