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Friday, July 8, 2011

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


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