PRAY: The Panama Papers, #5 (Candy Girl)
“How did passing out candy become my job?”
“Surely God brought me to Panama to be more than a candy supplier.”
“I’m not sure we should be handing out candy anyway!”
The afternoon before, all these thoughts ran through my head when I received a minor rebuke for not bringing out our bag of candy soon enough. Someone had given us a giant sackful of miniature Tootsie Pops®, and Dr. Walker Moore wanted us to use the treats in ministry.
I knew we could use them. But this former dental hygienist didn’t want to be the one to do it. Still, I’ve spent years teaching my children the value of proper authority, which God places in our lives to provide both protection and direction. And as not only Awe Star’s president but also our trip leader, Walker’s words mattered. I confessed my inner grumbling and promised God I’d become the Candy Girl, joyful in sharing the treats He supplied.
He didn’t wait long to bless my new attitude. The next day found the team rising early to eat, have a quick Bible study, and head out to a school at the edge of the Panama Canal. A previous Awe Star team had visited the same school to minister to older students. This morning, our team had the privilege of sharing “Freedom” with a younger group.
The Panama heat radiated up from the concrete as we set up to begin our ministry. Dozens of curious children milled around us, pointing and asking questions. We engaged them with a quick line dance. Soon, performers and audience were good to go.
Once again, I felt blessed to pray through the drama and ask for the winds of salvation to blow through tender hearts. Awe Star never presses children—or anyone—for decisions, but we understand our responsibility to share God’s truth. As the team poured out their hearts in the drama, I poured out mine in prayer. But I didn’t anticipate what happened next.
When the drama concluded, the students hurried out in their ministry teams, and I pulled out my big bag of candy. I still felt a bit concerned because I knew the students would follow the sweet treasures. Would this keep them from responding to the gospel? But I remembered Walker’s direction, and lifted the giant sack.
Before I could decide where to take it, a cluster of children surrounded me—so many, in fact, that I feared I might stumble. Amid the clamor, I held the bag high. Then suddenly, God gave me an idea. Perhaps I could use the candy to share my story! I sat down, holding the treats close as my new best friends surrounded me. I pulled out what Awe Star calls the “911 card” which would help me share the gospel without a translator.
Right at that time, one of our host missionaries sent a translator to my rescue. I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking through me as, with the translator’s assistance, I had total freedom to share my story in a natural, effective way. I told the children I would give them candy but that I had something much better to share first. I spoke about my childhood and how, back then, I tried to be a good little girl. But even good little girls need Jesus, I explained.
They listened intently—and not only because they wanted some candy. Before I finished, at least twenty children had again heard the gospel. And I’m confident that several of them received much more than candy that day.
Walker Moore teaches that our obedience to the Lord often results in salvation. That day, I thanked God for the opportunity to obey Him–through my authority–in a way that made a Kingdom difference.
How has your obedience resulted in someone’s salvation? What experience do you have that illustrates the importance of a proper response to authority? Let’s talk.