A Father’s Love for His Daughter

In 2013, my best friend, Bill Hodnett, introduced me to Launching Multipliers!. He suggested that we go through a one-on-one discipleship process together using this resource. This was something totally new to me and I hesitated at first.  But Bill kept bringing it up so we finally agreed that he would mentor me face to face through the 18 sessions of Launching Multipliers!.

However, this presented a big challenge for us in that Bill lives in Keller, Texas and I live in Greenwood, Arkansas. Thankfully, my business usually required me to travel to the DFW area once a month.  It took us about 18 months to conclude our discipleship conversations. I am so thankful we persevered.

After completing the process, the Lord kindly gave me opportunities to disciple other men.

It was during this time that my daughter, Gina, who was 44 years old and living in New Jersey, began to have severe lower back pain. At first, we thought it was because of her work but after many visits to doctors and chiropractors, no relief was found. Soon the pain became so severe she would often go to the local ER for relief. It was during one of those visits that a young doctor noticed something unusual with her x-rays and blood work. He ordered tests for further evaluation. We soon learned that Gina had small-cell sarcoma cancer which was located on her spine. The doctor told her that the best they could do for her was to treat her and try to extend her life a couple more years.

Of course, this was devastating news and I found myself often traveling between Arkansas and New Jersey. I prayed for the Lord to give me the words that might encourage Gina to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Since I was mentoring at the time, I had my Launching Multipliers! resource with me to prepare for upcoming sessions.

It was then that the Holy Spirit led me to review session 1, Beginning A Christ-Center Life. I asked Gina if I could “practice” sharing the Gospel with her.  She agreed and we began.

We talked about the GOOD NEWS, God’s original plan for His relationship with man revealed in Genesis 1-2.

Then, I shared the BAD NEWS and we discussed Romans 6:23 (“the wages of sin is death”) and how man’s sin leads to physical and spiritual death (separation from God).

From there we considered how the BAD NEWS GETS WORSE. Gina listened carefully as I read Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” One man’s sin had become a universal condition affecting us all.

Next, I shared the GREAT NEWS and read Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  I explained how Christ’s death on the cross had provided complete payment for her sin problem. Lastly, we came to the URGENT NEWS.  I turned to Ephesians 2:8-9 and read, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

During her illness, Gina had always been attentive to God’s word and loved for me to read the Bible to her, but this time was different. She knew this message of grace was meant for her. We came to that most important question of all: Have you personally placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior?

It was then that she looked at me and said, “Dad, I want to accept Jesus as my Savior.” OH, WHAT JOY! “Thank you, Lord!” were the words of my heart in that moment.

We prayed together that most important prayer and my daughter, through faith in Christ as her savior from sin, became a daughter of God.  In the days that followed, Gina wanted to learn more and more about her new life in Christ. Despite her pain and suffering, she continued to have a thirst for books about Christ and His love for her.

A few months went by and suddenly she started having trouble seeing and hearing. After more tests we were told that the cancer had metastasized to her brain.  A few weeks later, on April 12, 2016, Gina passed from this earth to her eternal home.

While Launching Multipliers! is primarily a discipleship tool, God prompted me to use it as an evangelism tool to help lead my precious daughter to saving faith in Christ. God’s providence is so amazing.