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Saturday, July 10, 2010

40 In 3 - Here Am I, Send Me

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isa 6:8 NIV

How can I possibly explain what it feels like to be with 40 people in just 3 days as they pray to invite Jesus Christ into their lives? That is what happened to me on July 4th at “Christ on the Mall” in Washington DC. Every year, Christians come to our nation’s capital, set up booths on the mall outside the Capital Building, and tell people about Jesus. I was there with Inside Out Ministries from Seattle, Washington. Hundreds prayed with our group to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It was like a hot dog stand. People crowded around and waited to talk with us.

I’d use words like awesome or amazing but I looked up the definitions and these words weren’t big enough to describe my feelings. Thinking about it “takes my breath away,” brings on renewed tears, and for some reason, leaves me feeling strangely unworthy of such an honor. I want to leap for joy and shout it from the tops of mountains. I want to call everyone who donated to Pocket Full of Change Ministries and say, “People will be in heaven because you gave money.” I long to experience it again and fall to my knees with pleas of “Here am I, send me.”

We were giving out free Liberty Bracelets that had colored beads to represent the way to true liberty. The gold bead represented heaven and the amazing plans God has for each person. The dark bead represented the sin that separates us from God. Red is the color of the blood Jesus shed to give us a way back to God. White is the color or purity and represents how God sees us when we invite Jesus into our lives. Green represents the growth we have in a relationship with Jesus. We gave out 5,000 bracelets to people of all races, nationalities, religions, ages, and genders.

A man named George waited in line for his bracelet. As I tied it on, I asked if he knew where he would go if he died today. It seemed a harsh question and I don’t usually start that way, but the Holy Spirit urged me.

“No,” he shuddered. “I want to go to heaven but I worry about it all the time.” George was a well-dressed man who looked to be in his 50’s. Nothing about his countenance indicated his concerns about eternity and yet it was there.

“Do you believe in Jesus?” I asked. “His birth, death, and resurrection?”

“I guess,” he said. “I just can’t stop worrying about hell.”

I explained what the bracelet meant and why Jesus died on a cross. “The Bible says that you only need a tiny bit of faith. It describes it as the size of a mustard seed. It sounds like you have at least that much faith. I suspect you’ve made mistakes and feel you deserve hell,” I offered gently. His tears affirmed the truth.

“I’ve tried to make up for them,” George said. “Nothing makes me feel better.”

“The Bible says everyone has sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Sin is the Bible word for mistakes. If you’ve sinned, you’re in good company. Everyone has. In God’s eyes, all sins are equal, so you sins are no better or worse than any other person.“

George was listening intently so I continued. “You’re right to worry about hell because the Bible says the wages of sin is death. The good news is that the Bible also says the gift of God is eternal life and that all who call on the name of Jesus will be saved. You’ve done the hard part. You already believe in Jesus. All that is left is for you is to call on the name of Jesus and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior. Let’s do that right now.”

“Please,” he begged, visibly trembling.

“Pray after me,” I said. “Dear Jesus, I believe in you. I know you died on a cross and rose from the dead for me. Help me with the part of me that doesn’t completely believe. I have made so many mistakes and feel guilty. I ask for your forgiveness. Please come into my life right now and be my Lord and Savior. Thank you for my salvation.”

“Thank you,” George said, as he finished praying.

“Do you need to sit down?” I asked, leading a shaking George to a folding chair.

“I do,” he said, taking the offered seat under the tent. As George tried to compose himself, Christians all around us were praying with people. It was almost 100 degrees but Inside Out Ministries stayed on that mall for over 13 hours, constantly leading people like George to Christ.

“You don’t ever have to worry about hell again,” I told George. “That issue is settled. You remember your mistakes but God has already forgotten them. You probably need to make amends to some people in your life but God has forgiven you for all of eternity. The angels are throwing a party because you’ve invited Jesus to be your Savior and a place for you in heaven is already being prepared.”

“Thank you,” was all George could manage to say.

“Thank you Jesus,” I whispered as George left. I’ve been on the 2010 Pocket Full of Quarters missionary journey since April 1st. I’ve visited 29 states, driven 14,000 miles, and 85 people have prayed with me to receive Jesus. I’ve been present as hundreds changed their destiny through prayer. People long for Jesus because He is worthy. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. (Matthew 9:27)

Have you prayed the words, “Here am I send me?” If not, you cannot imagine what you are missing. God probably won’t send you on the road as He does me, but there are people like George in your grocery stores, shopping malls, and parks. Look for them. They need to hear about your Jesus. Ministries like Pocket Full of Change Ministries need funding. Donate so we can do the work God has called us to do full time. Pray, “Hear am I Lord, send me.” Go into the world as God calls. Please, do not miss the joy of being a part of leading people to an eternity with Christ.

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