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Monday, June 11, 2012

The Rest of The Story

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. Matt 18:12-14 NIV

We knew God cared about the one lost sheep but on Day 2 of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, we got a demonstration of that scripture. My sister-in-law and evangelism partner, Louise Milligan and I started the morning evangelizing with Riley Stephenson, the Head of Global Evangelism for Kenneth Copeland Ministries, and my nephew and Louise’s son, Bill Milligan. We’d had fun tag teaming as we led people to Jesus but we knew we’d reach more people by splitting into two teams.

We reached a cross road on the festival ground and Riley said, “Bill, let’s go lead them to Jesus.” They turned left towards a lemonade stand and we went straight. We didn’t expect to see Riley and Bill again until the end of the day.

Louis and I had inadvertently worn the colors of the Bonnaroo staff. As we walked, we heard, “Where can we fill our water bottles?” We turned to see two dusty scruffy looking young men, one with dreadlocks much like Bill’s.

We turned and one said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I saw your yellow shirts and thought you could help us.”

Louise had just filled her water bottle so she knew the answer.  “Do you see that blue dome over there? That’s where you go.”

“You mentioned us helping you,” I said. “We can help. We can help you find a relationship with Jesus. Bonnaroo is a dangerous place and I’ve already met someone today who overdosed and had to be revived. If something happened to you and you didn’t live through Bonnaroo, do you know where you would go in the next life?”

Their answers let us know that they needed Jesus so we spoke the sweet gospel scriptures to them. When it got time to lead them in a prayer to receive Jesus, the young man wearing dreadlocks abruptly turned and left, without saying a word.

“What is your name?” I asked the remaining man.

“Sam,” he answered.

“Pray with me,” I invited.

Sam recoiled, began shaking his head, and backed up. I was sure he was not going to pray. About that time, his friend walked back over said, “Let’s pray. Let’s do this.”

Louise and I were stunned. We had no idea what had caused this change of heart but we were not asking questions.

“Sam, your friend wants to pray with us. Join us.”

We waited as Sam considered his options. Finally he said, “Sure, why not.”

After they prayed to receive Jesus, I saw Bill and Riley standing about 20 feet away, praying for us. We walked over to them to share our amazing story and that was when we heard the “rest of the story.”

The man wearing dreadlocks had spotted Bill behind us. Seeing his dreadlocks, he bolted over to Bill and said, “Hey man, you got doses?” Bill explained that “doses” was the code word for LSD.

“No brother,” Bill said. “I can’t give you doses but I can offer you Jesus.” Bill handed the man a tract titled You Are Loved.

The dreadlocked drug seeking man opened the tract, glanced at it briefly, and without a word bolted back to us to pray to meet the Jesus who had obviously gone to a lot of trouble to bring him into the fold.

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