|Evangelization via parachute: another kind of holy war.|
May 17, 2011. You never know what small reminder of
faith might be the tipping point for a person who
is on the brink of accepting Christ. God can speak
through so many means—a conversation, the witness of another person
praying, a phrase on the radio, a billboard on the
highway… or even a parachuted faith pack floating down in
Colombian guerilla territory. Yes, even that.
Divine Mercy writ large
before Divine Mercy Sunday, a Regnum Christi women’s team in
Cary, North Carolina decided they had to do something to
give the Divine Mercy greater visibility, and to spread the
message “Jesus, I trust in You.”
As a team resolution, they
opted to post a billboard along a major interstate highway
in North Carolina. With the clock ticking and three weeks
to go, they started fundraising, approaching individuals on a person-to-person
level, inviting them to help support the billboard.
who knew about the Divine Mercy devotion were quick to
respond,” said Alice DeGennaro, a team member, noting that even
fundraising became a means of evangelization, since it was a
way to introduce the devotion to those who were not
familiar with it.
Three weeks later, they had gathered the necessary
funds. Another idea had come up along the way, a
chance for synergy with a new Catholic radio station that
happened to be called the Divine Mercy Radio, Inc. (www.wdmr.org), which has the ingenious motto “A station of the
Cross.” To give people a go-to web site for more
information about Divine Mercy, the Regnum Christi team members asked
the radio station to post a few paragraphs of text
about the meaning of the Divine Mercy on their web
site, and to include the name and contact information for
a member of the team for those who wanted more
information about the Divine Mercy devotion. In return, they would
give Divine Mercy Radio free publicity by putting its web
site on the billboard—a win-win solution all around.
|This Divine Mercy billboard was seen by thousands on a major interstate highway.|
The billboard went
up successfully and will stay up until May 22. The
women are currently fundraising to put the image up again
for June, the month of the Sacred Heart. Again, the
goal is simply to bring a touch of grace into
the most ordinary of places, like a gentle reminder that
God is there, and this love is stronger than sin.
billboard is located right near a night club,” DeGennaro observed.
“You never know how God might use something like this.
It could reach just the right person at the right
Parachutes into guerilla territory
As a second initiative, the team is
working on putting together 10 parachutes in association with a
Christian organization called Voice of the Martyrs. The organization, which
is evangelical Protestant in origin, focuses on spreading the Gospel
to people in countries where religious liberties are limited or
absent. In Colombia, for example, Christian missionaries are working among
the FARC guerillas, hoping to bring Christ to people steeped
in Marxist ideology and also to the villagers whose lives
|The Regnum Christi women's team working on their parachute project.|
have been disrupted by violence.
One of their initiatives in
Colombia has been the distribution of Spanish-language Bibles, Christian books,
and… solar-powered Galcom radios that are pre-tuned to a Christian
station and turned on prior to deployment.
Voice of the Martyrs
invites newsletter readers to help sew the parachutes that will
be dropped from a plane over FARC territory. So, to
support the ministry, the team is making 10 parachutes, one
for each woman on the team. Each parachute will say
Dios es Amor (God is Love) on it, and the
women are planning to send rosaries and Catholic prayer cards
with the parachutes when they send them back to Voice
of the Martyrs, with the request that the Catholic items
be included in the packages.
From billboards to parachutes, this
team of apostolically oriented women is finding creative ways to
bring reminders of God’s love into the most ordinary or
unexpected places. It is their hope that these parachuted packages—and
the prayers that went into them—will be an instrument for
God to touch hearts scarred by violence, opening up a
window of grace, hope, and healing.