At a recent parish mission, I had the privilege of hearing Ken Yasinski. He’s an impactful young Catholic speaker from Canada who has just recently begun presenting in the United States. We at ministry23 have been working with him on a new project called Pursuit of Purpose for months. Since most of our conversations have been through phone or Skype, I was excited to see him live.

Ken has a dynamic, relatable style, so I wanted my friends and family members to attend at least one night of his three-day parish mission. Unfortunately, no one made it the first or second day. I was a bit disappointed; not necessarily because they couldn’t make it, but because they were missing out on such a wonderful speaker.

On the day of Ken’s third and last talk, I reached out to 9 friends and family members with a text early in the morning and one later in the day. I thought for sure at least half of them would be able to attend that night. But by the time 5:30pm rolled around, no one had responded. At this point, I felt very discouraged because I was hoping everyone would get a chance to hear him. Ken even mentioned on Tuesday evening that even if a friend couldn’t make it to the first two nights, Wednesday night’s talk would be a good for anyone to catch and listen to some of the stories he was going to share.

As I was driving my family to the church that evening, I heard my phone buzz. My wife looked down to find out who it was and saw that two of our family members would also be attending. I was so excited, and it reminded me that we can’t give up on our efforts to evangelize.

Yeah, it would have been great for all 9 to attend. (Honestly, it probably would have been a miracle.) However, this once again shows that we can do all we can to evangelize, but it’s ultimately up to the individual to choose. We need to at least provide the opportunity for them to encounter Christ, leave the rest to God, and always remember to never get discouraged.

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