Do You Know Mr. Towne? posted by John Sorensen on May 26, 2015
Put yourself in this man’s shoes. It’s February 1975, in Fort Lauderdale, FL. You leave a Gospel tract with a young gas station attendant you come across for the first time while you’re filling your tank. He takes the tract and, seeing what it is all about, shoves you, shouts a few expletives and while you’re stammering for words, he walks away. How would you feel? Defeated? Deflated? Discouraged? All of the above?
The identity of this Gospel witness remains a mystery. We know and have met the gas station attendant. Mr. Towne is his name.
That very evening, Mr. Towne returned home, emptied his pockets and there was the crumpled Gospel tract. He stared at it on his bed and then did something inconceivable. He read it. And that very same night the EE witness was convinced that the Gospel had fallen on deaf ears, Mr. Towne, in tears, professed Christ as his Savior.
As Mr. Towne looked back on that experience 40 years later, he says in a much softer, subdued tone,
“I don’t know why I reacted that way, especially since I was searching for spiritual answers. Maybe it was the power of sin in my life.”
Mr. Towne would love to meet that mystery witness again to tell him the rest of the story. He wants to apologize and thank him. He wants to tell him that he read that Gospel tract and it radically changed his life.
The mystery witness had simply stopped to fill his gas tank and, being equipped to share the Gospel through Evangelism Explosion, he asked Mr. Towne if he knew for certain that he would be with God in Heaven someday. When Mr. Towne ignored him, he handed him a Gospel tract. And that’s what Evangelism Explosion International is all about, equipping more and more people with the life-saving news of the Gospel, that they might sieze the opportunity and share it with everyone they meet.
Right now we have an incredible opportunity before us to multiply this life-saving work as we near the end of our fiscal year. A generous friend of our ministry has offered to match, dollar-for- dollar, up to $150,000, every gift you send to us by June 30. Two billion people still need to hear of Jesus so there is much work to be done.
Because of that simple act and seeming failure, not only was Mr. Towne’s life impacted for all of eternity, but the lives of his children and grandchildren, who all know and love the Lord. Mr. Towne wrote these words to us:
“What I would like to say to that man who gave me the Gospel, right now there is a third generation that is continuing on—even sharing the Gospel as these, my grandchildren, will go into homes and literally share their testimony to people who do not yet know the Lord. To me, what more could a person ever ask for than to see the continuation of the fruits of one’s labors.”
Once people are equipped to share their faith, they don’t always see the results, but it is so true that God’s Word never returns void, and Mr. Towne is a classic example. How many more Mr. Townes are out there who encountered EE witnesses and only much later made professions of faith in Christ?
There is no way to tabulate results from EE way-of-life witnesses around the world. But, by God’s grace, we do know that during EE training events in 2014, we had 8.4 million professions of faith in Christ. We also know that we trained more than one million people how to share their faith in Christ. And I cannot imagine the impact that will have for their friends, families, neighbors and associates.
EE exists to change our world for Christ through the proclamation of the Gospel. And we must not stop due to the billions of people who have not heard about Jesus. This is an opportune time to help us. A generous and faithful friend of Evangelism Explosion is funding a substantial Matching Challenge Fund of $150,000. Every dollar you give is matched up to that amount. We can double our ministry work for the Lord. June 30 is the end of our fiscal year, so this Matching Challenge Fund is extremely important as we partner together to meet the $150,000.
These are momentous days for EE. The Lord is expanding our ministry and deepening its impact around the world. These are also challenging days for EE. The greater our Gospel activity, the greater is the resistance of the enemies of the Gospel. These are critical days for EE. As we approach the end of our fiscal year on June 30, our financial need is greater now than it has been in years. We are praying that we will not only meet this matching gift of $150,000, but substantially exceed it.
Your gift of $50 becomes $100. $100 becomes $200! $1,000 is doubled to $2,000. And when you consider that it takes just $2 to see someone make a profession of faith in Christ through this ministry, is there a more cost effective ministry in reaching people for Christ?
Confident of the Spirit’s work in your life, I am asking you to pray diligently and respond generously. Not only do we thank the Lord for His hand at work in expanding our ministry…we also rely on Him for His provision to this ministry. I want to thank you in advance for your participation in meeting, and even exceeding, this matching challenge.
Yours in His service,