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Watching the seed of prayer grow
June 12, 2022
Fr. Lynch and I were out this past Saturday. It rained early but cleared up nicely. There were quite a few people out walking around the lake. Not long after we set up a group of people stopped by for prayer. Lots of needs, most especially for family. We said a prayer for their intentions and then one of them asked if she could pray for us. She said a beautiful prayer which was inspiring. Thank you Jesus! Most of the people who stopped were in need of prayer. Lots of anxiety. It was through the prayers that we reminded people of the love that Jesus has for them.
A couple of guys met on the path some distance from us and started chatting. They knew each other and crossed paths unexpectedly. They wandered over by us and we asked them if they needed prayer. One told us that we just got prayer from a guy on the path. When he described the person it turned out to be one of the people who we prayed with in the group. Then he told us that his friend, standing next to him, is a pastor. He left and we were left chatting with his friend the pastor. We had a good conversation and he asked for prayer. He wanted a missionary heart to spread the Word of God with others like we were doing that day.
Fr Lynch noticed that our prayer had gone full circle. We prayed with a group. They prayed with another person. That person led another person to ask for prayer. That person was inspired to pray with others and further the Gospel. You are too good Lord. We praise you!
Most often we can't see what happens when we share God's word with others. We step out in faith, dispose ourselves to the Holy Spirit, and let Him work. We may never know the end results of our acts of faith until the end of times. That day the Lord blessed us to see what a small act of faith can do. It only takes a mustard seed.
An Interesting Turn In Conversation
August 29, 2021
It was another beautiful summer morning yesterday at Lake Phalen. There was a race occurring around the lake and we were there to cheer the runnings/walkers on and offer prayer to those in need.
A woman named Dorcas stopped for prayer. She was anxious and stressed by all the craziness going on in the world; division, politics, Afghanistan, Covid, etc. We prayed together for peace and unity.
A woman named Karen stopped for prayer. She is going through a home loan process and she's wondering if it's all worth it; lots of hoops to jump through. We prayed for counsel and peace. I shared the story of the Miraculous Medal and she took one to wear.
A couple of other ladies stopped by; Pat and Sharon. They wanted prayer and wanted to give me money for prayer or donate to the evangelization cause. I told them I could not accept money but would be more than honored to pray with them. We prayed for peace and healing in the world and a greater outpouring of grace. Pat is Christian and Sharon is Catholic. Sharon said she attends the Transfiguration masses from time to time because she lives in Oakdale. They both took rosaries and "How to Pray the Rosary" pamphlets. I explained to Pat a little about the rosary and encouraged her to pray the prayers. After some conversation, they thanked us to being there and went on their way. It's interesting that they were so quick to just pass us by, and after a few exchanges of words they turned around for conversation and prayer. Thank you Jesus! You move mountains and hearts!
We had an extended conversation with a man named Mua. We started talking about God and how he used to go to a Christian Church but now goes to a Catholic Church. Hallelujah! I shared with him why I chose to be Catholic and gave him a "Why be Catholic" pamphlet. As the conversation progressed he was mentioning some other details which raised our eyebrows about his beliefs and his understanding of Christianity. Father Lynch gave him his contact information to direct him to another local priest that might relate more to his culture to help give him some guidance. Before we knew it, the conversation had gone into very questionable territory in terms of Catholic beliefs and fundamental Christian beliefs. We encouraged him to keep going to mass and leaning on the Lord. We keep him in prayer so that we get him in contact with the local priest for guidance.
All morning long Father Lynch and I had talked about how critical it is to meet people where they are at... where they are on their faith journey. This outing reminded me that there are many people who want to believe in something greater but can inadvertently create their own religion which can be a hybrid of different beliefs (syncretism). We are called to love others, and we can't just write people off if they're different than us. We are there to call them to something greater... to come to know, love, and serve the one who is calling them to a fullness of life in Christ Jesus.
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!
Friday Night Cruz Car Show
July 25, 2021
Fr. Lynch and I were out at the Cruz Car Show in North St. Paul again this past Friday. It was a warm summer night, and the people were in good spirits. We had great conversations with people. We prayed with Tim for his in-law who has throat cancer and Joe for his son's reconciliation with his children and healing for his wife's medical needs. We had great extended conversation with a couple of local Catholics Cathryn and Matthew. We took prayer requests for Cathyrn's daughter to return to the faith. We also took intentions for Matthew who needs blessings for a social service non-profit he is starting for people in crisis situations in Minneapolis. They both thanked us for being there and took a couple of medals to hand out. Several people thanked us for being out there and I got a few fist-bumps.
I had an amazing conversation with a man named "John". A few seconds later and it would have been a missed conversation. John was looking for more in life and searching for an anchor. I believe it's the type of anchor that only Jesus can provide. He's a nice guy with a good heart, and we talked for a while. His heart was opened to the Lord so I led him through the consecration prayer and he gave his heart to the Lord right there. Amen! We exchanged contact information and plan to continue our conversation. John seemed to be where I was almost 10 years ago. The Lord has put people in my path to change the course of my life. I want for others what the Lord has done for me. It brings me joy to see others light up with grace.
Cruze Car Show
July 11, 2021
It was a beautiful evening to be out on Friday, July 9, 2021. We went to the History Cruze Car Show in North St. Paul where there was several blocks of old fashion cars, food, music, and social gathering. We went out initially just to get our feet wet and talk with people. We ran into some parishioners and relatives of parishioners. We got to prayer with few people who thanked us for being there.
We talked with Carlo who was there to take pictures and record the event. He was Catholic and told us a bit of his story. He was a really nice guy who was open to conversation about the Lord and told about his mother's passing. We prayed with him and he took some photos of us. The mood there was joyful and look forward to going back and sharing the Gospel.