Casual Encounters Walking Through a Campground
Pocket Full of Quarters Trek 2014
Casual Encounters Walking Through a Campground
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
Religion is Cultural
“Where are you from?”
“Welcome. Thank you for visiting us. How long in the US?”
“We stay here one year. My husband worked in Houston. We go back now - today. We came to this campground for holiday. We go home today.”
“Did someone invite you to church while you were here?”
“No.” She looked puzzled.
“I’m so sorry. That was rude. When people visit us, we should invite them to our churches.”
“It is….good,” she soothed, searching for the right word. “People were nice.”
“Did someone at least talk to you about Jesus?”
“Now I really apologize. There are many Christians in Houston. Do you go to church in France?”
“No. In France church is…how do you say…cultural.”
“Do you believe in Jesus or God?”
“Did you ever believe?”
“I went to Catholic church some but I never believed.”
“Would you want to know if Jesus were real? Would you want to know if He were the truth, the way, and the life and wanted you to spend eternity with him?”
I told her the story of Jesus and gave the Gospel scriptures. I ended with the Jesus Challenge – ask the Jesus you don’t believe in – the true Son of God and the Savior of the World – to reveal Himself to you in a manner that is beyond your ability to not believe.
“I would love to lead you in a prayer right now asking Jesus to be your Savior.”
“No. I don’t think I believe in him yet. Thank you so much. This meeting – maybe it was meant to be. I will do Jesus Challenge.”
Houston, we have a problem – what happened here? I know how many of you love Jesus. I suspect that with a couple of more encounters, she would have left America loving Jesus.
What Kind of Gospel Are You Sharing?
Shiloh locked me out of the camper. I laid my keys on the seat and stepped outside to bring in her water bowl and yes – she jumped on the automatic door lock. If this is triggering something in your memory banks, you would be correct. Belle did the same thing about 8 years ago.
“You haven’t taught your dog how to unlock the door?” the AAA technician chided.
“I didn’t know I’d taught her to lock it. I hate to admit it but I’ve had a dog do this before.”
“I spect you should keep your keys with you. What is Pocket Full of Quarters?” he asked looking at my van sign.
“I am an evangelist. I travel the country sharing the Gospel with people. “
“What kind of Gospel are you sharing?”
“The good kind – you know - God loved us so much that He sent His only son that whosoever believed might have eternal life. The kind that says all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life and all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. Do you know where you will spend eternity?”
“Yes ma’am I do and it ain’t because of anything I done. I reckon that is sure enough good Gospel.”
What kind of Gospel are you sharing? Is it Good Gospel?
“Shiloh! Stop barking. Hush. No one is going to talk to us if you don’t stop barking. I’m sorry,” I said looking up. “She is barking at your golf cart. Where are you from?”
“I live here in the camp ground. It helps pay the bills. I’m disabled so I can’t really work but I help out here.”
“Are you involved in church?”
“Not yet. My wife keeps looking for one but we haven’t gotten around to it.”
“Did you ever go to church?”
“I went to a Pentecostal Church as a kid. I haven’t been back much.”
“Do you know where you are going in the next life?”
“I sure hope heaven but I don’t think my works are good enough yet. It is all about the works.”
“Really?” I asked puzzled. “Because the Bible says we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If it is about works, I’m not sure any of us are going.”
“That’s true enough,” he agreed.
“The Bible does say that the wages of sin is death but it goes on to say that the gift of God is eternal life. My favorite line in the whole Bible is the one that says all who call on the name of Jesus will be saved. Works don’t get us in – it is all about grace. The thief on the cross next to Jesus sure didn’t have time to do any good works before he went to heaven.”
“That’s true enough – I hadn’t thought about it that way.”
“Do you believe in Jesus?”
“Do you understand you’re a sinner?”
“That’s the whole problem. I try to be good but I don’t know if I’m good enough.”
“Let me help you with this – you aren’t good enough. You never will be. I’m going to heaven but it sure isn’t because I’m good enough – It’s because I’m forgiven. Who’s praying for you? I can tell someone is praying for you. My job is to help people meet Jesus and I knew I was supposed to talk to you the minute I saw you. Who’s praying for you?”
“My mama. She wants me back in church.”
“Let’s make your mama happy. Can I lead you in a prayer calling on the name of Jesus?”
“Please.” We prayed.
“Now, promise me you’ll go home and call your Mama to tell her your good news. We mama’s like that kind of thing.” He grinned.
A reminder to all of you mamas out there - keep praying.
I’m Not Sure
“Oh you don’t have to worry about me. I got saved a few years back and I know I’m going to heaven because Jesus died for me.” She looked hot. She had ridden up in a golf cart full of cleaning supplies. She and her husband were living and working in the campground.
“Great. It’s too hot to stand here and give you the Gospel. But I would have if you’d needed to hear it. What about your husband? Is he saved?”
“I suppose so. He’s Lutheran.”
“I’m glad he goes to church but is he as sure about the next life as you are?”
“I assume so but I’ve never thought to ask.”
“How long have you been married?”
“Twenty years. I probably should know the answer to that question.”
“Probably. Are you sure he believes in Jesus?”
“Has he asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior?”
“I don’t know,” she sighed. "Now I’m going to have to ask.”
“Yep. Ask him why God should let him into heaven. If he says anything other than because Jesus died on the cross for me, pray this prayer with him.” I handed her a tract and pointed out the prayer.
“He’s going to think I’ve been out in the sun too long.”
“Well, we have been standing here a while. Are you going to ask him?”
“I suppose I have to now.”
Do you know where everyone in your family is going in the next life? If not, ask today. I once stood with a mother next to a coffin containing her teenage daughter. She was having nightmares because while her daughter grew up in church, went to youth group and had certificates from the faith based church programs, she had never thought to ask if her daughter knew Jesus personally. I couldn't reassure her because while I'd taught her daughter piano, I hadn't asked either. I don't ever want to feel that way again. Don't assume anything where the answer really matters.
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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.
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