Pocket Full of Quarters Journey 2015
He Heard Her Cries
He Heard Her Cries
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. Psalms 18:6
"Can we go evangelizing tonight?" I texted to Tonya.
No hesitation. Just a quick yes. That is how it has always been with Tonya Payne. I ask her to go out and she stops everything and goes out.
Tonya and I have been evangelizing together for years at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. We have led many to Jesus together. I was in Manchester, Tennessee doing some ministry development work for Pocket Full of Change Ministries with my mentors, Pastor Ron and Amanda Fuller. They had a meeting to attend tonight so I texted Tonya. I didn't have to ask her twice.
First, we did the girlfriend thing. We had dinner and caught up on our families. Our waiter was already a Christian but needed prayer for his grandma so we did that. Then we headed to our favorite evangelism spot, Wal-Mart.
We began by praying together in the car. Then, we went inside and gave out Gospel Bracelets (thank you again Cathy Tubbs). Everyone we talked to was either already saved or got saved tonight. We felt the favor of the Lord all over Wal-Mart and 3 people met Jesus.
We both agreed that one particular encounter was worth the entire trip. We met Ashley in the women's clothing department. She caught my attention because of her fragile beauty. She was thin and wore jeans with creatively cut-out holes. Her dark hair, curled in a unique bun, was a stark contrast to her pale skin. She was in town visiting her boyfriend and didn't go to church. She believed in Jesus. Slight jerky movements indicated that she might have a medical condition or possible addiction issues.
When I asked where she was going in the next life, she hoped heaven but wasn't sure. She'd tried to be good but later admitted that she had made many mistakes.
"I try to teach my children not to make the mistakes I made," she told us. We were surprised that she had 2 children because she looked too young. She lived with alcoholic parents who she said had health problems, drove her crazy, and worried her.
She was hungry for every word we spoke and there was no hesitation about praying to meet Jesus. I spoke the words of the Gospel to her but the entire time we talked, she looked into Tonya's loving eyes as if she was drawing strength from Tonya.
When she finished praying, she put her hands over her face and said, "I needed this. I've been crying every night. I needed this!"
"Have you been crying out to God?" I asked.
"Yes," she said. "Every night."
"He heard you and just answered your prayers. He has forgiven everything you have ever done. You are His beloved perfect child. One day, you'll be in heaven with Him."
She put her hands over her face again and wiped her eyes. "I needed this," she repeated.
"Do you need prayer for anything else?" I said, probing. "Do you have any strongholds like alcohol or drugs that we need to pray for? Any medical issues?"
"No drugs or alcohol but I've been so sick I can't eat. I eat one bite and I want to throw up. I was supposed to get biopsies done every 6 months and I haven't done that. I feel sick."
"Biopsies for possible cancer?" I asked. She looked sick to me.
"Uterine cancer," she whispered.
"How long has it been since you had a biopsy?" I asked.
"Let me pray for you," I said. This time, I prayed for her health, children, and parents. I encouraged her to see a doctor but she doesn't have medical insurance and it didn't sound like she was going to see a doctor.
Pray for sweet Ashley. Pray for her spiritual growth, health, children, and family situation. I have her email and I'll certainly follow up. I will also ask someone locally to follow up as well.
One thing for absolute certain - Tonya and I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit while talking with Ashley. She'd been crying out to God. He heard her cries and her eternity with Jesus is now sealed.
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