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The best investment I’ve ever made

Witches, Witch, Spirit
Salem Witch Sandra Wright blows in the fumes from the incense during the Salem Witches' Magic Circle at Salem Common on Halloween in Salem, MA on October 31, 2018. The ceremony involving local and visiting witches celebrates loved ones that have crossed over into the spirit world. The witches believe that on Halloween, the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest and connections can be made to those being mourned or missed. |

I’ve never met anyone more hostile towards the Gospel than the witch I met in St. Paul, Minn. I’ve also never seen a hardened heart melt faster than hers. All because of $35.

I wish I could say that evangelism was part of my normal day-to-day life. By God’s grace, one day it will be. But this was a special occasion. There was a powerful 2-day evangelism conference taking place and the best part was the time allotted to practicing what we were learning. True to the method Jesus chose when sending out his disciples, we went out in pairs to embrace the city of St. Paul with the love of God.

That’s when we spotted her. Dressed in black. Covered in amulets and tattoos. She saw us coming right away.  "Stay away from me! I don’t believe what you believe! I’m a witch! I have no interest in hearing about Jesus,” she yelled from afar. (I’ve left out the prolific string of obscenities she deployed.) Her tone was unmistakable. A hateful warning. As if to say, “Don’t come near me. I am your enemy.”

My heart raced as adrenaline pumped through my veins. Neither of us had ever been spoken to so harshly, but we couldn’t turn away. We continued to march across the street towards her, compelled by love, certain that there was a child inside that Jesus died to save. I began to reply back, “We don’t want to convince you to believe what we believe.”

Her blue streak continued.  “Is there anything we can do to bless or help you today? Anything at all?”  I heard myself say in a surprisingly calm voice.

More cursing. But then, her tone began to shift from alarmingly hateful to merely disgusted. 

Begrudingly, she responded, “You can pay my phone bill.”

“We would love to pay your phone bill,” my friend replied. “How much is it?”

“Thirty-five dollars,” said the witch, somewhat quietly.

We dug through our pockets and collectively came up with the cash. That’s when it happened. She quickly started to melt.

“I would never set foot in a church,” she declared, as she tried to resist what God was doing in her heart.

“Yes,” I replied, “which is why the Lord sent the church to come and find you today. He loves you and wants you to be part of his family.”

She wept openly and shared the story of how she used to be a Christian but was molested many years ago by the leader of her youth group. We wept with her, hugged her, and affirmed to her that that man’s actions were inexcusable, and that God’s heart was broken over what happened to her.

The Holy Spirit gave us a word of knowledge about some metal rods in her shoulder, which she confirmed, and she welcomed us to pray for her. We prayed for total healing over her broken body, her broken heart, and that she would be reconnected again with the body of Christ.

As a professional Wealth Advisor and investor, I have made many investments over the years, most of which I have endeavored to align with biblical values. But my share of that $35 was quite possibly the best investment I have ever made. It was a powerful, tangible lesson on the power of a small act of love-driven generosity to unlock the hardest of hearts.

I’ve heard different (and conflicting) teachings on the Parable of the Shrewd Manager from Luke 16, but I heard one recently from Robert Morris, senior pastor of Gateway Church, that reminded me of my encounter with this dear woman in St. Paul. He said that the “worldly wealth” can be used to win souls, which are the “true riches” referred to in Luke 16:11.

If money can be used to win souls and we are stewards of wealth that ultimately belongs to God, then I’m confident that God would see this type of giving as a wonderful investment of his capital. It may not come with a tax deduction or any earthly ROI, but we just might see an additional neighbor in heaven one day.

If you’re like me, an inspiring story is best served with a side of practical application. So, allow me to put my financial planner hat on for a moment and share a budgeting idea that’s sure to multiply this testimony and take your adventure with God to the next level.

Prayerfully consider adding a line item to your budget that is proportionate to your income and your faith that is to be used for spontaneous investment opportunities like these. Including it as part of your budget allows for three things.

1.  It will prevent arguments with your spouse (if married) as you will agree beforehand on an amount that is comfortable for both of you.

2.  It will make investing in souls an intentional and ongoing part of your lifestyle.

3.  It will remove the hesitation you may feel as you consider what you can afford to give.

Having some predetermined amount of cash in your pocket, and a prayer for boldness ready on your lips, you’ll be ready to watch God work through you to bring his lost ones home.

Rachel McDonough is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, Retirement Income Certified Planner®, and a Certified Kingdom Advisor®. She is passionate about helping both investors and other investment professionals integrate their Christian values into their investment and financial decisions. Rachel founded Wealth Squared (a team of EverSource Wealth Advisors, LLC) with the goal of helping Christian investors create investment portfolios that advance kingdom values while providing income and growth for retirement.

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