Throughout Lent, the office of Evangelisation and Catechesis are delighted to offer weekly stories of accompaniment & the Hope, Faith, Joy, and Love of Christ from the lay faithful of our diocese in the journey of Missionary Discipleship.
The second reflection is by Tristan Turner.
Tristan Turner is married to Mel and they live in Liskeard, Cornwall.
Tristan is a ‘cradle Catholic’ who was brought up in the faith and several years ago, his wife also became a Catholic and is now Secretary at the parish of Our Lady & St. Neot.
Tristan completed the Mission Made Possible’ course in evangelisation & intentional discipleship and is now involved in several ministries within his parish including welcoming and evangelising visitors and newcomers.
Having recently completed the diocesan Mission Made Possible course, I was invited to attend Genesis Mission House in Plymouth for a weekend of deep prayer, personal reflection, and evangelisation. Although I am at a very early stage in my spiritual journey and of a fairly reserved nature, I was extremely keen to put some of the course teachings into practice. Having been divided into pairs, and after some deep prayer and preparation, we set off with the explicit intention of having a spirit led encounter.
My partner for the day was Julia, who had been our course mentor over the past two months. I was slightly nervous when we initially set off for the city, but equally I was also very excited about what may lie ahead for us that Friday afternoon. The weather was pretty grim, and we decided to head up to the mall, where shoppers would be inside keeping warm and dry. Entering the Mall, I heard Julia pray “Holy Spirit bring me someone who I may share you with”.
Since arriving in the city, we had been walking side by side and discussing how best to make the day fruitful. However immediately Julia said the short prayer to the Holy Spirit, she took off apace. I was initially quite taken back by the ‘urgency’ of her movement, but quickly realised that Julia was being led to someone in response to her prayer.
I quickly followed and could see that she was heading for a lady who was sitting on one of the benches looking forlorn. Almost instantly the lady looked up at both of us and said “I know who you are, and I know why you are here. You are fellow Christians and I believe that the Lord has sent you to me, as I have been sat here praying”.
Julia and I were absolutely bowled over at what she had just said. The lady proceeded to tell us about her husband who she was really anxious and worried about, as he was in hospital with a serious condition. She hadn’t been allowed to stay with him and now found herself all alone in unfamiliar surroundings at some considerable distance from her hometown.
We listened carefully to her story for several minutes and then she responded gratefully to Julia’s offer of prayer. Julia prayed right there for her whilst I held the lady’s hand. It was a really powerful experience, and one which was completely Spirit led. We were directed to the right person at the right time and guided by the Holy Spirit, we were able to openly pray for her in the middle of a busy shopping mall and be agents of Christ’s consoling love that day. I am so grateful for this beautiful experience.
Fr. Jon Bielawski has been a priest for 32 years. He heads up the department of Evangelisation and Catechesis for the diocese and is co-founder of Genesis Mission for the formation of Missionary disciples. You can hear more of Fr Jon’s encounters here https://podcast.genesismission.co.uk/
If you would like to engage in the diocesan formation for Missionary Disciples email Jonathan.firstname.lastname@example.org