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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Calvary Leads to Calvary

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. Matt 16:18 The Message

“Hello,” I said, walking up to a man and woman sitting on a bench in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania mall. I was with Steve Harrison, a board member of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. I’d driven to Philadelphia to participate in Steve’s Quantum Leap program for writers. Quantum Leap helps writers learn how to market their books and services. While Quantum Leap is for writers of every genre, Christian and traditional markets, Steve is a committed Christian and wanted to spend a day following me and learning more about evangelism.

The man sitting on the bench gave us a wide grin, stuck out his hand to Steve and said in a childlike voice, “Hello, I’m Jack.”

Steve shook his hand and said, “Hi Jack.”

“Hi Jack,” I said, smiling. “I’m Cheryle. Nice to meet you.”

Jack delightedly shook my hand. He then turned to Steve and shook his hand again, saying, “I’m Jack.”

“Jack,” I said. “Jesus loves you.”

“I love Jesus,” he said. “My granddaddy loved Jesus.”

Wondering if they had the same granddaddy, I asked the woman sitting with him, “Are you two related?”

“No,” she said. “I work at the group home where he lives.”

“Jack sounds like he knows all about Jesus,” I said as Jack beamed.

“He does,” the woman said. “He talks about Jesus all the time.”

“What about you?” I asked. “If something happened today, would you know where you would spend eternity?”

“I hope heaven but I’m not really sure,” she said. “I go to church sometimes.”

“You don’t have to hope,” I said. I went into the good news of Christ. Throughout my sharing, Jack agreed playfully with me, loving hearing us talk about Jesus. Every few minutes, he stuck his hand out for Steve to shake it again.

Jack’s companion listened to my words but wasn’t very interested until I asked where she was from.

“I live in State College,” she said.

Wow” I said. “I live in State College too. You said you go to church sometimes. Where do you go?”

She gave a name of a local Methodist church I didn’t recognize and added, “I’m not very active.”

“I go to Calvary Baptist,” I said.

When I said Calvary, her entire face lit up. “I know Calvary!” she said excitedly. “They do City Serve. They come out to where Jack lives and help us fix up the place. I love Calvary.”

“We call ourselves the Church Without Walls,” I said. “I love Calvary too. We like to go out into the community and be Jesus to the world. The weekend of City Serve, we cancel all services and just serve. We also send groups overseas to help orphanages and other kinds of projects the same way. We’re pretty excited that City Serve is expanding to other churches in the community.”

Once this woman knew I was from Calvary, everything changed. When I invited her to pray with me, she eagerly agreed.

“I want to pray too,” Jack said.

“Of course you can,” I laughed. Jack and his companion repeated the words after me. When we finished, Jack was grinning and the woman’s eyes were brimming with tears.

“If you fill out a card, I’ll send you free stuff and promise not to hassle you,” I said.

“Sure,” she said, taking the card and filling it out.

“Me to, me too,” begged Jack. “I want one too.” I gave Jack a card and he carefully drew his name in big letters.

“Here is something to help you understand more about what you just did and what to do next,” I told the woman, handing her a tract. “Maybe you can visit Calvary sometime.”

“I want one too,” Jack begged again. I smiled and handed him a tract.

When the day was over, Steve and I had led 10 people to the Jesus that Jack loved so much. Because Jack prayed the prayer, some evangelists might have counted sweet Jack among their salvation numbers but I did not. I could tell that Jack’s grandfather had already led him to Jesus. Because Jack’s grandfather had been Jesus to Jack, Jack helped me lead his companion to Jesus.

I love being a part of a church family that lights up the faces of non-members and even non-Christians. I was 200 miles from my church but because of their determination to be Jesus to the world, Calvary helped me offer Calvary to someone else. When a church is the church Jesus intended, the reach of the church is limitless.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. 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 leading people to Christ, you can donate at


1 comment:

  1. That's just awesome! What a wonderful experience. I love being part of that church too. :)