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My experience in One-Day Training and Outreach

I had been anticipating this day for a while. I had been praying for guidance and support, as I was about to experience something completely out of my comfort zone. This day was completely in God’s hands (as everyday is) so I was ready for whatever was going to come. I started my drive by putting my phone on shuffle for some driving tunes and the first song that came on was Day One by Matthew West. I didn’t think anything of it at first but when I heard the lyrics, “It’s day one of the rest of my life. It’s day one of the rest of my life,” I smiled. The Lord was reassuring me of the day ahead and I was excited for this day of service for Jesus.

The afternoon consisted of learning, praying and discussion before we went for the homeless outreach. It was amazing to be surrounded by such God-fearing individuals, who all share this passion for serving the Lord and strengthening our relationship with Him. It was such a beautiful, sunny afternoon that you could really feel Jesus’ presence everywhere, especially in the people that we met on the streets. After my mission trip to Puerto Rico during winter break, I felt in my heart that I had to continue the works of the Lord. I didn’t realize that people in my own home also needed to feel the presence of Jesus in their lives. The homeless people we encountered were so kind. I don’t know how else to describe their demeanor. Jesus was truly present in them, even though some of them did not pray. Their smiles were as warm as the sun that day and from that moment, I was never going to walk the streets of downtown the same way again. Agata was so patient with them. It was amazing watching her interact with them, asking about their days and their stories. I may not be able to understand why God allowed for these people to experience so much suffering in their lives. However I am thankful that they are alive and that they continue to remain hopeful even in the darkest of days.

In the evening, we did the midnight outreach with the women. I was slightly intimidated by this part of the outreach because we were going out at night and I was in a place I was not familiar with. Mildred was so patient and thoughtful throughout the entire experience, as were Yvonne and Kasia. There were times during our drive that I would feel a sense of fear knowing that there're pimps and boyfriends around hovering over these women but as soon as we shared the chocolates and scripture cards with them, all sense of worry and anxiety washed away. In such small moments like these, I truly felt the presence of the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It is such a mystery to me how the Lord works in the most unexpected ways. I pray everyday, go to Mass on Sundays and pray the rosary but the presence of Jesus was so evident and clear during our encounters with these women on the streets that evening. This experience was life changing to say the least. I don’t feel like I did much at all but experiencing Jesus this way showed me how thankful I am for His presence in my life. I am also extremely thankful and blessed to know the amazing people that I met on this outreach. It is so heartwarming to see how many people are willing to drop their nets and follow Jesus in his way and word. Amidst all the darkness that our world experiences today, Jesus is truly the light of our lives and He is constantly with us, along with our Blessed Mother, the Holy Spirits and all the saints in eternal salvation.

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