The Birthday Gift
The Secret to Everything – The Birthday Gift
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Change Ministries
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? Rom 10:14-15 The New Living Translation
May 9 was Deb’s birthday and I wanted to give her a gift. Everything I thought about giving seemed trivial for one who has made such a difference to so many. Deb has a heart for helping people meet Jesus. She is a financial and prayer supporter of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. Some of us are called to “go” and in order to go, we must be “sent.” (Romans 10:15) Deb is a sender.
I met Deb leading a women’s retreat for her church in Arizona. When she sent her original donation, she included the words, “Give’em Heaven.” Those words have become our ministry slogan and this year it is “Give’em Heaven in 2011.” Her initial donations often came at a time when I was personally discouraged about finances and seeking God’s will in evangelism. It takes money to lead people to Christ and the economy is tough. Monthly support is essential for stabilizing ministries and Deb’s monthly donation has helped us budget and plan for our part in building God’s kingdom. She also has helped fund specific ministry events that led to the salvation of many. I wondered what possible gift I could give that would represent the love I have for her as a sister in Christ and a partner in evangelism.
Sunday, while sitting in church, listening to a Mother’s Day sermon on faithful women, I knew the gift I was going to give Deb. On her birthday, Belle the Missionary Dog and I were going to go to the Penn State University Campus and tell people about Jesus.
It was lovely day. After so much cold weather, students were giddy to be outside frolicking in the sunshine. Many were about to graduate and the campus was bursting with energy. Belle the Missionary Dog did her thing and drew the students to us. Belle did tricks as I gave the gospel of Jesus Christ. We handed out Christian tracts to people waiting for busses and studying for finals on park benches. Young people shared their faith stories and disappointment with God and church as we all basked in the sunshine.
One young man, Matt, was still grieving the sudden death of his 12 year old brother, who died from a simple bowel obstruction. The horror of it was worse because it occurred only four days after 9/11. He lost his faith when his Godly mother, who stood steadfast in her faith through everything died only four years later from complications of radiation treatment for cancer.
I shared with him about the loss of my son and gave him a salvation tract and a scripture card about dealing with grief. I invited him to pray with me but he said that after being mixed up for so long, he needed to read the material and get alone to think. I invited him to my church, gave him my phone number, and offered him a ride to church.
Three beautiful young women crossed the campus carrying the caps and gowns they’d just picked up. Their faces beamed with hope and excitement for the future. As we passed on the sidewalk, Belle made sure that she got their attention. We talked about their destiny, in the immediate future and eternity. All three had attended Christian churches as children and believed in Jesus at some level. None had a personal relationship with Him nor had they ever prayed to ask Him to be their personal Savior. After hearing God’s words, two prayed the words that would change their destinies. Their spiritual birthday will be the same as Deb’s earthly birthday. The third listened to God’s words, bowed her head when her friends prayed, but refused to pray herself. She promised to read the tract and consider it for later. I believe God will send many more Christians her way with the same offer.
Happy Birthday, my dear Deb. The birthday gift I gave you was a day of ministry in the work we both love so much. The real birthday gift came from God. As I prayed for you today, I asked God for a special gift for you – for Him to send at least one person to receive Jesus on your birthday. He sent two that will forever share a birthday with you. I love you. Thank you for your partnership in the work of Pocket Full of Change Ministries.
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 Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.
Copyright: Pocket Full of Change Ministries
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