Touch Point - Trolley Tracting
Pocket Full of Quarters Trek 2009 – Give ‘em Heaven
Touch Point – Trolley Tracting
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 1 Mark 16:15-16 NIV
Pigeon Forge is at the base of the Great Smokey Mountains. I longed to drive into the Smokey’s but I’d had such fruitful experiences on the subways of New York, Barbara and I decided to try our hand at taking the city trolley and passing out tracts. After today, I may just quit traveling and spend the rest of my life riding trolleys in Pigeon Forge. Maybe one day, God will even let me see the Great Smokey Mountains.
Lest you think Barbara and I are too Godly, you must remember that we are also women. Being women, we decided to get off at various stops and “tract” through stores. After all, what female can pass up an Outlet Mall and unique gift shops?
Thanks to Inside Out Ministries’ generosity, we had tracts for children and adults. We even had a Transformers tract for boys. We gave out tracts, used the EvangeCube, and handed out our few remaining liberty bracelets as we trekked through stores and rode the Trolley. Throughout the day, we prayed with several Christians about health issues or family concerns. We constantly reminded the Christians we met to share their faith in Jesus. We led 3 people to Christ.
The park benches at the Outlet Mall were packed with bored men praying their wives didn’t deplete the entire bank account. Barbara and I started at one end of the shopping center and worked the benches - which is probably better than working the street corners. We'd say, “I’ll bet you’re waiting on a female.”
They laughed and asked, “How did you know?”
Barbara said it reminded her of Brad Paisley’s Country Western song, Waiting on a Women. She told the men that good women were worth waiting for. Most agreed.
I did womankind a favor and reminded the men to tell their women that the new clothes looked great and made them look thin.
I always asked, “May I give you something to read while you wait?”
Almost all of them said yes. The tract led to interesting conversations. Pastor Dunlap even preached us a sermon and made a ministry donation but that is another story.
Marvin, a father and husband, wasn’t sure of his salvation.
“Do you believe in Jesus and the Bible?” I asked.
“I do,” he said. “I want to get to heaven but I’m not sure God is going to forgive my past.”
“We can take care of those doubts right now. If you pray to receive Jesus, He won’t even remember your past.”
“Let’s do it,” he agreed. There on the streets of the Tanger Outlet Mall, Marvin prayed to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior. Imagine what it would be like to go shopping in an Outlet Mall and come out to a changed husband.
We met college student Hilliah on the trolley. He was blond, adorable, and probably quite popular with female college students.
“I wrecked my car,” he said dryly. “Now I have to ride the trolley to work until I save up for another one.” We laughed, talked for a while, and eventually I asked if I could give him a tract.
“What is it?” he asked.
“We’re Christians. Have you ever asked Jesus into your life?”
“No,” he said. “But I believe in God.”
“Do you believe in Jesus?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. We talked a few minutes about the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He seemed to understand and believe.
“Would you like to pray to receive Jesus right now?” I asked.
“I don’t know how,” he said.
“I’ll help you,” I answered.
Right there on the trolley, he invited Jesus to be the Lord of his life.
Hilliah got off the Trolley and Amber got on. She plopped down into her seat and leaned back on a bench by herself.
“Are you all right?” I asked.
“I’m exhausted. I just got off work.”
“Where are you from?” I asked.
“Lived here all my life,” she smiled.
I pulled out my tracts and suddenly felt led to give her a children’s tract instead. The words on the front had big bright letters that said, “You’re so special to God.”
She read it and burst into tears. I jumped up, sat next to her, and took her into my arms. Amber had grown up a Jehovah Witness, left that church, and was not a Christian. She was furious with God. Two years ago, her 66-year-old mother died suddenly. Shorty afterward, her two 24-year-old nephews died in separate car accidents. She fell apart and drank to numb the pain. Just two weeks before our meeting, her fed up husband, took her only son, and moved to Florida with his parents.
“They were all I had left. He won’t take my calls. I’m so mad at God,” she wept.
“God has big shoulders,” I said. “He can handle your anger. You can’t handle life without Him. He had me hand you that tract because of how much He loves you. Do you believe in Jesus?”
“I do,” she said as her shoulders heaved with wracking sobs.
“Please,” I begged. “You need Jesus. Pray with me right now and let Him come into your life. I kept feeling led to come to this city. You are why God sent me here. God has orchestrated this moment to call you to Him. Don’t miss this chance. Let Him in. Let Him help you.”
She finally prayed brokenly to receive Jesus as her Savior.
I handed her a tiny copy of the book of John as well as my contact information. “Read this and contact me if you have any questions.
“One more thing,” I said before we got off the trolley. “Usually when a family thinks someone drinks too much, they are right. God may relieve you of the desire to drink all at once but if you are a true alcoholic, you might need to go to Alcoholics Anonymous for support. I want you to find a church and an AA meeting. Go to the AA meeting 6 times before you make a decision about that. Let the Holy Spirit take care of your marriage. He’s giving you a time by yourself to work on you. Find a church that loves God and the Bible and let them love the stuffing out of you. E-mail me when you find a church and an AA meeting.”
As we stepped off the trolley, the bus driver who was also a pastor, made a suggestion for a church she could try.
What a day – what a glorious day - three new Christians. I’ll go trackin’ on a trolley any day. Barbara and I plan to travel tomorrow through the Great Smokey Mountains. I wonder what God has planned.
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.