This article originally appeared in Renewal Ministries’ October 2017 newsletter.
Larry Yelinek has found a unique way to share Renewal Ministries’ booklets.
The long-time friend of Renewal Ministries began driving for Uber in September 2016, as a way to save money for a vacation with his wife. However, the job quickly became something more.
It began with a bumper sticker Larry put on the back of his car for a local Catholic radio station. Soon, he added two more to the back of the seats—so they couldn’t be missed. Next, he began giving invitations to an upcoming Alpha class led by i.d.9:16 Director Pete Burak. He handed out items he picked up at local churches, like the Divine Mercy chaplet. Finally, he began handing out his own library of Renewal Ministries’ booklets. When those were gone, he got more—and more—to distribute to his passengers.
At first, Larry didn’t get much of a response. But that quickly changed.
When the situation seems appropriate, Larry asks the passenger about themselves: What are you studying? What do you teach? At which restaurant are you a cook?
As the Holy Spirit inspires, Larry then will often share a story from his own life. Like the healing of his hip, which had been in need of replacement, that he experienced at Renewal Ministries’ 2016 Gathering. That event has inspired Larry’s own evangelization outreach: “I need to give it away. I know I’m supposed to be planting seeds.”
“When I talk, I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me, and if I screw up, to fix it,” said Larry. “I just try to get out of the way.”
Larry now keeps a few Renewal Ministries’ booklets in his car and asks his passengers to pick out the title that means something to them.
Popular titles include Sr. Ann Shields’ Captured by Mercy, Peter Herbeck’s Do I Really Want God? (available as a free download on our website, www.RenewalMinistries.net, under “Resources”), and Ralph Martin’s Overcoming Sin, Is There Any Hope for Me?, and The Final Confrontation.
“I pray that the people He wants me to pray with are there,” said Larry. “God sends them to me. The Holy Spirit is so powerful and alive today—don’t put Him in a box.”
Below are just some of the experiences Larry has had while speaking to his passengers about the Lord:
- Larry offered his services to drive a monsignor visiting the US from Ghana, Africa, to an event. When he called to thank Larry, their conversation shifted to a discussion of the Holy Spirit, and Larry asked if the priest has been baptized in the Holy Spirit. He answered no, but was open to Larry praying with him. Larry prayed with the monsignor, gave him the booklet A New Pentecost, and maintains regular contact with him. Larry said, “I am honored to say, this monsignor is going back to Africa and is taking the Holy Spirit with him.”
- One woman got in the car with a few children on a hot day; they were just making a couple-minute drive to their grandmother’s house, where there would be air conditioning. As they pulled into the driveway, the woman pointed to a nearby, burned-down house, and said, “That is where my husband recently died in a house fire.”
Larry stopped the car. He explained, “We stayed there for several minutes. I prayed for her and her kids. When the grandma walked out, I shared with her the importance of a mom and a grandma’s prayer. Then, I gave her a few booklets. It was a blessing for the mom, the kids, and the grandma—who wasn’t even my passenger.”
- Larry also related the following story: “A month ago, I had to help a woman out of her house and guide her to the car. I prayed with her. With my mom’s rosary, I prayed with all of the angels and saints. And that woman, who I had to almost carry out, walked into the pain clinic without pain.”
“We have to be evangelists,” said Larry. “We can’t sit there and expect the problems we see to go away without us opening our mouths.”
Larry offers this advice to people who want to share the Good News in their own lives: “You don’t need a degree in Scripture. You just need Jesus. You can talk about someone you know.”
He now sees his work as something much more than a way to provide for an annual winter getaway: “I don’t look at it as a job. It’s a ministry. It’s an evangelization tool, and I’m using it as best I can.”