For camp this year, our theme was from Mark 4 about the parable of the sower – and the differences between the different kinds of soils. It was such a wonderful week of learning about the different ‘heart conditions,’ and what soil is needed to produce the wanted fruit. For the older that attended, we had a special session for them each day -- teaching them how to use the flipper-flapper to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Then on Wednesday we loaded them all up and headed to the nursing home to give them some hands on experience of using the little gospel tool. The flipper flapper uses the principles of the wordless book to tell the salvation message. It is a very clear, fun, and easy way to present the gospel. I was blessed to be able to go along – what an amazing opportunity!
For me, it was sobering to see how the different heart 'soils' played out in the people we visited. Katy was very willing to hear the story, so one of my girls began. As she got the to salvation point, Katy suddenly piped up, “One just has to do good, and believe in heaven.” Wondering if she just hadn't understood, I again went over the main points, asking her if she ever had accepted Christ as her Savior.
“No, I haven’t. You just have to stay away from the wrong and do what is right and believe in heaven.”As we continued talking, I asked her if she was always able to 'do the right thing.'
“No, I try, but I can’t all the time.”
So I repeated the main points: our sin and very real need for a Savior. She remained unconvinced, saying over and over again that all we need to do is 'do good and believe in heaven.' Before leaving that room, she did allow us to pray for her, and I did – praying that the Lord would soften and open up her heart.
I think the girls I had with me were just a little intimidated after a response like that. It was very sobering to again realize what was at stake – the eternal destination of these dear people.
So we head to the next room. The lady was more on the quiet side, but again, very willing to listen. As like before, one of my girls began to tell the story. She was very attentive, and even reached out to examine the flipper-flapper several times. When it came time for the invitation, she said, "No - I have never prayed to receive Christ."
"Would you like to today?"
And she did! What an incredible blessing to bow my head and fold my hands with hers to lead her in prayer! And how the angels must have rejoiced in heaven!
It wasn't till later that I had a chance to mention this to Rachel, (who had come last year with the youth). Rachel shared that she had visited that same lady last year -- except at that time she had been very adamant against praying or even anything to do with the gospel message. Praise the Lord for her change of heart and that the Lord had given her time to change!
They nodded their heads in total agreement. As we visited with them, what a blessing it was to fellowship with them and hear their stories of growing up in God's Word, and how it had born fruit in their lives.
One last note – my sister, Rachel, went into one of the rooms and noticed the lady was just morose. The nurse shared with Rachel: "Her son just died this week." Rachel went to minister to her – holding her hand, praying with her, and just sharing her sorrow. As they visited, over and over she said, “He was so young! Just so young! Sad – it is so sad when they go so young.” As they continued visiting, she shared that her son had been 70 years old! It is all in one's perspective, I guess! [grin] And by the time we left, she had a smile on her face.
"We are ambassadors for Christ,
as though God were pleading through us:
we implore you on Christ's behalf,
be reconciled to God.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,
that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
II Corinthians 5:20-21