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Friday, July 8, 2011

I Wish You Could See What I See

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35-36 NIV

I wish you could see what I see. I remember church revivals in the late fifties and early sixties. Members filled a pew with their friends and neighbors. Each night, the pastor preached. At the end of the service, the members sang and prayed as people flooded aisles, weeping and crying out for Jesus. When we saw the fruits harvested, revival filled our souls. People need revival.

I wish you could see what I see. I don’t know if churches stopped having revivals because members stopped inviting friends and neighbors or if those friends and neighbors stopped accepting the invitations… but something changed. Now people tell me no one invites them to church. A pastor and I went witnessing together in the blocks surrounding his church. To his astonishment, six people prayed to receive Jesus in just two hours and many others thanked him for the invitation to church. One young man said that he had passed their church every day, stopped to read the message on the marquis, and had always wondered what it was like inside. People want an invitation.

I wish you could see what I see. People leave some churches without knowing how to meet Jesus personally. I don’t know if those churches forgot to tell them how, did not know how, or began assuming that everyone already knew how. One very religious woman sternly said she believed in Jesus, prayed every day, and “hoped” she was good enough to get into heaven. When I mentioned that God loved her so much that He sent His only Son to die so she could have eternal life, she agreed with me. When I mentioned that the wages of sin was death, she also agreed. When I said that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved and that she needed to confess with her mouth and believe with her heart, she sounded surprised. When I invited her to make it personal and invite Jesus into her life, she said, “I’m in a hurry. I’ll pray if you can do it in 4 sentences.” I could and did and when we ended with her inviting Jesus into her life to be her personal Lord and Savior, tears flooded her eyes. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” was all she could manage. She hugged me because she finally knew what was missing. After that, we said way more than four sentences to each other. People want to know “how.”

I wish you could see what I see. The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a place where 100,000 young people gather to spend four days listening to music and partying hearty. A handful of Christians with the Sojourners Fellowship in Manchester, Tennessee led 98 people to Jesus. Last Halloween weekend, thousands of young people poured into Athens, Ohio to party at the Halloween Block Party. About a dozen Christians led 350 young people to Jesus. Young people want to hear about the one true Jesus.

I wish you could see what I see. Christians wring their hands over the spiritual state of America and believe God has given up on America. I visited a church and witnessed 12 people walking forward to receive Jesus. On July 4th, hundreds crowded around our booth on the mall outside the Capital building in Washington DC just to hear about Jesus. Over 500 people prayed to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit is still convicting Americans.

I wish you could see what I see. In the last four weeks, 282 strangers eagerly prayed with me to invite Jesus into their lives. When they prayed, what I call “The Holy Spirit Glow” filled their faces. A young man named Erick invited Jesus into his life and asked if he could hug me. A young mother prayed to receive Jesus, burst into tears, and said meeting Jesus must be the reason she decided to drive 15 miles to take her children to the park. While some said no, few were offended when I shared about Jesus. People want to hear good news.

I wish you could see what I see. After spending a day watching me witness, a pastor said, “I feel like I’ve been let out of a cage.” A woman who spent a few days following me and praying as I shared, shared her faith with someone on the plane ride home. Another called me 48 hours after following me and excitedly said he’d just led someone to Christ. When Christians discover how easy it is to share their faith and how much people want to hear it, their faith deepens beyond their wildest dreams.

I wish you could see what I see. In the last four weeks, I've traveled through 13 states and shared the Gospel with many people. People were so eager to receive Jesus that it hurts to be sitting in my house writing this. The world wants and needs Jesus.
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


Turning America Inside Out

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. Matt 10:11-15 NIV

I love Inside Out Ministries. Based out of Seattle, Washington, their group has expanded to include a few of us from the East Coast. I go where I’m invited and celebrated and I met them several years ago when I was evangelizing and staying with my dear friend, Julie Aires, in Seattle. They immediately invited me to meet them in DC for July 4th and I agreed. I’ve been going ever since. I also sometimes go with them to New York City.

Inside Out Ministries is a group of lay evangelists who use their vacation and leisure time to do evangelism events throughout the year. The mix of the group changes every year but there is a core group of about six who are faithfully in Washington DC every year on July 4th. This year there were nine of us.

Debby from Seattle has been every year that I’ve been there. In addition to the gift of evangelism, Debby has the spiritual gift of administration and makes sure we have tracts, bracelets, a place to stay, and enough money. She leads our group when the founder, Tom, is unable to make it. She makes sure we take the time to pray, prayer walk, and study the Bible so we go out into the world equipped with the full armor of God. She also pushes us to keep going when we get too tired to say or do another thing.

We always have East Coast and West Coast Gary. West Coast Gary was Jewish and found Messiah a number of years back. He is a dedicated Christian who has a heart for gently leading people to Jesus. His wry sense of humor surprises and entertains us. He also has the spiritual gift of encouragement, which we desperately need after so many hours of standing up in the hot sun.

East Coast Gary lives in Maryland. He is our cheerleader and driver and when he witnesses, people stand before him spellbound and eagerly say yes to Jesus. He also has the gift of leadership and the amazing ability to find his way around New York and DC. He and my husband Bob are a sight to behold when they excitedly study maps together.

This year, East Coast Gary introduced us to his friend, Sue. Sue quickly became our friend as she joined us in evangelizing. She feels led to pray for and encourage people as they witness and is gifted at working with youth. In the booth next to ours, a church youth group was “face painting” in the name of Jesus. Sue encouraged some of the youth to watch us evangelize. It wasn’t long before those young people were leading people to Jesus.

Dedicated Kathy is always there. She is dedicated to evangelizing, speaking truth, and handing out tracts to everyone. She knows the word of God and has the spiritual gift of teaching. She weaves Bible applications into most of our conversations and uses the pure truth of the Gospel to lead people to Jesus. She also has the spiritual gift of mercy and a heart for people in pain or needing help.

Sweet Betsy from Seattle loves to lead people to Jesus. She is playful, fun, and the peacemaker of the group. She demonstrates the peace of Jesus when she leads people to Jesus. She is also amazing at building things, which comes in handy with all the tents and materials we set up. She has the spiritual gift of service and jumps in to help wherever needed.

This year, we had a new addition. Jasper visited our DC booth last year and joined us in ministry this year. He is a brilliant young technologist from the DC area who is developing his gift of evangelism. It did not take him long to get into the grove of our evangelism style. He is a Chinese American and was very useful in helping us understand how to communicate better with people of Eastern religious backgrounds.

My husband Bob has joined our mighty band of evangelists every year that I have. It always surprises me because he has limited time off and normally isn’t nearly as excited about spiritually intense events and people as I am. At first, he used his gifts of service and leadership to help us sort tracts and set up equipment and his humor when our exhaustion created tension. Inside Out Ministries encouraged him to begin evangelizing and for the last two years, Bob has boldly stood alongside of us giving the gospel to the crowds of people surrounding us. Bob will always share the gospel in his own unique and humorous way but because of Inside Out Ministries, he has grown more comfortable sharing his faith outside of church teaching environments.

I love evangelizing with Inside Out Ministries. This year, together, we led hundreds of people to Jesus. There were so many that we lost count. I know I had at least 167 salvations and the rest of the group was evangelizing and praying right beside me. There is no telling how many people actually prayed and invited Jesus into their lives.

Jesus says that when we travel, we are to search for worthy people, stay at their house until we leave, and let our peace rest on it. He tells us that if anyone will not welcome us or listen to our words, shake the dust off our feet when we leave that home or town. One of my mentors simply says, “Go where you’re celebrated.” I celebrate Inside Out Ministries and the people who volunteer for it and they seem to celebrate Pocket Full of Change Ministries and all of our staff. They are indeed worthy people. As two ministries joining forces to lead people to Christ, we welcome and listen to each other’s words. I am a better evangelist because of my time with them. I consider myself a part of Inside Out Ministries and them a part of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. We are all on Team Jesus and together we are turning America Inside Out.

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


Sunday, July 3, 2011

I Like the Back Part Better

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35 NIV

“India,” they answered when we asked where they from. A Hindu tour group swarmed us, all wanting free Liberty Bracelets. Our evangelism team scrambled to give out bracelets and break into groups small enough to use the bracelets to tell the story of Jesus.

I took one of the families. “The gold bead represents the amazing plans God has for you,” I shared with a father, mother, teenager, and grandfather. “Heaven is paved with streets of gold. The dark bead represents our mistakes. The Bible word for that is sin. Those mistakes separate us from God and the plans He has for us.”

“Wait,” the father said. “Would you start over?” He pointed a video camera at me. “We want to show it to our family back home.” I began again and told them about red representing the blood of Jesus and how He died for us. I explained that Jesus came back to life and if they confessed belief in Jesus, asked for forgiveness of sin, and invited Jesus into their lives, the white bead represented the blood washing them clean. When I got to green and growing, I talked about growth in faith and truth.”

“Wow,” I thought. “They’re actually interested.” I considered inviting them to receive Jesus and a voice inside my head whispered, “They’ve just heard the gospel. How could they possibly know enough to pray to receive Jesus?”

“We have some additional information written in Hindi,” I offered, handing them tracts. “It has the Bible verses I’ve mentioned and a prayer for you to pray when you’re ready.” As I heard my words, it sounded like a copout.

“We have a Bible,” the father said. “We’ve been reading it. I like the back part better because it tells stories about Jesus.”

You’ve been reading the Bible?” I asked, startled. They nodded.

“He has read more than I have,” the wife said.

“We call the back part the New Testament,” I explained. “The reason you like it is because it is about the grace God offered to the world. Jesus died so that you could have life here on earth and in heaven – like the gold bead.”

They all nodded and I continued, “I know you have many gods but Jesus said he was the way, the truth, and the life and that no one could come to the father except through Him. God says He is the one true God and that we are to have no other gods before Him. Would you like to meet the Jesus you’ve been reading about? You only need faith the size of a mustard seed to invite Jesus into your life. Do you believe in Jesus that much?”

All four of them nodded eagerly and right there on the hot mall across from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, four Hindu family members visiting from India prayed to receive Jesus.

“Can I have four more bracelets,” the grandfather asked. “I want to play the video for my other grandchildren and help them to pray.”

The rest of that tour group left without the gospel making any sense to them. Seeds were planted but they did not believe. I wondered who gave the family of new believers the Bible and thanked God for them.

The voice that hadwhispered, “They’re not ready,” was not from God. The “back part” of the Bible had done its work. God’s voice said, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” Everyone needs Jesus. Satan is certainly reaping his harvest and we have no business closing our eyes to the ready harvest. My job as an evangelist is to offer the gospel and invite people to the party. The listener’s job is to accept or reject the good news.

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