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• Las Cruces team leader • With SPSE since 2019 Martha first heard about SPSE when she read Catholic Street Evangelization by Steve Dawson in 2015 and was instantly drawn to the idea of Catholic Street Evangelization. It took a few years but eventually things fell into place and she was able to start a team in 2019. She invited SPSE to come and present the Basic Evangelization Training and from that 14 evangelists answered the call to go out into the streets of Las Cruces and share the Good News with others. The team not only evangelizes but also invites those they meet on the street to join them for Seeker Small Group sessions to learn the basics of the Catholic Faith. The team has brought a Catholic presence to the local farmers market where they have their outings each month since June of 2019. How do you evangelize in your everyday life? In addition to the Farmers Market outreach, I have always kept in my purse/car, blessed Rosaries, Miraculous Medals, CD's, and other SPSE information and offer these at the grocery stores to clerks, or others I come in contact with elsewhere. I have never been turned down. I also wear a larger than normal Miraculous Medal around my neck and have had people approach me and ask who "the lady" is on my necklace! I was able to evangelize a young medical resident at my doctor's office recently who asked this question and other questions about Catholicism, or to complete strangers at Wal-Mart, the Motor Vehicle Division, etc., who see my necklace and ask questions. I always offer one of the smaller SPSE MM medals on the ball chains to them along with the SPSE card with the MM image and message. Our Lady has definitely been SPSE's biggest evangelization tool for me, and I find people more receptive to taking what I offer through her intercession during these times. I have encouraged our team members to be prepared with having these items on hand and do the same if they are not doing so already. How has God worked in and through your SPSE team? With all the other activities, family obligations, and ministries the Evangelists are involved in (not just SPSE), the Lord always arranges to make sure at least three to six of us are available each month to set-up, evangelize and take down at the monthly Farmers Market gatherings. We are required to be there from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon and we have scheduled (2) shifts of (3) evangelists each per month. One of the Evangelists notified me on a Thursday night in December that he was sick and wouldn't be able to evangelize after all on that Saturday. I was already short of Evangelists for this particular Saturday because of it being right after Christmas. I needed one more person to fill that hour, but no one was available . . . I was prepared to call off our day at Farmers Market until I sent out one last call out by text and one of the participants who came to the June training (6 months earlier) from another city 45 miles to the south of us (El Paso, TX) said he could be there. His name is Fernie and while we said "thank you Fernie", we also said Thank you Jesus for sending Fernie. What is the relationship between evangelization and your spiritual life? I have never had to be so docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in my life! While my organizational and planning skills are helpful and necessary, the Lord needs to be in control of this ministry, and putting total trust in Jesus to fill in the gaps and send the people to help cannot be overstated. I have to remind myself . . . that Jesus is in control and this is His ministry. If He wants us to move forward, HE needs to prompt people to respond to the need. He does this without fail. How do you see God working through the pandemic? Insight from Las Cruces Evangelist Mike Gonzales: "I take for granted being able to go to daily Mass and receive the Eucharist. Last Sunday when we watched Mass on TV and were not able to attend Mass, Sonia and I both had tears rolling down our cheeks when we were saying the spiritual communion prayer. We look forward to the day when Mass will be available again to the public and that is something I will share once we are able to go out and publicly evangelize again! We can watch some good preaching on YouTube, here some good Christian music on the radio, even hear a good Bible study online, but the Holy Eucharist is only available at the Catholic Mass. Praise be JESUS, Mary and Joseph!" Insight from Las Cruces Kitty Walker ("evangelist in training" who is planting seeds): "I belong to a group of people who meet for breakfast three days a week. Daily texting connects us now, and we are sharing our thoughts and lives. The group is made up of 4 Catholics; 2 Methodists and one Evangelical. I have shared prayers and words from a song by Catholic singer-songwriter, Julie Carrick, as well as sharing about my attendance at a live Mass; virtual Masses; and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Responses have been appreciative." Insight from Las Cruces Evangelist Mike Halloran: "The Pope's blessing yesterday was so beautiful in so many ways. Many people knock the hierarchy of the Church. The Pope, whose title is the "Servant of the servants of God" has showed during this crisis how He is really leading the Church as its servant. The Plenary indulgences offered to us, and making it so much easier during this time to get them is wonderful. Watching him yesterday, I couldn't help but think how rich our Catholic faith is. The Adoration, blessing the whole world with the monstrance, the incense representing the prayers of all of us, going up to Heaven. The Crucifix was so beautiful, showing that God is suffering with us during this Lent. I can't help but feel that all the people around the world, Catholic and non-Catholic, who watched the blessing were touched. I know we are praying more during this time and I think others are too."
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