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What is "real" street evangelization?
September 6, 2020
I think that when most of us think about street evangelization, we picture a busy street corner in a big city. We think of a successful evangelization team as one that gets a steady stream of passers-by, giving away dozens of rosaries on an outing and regularly witnessing the beginnings of repentance and conversion.
By those standards, it doesn't make sense to start a team in a place like Carroll, Iowa.
My team and I live in a tiny rural town of just 10,000 people. Most of us can trace our roots in this area back several generations, and most of us were raised at least nominally Catholic. We are in the middle of the "polite Midwest," where we avoid uncomfortable conversations (like, "How's your relationship with Jesus?") at all costs.
As my team and I sat at the park on our second-ever outing last month, I started to doubt what we were doing. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, but we had yet to speak to anyone. Were we wasting our time? Would we ever get a chance to do any "real" evangelization?
And then, I realized something important: we were working in our community in the same way that God often works in our lives.
In the background, without fanfare.
Sitting there in the shade, behind our display of brochures and miraculous medals, we were changing lives as surely as those teams who meet dozens of people during an outing.
Who knows how we affected the people who drove by and saw us? Who waved and smiled, but didn't stop? Who said "no, thank you," or were too engrossed in their phones to notice us? Who knows what impact our prayers that afternoon had on the community around us?
Who knows what impact it had on us, for that matter? Who am I to doubt the power of the Holy Spirit to do his work through us, however meager our efforts might seem?
Our First Outing!
August 10, 2020
Our Carroll, Iowa team had its first official evangelization outing in July!
It was a little intimidating. Even though we live in a small community where many people are at least marginally Catholic, we didn't know what to expect.
What would we say? How would people respond? What if people were angry or confrontational? What if they just ignored us?
We set up our table at Graham Park, in the shade, and waited for someone to walk by.
And they did, eventually. The weather was beautiful, and we were able to talk to several people who were out enjoying it.
Not everyone wanted a Rosary, but some did. No one yelled, or threatened, or asked us to leave.
We even had the opportunity to pray with someone.
We're looking forward to our next outing on August 15 (at Graham Park from 1-3 pm), and we encourage anyone reading this post to stop by and see us.
Let us know...how can we pray for you?