Lyn Scheuring LAMP’s Co-founder made a statement at one of the gatherings of the LAMP Missionaries that has stuck with us: “Our encounters are moments that can affect others for eternity.” We keep reminding ourselves of that here at LAMP, knowing that our mission is to help those we encounter, become aware (or more aware) of God’s personal love. Maggie, shares a story that expresses exactly that.
“One on one evangelization is the planting of faith in someone’s heart and trusting God’s grace to bear fruit in their soul. It’s a subtle, gentle, ministry of presence that opens a person up to receiving the love of Jesus Christ. As LAMP Missionaries, we have the privilege to bear witness to His love and compassion for every human we encounter.
One expression of evangelization happened recently at Hunt’s Point with a woman I’ll call Michelle. As someone who struggles with addiction and prostitution, she often comes to our food cart in poor states wearing little clothing, but always beaming a bright loving smile. I can’t imagine the pain and trauma she’s experienced in her life. God only knows. Despite her life’s circumstances, there’s an innocence in her that shines every time we meet.
When she came up to get lunch this Wednesday, we asked her if she wanted us to pray with her. Michelle quickly turned it back on us, “How about you guys, what do you want to pray for?” Ed, LAMP’s Pastoral Co-Director gently responded, “We’re here for you.” She paused and said, “Let’s pray for Hunt’s Point.”
As Ed prayed, Michelle looked at me with anxiety. I looked back in a comforting way and she calmed down, reassured that she was safe with us. Then she decided to button up her shirt and cover herself. A gesture of self care and respect for us. It was clear to me a seed of faith had been planted and her own sense of dignity was felt in a moment of encounter.
This connection with Michelle reminded me that no matter what hardships we experience in life, there is an innocence that remains in each of our hearts. It’s the good soil where seeds of conversion and new life, by God’s grace, can be planted. It’s the knowing that we are loved by the Father, loved as children of God.”