This week Grotto Network catches up with Joe Nolan, a volunteer with Christ In the City. He shared his experience of seeking out and speaking with people who are homeless in Denver, CO — and reminds us that “preaching the Gospel” can be done with actions, not just words.
Joe Nolan: My name is Joe Nolan. I finished a two-year stint with Christ in the City, which is a homeless service charity out in Denver.
Each day you’ll go on about a three-hour street walk. What a street walk is on the streets to the poor to meet them where they’re at and basically talking with them.
I remember the first time I went to Lunch in the Park. All the homeless come to Civic Center Park, it’s just kind of a picnic. It’s a fun environment.
First time, I was getting nervous. I was like, there’s this guy in line, he’s talking to no one, I’m going to go for it. Just mustered my courage and said like, ‘hey I’m Joe, what’s your name?’ He didn’t even look at me, he just said, ‘nope.’ That was my first experience. That was kind of brutal.
I realized afterward like ‘okay, that wasn’t that bad. You need to get back into it.’ What I learned in Christ in the City was a more accurate preaching of the Gospel is thinking about the other person rather than saying a formula of words.