Registered: 3 years, 9 months ago
• Berkley, CA team leader • Started with SPSE in 2014 David gathered together a few friends to start the Berkley team about 6 years ago. Then others who heard about SPSE sought him out and joined the group and now there are about 10 on the team. You can find them evangelizing about once a month. They work mostly on the streets of Berkeley, a college town across the water from San Francisco. How do you build up your team so they can be better evangelists? I also try to meet on the last Wednesday of the month. Meetings give us a chance to share stories, meet new people who want to join, and plan the next month’s outings. We also discuss best approaches in certain situations and we always read one of the pamphlets out loud all the way through. My focus with the team is get people talking enough so that you know what pamphlet to send them off with. What’s it like to evangelize in Berkeley CA? Berkeley is an ardently secularized city, but we still encounter many Christians and Catholics when we go out. Many very secular people started out being raised in some type of Christian home. In the last year we have worked about 4 street fairs. Those are very fruitful because unlike downtown environments where many people are on a mission to get some things done, in the street fair setting, folks are strolling along curious to see what they will see next. What motivates you to evangelize? My main motivation for evangelizing is my relationship with Jesus Christ. I let go of this mushy version of the idea that I hear a lot about that says we all have to have a personal relationship with Christ. The times I have felt the closest to and most loved by Christ is during absolution in confession. Outside of that, I tend to think of my relationship with Christ as one of a good soldier who is carrying out the orders of Jesus, my vast superior, and trusting that the tools that he gave me will work. And they do. Even though he is my superior, we work shoulder to shoulder. Now that is what I call a relationship. Some may think that is too masculine. Well I am a man, so there you go. I remember listening to passages in the Gospel in Mass when I was young where Jesus promises to give you the words you need and thinking, “I wonder if I will ever be in a situation where I will try this promise out.” Street evangelizing gives you those situations. Trusting in Christ and letting go of my fears as I do this work has dramatically helped me grow closer to Christ. I love Jesus. How does prayer impact evangelization? I would say that the two most important aspects of my prayer life when it comes to street evangelization would be adoration and the Rosary. Adoration is where I receive a great sense of peace and focus. I can also present to the Lord things that I am not sure about or to find out what I need in order to do things better and to get new ideas. The rosary is critical because when I am giving someone a rosary, I give a testimonial about how I have had some of the most beautiful spiritual revelations while meditating on the mysteries while praying it. The closer I am to those events happening, the more genuine my recommendation is for the person to try it out. Do you have any evangelization heroes? Yes. One of my favorites is Mother Theresa. Two things I get from her really light my fire. The first is doing small things with great love. When I am on the street, a genuine smile shared with somebody who does not stop to talk means a lot. The second thing is her response to a reporter who asked her to compare the poverty in the USA to the poverty in India during her visit here. She said the poverty in the USA or the west was worse because it is a spiritual poverty. This comment inspires me to embrace the spiritual works of mercy that are such an integral part of our efforts and that are not focused on enough in our culture.
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