Effie Doshier was my Sunday school teacher when I was five years old. I adored her. When permitted, I sat with her in church. It was there on a Sunday evening where, after the pastor preached, she bent and whispered in my ear.
“Faye,” she asked softly, “Would you like to pray with me and ask Jesus to come into your heart?” I was already crying knowing, though I couldn’t have verbalized it at the time, the Holy Spirit was speaking to my heart.
“Uh huh,” I answered with a sob.
She took my little hand and led me to the altar, where we knelt together. She prayed with me as I confessed my sin and invited Jesus into my heart.
Many would pooh-pooh such a practice, but I knew exactly what I was doing. Salvation was a truth I had heard over and over again during my short life.
I don’t remember most things that happened to me when I was five years old, but I do remember that night. That initial salvation experience became a new way of life in Christ Jesus.
It was a life like that of other believers – a life of spiritual successes and mistakes, a life of growth and backsliding. Sometimes it seemed that for every step I took forward, I took two backward. In spite of missteps along the way, with God’s help and that of my parents, pastors and mentors, I stayed the course.
God kept me through those lean teenage years, until finally by a difficult and circuitous route, I understood God’s plan for my life—a place in full time ministry.
Saying “Yes” to God meant becoming a world missionary. That was a nearly impossible decision to make. Leaving everyone I loved and, more particularly, everyone who loved me was almost more than I could bear. Yet,obedience was my only alternative, if I expected God’s blessing on my life.
In preparation for ministry overseas, I was required to visit our churches and raise support for my work.
On a Sunday morning, at a little church in Arvin, California, I stood before the congregation and told them that God had called me to minister in Europe on behalf of children. I talked about how necessary it is to reach kids while they are young, and how foolish we are to wait until lives are ruined before they are confronted with the claims of the gospel.
As I shared, I recounted the story of my own salvation telling how Sister Effie Doshier had led me to Christ at the age of five.
Following the morning service, a feisty little lady with a sassy hat perched on her white hair came to the front of the sanctuary to shake my hand.
Looking up at me, scrutinizing every feature, she asked, “Are you Faye Clark, whom I used to know in Mesa, Arizona?
“I’m Faye Clark,” I replied, “And I used to live in Mesa.”
“Well, I am Effie Doshier, your Sunday school teacher, “she announced with a great deal of satisfaction.
My family had been close to the Doshiers when I was little, but they moved away and I lost all track of them having no idea where they were. I was totally dumbfounded by this turn of events. Nothing would do but I have lunch with Effie and her daughter. As adults, we became friends. I spent nights with her when I was in the area. After I went to the field, she sent me $5.00 and $10.00 money orders with sweet letters.
Effie was kind of like the little widow in Luke 21:2, who put two mites in the offering. Jesus said that she had given more than anyone because she gave all she had. Effie’s support was not the greatest amount I ever received, but it certainly was the best.
I can’t forget that she gave her life for ministry to children just as I had. She was one of the reasons I was in the ministry.
It has been many years since I ministered to children, and I understand that it is getting more difficult to find workers today who will take the time for kids. But, I must tell you that there is nothing more satisfying than leading a child to Christ knowing that a whole life has been saved for His Kingdom.
If you have young children in your home, don’t neglect their spiritual welfare. Talk to them about Jesus. Read the Word to them. Pray with them. Don’t leave this all-important responsibility to someone else.
AND – if you have any energy left at all, volunteer to help with the kids at your church. Be like Sister Effie and give your best to Him.
THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW