Several years ago, as I was cleaning out a closet that held some of our adult son's childhood toys and clothes, I noticed an unpleasant odor emanating from the top shelf — somewhere behind the Star Wars figures and the baseball cards.
I soon discovered the smell was coming from an old quilt my mother had made for me many years earlier when I left home to attend college. It found its way into my first apartment and then, several years later, into my first home as a new bride. A few years after that, the quilt became one of our son's most treasured possessions. Like Linus in the Peanuts comic strip, he carried that blanket with him everywhere. He slept with it as a child, took it to college, then to his first job in Pennsylvania. Finally, when he moved to California, he left it behind.
Over the years the quilt became tattered and worn. My mother patched it many times until it finally reached the point where it could no longer be repaired. When I saw that quilt, it brought a flood of memories to my mind. I held it for a while and re-lived those memories in my mind. Then I carefully folded it, packed it in a box, and stored it in the garage. But I will never forget the memories associated with that quilt and the lives it touched.
Those of us who serve as client advocates can point to at least one client who made that same type of lasting impression on us. Whether ten years ago or yesterday, we all have that one client story we will never forget.
WE ALL HAVE THAT ONE CLIENT STORY WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
My client was a young married woman named Cassie who had a small child and a husband who was unemployed. For several months, Cassie came to the center for emotional and physical help. Each time she came, she heard the Good News of Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our sins and had an opportunity to believe in Him as Savior. Each time she said no, she wasn't ready.
One Monday morning as I sat at the front desk, the door opened and a lovely young woman dressed all in white came into the center — white shoes, white dress, white accessories — with immaculate hair and makeup. I immediately approached her and asked if I could be of help. Then I recognized a familiar face.
"Cassie? Is that you?" I asked. "I wasn't expecting you. How can I help you?"
Cassie smiled, hesitated a moment, and then said, "Well, I'm ready."
"Ready for what?" I asked.
"I'm ready to get saved." That day Cassie had dressed to meet the Savior — to become part of His Bride.
Linda, the client advocate, took her into a counseling room, once again shared the Gospel, and this time Cassie said yes. That morning she became a believer and exchanged a life of bad decisions for an eternity with God. After her counseling session, she asked the client advocate to share the Gospel with her husband who was waiting in the car. The husband also responded positively and became a believer.
I rejoice whenever I think of Cassie, and I am grateful for all the center staff and volunteers who never gave up on her. They steadfastly continued to share the love of Christ with her and refused to be discouraged when she said no.
Who are the people with whom God has given you the privilege of sharing the Good News of salvation? Is there a "Cassie" in your life? Perhaps there are two or three or ten. The joy of leading someone into a relationship with Christ is a memory we take with us throughout our lives. I encourage you to enter the counseling room with expectations of sharing Christ with your client and look for every opportunity to begin a conversation that leads in that direction. Remember, you are responsible for contact. God is responsible for conversion. When we trust God enough to fulfill our responsibility, we can always trust Him to fulfill His.
Elaine Ham is Founder and PRC Business Coach for Plans For You, Inc., a consulting company she and her husband Tom founded in 2000 to train and assist pro-life organizations. The highly successful company has helped raise over $65,000,000 in operational funds for over 1,300 organizations through their Baby Bottle Boomerang program. Elaine trains pregnancy centers in evangelism, fundraising, board management, and other areas tailored to fit your center's needs. Elaine is a Master Instructor with EvanTell/SMSC and a Life Affirming Specialist with Heartbeat International.She can be reached at Elaine@plansforyou.org or by calling 770-401-5216. For further information on evangelism or to schedule an Evantell/Save the Mother/Save Her Child seminar at your center, contact Elaine Ham at 770-401-5216. Elaine and her husband Tom live in the Atlanta area and have two children and two grandchildren.