One Sunday I went out with two friends in London. We were planning to evangelise and hoping to encounter many people who we could talk to but the streets were very quiet. We thought there was little chance of having the opportunity to speak to anyone so we started to pray the rosary and sing some praise and worship songs. After praying we moved on to preaching, but there was no one to listen to us. We knew that if we were faithful, God would bring people to us. Then we saw a group of people gathered on the other side of the road listening to someone speaking about their beliefs. A few minutes later this group passed right by us and we were disappointed that they didn’t stop to listen. They continued up the road and stopped at a place where there was no one preaching, as if they were waiting for someone. This meant that a short distance away from us there was a group of thirty to forty people just standing as if they were frozen to the spot. So we went closer to them and started talking to them about Jesus. We thanked the Lord that a group of nonbelievers was waiting in the middle of the street to hear the Word of God! Our God always works and shows his power in our weakness.
In the Gospels Jesus did most of his ministry on the streets. He went out into public places and performed many miracles and healings there. Why did Jesus go out to the streets to proclaim? The answer is in Luke 5:32 “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” Jesus knew that the people who really needed to hear his message were not in the places of worship, but out in the streets and in the markets, going about their daily business. The only way for him to talk to them was to go and seek them out and proclaim the Kingdom of God. His disciples also preached in the streets. In the Acts of Apostles Chapter 2, we see that once they were filled with the Holy Spirit they couldn’t wait to talk about what God had done for them, so they went outside and started proclaiming the Good News to whoever was around. Peter, the fisherman, stood up raised his voice and addressed a crowd. The Holy Spirit gave him the words that he needed and when the people heard him they were “cut to the heart” and three thousand people were baptised that day!
Challenging But Very Rewarding
Today there are many lost and lonely people in the world looking for meaning and hope in their lives, searching for the one who will complete them. They may not know it but they are searching for God. St. Augustine said, “We were made for You, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” One of the best places to encounter people who are searching for the Truth is on the streets. I am involved in a new street evangelisation ministry, which has proved to be challenging but very rewarding. Some people are afraid of street evangelization saying that their faith is not strong enough but the reality is that many souls can be saved through this ministry. My experience is that you only need to trust the Holy Spirit who will speak through you. If your faith is weak then street evangelisation will help to strengthen it, when you see how God works to bring the right people to you. Everyone who wants to see the salvation of souls can be part of the mission of street ministry by praying for it. Please pray for us as we go out into the world to spread the Good News.