Have you ever wondered if what you do matters? Does your heart long to leave an impact, but you aren’t sure how or where to start? Toby Hopper recently shared with the CEF Dallas team her first person account of the incredible impact one can make for the Kingdom of God, and the ripple effects it can have for generations – especially when the only name you want kids to remember is the name of Jesus.
“On May 27, 1952,” Toby said, “I was born into a home where I went to church from infancy on. That had not been the case for my parents who had both been raised in Jewish families and had not become believers in the Lord Jesus until they were adults. Because of many lost years of not having the Messiah in her life, it was very important to my mother to share with my siblings and the children in our neighborhood the truth of Christ.
“My sweet mother decided to have a CEF Good News Club one day a week after school in our home. I remember sitting with my eyes glued to the flannelgraph board as a very kind lady shared the stories and pictures which explained to me about sin and how Jesus had died on the cross to forgive me of my sin. Even at the age of five I understood that disobeying my parents and being very mean to my brothers was not pleasing to God. The Holy Spirit convicted my heart and I asked Him to become my Savior and to forgive me.
“There are many people who might question whether a child can understand enough about God to place their faith and trust in Him. I know it can happen because it happened to me. Even from the tender young age of five, I cannot remember a time I did not love Jesus.
“I am thrilled to say that the first time I was personally involved in leading a young child to Christ was when I taught a CEF Good News Club while attending bible school! Since that time, God has allowed me to share the Good News with many children using various CEF tools such as the Wordless Book and spiral bound missionary stories.
“I will be forever grateful to that wonderful woman who lovingly shared Jesus with me in my home when I was a young child as well as my parents who left me the legacy of Jesus.
“My husband and I are now full time missionaries and train pastors, women, and church leaders around the world. Whenever I have the opportunity, I share with the children on our mission trips the stories of Jesus and leave tools so they too can share about Jesus with others. To God be the glory for the great things He has done!”
Nowhere does Toby tell us the name of the woman whose flannelgraph stories set the trajectory of Toby’s life more than six decades ago, but in everything she does, Toby simultaneously holds on to and shares broadly the same name that was shared with her in that Good News Club, the name of Jesus.
How will you partner with CEF to leave a lasting legacy – a legacy in Jesus’ name? Will you volunteer? Will you lead? Will you teach? Will you make a financial gift? What will you do to reach the children with the name of Jesus?
This month presents a unique opportunity to partner with CEF Dallas through North Texas Giving Day — you can give online through the North Texas Giving Day page anytime through September 22 and your impact will be increased by the matching funds available for this event!
All images courtesy of Mrs. Toby Hopper of Allen, Texas, and the global mission field.