Hays — Giving multiple presentations over the course of two days is nothing new to Terry Barber, an international speaker, founder of three Catholic communication and evangelization organizations, and author of “How to Share Your Faith With Anyone.” What Barber found different about his trip to Hays in early September was making some of those presentations to audiences comprised of elementary through high school-aged students. While the primary purpose of Barber’s visit was to be the keynote speaker at Divine Mercy Radio’s eighth annual appreciation banquet on Sept. 8, he jumped at the opportunity to spend time on Friday, Sept. 7, with students from Thomas More Prep-Marian Jr./Sr. High School and Holy Family Elementary School. In his talks with the students, Barber’s message focused on ways each young person could grow in his or her relationship with Jesus Christ. He wove several stories and examples into his talks, sharing how other young people had grown in their faith and how Jesus showed his presence to people throughout their lives. One piece of advice he offered the students was to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
“Ask your mom or dad if you can visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, even just for a few minutes,” Barber told the first and second-grade students attending his first presentation at Holy Family Elementary. “If you visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament frequently, your faith will grow. Just ask him for more faith every day.”
Barber’s message to the students in the upper grades at HFE and to those at TMP-Marian was similar to that which he’d presented to the younger students, however in these presentations he asked them to start thinking long-term. “Ask Jesus what he wants you to do with your life,” he said. He went on to explain that the students were receiving a great foundation in their Catholic education, but that not everyone they meet in the future will have such a solid faith. “You’ll meet a lot of people as you grow up,” he said. “There will be people who aren’t living a Christ-centered life. You need to be an example to these people.” Barber’s presentations impacted the Hays Catholic school students and staff in different ways. “I thought the biggest take-away was simply Mr. Barber's obvious joy in talking about the Eucharist,” said HFE second-grade teacher Jennie Helget. “He has such love in his heart for the most sacred body and blood of Jesus. My students responded to that joy and show such an excitement for when it will be their time to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.”
As for the older students, “They were amazed that actual "miracles' still exist today,” said Brenda Stoecklein, a fifth-grade teacher at HFE. “Most of the students thought that miracles only happened during the time of Jesus. For them to hear that miracles still happen today through the power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit was uplifting and inspirational for all of us. “It made the students realize that anything can happen with God,” she added. “To always keep your faith strong and never lose hope.” Barber, who co-hosts The Terry & Jesse Show from the studios of Virgin Most Powerful Radio in southern California, shared his message of evangelization during his keynote address to the attendees at the Divine Mercy Radio’s annual banquet. In that presentation which focused on several of his “Ten Commandments of Sharing Your Faith,” he mixed humor with apologetics, catechesis, and his own personal testimony.
His goal for those in attendance was to teach them to, “Share your faith by your own witness story.” “God has given you a job to do, so do your duty well,” he said. “God will put you where you need to be.” The Terry & Jesse Show airs Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. on Divine Mercy Radio, 88.1 in Hays and Great Bend, or streaming online at dvmercy.com. For more information on Terry Barber, visit catholicrc.org.