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9/11/21 - Prayer Ministry at the Farmer's Market
October 15, 2021
Bob, Br. Andre, Steve and I evangelized at Eastern Market last Saturday morning. Br. Andre and Steve grabbed a handful of supplies and walked around the market while Bob and I stayed at our table across the market. Bob and Steve had to leave but Br. Andre and I stayed for another hour. We packed up and went back into the market to evangelize inside. We prayed with a dozen people throughout the market. Some were skeptical and some were apprehensive but everyone that we approached was happy to receive prayer.
There were four different people who saw us praying with others and they later approached us and asked us to pray for them. We met a middle-aged woman selling pumpkins; she's agnostic but was open to our prayers. Br. Andre squatted down, put his hand on her foot, and prayed. A family of three watched us and were curious, after we finished our prayer with the vendor, we went and prayed with the family. After we prayed with the family, a young woman approached us and asked if we were praying with people. We confirmed and she asked us to pray for healing for her sore hip. Br. Andre asked her to put her hand on top of where it hurt, then he put his hand on top of her hand. We prayed and the woman said that she felt a warm sensation. Her pain went from a level 8 to a level 5. We prayed again and her pain went down to a 3. After prayer, we talked about her faith life and she admitted that she goes to a non-denomination church. We talked about our Catholic faith, gave a Miraculous Medal, holy card, and invited her to join us at St. Mary Church.
9/18/21 - "One True Church"
October 14, 2021
Mark, Michael and Steve returned to Eastern Market on a sunny but breezy Saturday morning.
An elderly woman, Natalia, was walking down the sidewalk and paused in front of our table. Mark offered her a rosary but she didn't respond. Mark offered to pray for Natalia then she approached the table. She began to cry and asked us to pray for her son who is struggling with many addictions. Michael led a prayer for her son, asking that God would break the addictions, Natalia began to cry. We tried to console Natalia and she began to share her Orthodox faith and its similarities compared to Catholicism. Mark emphasized the importance of the sacraments and apostolic succession. Natalia accepted a rosary, several pamphlets, and a Miraculous Medal.
Michael offered a rosary to Wendy as she passed by us. She paused, looked at our table, silently looked at us and smiled. Mark then noticed that Wendy was already wearing a Miraculous Medal and crucifix around her neck. Mark asked if Wendy had any prayer intentions and she asked us to pray for her son — his wedding is in a couple of weeks. Mark led a prayer that the couple would be prepared for the sacrament of Holy Matrimony and have a holy marriage. Mark prayed for Wendy's health, that she would live to see her grandchildren and would eventually enter Heaven. Wendy thanked us immensely and left a $20 bill on our table. We declined the donation but she insisted and walked away. Michael took the money and divided it among the poor.
We prayed with Shannon a few months ago. She was passing by when she recognized us and approached our table again. Shannon talked about how she is taking her faith more seriously and has returned to her Presbyterian church. Shannon and Steve had a lengthy conversation about apostolic succession and the necessity of the sacraments. Steve said that Christ established only one church, the Catholic Church. While it is good for her to go to church, it would certainly be best for her to go to the one true church. Shannon didn't object and accepted a green scapular, several pamphlets, medals, as well as Steve's contact info.
9/4/21 - "Jesus loves you and He wants to heal you"
September 13, 2021
Br. Andre, Michael, and I evangelized at Eastern Market on Labor Day weekend.
We set up a table at our usual spot on the corner and had a few short conversations in the beginning. Most of the early conversations were brief but several people accepted Miraculous Medals and a few were happy to receive intercessory prayer. Michael had to leave after an hour so Br. Andre and I took down the table and walked around the market. Br. Andre often receives a "word of knowledge" when he evangelizes — as we walked, he abruptly stopped, turned around, and approached a young woman selling flowers. Brother asked if she was experiencing neck pain. She was surprised to hear that he knew about her pain and was intrigued with what he had to say. Brother told her that "Jesus loves you and He wants to heal you" then she became defensive. We offered to pray for her, which she declined multiple times. We then offered her a blessed Miraculous Medal, which she also declined. Then we simply said "God bless" and kept on walking.
I noticed a woman wearing a large rosary around her neck. I thought that she would be somewhat open to Catholicism so we approached her. Candace described herself as "spiritual but not religious". She accepted a Miraculous Medal and we prayed for her health. Immediately after that conversation ended, a man in his late thirties approached us. He and his wife saw Brother's habit and overheard our conversation so they became curious. The husband, Ryan, asked Brother about his lifestyle and vocation. Br. Andre briefly explained the life of St. Francis and the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience — Ryan was particularly surprised about the vow of poverty.
He also asked why we go to Confession to a priest rather than "directly to God." I responded by quoting John 20:23 ("Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.") as well as James 5:16 ("confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.") I continued and that, yes, of course, God CAN forgive sins on His own power, but it is His will that we repent and confess our sins to a priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The couple thanked us for our time but refused any sacramentals. Pray that their curiosity will lead them home to the Catholic Church!
7/31/21 - "You set the tone for my whole day!"
August 3, 2021
A total of 4 evangelists went to Eastern Market this past Saturday and we worked in 2-hour shifts. Anne and Mark were there 8:00am-10:00am while Steve and Beth were there 10:00am-Noon.
Anne approached a police officer on a bicycle and offered him a St. Michael medal. He accepted the medal and said that he knew that St. Michael is patron of law enforcement. Anne offered to pray with him and listened as he talked about his concerns with his work and his family. Anne lifted all of his concerns to the Lord and prayed that he would experience a renewal of strength and the peace of Christ.
Two men approached our table and asked for a couple of Miraculous Medals. Mark also gave them the associated holy cards and asked if they wanted prayer for anything. One of them said, "Yes, pray for my dad, Charles, he has late-stage cancer and is in a lot of pain." Mark prayed out loud for Charles, for his health and resilience. Mark also asked for peace in the family and that they come to know and love God more. One man thanked Mark and, with a big smile on his face, said "You set the tone for my whole day! Thank you so much!"
07/17/21 - three teams collaborate
July 23, 2021
Sean, the team leader from Tempe, Arizona, recently visited Detroit and evangelized with the Eastern Market team last Saturday. Timothy, team leader from Alma/St. Louis in central Michigan, made the 140-mile trek to Detroit. Timothy previously evangelized with Sean when he was visiting Arizona. Mark and Steve from the national office as well as two evangelization students also joined. We split up into three stations since we had six evangelists. We each covered a different corner of the same, busy intersection.
Sean spoke to several devout Catholics and invited them to evangelize with us. We spoke about the responsibility to share our faith, especially since so many people are so far away from God. Sean and Mark had a lengthy conversation with a young couple in their early-mid twenties. The young woman is practicing Catholic and knows a fair amount about the Faith. Her boyfriend is not Catholic and not particularly religious, however, he has attended Mass in the past. Sean talked about the importance of faith in a serious relationship, especially if they decide to marry and have children. They both agreed and listened intently. Sean explained that if a couple has differing viewpoints on important issues it will inevitably cause strain on their relationship. Sean gave his testimony about his own marriage and how a shared religion has produced great results in his marriage. We prayed with the couple, for their discernment and spiritual growth, then both accepted rosaries and pamphlets. The boyfriend accepted a "Why Be Catholic?" pamphlet, promised to read it and follow up with her priest.