Pastor Cal's
Weekly Epistle

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column
for the Spirit Page of
the Norwich Bulletin.

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Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

Check out our blog at Central Baptist Life
Don't Be Afraid to Share the Good News                       January 9, 2013


Dear friends,

You never know what you are going to see on a New York City subway train.  Forget
Broadway.  The subway provides the backdrop for the world's largest dramatic production.
Every day the actors change.  The drama unfolds anew.  From musicians playing on the
underground stages to the characters who perform up close and personal, you get your
money's worth when you hop on the car to travel from one place to the next.

I don't think it was ever intended for anything but getting people across the city.  Yet,
like most things in life, there are dynamics within the system that foster unpredictable
and sometimes life changing by-products.  I witnessed that on my most recent trip into
the city.

She was well dressed and looked like she was heading into the office for a day of business.
She started at one end of the subway car and slowly made her way through to the other
end.  In her hands were religious tracts.  "God loves you,"  she said in a soft, almost
comforting voice.  "You look like you could use some good news today," she said to one
man who quickly looked away.

One by one she approached each of us with an offer of a tract and a word about the new
life waiting for any who would accept it.  She wasn't pushy.  As people waved her off or
looked the other way, she simply kept moving.  It was funny to see how quickly people
dismissed her.  It didn't bother her.  She just kept moving and trying to reach out to any
who would respond.

As she got off the train at the next stop I wondered to myself how she lived with the
rejection.  You would have thought she was a leper or carrying the black plague the way
people shunned her.  Yet she carried on with a smile so broad and welcoming.

That's when I thought of Pastor Debbe Santiago.  She runs the Salt & Sea Mission at
Coney Island.  I met her a couple of years ago on a mission trip.  Her life was changed by
a person like the lady on the train.  Sleeping under the boardwalk at Coney Island she
found a tract left by a nameless saint.  At the right time in her life, she read it and gave
her heart to Christ.  

Today Pastor Debbe's Salt & Sea Mission supplies 16,000 hot meals a month, 28,000
meals out of the food pantry, clothing and furniture for clients, ESL and citizenship
classes and regular worship services and Bible studies for the poor and homeless in Coney
Island.  All this came about because someone cared enough not to give up when sharing
the Good News of the Gospel.

Maybe you have felt that your efforts to share God's love have fallen on deaf ears.  Don't
give up!  Just keep planting the seeds and let God water them and make them grow.  I
pray your efforts will be blessed this year and that many will come to know God's grace
and glory because of you.

God bless. See you in church. Cal