Touch Points - Missionary Moments In New York
Pocket Full of Quarters Trek 2009 – Give ‘em Heaven
Touch Points – Missionary Moments in New York
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28 NIV
Everything I have ever done in my life has prepared me for this moment in my life and ministry. God never wastes an experience. Week Three finds us at Croton Point State Park, near New York City. I joined Inside Out Ministries from Seattle Washington to participate in their annual evangelical Hope Tour through New York City and Washington DC. Hubby Bob flew in on Friday night to join us. Life is crowded in the tiny camper van, Halleluiah.
Missionary (Mis) Adventures
Missionary Dog Belle and I made a side trip to Kingston, New York where poor Halleluiah spent a day in the camper hospital. I called Bob in a panic when the camper battery stopped charging. Bob quickly found a RoadTrek dealer and Belle and I made the 5 hour drive across the beautiful Catskill Mountains. We took the scenic route and naturally, got lost. It only cost an extra $500 to find out there was a converter reset button hidden under the couch. Technical genius Bob was chagrinned that he didn’t figure that out.
People Needing Jesus
I spent several hours ministering to veterans at the Canandaigua Veterans Hospital where Veteran Shirley prayed to receive Jesus into her life.
My restaurant hostess, Denise, in the hotel where Belle and I stayed while waiting on the Halleluiah repair also prayed to receive Jesus. That made the $500 repair and hotel cost worth it.
Churches of America
Sunday’s worship experiences provided a study in contrasts. The morning began in the amazing Time Square Church in New York City. The Gospel-Rock praise band that included a Hammond B3, grand piano, 2 drummers, bass guitar, trombone, trumpet, and tenor sax and the 90+ member choir moved us to tears as they led us in praise music for an hour of the 2 hour service.
God blessed us hearing the famous Founding Pastor, Rev. David Wilkerson. Rev. Wilkerson is 78 years old and preached on the topic, “God Knows.” He used the text from Psalms 139 and had us say, “God knows.” He and his wife have been ill. He said, “I wasn’t supposed to preach today. God laid a message on my heart and told me to preach it so He is going to have to give me the strength to do it.” Hope was alive on Sunday morning.
Later, Inside Out Ministries led a worship service in the Bowery Mission in the Soho District of Manhattan. We stepped around piles of trash and handed out tracts on our way there. We each took a job in leading the lay led worship service for an eclectic audience of the homeless, addicted, and mentally ill. For a second time that day, we cried as we promised the group of mostly men that Jesus Christ offered hope for them.
The suffering of this nation’s mentally ill is heartbreaking. Many of our homeless are suffering from illnesses that leave them terrified and confused as they stumble through our streets. In the Veterans Hospital, one veteran said, “I served in the military when I had my breakdown. I’m paranoid schizophrenic. I’m afraid God isn’t going to let me into heaven.” We discussed steps to salvation and she knew Jesus. I assured her that God wouldn’t keep her out of heaven due to mental illness but she lives in terror. Many at Bowery Mission also seemed to have similar issues. Growing up, I had beloved family members who were chronically mentally ill. The abilities, compassion, and awareness that came out of my childhood experiences were part of my training for God’s current call on my life. God works all things out for our good and never wastes an experience.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Gail Golden at 904 316-5462.
This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road as a traveling missionary, send your tax deductible contribution to Pocket Full of Change Ministries, POB 51205, Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32240 or go to the donate button on the home page of this website.