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Country: United States
State or province: Minnesota

Team Leader
Scott Himmer

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Summer Morning and the Unexpected

August 15, 2021

Fr. Lynch, Risa, and I were out at Lake Phalen in St. Paul, Minnesota last Saturday morning. It was a beautiful summer morning. This was our first time being out at this lake as a team. We hung around the Chinese Garden for about an hour and greeted a few people. There was little real conversation though.

As we were considering moving some bikers were coming down the path and I assumed they would just pass by. One biker signaled to the other to wait for someone who was lagging. The first biker swung around and stopped right in front of me. While he was waiting we started chatting. As the other bikers approached I told him we were out praying with people and if they needed any prayer. The two parents in unison said "she does", as they pointed at their daughter. Her name was Isabella and she shared what she was struggling with. I prayed with her, gave her some encouragement, and a miraculous medal. She put it on right away. They all were grateful and went on their way. That interaction reminded me that the Holy Spirit works in unexpected ways. Just when you think someone will fly by you the universe stops for that one beautiful moment of grace.

We went further down the path and set up closer to the lake; much more foot traffic. We had a conversation with a man named Jim. He is Catholic but not practicing much. He shared his story and struggles with us and how he's been feeling like going back to church. "Praise God! Yes, Jim, you should do that!" We gave him some encouragement and highly recommended returning to the sacraments; especially confession. We prayed with him and gave him a "Confession" pamphlet. Interestingly he looked pretty down when we started our conversation, but when he left he was smiling. "You're too good Lord!"

The spot we were in had some benches and picnic tables nearby. When we can over to that area I noticed a man sitting on one of the picnic tables, but I didn't think much about him. After we had prayed with Jim and he left, the man on the picnic table came over and we started talking. His name was Cou. He was going through some health struggles and felt lost and anxious. We had a long conversation. He is Christian, but not Catholic. He mentioned how hard it is to follow God and feels like he's always messing up. We gave him lots of words of encouragement, especially telling him it's never too late to recommit and renew his relationship with the Lord. We encouraged to dust himself off and renew his faith life. We prayed with him and gave him a few pamphlets. Behind his sunglasses, he wiped some tears and was so grateful.

At the beginning of this outing, I was feeling it was going to be run-of-the-mill passers-by. Then the Holy Spirit showed up and grace entered open hearts. Thank you Jesus!

SPSE Team Phote